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

It’s show time

Play time is over. Tomorrow is Oktoberfest, an annual event in my community that draws hundreds of visitors who drink beer and spend money. The artist’s group has a booth, and I will be selling my fused glass. I’ve got 20 necklace pendants and 26 holiday ornaments and 5 tabletop sculptures. I’ve spent eight hours … read more It’s show time

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

Whatever makes you happy

I got a free therapy session, courtesy of a fellow caregiver. He wrote, My counselor asked me last night, “what makes you unhappy?” I was struck by that. I struggled to find something that made me unhappy. I started to blame (my ill spouse) for not taking care of herself, to justify my unhappiness. But … read more Whatever makes you happy