Thursday, November 4, 2010

Getting a lesson in ZING

If you're already sick of my garden photos, might as well turn away or grab a's a new week and new colors are out. And miracle of miracles, 3 sunny days in a row to enjoy them! Hooray!

My 'Hilleri' Japanese maple is hitting its stride now. You don't usually notice this unless you're right down in the northeast area I call my grotto, but this time of year you can't miss it from the house, even.
It's a very nice little tree with dark green leaves 50 weeks out of the year. Then for a week it slowly shifts to dark burgundy, then dark brick red, and then--POW!

I mentioned before that my Satomi always turns orange red. This year it got more sun than every before, I wonder if it'll go brighter next week?

This was the second 'Forest Pansy' redbud I got, and it gets more sun than the first one, but usually it just goes yellow gold and then immediately sheds. This year it has a lot more red in it than I've ever seen. I wonder if it might be in love?

That's it, except for my 'Bloodgood' Japanese maples and my Cotinus 'Royal Purple', which haven't even started thinking about changing yet. But I do have some new glass pieces. I wanted to try a mixed fusing of opal glass (mostly opaque) on the bottom and colored transparent cathedral glass on top. I think they'll work better than just the transparent in areas where the light may not hit them directly, or there may be a dark area behind them like a dark wall or thick greenery, but the opal still lights up when the sun hits it from behind. It's a different effect, and I like it.

I had taken my last load of pieces down to the Howden Gallery on Tuesday, and my studio looked really empty except for a few "seconds" that exhibited one or more glaring defects or a general lack of appeal. It's good to have some bright stuff back hanging around, at least for a while. I fired my 23rd piece last night. The two below I really cranked out quickly, but now as I'm seeing how they turned out I'm seeing there are a lot of possibilities in mixing the two styles of glass. I'm realizing that each piece really is a painting on its own, and worth spending the time to play with. I noticed on a couple of the recent pieces that I may have all the colors I want in a piece and it still won't look "together", or have that particular—well, hook—that grabs your eye. I would think I was done putting the chips together, but still be wanting to play with it. I'd rearrange a couple pieces a little, or replace one or two with slightly different colors, and suddenly there's a ZING! in my gut, and I knew it had gone to a new level. I look back at all the paintings I've done and finished, and know that sadly, there were a lot of them that didn't have a ZING. ZINGless. I'm thinking this is a good thing to know, when you have ZING vs. when there is no ZING. Some ZING is definitely better than no ZING.

I must have a new brain cell or two (I was SO happy to read that adults can still grow them after all), because I've been realizing a lot of things just lately. One was that I need to add a link to Shari Erickson's webpage. If you've never seen her miniatures, they really are rather jaw-dropping.

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