My work started as an expression of my love of the sea. I love the water, the crystal clearness, the sparkle and the vastness of its natural beauty. Being out on a boat also made me appreciate the sky as God’s canvas. From the water, one can experience such wide-ranging uninterrupted views of the sky, something that was a discovery for me when I began island living. I get an ethereal, spiritual feeling when out on the sea immersed in the water, sky and sea breeze.
I like to draw connections between glass and the sea. It is hard to believe that glass starts out the same as seaside sand and then transforms into molten liquid when heated. It transforms again when it cools and becomes the hard and unyielding fragments that I use in my work. The sea is so fluid and ever changing on its surface with its interplay with the wind and sunlight. Its depths are also fluid and ever changing, yet to look out at the sea across the horizon it appears constant as a single body, steady and unwavering.
One drop of the sea is but a drip in one’s hand – transparent and insignificant. But together, those drops become a powerful, beautiful force of nature. I think of glass similarly – a glass fragment is but a hard, clear stone that does not summon any inspiration. But in my work, glass becomes my paint and by combining the fragments, I hope to express impressionistic images related to the sea through its three-dimensional, sparkly appearance and combination of colors. That sparkle of light from the glass reflection is as random and changing as sunlight sparkle on the sea.
My favorite time to waterski is when the water surface is like glass on the first run of the day before the boat wake creates ripples and waves. On particularly clear days, on a virgin ski run, one can see a fair distance into the depths beneath the glass surface. My work has evolved to include impressions of the world beneath the sea. Enjoying our sea, being absorbed by and submerged in its beauty is a joy and invokes in me awe inspiring moments that I pray will still be available for my grandchildren to experience.
Studio glass art has focused on the shaping of molten glass. I have chosen to take the broken pieces of glass and blend it into images that are close to two-dimensional framed works. Unlike paint, the glass cannot be blended together to create new colors and shading. I’ve had to build the depth of the glass to change the color to a darker color. The glass fragments that I work with may not be as hard or pure as diamonds or precious stones, but I think the power of its beauty is the piling on – or not, in some cases – of the glass fragments to create different colors and the random sparkles of light. The resin finish is applied in thin incremental drizzles so that the dimensional sparkle remains, and the glass does not disappear into a pool of resin similar to water. I want the image to emerge out of the frame so that light catches and reflects in many different directions like the sunlight on the surface of the sea.
My favorite subject is still the waves of the sea, but I have expanded my subjects to include Nautical themes and Shoreline themes of the great northwest. Besides the love of family, God’s greatest gift to us is the great outdoors. As a member of the Ocean Conservancy, Sierra Club, and Wilderness Society I care deeply about the environment and our planet including our waterways, forests, and mountains - but mostly I’m in love with the sea. My work reflects that love and if I can contribute to furthering that appreciation in other people through my work, then I may feel very fulfilled in sharing my work with others. I look forward to evolving my subjects to include new nature themes.