Glass is light. That is its allure, and it never ceases to fascinate me. It can be subtle; it can be bold. It can be a few discreet frequencies; it can be a rainbow of color. All are inherently beautiful, and the possibilities are limitless.
My focus, presently, is to combine this remarkable quality of light with my perspective and long experience as a watercolor painter. The resulting work I categorize collectively as Light Paintings. These can be functional objects, but most are display pieces to better capture the light, which is ever changing. Thus, the pieces, themselves, change. As you will appreciate, this quality of light is elusive and impossible to capture in a photograph; the work should be seen firsthand. To give some indication of the variation, in the examples that follow I have included two photos of the same piece: one mostly backlit, and the other with more front illumination.
You may note from the examples, the style that I favor derives from natural forms. The compositions in glass are meant to reflect their organic origins, but they are ordered according to an aesthetic judgment that endeavors to balance free flow and movement with complex rhythmic relationships that rely on form, color and value. To achieve this effect in glass is relatively labor-intensive and demanding – more so, say, than geometric or repeated patterns. Further, I take the approach that each individual piece of glass should be pleasing unto itself, as well as performing its role in the composite work.
The method of fabrication I utilize is copper foil and solder. This, I believe, is a more subtle and delicate technique than using lead came. It is also less likely to stretch and sag. Finished panels are securely soldered to channeled zinc frames. This both protects and stabilizes the work, and it simplifies the process of installation.
Aside from a few of the clear “cathedrals”, I generally prefer to use handmade glass. My primary source is Youghiogheny Glass, made in Connellsville, Pennsylvania. I admire the consistently exceptional beauty of this glass as well as the range and diversity of available styles. Since it is near to hand, there is the additional advantage that I am able to select individual sheets consistent with the needs of the project.
I do very little stained glass work “on spec”, since this work is expensive and time-consuming to execute, nor does a pre-made piece often suit a client’s needs. As such, my stained glass pieces are usually site-specific and by commission. I endeavor to create a design that reflects the client’s tastes, desires and interests. In this respect, it is a collaborative effort and will be unique to the application for which it is intended. In short, I mean for it to be a singular work of art, meaningful to those who will live with it – not merely a decorative craft project.
I am prepared to undertake commissions of diverse scale and subject, assuming we are agreed that my style is appropriate. There is one caveat, however: individual panels may not exceed a total surface area of more than 6 or 7 square feet, since I do not believe that larger panels are sufficiently stable without external support. For spaces that exceed this limitation, I would recommend multiple panels that are, nonetheless, integral.
Pricing of stained glass is by surface area and will vary somewhat according to complexity and difficulty. Most will fall within the range of $1,000 to $1,300 per square foot. This price includes the design (which is, of course, subject to the client’s approval), materials and execution. It does not include installation or shipping costs, should they be required.
Once the design is approved, I request an initial payment of about one third the agreed price. This will cover the design, materials and the early phases of the work. Thereafter, payment is usually made in pro-rated monthly installments as the work proceeds. Clients are invited and encouraged to view the project in progress. This ensures that we remain “on the same page.”
Following are images of paintings in watercolor selected from a considerably larger body of work. These represent a fair cross-section of subjects and themes that I have explored in recent years.
Characteristically, the imagery and iconography of these paintings reflect the sacred traditions of the Earth, both past and present, and, by extension, they reflect on the sacredness and proliferation of life beyond the sphere of this one small planet. They are landscapes of the nearly familiar, meant to evoke recognition and resonance in the province of the viewer’s inner vision. Above all, they celebrate life and love and the sharing of these gifts.
The images on this site are available as Giclee prints on archival paper. Most of the original paintings were executed on either full sheet (22 x 30 inches) watercolor paper or slightly over half sheet. They can be provided to the original scale, or they can be sized to the customer’s specifications. Each edition is limited to 250 prints. For pricing and to discuss options, please contact World West Galleries, under the management of Peter and Robin West, Washington, Pennsylvania, www.worldwestgalleries.com.
Most of the original paintings have been sold, but a few remain available. Again, inquiries may be directed to World West Galleries.
In the gardener’s heart are reverence for life and the desire for beauty, growth and fruitfulness. The gardener brings his will, labor and resources to bear upon the landscape to fulfill that vision and desire, but he also knows that his will alone is not supreme: that Nature will have her way and in her own time. Thus the gardener seeks balance and learns patience. He comes to an understanding with his partner, the natural world of which he is also a part. It is a dance in which the phrases and tempi are ever-changing.
Landscape by design is an expression of this partnership. Ultimately, it is about habitat management: the amending of the environment where we live or work in a way that is congenial both to our needs and desires as well as to the natural order that was in place prior to our intervention. To deal with it well requires sensitivity, knowledge, attention to detail and a certain level of artistry. At least that is my point of view. To preserve it will demand diligence over the long run and the application of energy and resources, in both material and time. If you are in agreement with this basic premise, then we have a starting place and may proceed.
The principal service that I am able to provide in this regard is landscape design. Generally, I prepare a detailed plan that follows a site survey and dialogue with the clients, by which I ascertain their wishes and discuss potential options. The plan is accompanied by a planting list and printed remarks/instructions applicable to that particular project. It is augmented by follow-up clarification and advice as the work unfolds. I no longer offer an installation service, but I can help to manage it, either directly or by referral, as the clients require.
I view good garden design as an art form. As such, I suppose it would be fair to say that I have a certain “style”, as I do in other media. I am not limited, however, to a particular genre. Having lived (and gardened) in the United Kingdom for some years, a British approach to gardening influences my work. I also greatly admire Asian gardens, especially those of Japan. I take the view that a good and “user friendly” landscape should be more than just the ubiquitous deck and a few trees, shrubs and flowers. It might (and usually should) contain other elements that contribute to its compositional form and flesh out its bones. These could include structures, such as summer houses, pergolas and gazebos, stone, natural or worked, and certainly water in some form: real or suggested, subtle or grand. There should be a “surprise” or two, as well. Above all, the garden should be useful and a welcoming place of peace, beauty and repose. The photos that follow, though by no means comprehensive, may serve to illustrate my intent regarding these matters.
Most of the commissions I undertake are for private residences. I have, however, designed landscapes for corporate and commercial properties as well as a state museum. As an alternative to generating a plan, I am also available for consultation. The fee for these services is $80 per hour plus any expense incurred.