Thursday, November 27, 2014

Profiling My Latest Commission Work

The weather vane continues to swing erratically in ever hour of each day. Winds gust to gale force in one instant. Then leave the river mirror-like in its usually placid... sombre November gun greys... broken only by the long dark reflections of the rugged white pine spars on the mid river islands. That striking contrast is what one who maintains a "river watch" knows... is typically November. Ice forms overnight in back bays and low water creeks. Melts the next day. Freezes again the next night. Everything... it seems... is "off and on".

November brings river traffic abruptly to a halt. Its viciousness is but a forerunner to the angrier and more dangerous winter days of thick ice... driving snow and sleet that will make seeing... or navigating impossible. Even the veteran "river rats" shy away from river travel... except in noisy... but safer ice boats during these long, harsh months.

Yesterday, I completed a 20x24 inch canvas commission. It truly mirrors the attention that must be paid to such undertakings... at least in terms of my own approach to commissions based upon my style and medium. This commission involved creating a surprise Christmas gift for my friend's wife of their modest... yet beautiful home. He is a lover of gardens ... plants and gardening, as am I.

He even has his own green houses and an indoor "man cave"... dedicated to hydroponic vegetable and plant cultivation. "He" is truly a "Renaissance man" ... from my perspective - a man living "outside of  the box"... in terms of every social fashion and "local" expectations. We share that position and philosophy in life. I much enjoy and appreciate his generous nature... wonderful sense of humour... and our Friendship.

Back to the commission. I digress. (as usual) The man's wonderful "green thumb"... his energy and his attention to smallest detail and precise thinking had to be made clear in this commission. So I decided from the outset to place a great amount of energy and attention to both rendering and painting the main focus of the painting... his picturesque home and grounds. I think that this is evident in the final result.

To compensate for this stringent and almost photographic focus on the house/subject itself, I intentionally used a much more painterly handling of the landscape which engulfs the subject. I feel that these diversely different treatments... when seen together help to release the tension that I normally don't find pleasing in hyper realistic works. To me ... most lack energy and leave nothing to the eye or mind of the viewer. (Thank you Caroline... for your kind and observant reminder in my last post that I was running that exact gambit myself between sketch and finished painting). Point made... and accepted... without prejudice!... HA HA!!!

I believe that a nice balance can achieve a  kind of symbiotic relationship between realism and impressionism. I hoped to achieve this goal in this finished commission. The house stands out in its "correct" perspective and detail... mainly because of the "rest area"/ relief that the back drop landscape contributes. I am most happy with the outcome... and my Friend was ecstatic when we saw it together for the first time.

Herein lies the joy in producing a successful commission result. This occurs when both the painter and the client are on the same page at its conclusion. That warm feeling of total success can never be measured purely in dollars... by either side of this equation. In this case... it further strengthens a wonderful friendship... and most certainly will make this Christmas "special" and memorable... in two separate houses!

Here are some in-process insights into the progress and my process during this commission.

The commission subject reference chosen. Unfortunately, the undertaking was offered after the leaves had fallen  and the real threat of winter's arrival  was smack on the doorstep. "Fish...or cut bait time" !!!

Luckily ... the sun came out briefly the next day and I raced about to see if a similar maple might still be ad for further reference. I was lucky enough to find a similar sugar maple... still dressed in fall attire up at the top of my hill!

Day One

Semi- accurate rendering in vine charcoal on an acrylic burnt sienna toned 20x24 inch  quarter inch thick MDF panel. I use this heavier weight material because it won't warp and I like the feel of the more rigid surface to glaze on.

Day Two

Primary application of turpentine-thinned washes or glazes of colour... working all over the panel. I have lightly introduced the lighting on the house itself to develop a sense of separation and contrast between the subject and background. This is always my process ... whether painting inside or outside.

Rule #1
Establish the lighting and subject as your primary goal. Both are transient when painting outside.

Maintain the same lighting effect!!!  .... Don't switch horses mid race! You will lose! Check that you have maintained the same direction for the light as well.

Day Three

At this stage my goal was to deal with the surrounding landscape elements in a loose fashion in both the foreground and back ground ... simultaneously.

