Artist of the month daydreemdesigns

My artist of the month is Michael from  daydreemdesigns. he is an engraver. The great thing about engraving is that he can completely do the whole wine glass, stem and all. Please visit his shop daydreemdesigns. I will be doing a follow up and we might give out some discounts for Christmas so stay tuned.

1. How did you get interested in engraving? I became interested in engraving when I was probably about 10 yrs old. My older sister was a glass engraver. Engraving mostly names, dates, fonts and such. This was about 25 yrs ago. When I was 12 I spent some time with her and she allowed me to pick up her Dremel engraver ( no flex shaft ) and go to town. I started drawing when I was able to hold a pencil. Forever it seems. Pen and pencil sketches is how everything got started. Murals and airbrushing t-shirts followed. My twin brother and I had an interesting tie – dyed/ airbrushed t-shirt business going on back in our pre teen years. I knew at an early age, I was able to make some money from this passion of mine. I look and see and learn from what I see. I create what I think and feel from what I live and experience everyday of my life. Its funny, I often refer to “not being able to create my own personal work”(what I feel and want to create). I guess the reason is because I am always in need to produce product to make money. I am always forced to create what other people want. Glass, portraits, murals, band albums, signs, and t- shirts etc.
2. Did you start out etching glass or engraving? My engraving started about 5 yrs ago. I have always loved the idea of creating an image freehand on a piece of glass.
3 .I get the feeling you freehand your patterns from memory, is that right?  I do not trace anything. I never have and never will. I explored and played with etching, sand blasting and acid stencils, and was not very happy. I felt like I was working on an assembly line. My pieces are created free hand using a high speed rotary tool at speeds of only 45,000 – 55,000 rpm and a flex shaft. I sometimes use a pneumatic rotary tool with speeds up 400,000rpm. The pneumatic tool is not my first choice by far. The high speeds of 400,000 rpm limit my freedom. My next goal is to sand blast by hand, no stencils, more like airbrushing freehand.
4. Have your patterns evolved in time? If so, tell us how. My designs have evolved over time and are evolving continuously. In my opinion getting better all the time. But I guess you can say I/the designs will never be finished. I am always trying to make my designs just right or perfect. Everyday (literally) I learn something new. I am completely self taught.
5. Have you had formal training in art or are you self taught?  I have had no kind of formal training. Some lessons in high school and support from family, friends and my fiance’.
6. What is your favorite part of your business? Its hard to say what is my favorite part of this business. I honestly enjoy every aspect. The fact of knowing the harder I push the happier I can be, keeps me going. I strive to make every customer as happy as I possibly can. Knowing the client/customer has received there piece and is pleased, is all I need. And when I receive those emails telling me just how happy they are.
7. How do you decide what products to create?A lot of thought and planning actually goes into deciding what products to make. Most times too much thought and planning, considering when I start the engraving process, I’m engraving what I feel is right. Most times everything comes together perfect. Then I think to myself, was all this prep and planning worth it?  Planning and preparation becomes crucial for custom pieces.
8. Do you do custom work and monogramming?  I take custom requests. Lettering, monograms, portraits, and well, anything. Murals, and woodcarvings.
9. Your carved candy cane is awesome. Is wood carving and glass engraving similar, or totally different? Wood carving and glass engraving are very different in some ways. Some of the diamond burrs used for glass engraving can be used with wood carving. But the big difference comes into play when I am creating a piece of 3 dimension into wood. Just about the same safety precautions and equipment is used. Goggles, respirator, dust collector, leather vest and gloves. I have a few different rotary tools for different jobs. When the knives and chisels come out, all things change. Believe it or not I enjoy wood carving more than glass engraving, but I do love glass engraving. I thoroughly enjoy working with wood, the smell the sound of the wood being carved, and the fact of never really knowing what lies beneath the bark. I will many times find a piece of fallen branch and just start carving. Wood Spirits are my favorite. There’s a little spirit inside every piece of wood. I just have to look for him. I grew up in the Pocono Mts. And my father has worked with wood his entire life, that’s probably another reason I am partial to the wood carving.
10. Do you have any advice for some one starting a Etsy shop? Some advice I can give to anyone creating an Etsy shop is. Be prepared. Know what you want to do and go do it! Never ever give up. Always try to learn something new. Get advice and try to come up with unique ideas. The second you stop and think, is this all worth it? Give your self a light slap and say, yes it is. If your heart was never in this adventure to begin with, you will never get to where you want to go. I’m a go strong or go home kinda guy, but not every second of the day. I learned pacing yourself is important, but sometimes an artists life just doesn’t work that way. I find myself up for 24 hrs strait working and working. That may not be good advice, but sometimes you just have to keep going. Having a partner in life and business is a very good thing. Aimee’ keeps my head strait and helps out more than you could imagine. Helping with the books, customer service and the never ending trips to the post office etc. Another good tip for someone starting an Etsy shop is having good images.  Aimee is our photographer.  She dedicates allot of time into taking the images.  New techniques and strategies are always a good thing to keep in mind.  Keeping your item as the main focus in the photograph is important.Long stem glassesCandle holder

Wood carving

Comments Off on Artist of the month daydreemdesigns

Artist of the month Java Jane Designs

This months artist of the month is Java Jane Designs. I found her Etsy site and was impressed by both her designs and her success. Please stop by her site and check out her work. I will let her tell her story…

I am a full time photographer and designer.  My Alphabet Photo Art™ collection features a line of whimsical but striking architectural photographs that resemble the letters of the alphabet, as well as Vintage Sign photographs of eclectic historic and vintage diner/cafe signs, which are artfully arranged together to spell a name, a word, or an idea.  I began creating my custom alphabet photo keepsakes to for customers celebrating some of life’s biggest moments (weddings, birthdays, new arrivals, housewarmings, etc.)

