For several months now, I have had ideas and images in my head, which relate to Creation, as in Genesis: In the beginning....' I am of course not the first glass artist to be drawn irresistibly to imagining the separation of the light from the darkness, and the time when darkness was upon the face of the deep. I also love the idea of dividing the waters from the waters, and gathering the waters under the heaven into seas.
The issue for me is, how to capture those ideas and internal imaginings on paper, in such a way that they can be developed and shared with others. I am happy with a pencil in my hand, and up until now I have used coloured pencils to suggest the colour of the glass I imagine, but pencils don't give me the intensity of colour or much suggestion of texture, as the light comes through the glass. I have become confident about line, but I need to be able to experiment with the balance of colour and tone across the composition. I also need a more effective way of showing commissioning clients what a finished design is intended to look like.
So with all this in mind, this summer I refreshed my experience of using 'mixed media' with a workshop by the painter Ella Clocksin at Waterperry Gardens. We had the opportunity to draw in the garden and then try using wax resists and washes of professional quality watercolour paint, along with marks made with oil pastels and chalk pastels, on good quality, textured paper. One of my experiments from the day is below.
I have since started to build on my initial pencil sketches for 'creation' ideas. I want to suggest the birth of our galaxy, with sea creatures under the surface of the water, ready to be born. Having a much wider range of colour and textures is helping my imaginative and design process, and I think it is going to be useful to make finished designs, which will convey my intentions for the final piece better to other people.
I have a long way to go on this project, and I'd like to move away from an illustrative approach. I am looking forward to continued experimentation, and to going larger.
I am a glass artist based in Charlbury, Oxfordshire. I work in stained and fused glass. I work to commission and teach stained glass in my studio. I open my studio to visitors during Oxfordshire Artweeks.
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