Mid June I was happy to be selected for a grant for the work I am captivated by with a prod to get to work for the upcoming exhibit. The official opening at the Morris Graves Museum is August 7 from 6 - 9. It's both a beautiful building and exhibit space and I'm eager to participate as well as see what the other artists create. It will reflect our experience going through Covid on our lives and art as we begin to reemerge. If I look at the best part of my experience, it is the daily walks I took with my husband on the beautiful trails. The intensity of the outdoors was marked in contrast to the necessity of remaining indoors and removed from others. Nature seemed more saturated in color, hue, smell and feel. I'd come home carrying its vibrance, whether from the sights of egrets flying or transfixed by mud flats in a low tide. I sketched, wrote poems, created glass and put it all together.
I began writing poetry. It was a door into many worlds. It opened other communities of artists and art lovers. It unlocked new views and ways to express my experiences. I became so excited, I saw phrases dancing through my dreams. They entered my studio and found their way in my glass. I wrote a grant to develop the new idea I was working on. In Dec. 2019 I was honored to receive the Victor Thomas Jacoby Award & grant to begin this work.
Victor Thomas Jacoby Grant Awarded
I took a traumatic experience in my life and created a body of work called transition and change. I wanted to work with it because it held power and it mirrored societal events. We see upheaval and renewal all around us.
I had been doing labor intensive, glass carving. I found it meditative. Now I had too much pent up energy. It needed release. It needed direction. This particular day, I arranged thick glass on a table, threw a rock at it to watch it crack. Its harsh melodic ring echoed through the studio. It felt exhilarating. It was no longer one large piece. It was myriad pieces with many more possibilities. It led me to opportunities I didn't then imagine.
Since then I've worked with broken and cut pieces of glass, color, enamels. glass paints. I am interested in reforming the old into the new, while retaining evidence. I use brokenness to evolve, develop, transform. It opens me to the future, lets me accept the past. It reminds me of our beginning. An incredible evolutionary process brought the earth and oceans into being. Who knows what's possible!
I drove to the City of Brea Gallery for the 4th annual Clay and Glass Biennial.
I brought panels of star-fire glass, sand-carved, engraved; held in custom walnut stands. The faces appear sculptural due to the depth of the carving. Wing-like and plant-like structures surround the faces. They represent receptors, serving to send and receive signals. They give form to sensory abilities.
My focus is changing from the object to the atmosphere surrounding the object, in this case the face. As the face or image grows smaller, the surrounding atmosphere is becoming larger.
My work supports acts of personal heroism, challenges and and rites of passage. It recognizes logic and choice while pondering consciousness and beyond. It looks at the human being in nature, time and eventual culmination.
The work reflects on letting go, impermanence and transformation.
Click below to see the glass carvings. They are at the City of Brea Gallery until Sept 15th.
* Catch and Release
I was pleased to be invited with Maria De Castro, Julia Feld, Bob Pool, Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend Treg & Candace Silkwood
Click for the: full list of artists
My thanks to
Christina Mercer, Gallery Director and Heather Bowling, Exhibitions and Program Manager and Ariana Foster, Exhibitions Coordinator as well as the ceramacist, Beverly Christ who worked with the gallery to organize the show:
christinamm @ cityofbrea.net City of Brea Gallery
Living in a rural area my surroundings influence my work. My inspiration is human- nature as in the nature of humans and their reflection in the natural world. Did I choose to live on the Coast of Norther California because it's easy to see these dynamics or did it slowly seep into my work through living here? Both, I suppose.
I used to make glass flowers to infuse the long, grey east coast winters with a feeling of spring- time. Then I moved to California where Novembers are radiant with green grass and emerging flowers. No longer hunkering down for a long dark winter my need for those beautiful glass flowers dissolved. Commissions for flower sculptures continued and I made them until a new evolution became clear.
I'd sketch flowers, leaves, vines and forms from the natural world endlessly. Then I felt compelled to draw faces of people I knew and imagined.
The reversal felt as definite as if I'd taken a part of myself and turned it inside out, "Ah, so that's what's on the other side!" Nature drawings on one side and faces on the other. As I visualize, the two sides appear through each other. Glass with its transparent surface is the natural media to work with. In glass, human and nature forms merge helping me assimilate new sensibilities. While they may appear as decoration on the faces they are symbolic of a more deeply felt integration.
Below are some pieces I am working on. They are on triangular pieces of glass and will go in a stand when they are finished. At this point I am in the middle of engraving, texturing and polishing and am fairly close to being finished.
My friend gave an art talk at the museum. She is a tall, quiet woman with a strong presence. She wears pale turquoise woven from the sea she loves.Behind her the brush strokes on her large paintings dance through pink and gold layers.
She explains the abstract quality people see in her painting is actually realism based on enlarged details of odd bits of the landscape: the ground, walls, water, and writing. Her quiet voice describing her lively work stirs interesting dialog.
Her views on perception and humanity echo mine yet the interpretation is as different as a sweater turned inside out.
She sees humanity in the landscape and I see landscape in the face. The intersection of our interests is layers of humanity.
Following her talk, I eat lunch with another friend at the restaurant called Nooner which has luscious combinations of healthy ingredients. She sits across from me at the outdoor table in a dazzling white hat and red rimmed sunglasses. They become a movie screen for visualizing the family stories she shares while the whiteness of her hat accentuates their impact.
I tell her of my attempt to write about my earliest powerful memory of glass and its relationship to my grandmother. The memory is crystal clear and the writing isn't. She says it has strong imagery and could be a poem; saying "use nouns, leave out adjectives, they are weak".
I see my friend, hear her stories; observe hat, glasses, hand-knit wool socks, buttons, black leather, clarity and strength.
Is that a poem-? No, I don't think so.
But she is.
Sooner or later we all lose our innocence. Usually, it takes us by surprise and leaves us speechless. We continue to learn lessons throughout our lives.
This is lost innocence, found knowledge, and the gift of overcoming challenges.
It is also a bird and a child with a feather floating over her mouth;
It is what you perceive; what the child felt as she captivated my attention and the feelings in me making it.
It is the large glistening glass of water which glowed between the little girl and me while we were both watched the bird.
Art, Glass & Life
I'm a sculptor working in glass. I look at life metaphorically. This led to writing poetry and an exploration of its possibilities in glass. Poetry allows the inclusion of small bits and pieces of life, the way glass allows the fusion of small bits of color. Together they've become a powerful part of my life that I'm happy to share with you here.