20 x 16 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
by Miki Willa
I rarely venture into the realm of figurative painting. It is not within my comfort level, but I had to do this one. With all the ovens and glory holes I have been doing, I thought I needed to depict a glass artist in the intensity of the creative moment.
When I started my Glass Blowing series, I wanted to share my emotional response to the glass studios I visited. I wasn't sure there was much of an interested audience for these paintings, but I decided to pursue the series for my show in July. The response of friends and family members has been mixed, ranging from strong interest to lukewarm at best. The last from glass artists I know. It will be interesting to see the reactions of a wider audience.
This brings me to a big question. Why am I pursuing this series when the glass artists are less than enthusiastic about it? One reason, beyond my simply finding joy in the creation of the pieces in the series, is that I am learning so much from this series. I am learning about color combinations that I have never used before. I am learning about composing using geometrical shapes and value transitions. I am learning more about techniques in using pastels. That is some of what I am getting out of it. What about my audience?
My sister-in-law recently pointed out that these paintings take people into a world they don't often get to see. We have a glass artist in the family, so we are fortunate to be able to visit studios where he is working and seeing how glass art is created. Most people see the art, but don't think about how it is made. Many people don't have any idea of the amount of thought and physically uncomfortable work goes into this art form. With this series, I hope to help people see into the heart of the process.
In the mean time, I have a couple more paintings I want to do in the series before I return to landscapes for a while. I am not sure if I will do another figurative work, but you never know. We are going to a glass studio today and may find just the right moment to capture.