"I have been a Gallery Glass fan since I saw you on the TV promoting the product. I have been painting with this media for a long time now and wanted to show you some of the artwork I have created. These are just a few samples of the work I have done. The larger pieces have a shadow box frame behind them so I can light them up at night."
"I am a wife, mother of four, and grandmother of two. I have been an artist all my life. I have never been trained in the arts per se, but have enveloped myself in several genres throughout my life. I have used acrylics, watercolors, folk art paints, tinkered with stain glass, created and painted outdoor garden displays and made jewelry.
I ran my own business making and selling handcrafted wooden dolls and specialty designs for over fifteen years. It was during this time while continuing my business, raising my children and going back to school for a degree in education that I decided to venture into the gallery glass paints. I have always loved the look of stained glass and dabbled in it but it was expensive, not sold locally and hard for me to clip the glass. When I saw you promoting the gallery glass product I knew this was the art medium for me. I was ready to try something new. I did and I’ve been painting with it ever since. I’ve created designs on mirrors, glass stereo covers, lamps, and paintings from some of your patterns.
Over the past several years though, I’ve started to experiment with my own designs. I started doing my own designs to challenge myself as an artist. In your letter you asked me how I do my designs. Each painting is a result of an inspiration from something I’ve seen or an idea that has popped into my head as I’m trying to sleep at night. LOL (Laugh out Loud)
When I am ready to create a particular type of painting I do several things. First I’ll pull from nature and my gardens. I look to see how I can incorporate my natural surroundings into my artwork. Next I research the subject matter using library books and then the internet. When I am completely satisfied that the painting is something I am going to like and can create, I then visualize how I want the painting to look. After that, I choose a styleline panel size and then draw out the entire design according to the panel on paper using pencil to sketch, outlining it in marker and coloring it in using colored pencils. I do this so I have a pattern to follow. When I am satisfied with the sketching, I start applying the leading lines around the styleline panel and wherever there are straight lines. I apply the liquid leading to all other parts of the painting and when that is dry, I apply the gallery glass paints.
When I first started with gallery glass I was putting my work on glass, but when I started to travel with it to my vacation home, I knew I had to have something more durable. I started using the plastic off the Studio Décor Styleline poster boards. This works for me because it’s easy to cut and is sold at my local craft store (sometimes for half off). Plexiglass can be rather expensive. It comes in a variety of sizes, the larger sizes being 24x36 and 27x40. The larger size I have cut in half and created paintings that are 13 1/2 by 20. I used this size to complete a series of seasonal light house landscapes which I will send you pictures of.
What drew me to the gallery glass paints was the finished look. The paints apply cloudy but then transform into these beautiful stunning bright, shiny, textured colors. Each painting is a challenge, so that I can experiment with new techniques. I have incorporated into my paintings glass pieces, seed beads, glitter, glitter paint, fabric paint, marbles, sequins, and acrylic gems, anything that will reflect off light, shine really well, and add more dimension to the painting.
As I grew as an artist and was now painting on special cut pieces, I knew I had to create the frames. I created a simple box like frame that raised the painting up off the wall (sort of like a shadow box). Once the frame is assembled, it is painted and often glittered; anything to add more sparkle. Once the frame is dry, I apply silicone around the top perimeter and place the painting on top of the frame; creating the shadow box effect. This type of framing allows me to illuminate the paintings at night by putting in twinkle lights or electric candles. I place hooks at the top of the frame and the painting can hang in the windows and on the walls and still reflect light.
You asked me if I sold my paintings. When I started doing gallery glass, it was for the pure enjoyment of doing artwork for just me. I was specializing in so much work for others that I needed something for myself. To date, I have not sold my paintings because they give me so much joy. Many of the people who have seen my work have told me I should sell and I would, but I’m not exactly sure where I should start.
For me, gallery glass paints are so much more than painted images on glass objects. They have allowed me to paint beautiful glass like landscapes and designs, something I never would have been able to do with cut glass. The paintings look as beautiful today as they did years ago and continue to amaze me especially when the morning light reflects through them."
Can you believe Ellen's incredible artwork? I was blown away. First of all, her amazing skill at leading is readily apparent. These are large pieces--24"x36" and they probably took multiple bottles of leading and several hours of work, just to complete the outline. Her color choices are bold and beautiful. My favorite part of Ellen's technique is the shading. The subtle gradation from dark to light in the flowers--is an advanced technique that is easy to accomplish, but takes forethought and planning. I love that it adds dimensionality to the vibrant whimsical flowers. Imagine how two sidelights done in a variation of this design, could add drama to a dark entry hall. She appears to be a master at the "sampler" type project, but don't think that's all she does. Look at the large lighthouse--another sterling example of her versatility. Amazing. Ellen, you've stolen my heart. You are my new "favorite" Gallery Glass Crafter.