1. I see that the people who are successful selling their art, are the ones that are the most original. Your art is probably the most original I have seen. How did you come up with the idea of using pictures for letters?

My first alphabet photo design was actually created as a gift for our realtor about 3 years ago.  I wanted to find a special thank you gift for her that was fun and different but I wasn’t able to find anything commercially that interested me.  I was looking through some of my recently taken digital images and remarked that one image of wooden wine rack would make a great letter “X”… And so the hunt was on to find the rest of the letters I needed to spell my realtor’s last name!  After that, I began searching out images to complete my first set of alphabet letters.

2. Does it get to where everywhere you look you see letters?

Yes, it can become quite an addiction!  I am much better now, but when I first began hunting for letters I couldn’t walk 10 feet without asking my husband, “Does this look like a letter K to you?”  It’s actually a great educational activity for children as well as an interesting social experiment on men and women as I’ve learned that the sexes tend to “see” and interpret my letters very differently!

3. Do you carry a camera everywhere you go?

I carry my camera absolutely everywhere I go!  I can’t even go to the Post Office without bringing at least one of my cameras to ensure that I can capture something that catches my eye along the way.  I’m lucky to be able to travel with my husband almost every month, capturing new images and inspirational elements to bring back to my art studio.

4. Do you display your pictures that you don’t use in your art.

Some of my photography from my travels can be found in my other shop, MidnightFarm.

5. For the tech people, Tell us about your camera. Which one you use and why you picked that one and which camera you started with.

The camera that I currently use (and started with) is a Canon EOS Rebel XSi with a 17-55mm f/2.8 lens.  I like it because it is very lightweight and easy for me to handle, especially if I am out for hours on end.  It takes wonderful images, but I am already saving up for a Canon EOS 7D.

6. Are you evolving your work to include other products that you can tell us about?

I have way more ideas that can ever be put into practice, but yes, I have a few new products that will be coming out very soon.  My newest item is a collection of individual 4×6 number photos that can be mixed and matched to create custom date collages to mark life’s important milestones (see attached images).  But for now, we’ll keep the other projects under wraps!

7. Have you created multiple alphabets with your pictures that you use, or do you create each custom sign to find pictures that spell each name on a as you go basis?

After 3 years I have over 1900 images in my collection!  You can view them all at  JavaJaneDesigns.blogspot When I am creating a name I normally will pull letters from my existing collection.  On occasion, I have photographed completely new alphabets by request, although it is too time consuming to do all the time.  My favorite is a name collage for McCOY commissioned by a Harley Davidson fan.

And sometimes a simple request turns into a completely new product line for me, such as my vintage signs collection (PIKES/ LUCAS):

8. How do you decide which photo’s work well together?

When I am creating a name collage for a customer the composition is very important to me.  I work to find a nice balance between light and dark, as well as ensure the style of letters blend well together.  Of course, I do tend to have my favorite images and over time I’ve sort of developed my own personal photo font!  Oftentimes my customers will request a certain style of images to be used: rustic, urban, ornate, beachy.  Most people prefer images that are very clear and easy to read, while some prefer a collage that is maybe a little more challenging to interpret.  I try to accommodate my customers’ requests as best as I can.  In general, my design philosophy is less is more…beauty in simplicity.

9. I am guessing that this is something you are passionate about. Could you tell us a little about how your travels brought you to your Etsy shop.

It was by accident that I happily stumbled upon Etsy.  I was searching for a local jewelry artisan that I had purchased from several years ago.  I discovered that she no longer sold directly from her website and had since moved her shop to Etsy.  I instantly fell in love with Etsy and spent countless hours searching through the fabulous creations.  The best part is that I had also been searching for an online platform to feature my alphabet art and Etsy was very easy to join and be a part of.

10. How did you get started in this line of work?

Believe it or not, I never planned on doing what I’m doing today.  Before starting my business on Etsy I had worked the previous 12 years in financial consulting, marketing, strategic planning, human resources, and event planning. I managed the finances for a $7M organization, wrote tutorials on successful operations, and presented award-winning workshops on goal setting, strategic planning, and project management. In short, I was a Professional Perfectionist!   I was considering a new career as a professional organizer, but before I could get things going, I took a happy detour with Etsy and opened my first shop, www.JavaJaneDesigns.etsy.com, which catered to my creative side.  In the end, all of my previous experience helped me immensely with the start of my own business.

11. Do you have a brick and mortar shop?

I don’t have a brick and mortar shop myself, but I do sell my artwork locally as well as in gift shops and boutiques across the country.  Selling my art strictly online and through other retailers has really allowed me to spend more of my time doing what I love.

