Archive | stained glass, art and pet portraiture RSS feed for this section

Designed by Berni

30 Jul

A very good friend of mine keeps telling me to take credit where its due and to shout from the roof tops that I design stained glass windows.  She tells me now is the time because this latest design of mine was recently officially unveiled by HRH Prince Charles and its a blooming masterpiece!

Community Stained glass Project – Welsh Legends themed window at Myddfai Hall

HRH Prince Charles unveiling our window on 9th July 2017

 

stained glass window, mabinopion, welsh legends, physicians of myddfai

the finalised design for the 3 panels making up the window

She is right of course. (because she is very wise).  This window is the culmination of six months work, created through a most wonderful community project in Myddfai Hall, Brecon Beacons.  I had the honour of designing it.  Pulling together the ideas from those engaging in the project and translating those ideas into this image and then scaling it up and selecting the appropriate glass to make their imaginings a reality.

It’s hard to put into words the joy, pride and sense of achievement this project brough not only to me and the co-teacher, Lesley Griffiths (if you ever need a bespoke table or lamp, she’s your woman) but also to every one of the 30 members of the community who took part.  I think I should leave it to them to articulate our joint achievement

 

If you are looking for a bespoke stained glass panel, window or sun catcher then get in touch, I am happy to do design and scaling up only; design, and make; or design and teach you to make it!!  No obligation quotes.  Pricing depends on size and complexity of design.  If you have a budget in mind I will happily let you know if your dream piece is possible within it!

I work from my home studio in our B&B in the Heart of Wales  Berni Benton, Pink Butterfly Art and Glass at Cerdyn Villa

email: pinkbutterfly@cerdynvilla.co.uk

 

 

Lesley and I with the panel we gifted designed, made and gifted to The Prince of Wales

 

 

Community Project – completion report

28 Jun

Well, that’s it.  Six months of work and today we polished the panels and have handed them over to our tame glaziers (actually our husbands/handymen/builders) to install them in the space provided.   Yes there is still the official VIP unveiling to attend; the media coverage and photos from that to exclaim over; and most exciting the grand unveiling to our family, friends and peers at an afternoon celebration.  But today marks the culmination of an idea that began as a seed over a year ago, when the possibility of a grant to fund a project was first discussed.

Then the planning, costing, being on the periphery of providing information for the bid writing; not really expecting it to come to fruition.  Then the announcement that the project would run: the time-tabling, the advertising, the organising; again I was on the periphery dropping in my two pennies worth on occasion but largely uninvolved in the process.

Then the reality; the first class on 4th january 2017; the teaching; the design planning; the drawing; the design approval; scaling up; creating templates; chosing and ordering glass

And now here we are. Window complete. How do i feel?…  Pretty damned emotional actually…..

Privileged, to have been part of such a great community project; to have been entrusted with the design and been afforded the opportunity to teach

Inspired, by the stories, and achievements of those who attended and the personal growth they each have felt

Proud, of the 27 people I have co-taught, who have developed and achieved so much;  some who have chosen to stay since the beginning and others who have joined more recently

Joy, at the friendships formed; the community engagement achieved; the memories made and the legacy we have created

Touched; by the gratitude of those we have taught

Exhilarated, by the finished product and the reaction of students, community members and visitors alike throughout the weeks

Positive, about my skills and abilities and what I am capable of creativity in the future

Nervous, that the installation is yet to happen and anything could happen

Tearful, as it comes to an end….

…and a little flat, after all the go, go, go.

But mostly I feel exuberant, in the knowledge that this community project has achieved so much… that it has proved to be far more than the sum of its parts.

What we have as a group produced will continue to be admired, and inspire long after today; and I don’t just mean the 2.5m by 1.5m semi circular, glass window depicting Welsh Legend and local imagery.

There are strong and true friendships that have developed; there are talents that have been uncovered and will continue to develop; micro-businesses that might emerge; there is a whole new community craft group been formed; new goals have been set; new plans have been made; horizons have been expanded; confidences have been built…..

What an inspirational bunch of people.

thank you all xxxx

mid way progress report

its more than just a community class

 

 

 

 

Community Project – progress report

3 May

A few weeks ago I wrote about this amazing community stained glass project I’m helping to run:-

https://rosetintedramblings.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/its-more-than-just-a-communuty-class/

It’s now the end of our 3rd six-week block and there is only one more block to go. We’re all excited at the pace of the project but also sad at the thought it will soon be over.

This is where we are now:-

Community Stained Glass Project – progress at week 18

However, like I said before, its more than just a community class.  Friendships have blossomed; confidence has been built; laughter has filled the air; stresses have been relaxed; bonds have been forged; support has been shared.

