Tag Archives: colour

Prairie Stained Glass Musings

Today I made Marty haul me out to an art event some friends told us about – the Market Collective.  It was really cool, and really inspiring!  There were a ton of really great artists and craftspeople there, and for the rest of the afternoon while we ran errands, I kept thinking about stained glass…  Nothing like being surrounded by so much creative energy to amp up that desire in me as well.

And I’ve been thinking about the pieces that I’ve really loved making, and those have been the lamps I’ve created over the past several years.  It’s hard to put together a studio because of the mess – the water, the chemicals, broken glass, glass dust – but I really would like to give it a better try here.  My favourite recent pieces was the Prairie Gold lamp that I made for Marty, because I love the geometric shapes and the contrast of horizontal and vertical lines that are predominant in this style (throw in a little diagonal or curve to add some energy!).

Prairie Gold Table Lamp

I started doing some sketching based on some of these ideas – I think in the back of my mind are some thoughts about the literal prairie (hey, I live in Alberta now…) so wheat and grasses are in some of those repetitive diagonal lines.  There are two designs with a couple of checkmarks beside them – obviously, these are the winners (and I think one was re-proportioned off of the first), so hopefully stay tuned for something to materialize before too long!

Prairie Glass Sketchbook

 

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A Little Bit More Painting

Put the effort in to try another painting this afternoon.  I tried another tutorial – this one of a lovely beachy sunset.  I have to say, it was more complicated than yesterday’s painting.  There were an additional two pigments to use in blending (there was a tutorial for blending the colours – most helpful), which was a bit more confusing, and I struggled to keep the paint on my palette from drying too quickly.  I used a lot of dry brushing instead of blending when the paint on the page was wet – I think my tones were too far apart and it ended up looking weird to begin with.  My notebook is not square (I probably should have just roughly painted in a square) so I stretched the image out a little bit, but I think it was fine.  All in all, with a bit more scrubbing and mashing of paints together on my palette, I think it turned out pretty good!

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I definitely think I need to find a solution for the paints drying out so quickly, though.  That was really aggravating.  Some of my paints are thick and old (half mine, half inherited from my sister), which really doesn’t help at all.  If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave a comment!

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A Little Bit of Painting

Painting is something I’ve always enjoyed, and endeavoured to do well – or at least well enough so that I like what I paint.  It’s been a few years, though, since I last had my brushes and acrylics out.  The place we’re living in would be tough to set up a stained glass studio (I may still try!), but for now, paint might be my mode of creative retreat.

I came across a really fab website to get back into it – the Will Kemp Art Studio.  (I’ve linked it – you should check it out!)  Will Kemp is a talented artist and lovely gentleman who posts up many written tutorials, free videos and lots of helpful tips and hints about paints, mixing, palettes and materials.  What a dream!

So this afternoon, I decided to go for it and try out a painting tutorial – I picked the intro tutorial on a still life jug.  The image was posted up on Will’s website, and his three tutorial videos walked you through the painting in a very straightforward and friendly manner.  My favourite part?  The soundtrack to the third installment of this tutorial is a very delicate classical guitar cover of Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream!

So without further ado – here is the original image next to my acrylic version.  Not too shabby, and I’m pleased at how easy it was with the tutorial to guide me!

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Back on the Stained Glass Horse

…  although I’d have to get back on it very delicately if I was being really literal.

It’s been a long time since I had a studio space set up at all.  I’m ready to get back into it!  I spent some time after work today unpacking boxes of supplies and looking at the glass bits that I’ve had all bundled up for the past two years…  What a long time!  *le sigh*  No more sighing, though, because I’m so close to having more project work completed I can taste it!

For your viewing pleasure, some pictures:

Spare Bedroom Studio Set-up!

Some lamp panels I started years ago…

More panels…

Glass and copper foil detail

A puzzle… !

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Making Waves

Marty and I are slowly getting our house set up, and one of the most exciting rooms in the new place is the spare bedroom, where I have grand plans for setting myself up a stained glass studio. Right now it’s holding all our ‘where do we put it?’ junk, so it’s a little crowded, but I did manage to get my tiny light table set up.  Now all I have to do is put the legs on the work table and get a drop cloth to go over the carpet and I’m ready to go!  Ok, so maybe it’s a little bit more set-up than that, but I’m close…

In my excitement for stained glass action, and also for summer, I wanted to share some inspiring stained glass waves.  I think the wave would be one of the more difficult images to capture well.  I can image getting all the aspects of the glass – the colour, texture, path of the lines – to come together and make the wave come alive and really portray the power and noise and motion and experience of a wave would be a complicated feat.  Hats off to the artists and their work below for really nailing the heart of waves in their stained glass pieces.