12. Do you have any formal art training or are you a natural?

My only training was a photography class I took in high school over 20 years ago!   I feel that I have a natural aptitude for seeing things in different ways.  I’ve had a love of photography and architecture my whole life.  In fact, many of my photos were taken years before I ever decided to create my name collages.  As a child, I would go exploring in abandoned hay barns and down lost country roads, usually with a camera in hand.

13. Do you have a favorite place you like to go and take pictures?

My inspiration comes from many places.  I am equally drawn to elements that are rusty and weathered and those that are delicate and ornate; there is beauty to be found everywhere. In particular, church architecture and forgotten downtown buildings tend to capture my imagination.

14.Do you have a destination in mind for the future that you would love to go and take lots of pictures?

A romantic whirlwind trip to Europe is in the works!

15. Do you enjoy creating new art more or do you enjoy getting out and finding new photographs to take?

That is a difficult question but I think I am pretty well balanced between enjoying the art of creating as well as traveling and discovering new images.

16. Do you stage pictures that you think would work well for you?

In my collection of over 1900 images, I can’t recall staging a single one.  I think that’s part of the fun in finding letters as they are found naturally.

17. Do you use photoshop to create new designs or just straight photo’s?

The photos I take are the way you would find them naturally.  I use Photoshop for cropping and lighting adjustments.  I mainly use Photoshop to create my name collages and add personalization details for my customers such as incorporating first names or a wedding date.

18. How have you evolved as an artist?

I think any artist will tell you that they are constantly evolving, honing skills, learning new ones.  For me, I still have a difficult time calling myself an ‘artist’ since this was not my background.  But I’ve found that when I spend my energies on creative efforts, I seem to be more creative in all aspects of my life.  I will see patterns, color combination’s, or even textures that will give me an idea for something completely unrelated.  I still have a lot that I want to learn…I am a terrible portrait photographer!

19. How do you strive to be the best at what you do?

I’ve always been very focused and driven with everything I do.  My inner drive comes from challenging myself on a daily basis to do the best I possibly can do for that day.  Of course, making mistakes and taking detours along the way is part of the process.  I’ve always bounced back from every setback and used what I’ve learned to make me a better artist, a stronger business leader, and ultimately a happier person.

20. Is there anything you would change about you career path if you had it to do over?

I wouldn’t change a thing!  I am a firm believer that everything you do in life prepares you for what is to come.  One of my favorite quotes is, “Doing your best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”  I believe if you follow this guidance daily, how can you ever go wrong?

Comments Off on Artist of the month Java Jane Designs

Artist of the month David Baldwin

This months artist of the month is David Baldwin. David is a tile installer. You might think that I am really reaching here, but after you see his work you will call him an artist. Most of his clients call him an artist when they have worked with him. I spoke to him by phone this morning and asked him some of the following questions.
1. What tile do you like working with? The natural stone is his favorite. He goes through the tiles to pick out the different shades. He then finds out from the home owner the preferred shades and then works them into the design.
2. Do you have freedom in the designing process? Most of his clients have an idea of what they want and what kind of tile they want to use. Most of the time he can tweak the placement and the shades of color to get the best look for that job. The clients have pretty specific ideas but he can make little changes.
3. When working with different shapes and shades of tile, how do you decide where each piece goes? He works with the client and lays out the tile in the best possible way. He likes the meticulous kind of work with the smaller tiles and multiple shades.
4. Have you done any work with glass tiles or back painted glass? Yes the glass tiles are becoming popular for accents and borders. So are the natural stone. It takes some special precautions when working with the glass tiles but he likes the flow better with corners. The smaller glass tiles can be fit around corners better than the larger tiles. Borders at eye level are very popular among his clients. He did a shower for a client that wanted a earth, fire and water theme. They used a tumbled blue tile for the walls. The tiles were different shades of blue and made the walls look the ocean. It fit the theme perfectly.
5. Do you like to work alone? No. He said he likes to work with other people. Sometimes it is best to have a master mind group to bounce ideas off of. The collective experience that it brings to the table helps to avoid mistakes. He can bring his experience from other jobs to get the best fit. Knowing the things that have gone wrong before helps him to avoid problems with new jobs. He said that he sees things in graph style. This allows him so see how the tiles will fit before they are on the wall. He enjoys the harder jobs with smaller pieces. It gives him more satisfaction on the meticulous jobs.
6. What is the most important thing about a job? It is the focus. Where does the client want the focus to be. It could be the floors or the walls around the sink or the shower. He had a client bring him some old bricks that he used on a back-splash. He said it turned out well and looked like a wall from a park in Europe. The overall tile job in a house full of tile takes more planning if the focus changes for each room. Some tile jobs are the same tile through the entire house. It is the opinion of the writer that it lacks both creativity and focus.
The most interesting thing came not from a question but from a comment. He said that people are going to far off vacation spots and then remodeling their bathroom to resemble the spas and resorts they have visited. The first photo and the reason for this interview. The home owner wanted his shower to have a spa feel. I have installed 100’s of showers and this is the coolest one I have seen. I liked it so much I had to make David my Artist of the month. The skylight over the shower makes a huge difference. The natural light shines directly on the shower. I think this makes a difference. The last photo was taken with the lights off. The natural light on the tile design grabs you the moment you walk in. I think the home owner should feel like he is stepping into a “spa”. Take a moment to look at the Hudson and Rolf website. If you are interested in a tile shower in the Kansas city area, you can contact them directly. The shower door was installed by Hutton Glass ProductsClick on the photos, Then click on them again to see full size. For back painted glass, check out my web site