Day Four

Adding detail to the house elements and to those parts of the painting that had received no attention

Day Five

This final stage is what I call my "push n' pull". It is a period of about one painting session dedicated to "surfing" the picture plane... first visually... then visiting here and there to adjust values ... colours... lines and even details that are either overlooked... or that loom too large. "Checks and balances"... until there is overall harmony. Usually, I will leave it over night and then return to it in the morning with a cup of coffee to look at it with a final and fresh eye. The last act... is to add my signature. Commission... accomplished!

 Later today, I will go over the reference photos that I have on file to begin a second pre-Christmas home commission. While the process will in all likelihood be similar to this one... the two houses are really polar opposites. The second will require the same "buy in" by me to meet the client expectations. It is as well... a well kept and valued home and property in this picturesque village. I will attempt to deliver the same feeling and quality of this commission.

Some helpful suggestions that I use personally in consideration and  in acceptance of a commission:

1. The process always begins with a discussion where the objectives and subject of the commission are presented to the artist by the client. They might take the shape of photo references or might involeve visiting the actual site if possible. Often,a preliminary sketch which more clearly defines the artistic direction to be followed is presented for final acceptance and a "green light" to proceed.

2. Never create a position of compromising your own creative spirit. Say NO!... empathetically... if you sense that the commission lies outside of your own tastes or abilities. If you can honestly say to yourself that the subject is one that you would select within your own choice... then proceed. Accepting without this stance will help avoid embarrassment... hardship and disappointment for both parties.

3.Set clear objectives for the execution and completion of the commission to include: expected date of completion... dimensions... medium... support (panel, linen or canvas, etc)... delivery method and costing, if applicable, extra specific details or instructions which reflect your client's tastes or wishes. A substantial non-refundable deposit to "secure" the agreement at the beginning of  the commission should be added to the discussion. This amount can vary for an artist up to 50% of the final amount to be received.

4.In regards to framing. If you have the facilities to offer in-house framing, the cost and choice of framing might be discussed after the commission is completed. Otherwise... it is my rule-of-thumb to place that choice and decisions surrounding this issue back into the hands of the clients. Because this choice involves dramatically varying degrees of taste, it can become a nightmare... again leading to dissatisfaction and disappointment.

5. Meet the deadline... or get in touch as soon as possible if it appears that the deadline can't be met on schedule. Be up front with your clients.... start to finish. But... demand the same in return. This sets up a professional relationship and a "contract relationship" that is friendly... but not based upon friendship by itself !

6. Set up a calendar... or keep a journal which comfortably schedules anticipated completion for all commissions that you accept. Don't overcrowd your schedule... nor disappoint!

7. Record each of your commissions in progress... and in completed state. Keep them in digital files... or in a photo album to share with prospective clients either at shows or in your home. It helps direct the process and educates the client to your process and what can be expected in clear terms! Win- win!!

Hope that these suggestions might encourage you to step  up and accept a commission more confidently.

Stay tuned...

Good Painting... to ALL!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More... on Adapting to Seasonal Change - Part Two

Sneaky November continues... even its gasping moments... to precariously straddle winter and autumn - undecided as to which direction to proceed. For almost a week, we were snow-covered in an ermine winter coat of fresh snow with temperatures hovering in the low minuses. Yesterday, temperatures rose to +6*C and the sun made you feel like spring had arrived. The plein air dude in me... yearned to flee the studio easel. Discipline...Come to my rescue!

Despite these dramatically divergent weather swings... the vicious and predictable "winds of November came a'calling"- the kind of dreaded November 50km++ gale force winds described in Gordon Lightfoot's iconic Canadian ballad,"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." Even today, all Great Lakes and River mariners fear... and respect these phenomena of November. Those who don't lie at extreme risk and peril!

I am in the "commission" mode at present... locked in the studio at my easel... working feverish to complete three of the five commissions on my books required before Christmas. I am at the time of writing in the final stages of completing the second. Commission work is not my favourite venture. That lies simply in the fact that the "Idea" is not solely my construct. However, I must, out of respect and necessity accommodate and blend the tastes of the client(s) with my own. Not always an easy task for me!

