I just completed the auction piece for the fundraiser for Special Angels of The Woodlands. What an incredible program for adults with intellectual challenges and disabilities. The Woodlands is my hometown and my dad was one of the founding fathers in its creation, so I hold a special place in my heart for the piney woods of east Texas (in this case Montgomery County).
If you are in the north Houston/south Conroe area and have aspired to own one of my pieces (shameless pitch I admit), please consider the auction for Special Angels on Thursday evening, April 5th at 314A Pruitt Road, Spring, 77380. It is a wonderful cause and will go towards lifting the lives of those with mental disabilities. To learn more, click on the link above.
New Designs (L to R):
So after nearly a year of prototypes, changes and negotiations, Aspen Light Glass is going to be featured at the US Senate Gift Shop in Washington DC just in time for the spring cherry tree blossoms :) It is something quite different from the usual in that we are using stencils and powders to create the Capitol silhouette and then building the cherry tree blossom vignette in classic stringers and frit. Hopefully we can get it all wrapped up and shipped out before the blossoms emerge, but in the crazy climate change weather these days, who knows when it will actually happen. According to Punxsutawney Phil, I have at least 6 weeks to go before the spring event.
What a fun Saturday afternoon with 6 wonderful ladies :) The students made 2 to 3 ornaments each using various shapes and themes using pre-cuts, frit, powders, stringers, noodles and dicro glass (top image pre-fire and post-fire below). Now to get them drilled, delivered and hung on that special holiday tree.
Next class is planned for the spring (probably late March) where we will create fused glass night lights! Check the class schedule on this website in January for more information on upcoming classes for 2018.
The Hawaiian market has been good both in terms of artistic challenge and sales. These are headed to Kela’s Glass Gallery in Kapaa on the island of Kauai.
Like these I will be developing and unveiling an expansion to my current line that will include a variety of landscapes—beach, farmlands and vineyards, lake sunsets, etc... I will post the news lines sometime in January.
I continue to delve deeper into vibrant and altered colors. The problem is I like it. I like it so much better than what nature presents itself. I guess that makes me a colorist. I never could focus on drawing and drawing alone. It always needed color and the more the better. I started painting sunsets on the water at Lake LBJ in oil when I was 14. Now if I can just free myself to see altered colored from within--I guess this a journey that all impressionists take as they develop their style. I just hope I can learn to let go and see through the colored lens.
So the last couple of pieces have been back to the old tried and true of frit painting but with a twist. In the first piece (Winter Blues), I fused the background and then flipped the image over to create much greater depth and distance in the background. In the second (Autumn Shadows), it worked with the background side up. You can see how much greater the depth is when I work on the reverse image but it does require an additional firing (total of 3 firings) since you have to rebuild the background layer a second time. I think it was worth it though, agree?
My mom just had her 91st birthday in Houston and once again, I was not there to celebrate. This year was particular hard since Mom had a stroke several months ago and it has reminded us all that her time here on Mother Earth is nearing its end. There are days when she is alert and can remember the face of the person who walks in the door, and then there are days when she sleeps hours on end.
As is common with dementia patients, she continues to slip quietly into past memories. She loves to look at pictures of grandchildren and places she has been or events that left an impression. My sister said she is particularly drawn to the color red, which is odd since her favorite color was always blue. She always hated green, I think mostly because her own mother loved it so. Funny how that works--we reject the behavior and passions of our parents. I love green and don't like blue to this day.
I made her a bright red tulip in a blue vase stained glass piece for her window at the assisted-living center several years ago to brighten her room and to ask for forgiveness for not being near enough to help in her care. She has been proud of my work--my work as an artist seems to bring her joy since she always knew how much I loved to paint and work in glass. It is the one thing I believe I have to offer her since I brought her so much misery and disappointment in my younger years.
With her stroke, my sisters had to move her to a higher care facility in Houston--a place she has always hated and spent a lifetime trying to be free of. At least at this point, she is too unaware of her surroundings to know she has come full circle and returned. The new facility would not allow my stained glass to be hung since it requires drilling into the wall, etc..., but without it there, I feel disconnected somehow. My glass in the window served as my emotional and spiritual connection to her. It just had to be replaced somehow.
So with that, I crafted a small, simple frit painting in salmon and pimento reds that can be wall mounted with adhesives for her 91st birthday. She should be able to recognize it since it is in bright reds and it is meant to remind her of what my life has come to represent--the road less traveled. I am hoping when it goes up, both Mom and I will feel that the world's delicate balance is once again restored.
Welcome to the blog! I am the artist and gallery owner, Diane Quarles. I will post day-to-day outcomes and events here so you can see what is going on in the studio this month.