E7 #9 Purple Haze

So I been wanting to paint the face of an angel…

(I say again… ‘careful what you wish for eh!’)

So here we have it.. a 70th birthday… a famous chord….

and a face.    E7 #9

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Seagulls in Scarborough

A perfect piece of summer sunshine surprise on it’s way to Scarborough!

Beach huts… seagulls.. sunshine… and shells…..

And this is how we made it fit….

 

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Through the think in’ glass

What strange times we have found ourselves in…

I have named it my ‘golden time’.

Two years I have been working out of my little studio in Kendal, named dc stained glass studio. And a busy bee i have been. Wonderful commissions have gently come to my door and i have enjoyed scratching my head and thinking… how am i going to do this one then?

Twenty twenty i thought was going to be a clear path forging ahead. But I began my new year feeling slightly overwhelmed by my workload and dearly wishing for some sabbatical time. Ha. Careful what you wish for eh….

Covid 19 raised its head and we entered lock down. At first, when it all became black and white on that night of the 23rd, I guess I was a little scared. But prepared… Ample larder and the motivation to do tasks around the house kept me ‘locked in’. I ventured out eventually, to find the world a different place. Near deserted streets with folks crossing over. Shops with chevrons and cordons and screens. I quickly learned the rules of this new planet and my life adjusted to suit them.

A simple routine of existence evolved. Revolving around the sun and spinning out time as far as I could stretch it. I read. I drew. I cooked. I ran. I yoga’d… I became expert at filling the hours in my day. Reading in my sunspot became my luxury, with its view of big sky, rooftops and chimneys, welcome swifts and the Town Hall clock. And as I read more I drew more and made lots of notes. Christopher Whall in his, ‘Stained Glass Work’ book, advised… ‘when you draw…always think in glass’.  And that is what I did. Knuckling down to commissions and the like on my drawing board at home.

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I have made a gentle return to my stained glass studio most days recently and it feels good to be cutting glass again. (Although I find i quite like working with the door shut and the sign reading ‘closed’!)

So, nine weeks done, I feel happy and relaxed. I feel that this golden time has been something of a gift. I do wonder what will become my new normal going forwards… Change is good, I think. And good will come from change. And a welcome grant from the local council has made my future look promising too!

Here are some of the drawings i have been working on.. My latest is for an open call to artists to submit work influenced by the events of covid19 titled ‘Dreaming through the looking glass – What Cumbrian artists did during lockdown’. Artists selected will be published in a Lake District publication… (I have my fingers crossed).

Doodles from my notebook have influenced my panel which I have named, ‘Though the think in’ glass’. The simple colour palette illustrates the black and white nature of the guidelines and rules to which we had to adhere. But I could not resist adding some yellow… this was golden time to me after all, even though it came with a warning!

Yep, spiralling sun… spinning time…social distancing and my outlook on the Town hall  (ding dong) is what this panel is all about. Tomorrow, I need to add more paint.. add a layer of silver stain to introduce even more yellow and then, put it all together!

Through the think in glass…..

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And did I say ‘watch this space;?… No!! Well I should have…

Here is how the panel is developing.

The first firing left the town hall is shaded relief… Then I decided how I might apply some finer line detail…

I did two line drawings of the detail on the town hall… one confined with the shaded parameters and one free hand… I located the clock face and drew from there..

I decided to go with the freehand drawing as my tracing template as I liked the parallax error created. It sort of fit with the skewed vision we have of things at the moment… so here we go…..This is now in the kiln (Fiday), Tomorrow I will add silver stain (more yellow!)…

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Going with the flow…

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‘Tis like living in an aquarium’… said the house-owner, gazing up at his newly installed panel.

A pair of salmon… so lets swim backwards through how I did this one…

A fluid gentle colour palette… detailed delicate painting… flowing lead lines…

(I watched a lot of youtube salmon swimming before diving in to this one!)

So happy with how this pair float in their space.

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Rubies are forever…

Well, rubies are  for forty.. years of marriage…and to celebrate a panel that celebrates all that they love and value.

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So working backwards…

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Love letter

Funny what life throws at you.
In January I was searching for something like this … haha i mean….a few week sabbatical of navel gazing and self improvement.
Ha. Careful what you wish for eh.
Thankfully Boris gave us clues as to how this might pan out and I am glad that my panic buying amounted to me grabbing mostly (!) useful stuff.  (I am at that sensible age!!)
I have even been industrious at work and everything essential (what a word) has gotten out there. And all the non essential is making my workshop window look very lovely in its closed down state.
Last night I popped down. Collected all my blank drawings. Flipped the sign to closed and turned off the lights. All of them. (There are usually some on all the time)(I know. Shocking!!)
My workshop window looked lovely but i will turn my back on it for some time.
So yes. A period of looking at myself. And spending time with just myself.  (Yikes!!!)(Ha. But hallelujah for that wifi lifeline eh) (I m a g i n e if we had to do without that. Wow. A thoughtful silence here)
So. My larder is healthy. My body seems so too at this present moment. My home is very lovely and I look ahead to making it even lovelier (!!!!). Thanks. To Ecover (cleaning product!). And the scrap store cheap farr.. and (ssssh) paint. (Darn. Did I just tell everyone)
Yep. I’ll get through this. I need not move from my homestead for any reason at all (not precedented anyway) for 7 days I reckon….
In those 7 days I will either have had it (the virus) or I will not. I reckon. And then I will decide what I do next. How to measure my movements.
So……
I gonna go clean and tidy and sit in the sun in my back yard when the sun is on it.
And I may, get round to working on filling these blanks too….
But here, before I go…
This lovely panel for a lovely lady. A surprise gift from her mum to celebrate a 40th birthday…
Molly the labrador in her favourite places… the woods and the seaside.
But also… seagulls(3) and beautiful colours and details inspired by her three wee girls.
Take care folks xx
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Strawberries….strawberries