However, on the positive side of the ledger, having to take into account such "outside" influences in my working process is broadening. This requirement forces me to approach painting in a significantly different manner. In that respect, commission work causes one to think "outside the box"... and that is good for any artist. Often real tangible growth comes out of adversity and deep challenge to one's own "sacred cows" and traditional values.

The first commission, as described in the previous post demanded that a plein air sketch to finished studio work approach be undertaken. The differences between the two genres in  that exercise are clearly evident when one observes the finished state of both. Clearly... one is created quickly... almost intuitively on location. The sketch readily reveals the spontaneity and bravura of rapid brushwork. It appears fresh and painterly... unpretentious and loose in attention to detail. These are the hallmarks of the plein air genre and they appeal most strongly... usually... to the trained eye and heart of other plein air advocates and highly educated eye of those who share the passion for art on a high plane.

The more finished studio painting incorporates and maintains the strongest elements of the original sketch such as composition and basic colour. But often, the artist will choose to elevate this painting to a higher level by playing with elements of lighting, colour and values to create what might appeal more to those who choose to look at the world more photographically. A more complete and accurate representation of "reality" is what they search for. It reaffirms their own sense of reality and their own personal experiences.

As the artist... I have no real preference for one over the other... except to say that I prefer to paint on location because I find the other elements experienced when outside add further pleasure to my painting for me. I feel that the plein air process with oils accommodates the spontaneous nature of my own personality and the solitude is something that I crave from time to time. Painting/ creation by its very nature... is an individual pursuit. Both are painting challenges... and both form an integral partnership in my painting life.

Here are a few jpegs which might assist you to better understand how I work in this sketch to finished painting method. Enjoy!

The plein air sketch "Last Vestige of Winter, Algonquin Park" oil on panel 12x16 inches

Day one objective was to translate the composition on to the larger 20x24 inch toned  panel. I decided to maintain the surface "feel" by using the panel rather than canvas. The panel offers a smoother surface on which to glaze in initial colour washes. Note the sparse "mapping" as opposed to actual drawing used to establish preliminary guidelines. I then proceed, as I most often do in the field to use a "blocking in" of main masses of colour to achieve a lay in. I try to cover most of the entire painting surface within the first 30 to 60 minutes. However... I stopped at this point because I was uncertain as to how much detail I would include in the foreground. In studio practice... when in doubt... Sleep on it!

Pretty much everything is in place at the conclusion of painting on day number two. I have clearly established stronger lighting effects and have clearly set a more direct course for the finish of the foreground... but not quite. I rested again... pausing to consider values... specific details that would provide further interest and "colour surprise" which I customarily add to trap the eye of the viewer's attention in certain areas. Fewer... "miles to go... before it sleeps".... akin to Frost... as he so beautifully described his own snowy encounter with his Vermont landscape.

Winter's reluctant March... into Spring... in the bucket! Completed with a few "hot spots"... fore-to middle- to back. I feel pleased with the final result. More importantly... so are the clients! They are anxious for deliver... after a period of time to dry the surface. The Winsor and Newton Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying White that I use in my palette is fully compatible with all regular oils. It greatly hastens the drying process and allows reworking quickly.

I sincerely hope that this post helps you to better understand my own painting practices and process. Perhaps, in some small fashion its contents might assist you in supporting your own work and vision.

Good Painting!... To ALL!!!!

Post Script Observances... on my travels this week... here for your enjoyment. Joy... can truly come from the smallest of unexpected blessings. These are a few of those that raised the corners of my mouth for a brief instant... but they lessened the gretness of my own day considerably!

"I" ... am greatly blessed!

Winter... Rockapulco-style... out of our kitchen window. Not a creature is stirring!... Suits me! HA HA!!

"Which way is south from here Mister?"... No GPS  on board this creature!

"Trick-or-treat Deb? What'd ya mean... it's all over till next year?"

Shortly after this picture was taken... I carried off the two big Hallowe'en pumpkins into a quiet wooded area near my daughter's home. I knew that there were several deer "yarding up" in there for the winter. I knew that pumpkins are a huge treat for them... so I took them to the path they use regularly and chopped them into bite-sized pieces with my hatchet. A return trip to the spot yesterday revealed that they had enjoyed my better-late-than never Hallowe'en treat. A fit end for those BIG orange fellows! Twice their worth!