Comments Off on Artist of the month David Baldwin

Artist of the month Janet Hill

August Artist

I found the artist of the month on Etsy. I liked her hanging creations. I hope you enjoy the interview and please visit her shop. Thank you very much Janet for your time and trouble. Dean

1. Do you draw your designs on paper or do you create on glass?

I actually do both. Certain designs will require a pattern, such as a hummingbird or a piece that has to fit in a certain size frame. But I create quite a bit of my work using pieces of glass left from other projects. I love this method because I really have no idea what the outcome will be. It’s like putting a puzzle together without knowing what the picture is!

color in motion
Wizards Window

Color in Motion was Janets first Etsy sale

2. Where does the inspiration for your designs come from?

I find inspiration all around me. In the color and texture of everything I see in nature, other forms of art, and even pictures in mail order catalogs. To see what I mean, check out this blog post.

Rustic Art Panel

3. Do you change designs as you go?

Unless I’m doing a custom piece that has to meet specific criteria, changing a design in the midst of making the art is pretty much a part of the creative process. That’s why I enjoy making my own designs. I do use patterns from books for things like dogs and birds. Sadly, I’m not that kind of artist. But when I do use someone else’s pattern I usually modify it in some way to make it more what I want.

4. Do you have a process for choosing glass types and colors?

That’s an interesting question. When I have a design on paper, something somewhat traditional, I choose the glass based on the design. But a lot of the time I create the design based on the glass that appeals to me at the time.

Fly Fisherman Pencil Holder
Dimensional Butterfly Ring

5. Do you prefer the freedom of creating your own designs or do you prefer doing custom work for people?

I really prefer the freedom of creating my own designs, but there is also a lot of satisfaction in pleasing someone by fulfilling their vision. I’m fortunate in that much of the time I do custom work where the client gives me some idea of what they want,

but they don’t have anything concrete. So I still have quite a bit of freedom. And at the best of times I’ll get a client that just wants “something” which can also be a bit daunting. Recently a lady sent me a pile of dirty and broken old stained glass with the request that I make something new with it. You can see the dirty pile and the finished piece here.

Church Glass Adventure

6. Do you prefer small pieces or large windows?

I guess I prefer smaller pieces. I must have a desire for instant gratification. I have done some larger pieces, but they worry me. Also, I have a limited work space that really does inhibit my ability to work on anything very big! If you’d like to see my studio..

My Studio

7. Most of the calls I get about stained glass are people wanting repairs, do you do that kind of work?

I have done repairs, both on pieces I originally made for someone and pieces that were not made by me. It is satisfying to complete a repair job and also a challenge.
I try not to make it a habit, as my time is very limited and I would rather be making something new!

8. How long did it take to perfect your art?

I think I’m still in the process of trying to perfect it! But I’d say that it probably took a couple of years, working at it on the weekends in my spare time, to feel some real confidence in my abilities. And it continued from there.

9. What piece are you most proud of?

That’s a tough question! I have some favorites, but I guess the one I’m most proud of is the Braddock Church glass that I referred to in question 5. Not because of the visual effect of the art, but because of the story behind it, and how much it meant to the people there.

10. What effect would you like your artwork to have on people?

I want my artwork to be pleasing, to stimulate your visual sensibilities. I want it to add to the beauty of your surroundings, to give you visual pleasure each day. I really want you to think it’s cool, like I do!

Moon Dreams
Tiny Window

11. Tell us how you got started in to stained glass.

In 2002, I was itching for some new creative outlet. I had been doing needlework, making jewelry, and whatever other crafty things I could find to do. I looked around for classes in any medium that I hadn’t tried. It came down to stained glass or throwing pottery, and the pottery thing seemed like it would get pretty messy. I took a beginning stained glass class at the local shop, bought the basic tools, and started my most excellent adventure! Then, 7 years later, my sister told me about Etsy, where artists and crafters have the opportunity to open a shop to sell their work. I opened my Etsy shop on the last day of August, 2009. It’s been a challenge to work at Fed Ex full time, and maintain New Moon Glass, but I have a five year plan that I hope will allow me to retire and pursue my passion in glass full time.

Autumn Ring
Swirling Heart

At the time of this writing Janet has 40 items for sale on her etsy site. Please take a moment to look at her wonderful art glass. Janet’s Etsy Shop
All photographs Copyright Janet Hill 2010