Well, every project has its challenges…

This project started out as a north cumbrian town scape with a mountain backdrop.. it grew and grew and strawberry thieving blackbirds were introduced!

Yikes. This is quite a size… said I, when I eventually drew out the shape on my board.

(Almost 1 metre square. Almost!)

And well, I do like to scratch my head over composition and design and… layout and.. colour. This one definitely evolved as I built…

Here my drawings… (I really enjoyed this once I got stuck into it)

Here how my glass cutting and painting went… see how the watery wintry low sun washes through the vivid reds and greens…

(and those darn strawberries. You see, at first I cut and painted them as bunches of strawberries. But when I offered them up the light for appraisal I realised i did not like them at all… Back to the cutting board.  Individual strawberries. Oh, yes. Much better now…. phew.)

And then.. colours for the middle ground. I wanted the birds to ‘sing out’.. as if perched in your window box and you were watching them and looking at the town beyond… the gentle pastel colours of the Cockermouth town were switched about until I was happy.. especially happy with the blue cottage at the end of the row which anchored the piece and dragged your eye to the blue clock face on the piercing church steeple.

The high mountain landscape in the far background executed in soft grey greens.

My, what a mammoth task. And all done in the lead up to Christmas. (I think really this project kept me sane amongst the rush of robins and unicorns (!) and angels and dogs (!) and… other treasured gems!)

The leadwork and grouting was completed in the run up to Christmas Eve. So satisfying and grounding and concentrated and rigorous…. it had to be done!!!  It had to be completed and sitting, curing and polished over the Christmas break in order for it to be sent for encapsulation (double glazing technique) and fitted on February the 14th (aww. and they loved it)

Wow. i did it. One of my largest panels to date… (although I still remember the foxgloves from a couple of Christmasses ago too)..

Yep. Really pleased with this one. And once again, wonderful to work with a lovely couple of customers. (Thank you guys)

And. Here it is in place..

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Sometimes it is like working in a sweetie shop..

Really.

Just look at it. (ha. but don’t eat!) C U T .

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This. The beautiful multi-spot sheet of handmade glass that would form my coil of cyclists whirring through the Yorkshire countryside.

This sheet of glass pinned the whole concept together. (Aint it good when that happens).

Here. I will let my images say a thousand words. You will get the picture. But do not miss that this one was a real challenge…. of composition.. construction and completion. Loved it.

(But. Lots of learning on this one… see how I joined this long slender panel… check out the leadwork!)

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In the shimmering shadow of Ingleborough…

Cavort swallows and hares.

Dancing amongst grasses and

Swirling through seedheads.

Between the sun and the moon

Tossing a riot of colour.

This one made me smile. Beautiful subjects… (and not least because I was to ensure the hare was at no point to resemble the angel of death of Watership Down horror)(yikes… yep.. him and General Umvert… twas the stuff of childhood nightmares!)

Oh what fun I had designing this… from the scribbliest lovely wee doodle.. through hares gazing at moon to hares frolicking under moon to streaking hare with defo no red eye!

And then some beautiful palette of colours and textures and i was a happy bunny with my glass cutter. Check out the wee red flashes.. the glance of pink… the rustle of texture… and of course some sparkle!

And then. Yep. Down to painting. I laid down the shadow of Ingleborough first and fired all these pieces. I often try to do everything in one firing but I knew the top layers of seedheads would just cause me headaches if Ingleborough was not fixed. Sepia brown for the hare and black/brown for the seedheads. Lots of careful layering, scraping, smudging and lining.

Rhythmic leadwork was just a joy then straight on with the grout and….. polish.

Oh and these guys let me keep this one in my window through Christmas. Thanking You!

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Swiftly goes it..

…And so now door and panel are in place.

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And this door and window composition work well on many different levels…

Solid beautiful oak door. Simple gentle floating panel. Shiny polished leadwork complimented by burnished iron mongery!

When viewed from outside you appreciate the lovely texture of the paintwork… the speckles and streaks… the ridges and blobs. You want to reach out and stroke the feathers of the swifts and rustle the foliage at the base…

From inside, the window glows as panels always do… but what I hadn’t anticipated (ha. and this is where i should say I that i had really thought all this through!) is how well the subjects dance against the outside world. The pale blues of the sky and the wispy vapour trails work well against the white painted boards of the porch roof…

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The shrubs and trees beyond distort and shimmer and sparkle in the reamy pale glassy greens and creams. It is hard to tell where my handpainted foliage ends and the outdoor foliage begins.

Awwww, it is always so rewarding to see your panel sitting so well where it belongs. (I really do like my job).

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