Who said winter is without warmth? You simply have to go just a step or two past mere looking to "see"... and "feel" its beautiful warmth! "Seek... and ye shall find.".... "Who"... said that... when?????

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Adapting to Seasonal Change - Part One

As we have sat watching... and enjoying our resident regular bird... chipmunk and squirrel  populations at our several feeder locations, a noted aggressive change in the feeding behaviours of all species. Even the usually playful and placid chipmunks have been going "nose-to-beak" with the five noisy and "bully-by-nature" band of blue jays to defend their favoured feeding territories.

It is most plain to see that the new skiff of snow... bitter cold temperatures and gale force gusting of sou'west winds off the river have forced them into new patterns of behaviour that deviate drastically from the expected norm. I firmly believe that the fear of hunger and competition for prime feeding territories fuels this change. These changes are based purely upon survival instincts. Even the jays display of aerial warfare with each other drew them away from their usual voracious pack feeding habits.

New arrivals to the yard... woodpeckers to the awaiting hanging suet station... juncos... cardinals... finches... and even a pair of wary crows necessitated an increase in the regular portion of feed. We now have five squirrel ":regulars"... and I dislike them immensely because they put the hustle on everyone... especially Deb's beloved Mr Chips (short tail). I routinely leave him private "lines" (ya... he's addicted!) of his fav food... small black sunflower seeds on the deck near his main hole. That spot offers Deb a front-row-centre view of him... filling his"bulging-to-busting" cheeks without stop... until not another single seed will fit in. A big gift... from a very small and shy  friend... for very little seed!

I pondered how much this change in all parts of the natural world seemed to parallel the new changes... preparations and activities of the human world as well. Gone are our thoughts of strolls in the colourful leaves... lounging on the patio deck soaking up rays... or sporting our best beach shorts, sandals and tees. Snow tires... winterize... wood pile and yard clean up form fragments of the new human vocabulary. Soon... one can add more ominous and dreaded nouns of winter to include:  shovel... salt... snow blower... storm warning... sleet... ice and blizzard... and FLU!!!

Buffalo NY and area is more than fully engaged in that conversation with these elements. The change there arrived viciously and without warning over two nights. What they face this weekend after the two meters of snow... a return to abnormally higher temperatures and rain might well lead to a horrendous and catastrophic situation of flash flooding for the region. Fingers crossed for the people in this area!

In Rockport... we have the yard clean up out of the way... a new more efficient fireplace insert in place (and tested) and a full bush cord of wood split and stacked in the dry Gallery space. Snow tires and winterising for the van were completed on Wednesday... so that we are as ready... as one can be to face the usually long and most often dark winter months in this part of Canada. Let it snow!

I have been fortunate to get in a few last "comfortable" plein air outings in the past two weeks, but the last one with Frank confirmed that future treks must include warmer clothing... weather watching... more careful planning... and common sense. Winter painting can become much more than simply uncomfortable. Under the wrong conditions... and with careless choices painting "off road" and alone is both fool hardy and perhaps... even life-threatening. Those are definitely NOT in my own personal winter vocabulary list!

Here is my first "snow painting" for 2014. Ironically... and truthfully, it was painted in the warmth of our common downstairs winter studio space with the rousing strains of Andre Bocelli's magically inspiring voice-instrument in the background. Now that's "winter" painting!

This "winter landscape painting" derives from an Algonquin sortie to Rock Lake on March 25th, 2010. This 12x16 inch oil sketch on panel was my favourite sketch of five completed during that paint out trip with my Whitney painting friend, David Kay. No one else seemed to agree until this past October. A young couple from Mississauga, ON (near Toronto) were vacationing nearby and happened to discover our Gallery.

They purchased three paintings and took them with them... but the husband was captivated by my "Group of Seven" ... as he described the sketch. He felt it too small for the space he wished to put it in his business office. He asked if I ever created larger paintings from existing oil sketches done previously. I "tongue-in-cheekily" responded., "Yes... just like the group of Seven"! I agreed to "biggen" the original 12x16 inch panel into a 20x24inch painting. I did caution him however... that the new painting would not be an exact facsimile of the original. It would be an extension of the "vision" I had wished to create at the site... that was diminished by a cloudy and ever-changing light source that day.

