Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pooches in Portland

A few weekends back, Mr C, baby and me took a long weekend trip to Portland, OR. It was part time away, and part explore, but we had a super time.

The first thing I noticed when we arrived was that it was winter there. In California, it seems very much like spring already. We spent three days bundled in coats (to keep the damp and cold at bay).

Much exploring ultimately meant much hunger, and so naturally eating was a feature of our trip. On sunday morning we went for brunch in Laurelhurst, and saw two french bulldogs waiting patiently outside a restaurant for their person. They were both dressed casually in home made camel colored sweaters (chunky knit) and even had their own little towel to sit on, to protect their bottoms from the cold damp sidewalk. One seemed happy enough to watch passers by, but the other looked concerned as to the whereabouts of his aforementioned person.

I recorded the moment on a doily I found resting between my two food plates, so I could share it. One day I suspect there may be a device for capturing images from real life and sharing them, but in the meantime thank goodness for doilies and pens!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

From Angel to Jesus

Yesterday I was looking through some pictures on a hard drive from a previous computer, and found Christ!

I've had more than my fair share of hard drive failures, and one hard drive was lost altogether, but it was great seeing these pictures I haven't seen for years. Pictures of baby at just a few days old, pictures of beloved pets who have since passed away. As i downloaded them onto my current machine, I literally saw my life flash before my eyes (well, the last fifteen years or so at least) as the pictures momentarily popped onto the screen.

I saw myself, fresh faced, in the days BB (before baby) and was transported to a time when I only had myself, husband and pets to think about. Wow, what a trip.

Anyway, I found these pictures of Mr Christ, before and after his makeover.
It was a restoration job, and the 'before' picture shows how His painted features are starting to come off of the surface (on the light box). The 'after' picture shows his brand new painted head in the restored window. I also had to re-create His hands, as they were broken.

Fun to look back on some past work, and even more fun to realize I have some record of past work that I thought had been lost forever.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines cherubs!

Happy Valentines to you all!

Last time I posted the drawing of the angel/cherub I was going to paint on glass. Today, here is the painted glass version of the twins (needed to paint two of them)
They are not yet finished, as now I have painted them, the glass needs to be slumped (bent) to fit the shape of the dome they will be inhabiting. Then, I will silver stain and enamel them, giving them a little color in the eyes, hair, cheeks and lips. The events happen in this order to accommodate the technical needs of the glass: Slumping temperatures are higher than stain or enamel temps, and paint should withstand slumping etc.
The faces are shown on my light box, so the black blogs are plasticine (holds the glass to the light box) and you can see the excess paint on the light box around each face.

Still - seemed an appropriate picture for today's day of hearts and love!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Painting Angels

Suddenly there is a lot of work to do!

This is a sketch for two angel faces I am painting on glass for John Forbes at Bonny Doon Art Glass. I occasionally do painted glass work there, most recently on the Golden Butterfly.

These Angel faces are for a beveled glass oval dome, and are the only painted pieces - the rest being custom slumped beveled glass, thats why the face is the only shaded area on the sketch and the rest is the lines, or 'cartoon' to show where the glass will be cut. I need to do a detailed pencil drawing such as this before I start to paint on the actual glass, as I follow the drawing very closely.

Painting on glass is also a kind of reverse to tonal drawing, in that I cover the glass with pigment, and them slowly remove the darkness, as opposed to building it it, as you would with pencil on paper. Because of that, I need to know what my 'end result' is supposed to look like, before I start, otherwise it would be very hard. It's bad enough that the pigments used to paint on glass feel like you are painting with cocoa powder - they are very difficult to work with, and have no tolerance for mistakes. If you make a tiny wrong mark, or scratch, or even drop a tiny dot of water on it - it can ruin a day's work. All adds to the stress! But also to the satisfaction, when you get it right.

Each face will be fired at 1150 degrees several times, as I build up the layers of paint. I am up to three firings so far, and there will be several more, including stain and enamel firings at a lower temperature.

I will post pictures of the glass once they come out the kiln!