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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Art Makes Brandon Tick" and other Auction Promotions

The big question is this:
"Why should an artist spend so much time and talent just to give away work?"

This winter I volunteered at Pico Mtn. assisting disabled individuals with skiing and the enjoyment of winter with the program. I made many new friends and had a fabulous first winter in Vermont.

The Vermont Adaptive Ski Challenge event included a dinner and auction for which I made this piece, based on the logo found on the jackets. This piece reinforces that I am a glass artist to a new audience.

The town of Brandon is a charming historic town and art center in central Vermont. I am thrilled to be a juried member of the Brandon Artists Guild, They have a great reputaion in the state and a tradition of doing an annual auction in which a theme is chosen, and the members make extraordinary work which is exhibited all summer long and then auctioned in the fall. This year the theme is clocks.

Of course my personal goal was to create an outstanding piece to launch myself as a Vermont artist. What I didn't expect was the numerous "firsts" this work was for me in expanding my skills and techniques. I postponed completing custom work (earning money) but learned so much! I fused, painted, fired, etched, drilled, glued and grouted. The final challenges were installing the clock works and electrical illumination. The outcome was knowledge and skill for ME. It was far more effective than anything I could have gotten out of taking a class. There is a lot to be said for being self taught.

My peers were impressed. Warren Kimble gave it a triple "wow"!

The next auction request was for mirror frames for the Lion's Club auction, "Reflections of Brandon". I surprised myself by making 2 pieces. I knew I wanted to do the waterfall in a rectangular shape, but I also had a vision of a square piece featuring architectural details. My assistant from NJ, Tom McMenamin, took over 100 pictures throughout the town, giving me many great possibilities. The corners were done with Vermont slate from my own property. I used fired vitreous glass paint to create some interesting details. Wood strips outline the frame inside and out. Mosaic techniques complete the frame.
(The mirrors were added later where you see bark. I took the pictures in front of a tree.)

Nothing in Brandon is more spectacular then then the Neshobe River running through the center of town, cascading next to a tiny park, where I cherish moments with coffee and treats from Gourmet Provence, sister to Cafe Provence,, an outstanding place!

Rather than fired painted details, I used conventional drawing and painting techniques with transparent glass on top. I was able to do a colorful sky, windows, ferns, and more. The flowers are textural details of fused glass. Real slate rock is included. It is finished as a mosaic.

Well, the answer is that it is for you. It is an opportunity to promote and expand yourself in ways you would have never done otherwise. Some of my best work over the years has been gifts for family and close friends. Motivation can simply be generosity.