Mark of the maker

The two women held up a large item partially encased in bubble wrap. “Where does this go?” they asked. I stared. It took a second to recognize the stained glass lamp – because one side of it was caved in. “It hangs above the dining table,” I said. “But … it’s broken.” I was running … read more Mark of the maker

Playing with 13 Rectangles

In making a fused glass version of Kandinsky’s 13 Rectangles, I intended to explore his philosophy of color while translating the painting from oil to another medium. I certainly learned about his use of values, which I didn’t expect; and a bit about blending, which isn’t possible in glass the way it is with paint. After playing with 13 … read more Playing with 13 Rectangles

Copying a master

Art students are always told to study the masters, and to copy them. Coming from a journalism background, I was at first taken aback by this approach – it seemed at worst a kind of plagiarism, and at best an exercise that would stifle originality. But once I tried it a few times, I realized that it … read more Copying a master

Kandinsky on materialism

Feeling deprived of spirit and art, I started the morning by re-reading Wassily Kandinsky’s “Concerning the Spiritual in Art.” That got my day going right. One of the quotes I highlighted: Our minds, which are even now only just awakening after years of materialism, are infected with the despair of unbelief, of lack of purpose and … read more Kandinsky on materialism

In the real world

Mostly in fused glass I’m doing abstracts, but the shape of a random piece of clear glass suggested to me this caterpillar climbing over an obstacle. Does it even look like a caterpillar? Does it suggest an obstacle? Does it matter? Sometimes from the pile of glass pieces, a figure jumps out at me. Like this one: … read more In the real world

Day 99: Playing with Kandinsky

Can you build a whole painting around a single square of color? You can learn to, if you play around. That’s what I’m doing by playing with colored rectangles derived from those used by Wassily Kandinsky in Thirteen Rectangles. Although the arrangement of Thirteen Rectangles seems random, each shape and its color is part of the dynamic … read more Day 99: Playing with Kandinsky