Comments Off on Artist of the month Janet Hill

Artist and teacher Burne Hogarth

This months artist is Burne Hogarth. He was born in Chicago December 25,1911. He died January 28, 1996. He was best known for his Tarzan comic strip. He was a teacher and wrote many books about drawing. Dynamic Anatomy in 1958, Drawing of the Human Head in 1965, Dynamic Figure Drawing in 1970, Drawing Dynamic Hands in 1977 about the figure. He wrote Dynamic Light and Shade in 1981 and Dynamic Wrinkles and Drapery, my favorite, in 1995.
The reason I chose Burne for the artist of the month is because the shading techniques that he taught when used in glass etching, creates a 3-dimensional look in the glass. His study of how fabric would look both slumped over something and blowing in the wind is just awesome. In his book on drapery, He has drawn many figures with flowing drapery and wrinkled fabric. The techniques can be used in glass etching in several ways. 1. Carving the glass. The wrinkles in the fabric can be deeply carved. Each one pulling away from the last. He taught how to recreate the folds in drawing to make the fabric look real. Carving is the most dramatic way to recreate life. It actually creates a 3-D in the glass. 2. Shading the glass. Shading is done by using the glass as the darkest shade and solid etching as the lightest shade. This technique can be used on safety tempered glass and has a wide range of uses. The darkest part of the fold would be left clear and then the lighter parts of the fabric would be etched in shades to recreate the folds of the fabric. 3. Using carving and shading together. In recreating fabrics, using both techniques produces even deeper looking shadows and textures. This allows even more versatility in designing a project.
He taught the study of drapery and the study of wrinkles. You might not think of this but when etching some ones face in glass, the wrinkles on the face and the muscles of the body are what makes it look like them. If you remove all the wrinkles and laugh lines from the face it becomes harder to recognize. His skill in drawing faces was as brilliant as his skill in drawing fabric. When teaching the different wrinkle forces, such as kinetic forces. He showed us the different wrinkles and how they were caused. Direct thrust wrinkles, bend wrinkles, crossing wrinkles, compression wrinkles, fragmentation wrinkles, swag and hanging, trap and closure, passive, inert, lying wrinkles and my favorite, flying wrinkles. He would draw shapes and figures from memory to show us the wrinkle effects.
He is one of my favorite teaches and his work and teaching will live on to inspire countless generations of artist.

Comments Off on Artist and teacher Burne Hogarth

Etched window with wood blinds

Project of the month

This months project is a bathroom window. The view looking out was of the neighbors wall and kitchen window. The customer wanted etched glass but did not want to cast a shadow on the bath room window. She did not want to use regular blinds and have it be dark. She wanted the light to shine in. The solution was to build a wooden blind in between the window and the etched glass. This would let the light in without letting anyone see in the bathroom. This type of installation makes the etched glass very soft. The light coming through the window is diffused. The picture makes it seam hard to see, but it is clear in person. We tried both white blinds and black blinds to see which one made the glass look the best. To my surprise it was the white.

veiw out window
wooden blinds
Finished window

The first thing when designing a window is the artwork. The home owner wanted a simple design in the middle with a contemporary border. I met with her to find a starting point for the artwork. She liked my sample so we used that. I designed several possible pieces for her to choose from. The pictures below show the art as I changed and created different designs. This is called vector art. I use a program called Adobe Illustrator. This allows me to create patterns from lines and shapes. They remain the same at any size. Once her artwork was ready it was time for the glass. First I cut a Piece of 1/4″ glass to fit the window. Then I cut a stencil. Apply it to the glass. Start sandblasting.

Sample art1
Sample art 2
art choice

This design is a stage blast. That means that the lines of the design are carved into the glass. Then the stencil is removed from the glass and the rest of the glass is blasted solid. The glass must be safety tempered after blasting. That creates some limitations. The main one being depth. In order for the glass to go through he tempering oven, it can not be carved more than half way through the glass. This is a worse case scenario because I never want to push my luck that far. There is nothing worse than spending six hours blasting something only to have it blow up in the oven. Then you get to start all over again. On a 1/4″ piece of glass I like to go about 1/8″ to 3/32″ deep.

First stage
Depth
Second stage

The next step is the tempering oven. Tempering heats the glass up to as high as 1200 degrees for as much as nine minutes. This all depends on the thickness of the glass. it is then cooled down quickly by blowing cool air over it. This is called the quench. If I have gone to deeply or to close to the edge, This is the point that is becomes a pile of broken glass.

Ready furnace
Tempering furnace
In the Quench

If I have one piece of tempered glass at this point it is ready to install. I built the blinds out of popular wood because it paints very well for a hard wood. The slats are 2 1/2″ by 1/2″ thick. The frame is 5/8″ thick. I then painted the blinds white. The frame is nailed in the window frame. The etched glass is installed smooth side out using 1/4 round trim to hold it in. A little touch up painting and our project is complete.

On the truck
Finished window
Close up

The view from the outside shows the blinds and provides complete privacy. While I was at it we etched the sidelite of her front door. I allow my work to speak for itself. I do not use the names or adresses of my client to protect their privacy.