In this jpeg below you can see the original plein air sketch entitled "Last Vestige of Winter" - which it did depict accurately.... minus any lighting effects and rich colour. The compositional structure of the sketch is absolutely what I wanted and I maintained it... for the most past in the second and larger version. I think that the substantial changes from the first to the second speak for themselves. I believe that the use of the first sketch as the creative "springboard" to a warmer... more universally appealing and eye-pleasing painting for a home or office supports my ongoing commitment to paint en plein air.

The sketch  faithfully records the attraction that I felt to this landscape and despite a rather iffy and ever-changing light... I feel that it "gets full marks" as a successful painting. I would hang it in my own home... simply because I have a certain affinity for "the raw" and unrecognized beauty... not usually appreciated by most other people. Simply... personal taste!

Here is the more finished version. While it conforms exactly to the compositional format and structure of the first... it can be easily seen that additional detail has been added... from front plane to back. One also can readily see the dramatic shift from diffuse lighting in  the first to a more direct and I feel... dramatic use of lighting used overall on the painting surface. The client loves this version... and has asked for "first right of refusal" to purchase the original sketch. A given! Now can you see and completely understand yet a second reason for sketching en plein air?

Whether the added income possibility lights up your heart... or whether... like my Self, you revel in the opportunity to "play" further with one already pleasing idea to extend it into yet another realm of "being"! All the "spade work" has been done in the first one. All you have to do... is PLAY in the second round. And that never fails to make my heart sing!

I will soon post a slide show of images in a second part to help describe how I developed the sketch into the finished painting. Perhaps that post will inspire and equip you to do the same in your own painting process.

This next post will also reveal my shifting into the "commission mode" further. I have five commissions to be completed by Christmas. Lots of work ahead. I am greatly blessed... and thankful !!!

In closing today... when one is open to change... whether in one's personal life or creative life and  is willing to adapt to it... the outcome is more likely to be positive... and certainly less stressful . In my own life experience, I have discovered and learned this... the hard way! Bonne chance!... Carpe Diem!

Good Painting!... to ALL!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A November Novella

A novella is a shortened novel... a "quick read"... if you you like. I thought the title of this post most appropriate to describe the November plein air adventure in today's post... compared to the breadth of the painting relationship and personal ongoing friendship with Frank Edwards.

It was "He"... who first likened our friendship to that of The Lone Ranger and Tonto, mainly because we both come from that magical "listening" radio era... when  listening was the guide dog for the imagination. I firmly believe that listening first promoted and developed the ear and the imagination of the child... simultaneously creating "seeing"... that magical tool that good artists depend upon to transpose mere reality into a personal point of view and style.

Frank and I continue to revel in "playing" together in this ongoing "back n' forth" banter... the kind that children engage in... within their own adult-less realm of fantasy and free play. We are both able to blend the serious (when it is necessary) with the imaginative play both at... and between our easels. Both of us merged this practice into our day job situations. Frank was a respected medical illustrator and award-winning and successful syndicated Canadian cartoonist... and I... an elementary school teacher.

Both situations allowed us both to continue to blend listening with watching to inform our daily actions and responses to the world around us... granted, in slightly differing situations and conditions. Frank worked mostly alone with his craft... while I was surrounded often by the noise and activity of healthy and exuberant young learners.

Our plein air travels... as The Loner and Tonto have criss-crossed us through back roads everywhere in this vast province of Ontario. Throughout almost thirty years, we have painted together in every season in our beloved Algonquin Park. We have painted together as well in the rugged and picturesque Charlevoix region of Quebec and in Nova Scotia when I moved there in 1992.

This combined journey and friendship has been a marvellously rewarding adventure - a full novel composed of many adventurous chapters. Most have been happy, but on occasion... not without deep sadness and difficulties in both of our lives. We shared a successful studio and gallery space in Kingston's historic Woolen Mill for three years in the late 1980's which we named "The Brushworks." This place surely was the very "incubator" for our individual and joint creative spirits. As well... it further supercharged our individual work and our close friendship.

I consider Frank my Brother and Mentor... capital "B" fully intended. Art has crossed even the divide of blood relationship and has put our relationship in this higher realm of "being"...

