“PHOSPHORESCENCE. Now there’s a word to lift your hat to… to find that phosphorescence, that light within, that’s the genius behind poetry.”
I love this Emily Dickinson quote – but maybe take that one step farther. I think finding the light within is the soul behind any type of art. In my work, I use an assortment of colors, dimension and texture to depict the sentiment and the significance of the piece. The joy of creating the perfect combination of color, light and shape is quintessential to any artist that is seeking to connect through their work.
But, I realize I am affected by color in everyday life as well. Aren’t we all? Do you notice certain colors make you happy? Is there a favorite sweater that’s your “go-to” piece because it makes you feel great? Is there a room in your home more comfortable, warm and welcoming than other places in your house? Why is that? Have you thought about it?
When I recently visited Chicago’s Smith Stained Glass Museum, it was awash in color and the experience was amazing – what an inspiration! Located on Navy Pier, it is an extraordinary collection of 150 stained glass windows by well known artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany and John LaFarge. The casual winding hall is a kaleidoscope of layers of brilliant color – luminous blues, radiant greens, and vivid reds. I love seeing how the artists used layers of color to play with the light and create a mood or express emotions.
As I soaked in the detailed beauty of these pieces, it came to mind that beauty is not mass-marketed. These brilliant designs are literally one-of-a-kind and deserve to be cherished for the treasures that they are. But as we have become a society of low-cost mass production, I believe we have begun to lose our sense of wonder and understand what beauty can bring to us as human beings. When we mass produce, we can lose the opportunity to appreciate a piece as an expression of the artist and potentially miss the opportunity to be enriched by it as well.
Another thing I was reminded of as I perused the gallery is that stained glass, with its unique and rich quality, has so much untapped potential in our world today. A majority of the pieces were in the Victorian, Prairie and Modern arenas. Where can we take this beautiful medium today and how can be incorporate its beauty to suit and enrich our contemporary sensibilities?
With my love of color, light and glass as my inspiration, I cannot help but know that my artistic expressions will soon lead me to a broader plain of creativity. I’ve been brainstorming new ideas to expand my business and it is clear that stained glass will play a large part of this journey. More on this to come, but I am excited about the possibilities!
I hope you’ll be inspired by the beauty of these pieces and consider how you can bring a piece of color, light and beauty to your space.