Outside
Outside close up
Front door

Comments Off on Etched window with wood blinds

Artist of the month Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse Mucha is the artist of the month this month. He was born July 24,1860 in southern Moravia {part of the Czech Republic today}. When he was 19 years old he got a job as a painter, painting theatrical scenery in Vienna. He worked there until a fire burned down the theater and put him out of work. He roamed around the country to avoid his family’s concern’s and sketched landscapes and portraits. He also painted drop curtains for local theater’s. He made enough of a reputation to get commissioned to paint murals at Emmahof castle and Gandegg castle.
In 1885 he entered the Munich academy of art where he studied for two years. In 1887 he moved to Paris and entered Academe Julian. He studied there until 1889 when he ran out of money and began making a living illustrating books and catalogs. While working as an illustrator he began to take photographs of his models and catalog them with detailed notes.
It was by chance that he designed a poster for Sarah Bernhardt. The printer didn’t like it but Sarah loved it. This made him famous. He had a flare for designing very ornate and detailed pieces. The posters for Sarah had a huge amount of detail. He was paid well to create poster for Sarah’s plays. While working on the poster’s he was flooded with orders for advertisement illustrations. Most of the commissions he received was for calendars, posters, champagne posters and biscuit boxes.
Art Nouveau became known as the Mucha style. He worked with a printer named Champenois who printed his decorative panels on paper and satin. The panels where sold to people to use as decoration in their homes. He died July 14, 1939. This information was taken from the book Mucha by Arthur Ellridge
The reason Mucha is the artist of the month is because his design style is perfect for glass etching. If you pay attention to the borders around his subjects they are sometimes more intricate than the subject. He also did drapery in most of his advertisements. Most of his work featured women with flowing loose garments. The study of drapery is one of my favorites when it comes to glass etching. The long flowing gowns with all their folds and curves where sometimes very detailed and sometimes very simple. He was a very good illustrator. His imagination was very strong when designing the posters of women and the ornate borders. He would often add flowers in their hair.
Art Nouveau has lost it’s flare when it comes to decorating but I think it is very important to study the work he did when it comes to etching. When you add a design in the middle of the glass, if you study Mucha’s work, you can add a huge amount of flare by adding a very ornate and detailed border. Glass etching has always been about flowers. It is my guess the most etched theme. The old style copper wheel engravings where almost always flowers. Mucha’s style included flowers in the borders and in the flowers in the backgrounds and in his models hair. I think Art Nouveau has a place in glass etching forever. I would like to see the Mucha style live forever.
Mucha was in my opinion one of the great masters when it comes to imagination. His flare for adding a design in the background instead of just the solid color. This idea would work well with etching by way of adding detailed designs in the background by blasting through things like lace or screen or even blasting the background on the other side of the glass.
Mucha is one of my favorite artist and an inspiration in my glass art. Let his work be an inspiration to you as well.

Comments Off on Artist of the month Alphonse Mucha

Artist of the month Diane555

This months artist of the the month is Diane555. Her art is on Istockphoto.com. Her work can be seen at her Portfolio page. Everyone should check out her illustrations. I was impressed by the diversity and the amount of work she has created. She was very kind to answer my questions so we could all be inspired by her art. The biggest question people new to glass etching ask is “where do I find designs?” So if you are an artist or simply a home owner looking for the perfect design, please check out this months artist of the month.

Do you prefer to create on canvas or on computer?
I work both in traditional methods and with my computer. Some things have a more organic ‘feel’ to them if I sketch them out on paper first. I also continue to work on paper, canvas, create collages and with textiles.

Do you have a favorite kind of computer?
Although I used a pc for many years, I switched to a Mac two years ago and it has been the best choice for me as it seems to handle some of my very large detail oriented vectors with ease where my pc would have frozen and crashed.

How did you come to vector art?
My brother gave me Illustrator 8.0 back in the 90s because he wanted me to learn digital art. I was almost immediately hooked on the gradient mesh tool! I still love using it today.

How do you vectorize your art?
Much of work work is started with a hand draw sketch using my own photos for reference (when needed). I then redraw the entire thing in Illustrator. I don’t use the auto-trace option unless I am making a texture because the lines aren’t clean enough. I think you need to draw them from scratch to get nice line-work. I try to work with lots of layers and sensible groups so that editing is a bit easier for buyers.

Do you create art for vector or is it other art you have created from other mediums?
I do both actually but more often my vectors are created as vectors. Sometimes I come across an old watercolor or marker drawing that would make a great vector but more often I collect source materials and references that fit something I want to make in vector. For instance, my sparrows and cherry blossoms series was all created for vector.

Do you draw on the computer?
I do. I have a large wacom tablet that I have learned to use. Two years ago I was still drawing entirely with a mouse so it can be done but I can’t imagine using anything but my tablet these days.

What computer program do you use?
Adobe Illustrator CS3 for drawing. Adobe Photoshop for cleaning up and/or creating source materials for textures.

Where do you get your design ideas?
Everywhere around me actually. I try to be aware of advertising and popular items in stores. My main inspiration really some from the things that matter to me. I care about the environment, I love birds and nature. For many years I worked in Horticulture so that is probably where the love of nature came from.

Did you get formal art training?
Where.
No, I have had very little art training. I was working full time before I was twenty so I never went to college, although I think that I might have learned some things faster had I gone to art school. In recent years I have taken advantage of the ever-growing list of online training that is available. So many artists are willing to share their amazing knowledge with others.

You have a very large body of work. Has it taken a long time to create?
Although I joined iStock in 2006, most of my portfolio was created in the last 2.5 years. It does take time to create vectors but I make art for a living now so I am very committed and very self-disiplined. I am lucky to do what I love every day so it isn’t hard to find motivation.

You have a very diverse portfolio. How do you create such diverse themes?
I am interested in everything. I think even everyday objects are fascinating in it’s unique shape and form. I try to pay attention to what’s happening around me and in the world and draw ideas from those things. I have books filled with ideas that I can never find time to draw. So many artists talk about having ‘artists block”. I can’t even imagine it.

Could you tell us a little about where you live in Canada?
I live in a small city in South Western Ontario that is surrounded by rich farmland.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, just one cat at this time but I have had many pets in the past.