"I" am greatly blessed!

This November Novella takes place in Ivy Lea Provincial Park, located just minutes to the west of Rockport along the Parkway. At this time of year, this  usually packed-to-overflowing campground is empty... except for the presence of an odd dog walker. It is a place of great landscape opportunity.... and solitude. It is a creative mecca for "Me" throughout the entire winter painting season. I set up my easel in the quiet cover of towering... sighing white pines... in the soul-soothing presence of the River. It is here in this sacred place that I work in uninterrupted silence and thought. It..." restoreth my soul"!

I had scouted the area the day before Frank arrived and had selected a spot where there were multiple subjects of interest... and cover from the possible cold winds and chill that accompanies a -2*C winter morning. Fortunately, there was sun for most of the morning's painting session. It helped keep the cold away from "the doomers". Bare painting fingers... as Frank refers to them. One loses the feel of the brush with gloves on. So deep pockets... often with catalytic hand warmers in them are a solution to allow extended painting time in the deeper cold. This was as always, a bone-jarring prelude for us both. A kind of "brisk" acclimatization to the deeper cold which most certainly will be present in future winter plein air treks.

The location was at my "fav" place... Smuggler's Cove. I never fail to be inspired to paint in this place, mainly because it changes by the hour... in each and every new day. On this particular trip, we painted different subjects... but our easels, as is most always the case... were within fifty feet (and playing distance) from the other. Despite the cold... we both enjoyed the day and came away with good plein air pieces. Three hours in the cold made the hot soup lunch... steaming coffee and conversation to include Deb back at Islesview a welcome and fitting conclusion to this richly rewarding November Novella.

I hope that this "novella" introduces the value of friendship into the formula for "perceived" painting success. Fortunately... painting success is not measured in $$$$ alone. There is not space or time today to describe the many blessings that art has brought into my personal journey. I can only hope to inspire each of my blogging friends to consider the many other blessings that painting can bring into one's life.... if one "sees"... and "listens" to one's own heart... and "counts their many blessings... naming them one by one"

Thanks for the memories and blessings Frank!.

Good Painting !... To ALL!!!

My vantage point... "disappearing" the distracting foreground dock!

Use "the zoom" approach... to eliminate the temptation to include too much initial attention to detail... and to isolate the chosen subject.

End of session... but not the thinking about the subject. Just a little studio work to tweak it up a notch.

"First Ice, Smuggler's Cove" - oil on canvas 12x14 inches... some more detail in the fore solves a too bare foreground interest, but as well... adds the element of surprise at the new presence of ice along the shoreline and in the shallow bay to the right. Seemed right to add it into the sketch.

Frank's view of the boat house on Virgin Island... my subject on my trip alone ;last weekend. He chose it as well... because it was on a flat dock... and in the warm sunshine. Two good decisions... that I envied in the colder shade where I was set up! I guess that's why he's "The Loner". Kemosabe wiser... smarter than Tonto... Older anyway! HA HA!!

Frank... finishing up on deck!

His wonderfully jaunty 12x14 inch sketch on panel... The central boat house focus...  sway-backed and leaning.This intentional caricatured "slant" on too rigid structures is his signature response to most buildings. Sure does provide an air of... aging in respectful repose! A gem Frank!

"Hi-yo Silver... and away!"... 
Lookin' forward to many more "episodes" !

Monday, November 17, 2014

Making "Someday",,, Into Today

Too many times in our busy daily lives, we put our spirit of adventure or dreams on hold. We simply put off "the doing"... and sadly, many of these opportunities and life rewards are either buried under other daily chores, or are forgotten - never to be fulfilled.

Deb and I decided last week to commit to knocking one adventure we had talked about for too long... off our ol' bucket list. As I mentioned in my last post, we headed down to Corning NY last Friday and made a pilgrimage to see the famous collection of blown and stained glass at The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning NY.

Deb is a stained glass artisan... and in my own humble view... her unique works are quite simply... "a cut above" the rest. Her creative process engages the use of positive and negative... or completely open space coupled with the gaiety of glass colour to create a recognizable style of her own. She spends days creating her own one-of -a-kind designs... even with her smallest modestly priced "sun catcher" pieces, Each and every piece is unique and assembled with the same attention to care a detail as her larger pieces.

