Thursday, April 28, 2011

Finding Cool Art at Main Street

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival. Actually, I went twice. Blocks and blocks of downtown Fort Worth are shut down for the weekend for "(t)he Southwest's largest, four-day visual arts and entertainment festival, four days of fine art, food, fun and festivities! Rated as the Number 1 Arts Festival in Texas and the 3rd largest Arts Festival in the country as rated by the Harris List and the Art Fair SourceBook."

An amazing variety of works were represented, but of course, a few artists stood out.

2011 Commemorative Poster
by artist Richard Curtner

I was really taken by the serene beauty of Molly Barnes' blown glass vessels. In fact there were a couple I really wanted to take home with me, one in particular that I recalled with longing and regret on Sunday evening.

Ms. Barnes chatted with us for a while, explaining her glass blowing process, in particular the way she creates the ribbons of translucent color with streamers of molten glass.

Chuck Kaiser's mixed media works are both intricate and intriguing and definitely deserving of a closer look. He works with wax in a batik like process, as well as with paints, ink and pieces of text, often on surfaces like newspaper.

This artist was also kind enough to take the time to discuss and explain his work.

As we went past the lovely silver and gemstone jewelry display of Ashka Dymel , I asked Edward if he saw anything that looked familiar. For Valentine's this year, he had given me a pair of labradorite and garnet earrings by this designer, purchased at Uncommon Angles in Montgomery Plaza in Fort Worth.

(I recognized her work immediately, but I'm afraid Edward had to be reminded ... He does have excellent taste though.)

At the end of the day on Sunday, we
discovered this Arlington, Texas artist in the Emerging Artist area. Anne Cubbage carves books. I had never seen anything like it, and I wish you could get a better sense of the depth and detail from the pictures here.

The old books that she uses, as well as the illustrations and the bits of text that are highlighted all connect and have special meaning, sometimes decipherable by the viewer and sometimes just to the artist.

This is obviously just a taste of the art on display this year, but through the link at the top to the Main Street Arts page, you can see a few works by each of the participating artists.

Next year's festival is April 19-22. I'm going to put it on my calendar right now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wine Glass Painting Experiment #1

Instead of just settling for dinner and a video for our weekly girls' night, when Edward is off at band practice, last night my youngest daughter and I decided to try our hands at glass painting.

Pebeo Vitrea brand supplies from Michaels

My glass, done almost completely with the markers

They were a little too transparent for the clear glass, in my opinion. The paint was also slightly transparent unless applied thickly. Note to myself for next time: It might turn out better if I have a design in mind before sitting down with a brush in my hand.

R's glass, in progress

My daughter worked very diligently on her glass with the white paint and a small brush. At the end she added a couple of green dots with a marker, but requested that I get some of the metallic gold highlighting paint. It comes in a tube, kind of like gel icing; I assume it comes out thicker and is more opaque than the markers.

After my glass, I painted a white ceramic mug. The Vitreo markers showed up well on the white.

I like the little dots best.

This evening after my Italian class, we will heat set the glass and mug by placing them in a cool oven, heating to 325 for 40 minutes, then turning off and letting set a while longer while the oven cools. After that they will be good to wash and, most importantly, drink out of.

There is a lot of information about painting wineglasses on the internet, including several videos on youtube. Today I did some research, and we will be trying this again with some enamel craft paints for glass. I read somewhere that you should never mix the different brands of glass paints, but I saw a blog post about a wine glass painting party for a bridal shower (great idea!), and they used 3 different paints, evidently with no problem. I would love to be able to paint with the opaque paints, then use the markers for embellishments and lettering.