What are you passionate about?
People, nature, wildlife and the environment.

What do you want to be remembered for professionally?
That’s a tough one. I hope that I am remembered for being unique in somehow. I love diversity and hope that shows in my artwork.

What advice would you give a young art student?
Never say you can’t do something, try everything and most of all believe in yourself regardless of what anyone says.

Where do you think art will go in the next decade?
For many years people didn’t consider digital art and ‘real’ artwork. That has changed. Maybe we will see more blending of the two.

Do you spend a lot of time cleaning up lines in vector files?
No. I don’t use auto-trace unless it’s for a texture so and I want those to be rough. Because I draw from scratch using the pencil, brush or pen tool I can control the line quality.

What do you like most about your profession?
What I love about my profession is that I do what I love every day. I wake up every day looking forward to new challenges.

What do you like least?
Sometimes there are too many projects that need completing in a single day but I try to remind myself how blessed I am to have problems like this.

How do you envision your art touching peoples lives?
I hope that some of it makes people think about our environment or growing something wonderful in their yard. But I’d be really happy just to know that it makes someone smile.

How has sites like istock changed the way you work?
iStock has given me the freedom to spend more time making art and leave the marketing and agent work to those more qualified.

Has technology made a big difference in your art?
The internet has made it possible for artists like myself to work for clients all over the world so our opportunities are only as limited as we make them.

Is there a artist or person that has inspired you or your art?
Please explain?
I have been inspired by so many over the years but Claude Monet, Édouard Manet and Robert Bateman have remained some of my favorites.

Do you have a hobby or is it your art?
I enjoy sewing, woodworking (when I can find the time), baking bread, all kinds of artwork and gardening.

How is most of your art used?
Much of my artwork is used in advertisements and in items for resale such as T-shirts, greeting cards and wall decals.

How would you like to see your art used?
I am happy to see my artwork used in almost any fashion but it’s always fun to see it in a surprising way such as on a book cover.

Have I asked too many questions?
haha yes, I do believe you have!

Is there any thing you would like to say to the world?
I am very thankful to those who have used my artwork in their own unique way.

Comments Off on Artist of the month Diane555

Guest article from David Daniels

4/30/10

WorldGlass Network Gives a New Spin to Art Glass

By David Daniels, National Sales Manager for WorldGlass

WorldGlass is a multi-national network of glass manufacturers, distributors and artisans, and they are changing the way people think about art glass.

WorldGlass is a subsidiary of Daniels Group, who has been supplying art glass since 1972. Their mission is to bring more decorative glass into homes and businesses. Working with leading manufacturers and innovate new companies from around the world, the company has secured the largest selection of unique architectural decorative glass in the United States.  Working with artisans and architects, they are stretching the creative limits of art glass.

Dichroic Glass for Large Architectural Projects

WorldGlass offers DichroART™ the first large format dichoric glass of its type. Sheets are available up to 60” x 80”, allowing designers to use dichroics in large architectural projects and major installations. The distinctive appeal of dichroic glass lies in its shifting color.  Its metallic dichroic coating transmits one color and reflects another, creating two distinctly different colors depending on the light or angle which it is viewed.  The cost of full-sheet dichroic architectural glass is significantly less than the dichroics used in art glass and dichroic films, opening up opportunities for use in large-scale commercial installations. The product can also be laminated or tempered to meet safety regulations.

Artists Lyle London and Richard Altman used 20 sheets of DichroART™ in their art installation for Renown Health Center in Reno, NV. With the dichroic glass, they created two dramatic hanging sculptures that resemble DNA strands. Named the “Double and Triple Helix,” the project caught the attention of the local press and the national art community even before its completion.

BellaMuro Architectural Glass

BellaMuro Architectural Glass™ offers designers a high-performance glass product with a limitless range of colors.  Paint is applied to the back of the glass, and then baked and sealed, using a special dual-coat process, making the glass resistant to chipping and fading over time. Available in large sheets or in tile format, this glass is popular for walls, countertops, backsplashes and dry erase boards.

Wider Selections of Clear Textured Glass

WorldGlass has pulled together one of the largest selections of rolled patterned and clear textured glass in the industry.  The Classical, Nature, and Geometric product series give designers over 100 patterns to choose from, and with their extensive distribution network, WorldGlass can ship product across the country quickly and at competitive rates.

Stained Glass for Architectural Use

WorldGlass has been a leading force behind the push to use real stained glass in commercial installations. The ColorART™ line offers architects authentic domestic stained glass, in a vast selection of colors, patterns and transparencies. WorldGlass and their distributors offer hundreds of different styles of colored stained glass, from traditional cathedral and opalescent glass, to iridescent glass. Designers can also choose from a variety of textures, and sold colors or wispy color blends. All ColorART can be laminated to meet safety requirements and to bring out its natural beauty.

About WorldGlass

WorldGlass is the largest single source of decorative architectural glass. With a network that spans across the globe, WorldGlass serves the entire architectural community and provides an unmatched selection of decorative architectural glass. Supported by unmatched customer service and glass expertise, customers can order mixed sheets, full cases, containers or place special orders for a range of pre-fabricated items.

WorldGlass is a Daniels Group Company, glass importer and distributor since 1972.