Jacqueline Winch Designs

This piece really captures the rolling curl of a wave collapsing over itself.  I love the subtle combination of clear, white and turquoise in this piece, and how the motion in the glass is really captured by the many textures.  I’ve seen the design done by other glass artists, but I really felt like this rendition of it picked up the motion and carried it all the way around the circular frame.  To see more of Jacqueline Winch’s work, visit her website here.

Atmospheric Glass

I really love the delicate lines of the wave in this piece.  The edges of each individual piece of glass in this window are so organic, as if the artist has merely drawn each line instead of cut and soldered them.  I think the colours are bold and give the viewer a clear definition of what is wave and what is background, and abstracts the motion of the wave into a ribbon of flowing movement.  The clear grid of glass for the ground really works and complements and contrasts the organic line and colour of the rest of this work.  See more of Atmospheric Glass here.

Mary Tantillo

Mary’s stained glass is organic, considered and – in a word – stunning.  This piece reminds me of waves, ocean eddies and seaweed all wrapped into one gorgeous image.  The differing and changing weight of each solder line creates a tension that pulls the viewer along each line toward the centre.  The colours flow from one to the next, and I love that the swirling lines intersect and support one another, creating very interesting opportunities for contrast through colour blocking.  I’ve seen all these colours in the ocean, and they all remind of me each memory – ‘that time swimming over the sand dollars’ or ‘that storm we had in November’ or ‘that summer we built the raft’…  In addition to this amazing work, Mary has also done a 100 Days of Waves project, which can be seen on her website here.

I have to say, my inspiration energy is running high after these lovely images.  I’ll be back to post more inspiration again soon, and will have details of upcoming projects as I start working again…  Can’t wait!

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San Francisco: Flowers

So, it’s not really keeping to my ‘design’-y theme of this blog, but I can appreciate the advent of spring just like anyone else.  It was really nice to have some sunshine and see some really great flowers around town.  There are some beautiful gardens in the city, and people seemed to find ways to get garden space wherever they could.  Living in small rental spaces for the past ten years, I can absolutely appreciate that…

So here it is, in my last instalment of series photos from San Francisco: flowers.  Enjoy!

And my favourite, a succulent crab!

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San Francisco: Doors

In my third installation of photos from San Francisco, I chose to take photos of doorways.  I almost feel like I didn’t really even “choose” this theme…  There were so many amazing doorways that it was hard not to take pictures of them!  These were my favourites:

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A very inspired trip to San Francisco

I love San Francisco.  Possibly one of my favourite cities to visit that I’ve been to so far.  I probably say that about everywhere I go, but I really do mean it about SF.  I took a couple extra days for an extended Easter long weekend, and made it a great little spring holiday!  I feel like the time goes so fast, so I plan on doing a series of photo posts from my trip over the next week.

First, though, a brief synopsis of the trip and my experience of it.  It’s my second time to San Francisco.  The first time I went a few years ago with some girlfriends.  This was the first time there for Marty*, so we did a lot of the tourist attractions.  We visited Alcatraz, Fisherman’s wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge…

* Marty and I recently had the conversation that went, “What do I call you on my blog?”  I was working with M., but full name disclosure from now on!

Hannah and Marty at the Golden Gate Bridge

I have a tough time with tourist attractions.  I don’t really like crowds, I usually prefer to spend some time getting a feel for a city somewhere other than the main tourist attractions.  Fisherman’s wharf was practically the bane of my trip…  So crowded, so expensive, hard to find authenticity when you have that many people in one place to see the sights…  I guess it is an integral piece of the city, but I honestly would rather find a local neighbourhood and a cafe.  Maybe I just don’t like identifying myself as a tourist.  Or maybe just not one of those tourists.