For "Her.... visiting Corning represented a pilgrimage to Mecca. How thrilled and excited she was as she wandered the halls which house three thousand years of glass making ... from Egypt where glass-making was born... up through the Italian Renaissance through to contemporary glass artistry.

I had made the trek more in support of her interests... but came to find many things in the exhibits which piqued my own artistic spirit and I came away equally enriched and stimulated. We are both highly dependent visual "learners"... which is likely the reason that this smorgasbord of colour and form had such an impact upon us.

I would like to close out this post by sharing in jpegs some of the highlights for us... but they are but a few. It is well worth a visit to Corning. It would be a place I will carry a watercolour kit on the next visit... in April!!! Hope that you enjoy the mini tour!

Foyer masterpiece... Deb... with Dale Chihuly masterwork installation piece... mind boggling in concept and execution! What an entry!!!

Could be a "Vincent" piece... in glass

An exquisite Italian tessarae (tile) portrait masterpiece from the Twentieth Century

"O I have slipped the surly bonds of earth..."  High Flight"... for Deb!

Colourful fused glass fish scape. They never did move...

Tiffany Dragonfly masterpiece

How many hours are in this piece. Certainly a Victorian 5oo piece jigsaw masterwork!

Painted church glass... an increasingly lost art. We play with crayons folks!!!

Intricate handwork to produce this 3D bug

Any painter would salivate over the clean linework and minimal colour in this beauty

Italian historic chess set

Detail... artisanship unmatched anywhere except on the Venetian islands of  Murano and Burano

This explains the provenance and story behind this Italian chess set!..... Magnifico!

Corning cut crystal punch bowl masterpiece. Beyond imagining..... never mind executing!

Diorama workman-cutter... puts you in the picture!

"Snuff" bottle cuties... for every taste... and nose!

Is that flower cluster really.... glass??? Breath-takingly delicate and fragile!

Deb... dipped into the rich colour and elegance of the Art Nouveau

Blown glass demo ... at the 2100F.... 24 hours a day fired electric kiln. Forget your meagre winter hydro bill complaints folks!

"Bowling"... Corning-style!!!

History of lens making diorama figures

I see you!.... upside down... and backwards...

My crystal ball and Bucket List... all... in one image!

Glass birds of a feather... sold together... in the gift shop

My Mom owned such a dandy" candy dish... held her red n' green home made Christmas candies!

Something for all of you current "abstract" art enthusiasts... "in the round"!

A wee slice of the quaint, historic... and friendly Main Street retail area known as the Gaffer District

Looking up on the slopes of the valley... "housed" in rich colour and architectural beauty.

In closing out my post this morning... I send out just a small cross-section of Deb's glass artistry. I think you can easily share my respect for her artistry and unique talent. Wish that we had more widows to house some more of her works. I am blessed to share my life... home and studio with this beautiful spirit. 
"She" quite simply is.... my "Bucket List"!

She's a "recycler"... of past thoughts... happenings... and storm windows!

A whimsical accident... simply entitled... "Oops!"

"Tribute to Vincent". We both share a love for his genius and organic energy in his work

"Georgian Guardian", Brebeuf Light on Beausoleil Island

"Sunny... Sunny Day" brought me many days of light during one grey winter.... before it found a new home.

A pair of male gold finch perched on a "found" object!

A small flock of her free standing glass friends. She loves her cheery song birds.... and so do her customers!!

Here are two of her works that are in the "permaent collection"... of AWB. They offer me plwasure... a million times a day!

Two male finches keeping fire watch ... on our mantle! Two heats to  dive away the winter cold!

"Spidy"... with bobbing "babies" on braided copper adds to the river view in our kitchen cozy bay ... where we lunch every day at noon.

We are now settled safely in for winter... a bush cord of firewood...  cut and split in the now empty gallery space. The work is hung in our downstairs studio where music and new creations are already underway. I headed off for a wonderful afternoon of plein air painting at Ivy Lea Park with my long tome painting pal Frank. Stay tuned... for that adventiure in my next post... along with the "correct" answer to the plein air imposter from two posts back...

Happy Painting to ALL.... and Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American Friends!