Comments Off on Guest article from David Daniels

Joni Prittie April artist of month

I have just had the most wonderful conversation with Joni Prittie. She graciously allowed me to interview her as my artist of the month, and I would like to thank her very much for her time and wisdom. She is truly an inspiration to me and my work. Her kindness and generosity are much appreciated. She is originally from St. Louis Missouri, a fellow artist from my home state. She lived in England for over ten years and in the states in both California and New York state. She now lives in Oregon. She has worked with Andrew Holmes as both artist and editor.  She said that editorial for vector art meant cleaning up those tiny blue dots for endless hours. She used to close her eyes to go to sleep  and for a few minutes, see little blue dots moving around. His site still highlights her work and provides glass etchers like myself with a huge body of artwork.  vectorart She told me that Andrew got the idea for his vector art site at a car show watching the pin stripe artist. He thought wouldn’t it be great if I could help people pin stripe their cars. He went on to create a huge body of vector art in the Mega Art Collection series. Joni worked for Andrew as a salesperson for four years and it helped her to be out talking to the end users.

I was curious as to whether a vector artist would prefer to draw her art on paper or use the computer. Joni said at first she would draw on paper and then transfer to computer but later she began creating directly on the computer, however she still enjoys drawing. One of her favorite things to draw is horses. She told me a story I will share with you. While in England she was walking by a riding stable, and decided to go in and watch people riding their horses. She set next to a lady and struck up a conversation, and it came up that Joni was a artist. The lady asked if she could draw horses, and Joni told her she had been drawing horses since she was eight. The lady hired her on the spot to go to her friends house and draw her favorite horse for her birthday present. When she arrived at the designated address, it was Buckingham Palace! The horse belonged to Queen Elizabeth! A man met her at the gate and took her back to the stable where she set in the stall and sketched the horse, and was even served tea. She said it was an amazing reddish brown horse. I would go so far as to say it was most likely one of the finest horses in England. After she had been there for about five hours she had several drawings, and she met with the lady, who loved the drawings and paid her. They both went on their way. Later she realized that she had not kept a copy of any of the drawings.

We decided that that is what art is all about. Being so caught up in your passion about art that you don’t notice the little things like how did it get dark so fast and how could I not be hungry after all this time and why didn’t I get a copy of those drawings? I asked her if she felt that art was something that had not been created yet. Some say that fine art is something that has not been done before. That it must be original. I would love for some people to offer their opinion on the subject. Her response was that art is alive and it takes on a life of its own. It is always new because we are always creating it. When you create a piece of artwork, it has not been created yet, it is new to you, it is part of you and all of the influences that have created you. One of the things Joni recommends is facing your fear and going past it to create. Artists grow into the unknown and co-create. She said to stay with your heart and your passion and it would take you places that you had never planned on going. She said art gives us joy and it brings happiness into other peoples lives, and we have the responsibility to make use of the talent that we have been given.

Joni loves the idea that art can be connected to machines. Her father and both grandfathers were tool and die men, machinists. The vectors can be used by a whole host of machines, such as laser engravers, cnc woodworking machines for making wood carvings and of course my favorite, the plotter for making stencils. Joni is still creating vector art on her Macintosh G-4 computer, she likes the stability and says the older programs are perfect for drawing. She said she has moved from flowers to the more technical drawings.

Joni has given me permission to post a gallery on my site to show people some of my favorite designs. If they are my favorite then you know they would make awesome etchings. Joni says you should live life on the learning curve, to never stop learning and trying new things. She also says you should put your fear behind you, why be afraid of a little yellow pencil? She sees art and artists as translators. Each artist sifts and filters art through themselves and then gives it freely to the world.

Joni has a blog at prittie-illustration
She has a Etsy shop at VeryPrittie

Here are some of the questions I asked.
Do you prefer to create on paper or on the computer?
She prefers to draw on the computer now there are less steps and it is more satisfying.
We talked about how you could spend all day trying to get one line to look perfect.
On paper she perceives it differently than on the computer. Small imperfections are easier to notice on a computer monitor.
Do you paint to create vectors?
Yes, and then she doodles with them until they are perfect. She likes vector art because it is most useful to people.
Do you prefer a specific machine?
Yes a Macintosh G-4 . She uses a older version of Illustrator because its more stable and she likes the drawing tools, although she does have a newer version.
Do you have special pets?
She has a herd of deer that make the rounds to her back yard on a daily basis and a flock of wild turkey that come by too. A special deer she has been watching had somehow broken its leg. It is getting around OK and is raising her fawn. She seems like she is not in pain and appears to be enjoying life. Joni said she has learned a lot from watching the deer. It makes you stop and appreciate all the things that we have but take for granted. Her father taught her early on to be still and observe nature.
Why do you like the regency period?
She likes the furniture, the period gowns and architecture.
Have you had formal training?
Yes, She went to the Western art college in St. Louis, and Washington University for painting. For the most part, she is self taught. That is good news for me. I hope to be on the same level as her some day.
Are vectors your favorite art form?
Vector art has become her favorite because she believes in drawing art for the customer that she can use. She likes making art that people find useful.
What do you most want to be remembered for in your profession?
She would like people to remember that she never quit, she was able to draw every single day and that made her happy.

Comments Off on Joni Prittie April artist of month