Regardless, I did enjoy the carousel at Pier 39.  I find circus and amusement park themed places really fun and interesting.  I’m inspired by the shapes and colours, and especially by the whimsy, of those places.  I took a couple pictures, but my favourite by far was this one:

I love the crazy mer-horse!  The orange and turquoise is fantastic, and I love the wide-eyed, startled expression.  It’s a working fixture on a merry-go-round, so the paint is meant to last, not be a work of art, but I love that someone has gone to meticulous detail to paint in all the teeth.  I managed to snap this photo just before a small child jumped on board.  I’ll admit, I was a little jealous…

We also went to Haight-Ashbury and wandered around for a while.  We took the bus, maybe like regular city-dwellers might do, and got to feel a bit like locals on our random public-transit route.  I didn’t get to Haight-Ashbury the last time I was in the city, so I quite enjoyed poking around a bit.  I snapped a picture of this brightly coloured building on the corner of Haight and Masonic:

I find it a bit strange to see a Money Mart in the ground floor of this colourful Victorian house (I dig the spire!), but I suppose that’s part of the modernization and evolution of a city and a neighbourhood.

I really enjoyed the buildings in San Francisco.  I kept thinking to myself that they all look so well maintained, with their pretty painted colours and incredible details.  Even in the not-so-ornate parts of town, the houses looked great.  I think it’s a big part of the city’s identity – all the row houses with their crazy garage doors on tilted angles, and their cheerful colours (maybe to ward against the fog, although it was clear and sunny for the whole weekend we were there!)

I really love San Fran.  I feel like it’s a funky city with a lot to see and do, and a very west coast attitude at the same time.  It probably won’t be soon, but I definitely plan on going back in the future!

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Design in my Backyard: Richardson Street

I was dog-sitting this weekend, and found some time to get out and go for a walk in Fairfield, an area of town with lots of beautifully maintained character homes, many of which have a distinct Arts & Crafts vibe that I really love.  That is where my personal taste sits – solidly in that Craftsman style of building and design.  I find it balanced, comfortable, accessible (not abstract or overwhelming) on an emotional and intellectual level, and with lots of character and detail…  All elements of design that I think are incredibly important to creating an amazing space that resonates.  In this case, Arts & Crafts is what really resonates with me.

So Craftsman style aside, there I was on my walk, and this house caught my eye.  To be honest, lots of houses catch my eye every day, and especially in Fairfield, but this one had something about it that seemed very inviting and welcoming, even on a cold February day.  I present to you, 1249 Richardson Street:

To be fair, there are some elements of this house that I don’t really love, but a lot of elements that I do.  Let’s dig in…  First thing is that I don’t really like the use of the stone on the front porch area.  In fact, the whole front porch area isn’t fantastic in my view.  I think it would be better if it were raised up another one or two steps off the ground.  The way it’s situated, I feel like someone missed a level in there somewhere and just plonked the house down without remembering to set it all at grade, or to raise it up so it feels intentional.  I think that’s a really important thing for me in design… Something that tells me very clearly that someone made an intentional decision to design or produce a home (or aspect of it) in a particular way.  I want something that feels like a very clear decision has been made.

I’m also not a huge fan of the roof over the porch area, and off the side of the house, with the second storey looming over it.  Something feels unbalanced and out of proportion there to me.  I’m also not a fan of the one random round window.  Again, give me a clear rationale for decision-making that follows through visually in the design.

I do, however, really like the cedar shakes and the stain of that siding.  It looks weathered and welcoming, and I love the corbels underneath the roof gable at the top.  I really enjoy the balance of the gables on the roof.  The asymmetrical placement adds to the casual feel of the exterior.  I really love windows with muntins, and that throwback to original wood framed windows (I currently have about five old windows sitting in storage waiting for me to make some kind of funky stained glass and mirror project out of them…  I’m a sucker for an old window!)

I really dig the front door of this house.  I like the side lites, and I love any door that balances the top half with windows and the bottom half with heavy-looking wood.  Nothing like a solid door to make one feel like home.  I like the balance of all the vertical lines in this arrangement: the columns at the porch entrance, the side lites on the door, the framing and panels on the door itself.  Even the taller-than-wider windows add to the effect.

Overall, I think this is a good example of a nicely balanced home that feels larger and lighter than its footprint probably actually is.  While there are some areas with room for improvement, I have to say that my overall impression of this home was good – I probably wouldn’t have stopped to snap a photo otherwise!

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Interior Love: Grey, White and Colour

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I feel like there is something so calming about this interior, with its layered white-on-white walls and greyed flooring.  The bay window and dentil molding around the ceiling add interest and detail, but remain part of the backdrop through the monochromatic colour scheme.  It makes a great stage for the pop of colour from the furniture.  I love how the structure of the room is so washed out and pale, only to be contrasted with the punch of those saturated purples and reds.  The contrast makes a serious statement.

To see more of the interior of this home in Brighton, UK, visit the HouseToHome slideshow here.

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