Our first group consisted of 14 people, 2 left due to commitment at the day of the first block and 8 more joined for the second.  So by week seven we had 20.  Only 1 left after that, 4 more joined. We are now 23.  Next week we start our final block. I think we will be 26 plus us teachers. Eleven of these ladies have been with us since the beginning of January.

Many have taken up stained glass as a long-term hobby.  Several have gone as far as finding a spare room in their home and buying all the kit.  So who knows, as well as new skills and new hobbies, possibly even new livelihoods,

As a group we have shared our strengths and supported each other through weaknesses and doubt.  We have recognised and enjoyed new friendships, formulated new working associations; started new voluntary and community projects for after this one; a social project is developing as a result; business opportunities have come through our networking.

Myddfai Hall gains from the regular custom; we generally have dinner together after class. Visitors to the centre have been delighted and astounded by the achievements to date.  Photos have been taken and word has spread (possible across continents!).  Many visitors want to return to see it in situ.  This project is strengthening Myddfai’s reputation as an enterprising, cohesive and supportive community. Its impact in its location in the Brecon Beacon, far outways its size (population c300),  This is a village that has worked together to create a community and has created a strength, a business and an extended family as a result.  It is truly a cohesive and loving community.

The enthusiasm for the class is such that most arrive much earlier than the official start time to ‘get going’ and many don’t leave until way after the official finish.  Pretty much everyone has taken something home to work on.  Everyone has made enormous progress and managed to make several pieces for themselves (or their friends and family).

It has become a social club that participants anticipate with delight each week.  They want it to continue after the project is done.  That’s fantastic news,. I guess will have to come up with a plan to carry on just for fun……

 

It’s more than just a communuty class

30 Mar

I have been lucky enough to have been asked to be the designer/co-teacher at a community stained glass project that began at the very beginning of 2017.

It’s a wonderful, energising and exciting project funded by Brecon Beacons National Park Sustainable Development Fund.   Fitting into the Year of Welsh Legends, the project is to create a large stained glass window for Myddfai Hall to reflect the legends of Wales and the surrounding area to Myddfai, Carmarthenshire.  See that big semi-circular window on the second floor? Its going there

Four groups of six weeks.  Two and a half hours a week.  Subsidised classes teaching members of the community stained glass skills and then engaging them in the design and creation of, what is sure to be, a spectacular piece of Welsh art.

The ‘pupils’ learn the skills they need and are able to make their own glass designs as well as being part of the making of the big window.

The first six weeks we had fourteen people and they put forward their ideas they felt should be incorporated.  We reviewed the Mabinogion for imagery and ideas.  Some people drew others wrote down ideas, some printed off images they felt should be conveyed.  With all ideas of these first fourteen I was tasked with creating an image that would translate into glass and convey all the aspects of Welsh Legend and Myddfai history the group felt pertinent.  An amazing challenge and honour for me.

stained glass window, mabinopion, welsh legends, physicians of myddfai

the finalised design for the 3 panels making up the window

By week seven, the beginning of the second course, ten of the original fourteen remained, joined by another six.  The cutting of the panel began alongside the teaching of the beginners and development of the ‘experienced’..  By week thirteen, which is where we are now, the beginning of the third course, everyone stayed on and we have been joined by four more.

the first course and some beautiful first pieces of stained glass

Progress on the panel is amazing.  But more than that.  We have developed a community.  These talented individuals generally arrive early because they are now all friends and want to meet for coffee first or start on our or their projects asap.  They reluctantly pack up to leave at the end, we often run on.  They stay on after to have lunch together.  They’re all friends on social media… and in ‘real’ life.  They communicate and meet outside the classes.  They share their joys and pains; encourage each other and bring each other joy.

Plus they are all so proud (quite rightly) of their individual achievements and their involvement in this fantastic piece of art that they want to take pieces home to progress the project more quickly.  They positively glow.

As one of their ‘teachers’ I find so much joy and pride in watching their joy and seeing their confidence develop.  I too have new friends as a result.

The classes are a delight indeed.  They’re filled with energy chatter and laughter.  The pride in the projects, both individual ones and our group activity, are palpable.  And, when the panels are finally installed, sometime in June 2017, they will be there as a permanent reminder of individual development, teamwork, talent, achievement and friendship.  That moment , when we reveal our ‘masterpiece’ will be…… indescribable… when we get their though, i will try my best ….

Progress so far – end of week 13… copper foiling, a bit of leading and even a bit of soldering… really taking shape

Mummy in a Tutu

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

My Random Musings
Diary of An Imperfect Mum

Focus, Aspire, Inspire

23 Feb

I have been inspired, as I often am, by certain bloggers I follow.  This time my muse is Debbie of My Random Musings.

As I flutter around in random formation, flitting from this project to that; this passion to that; this idea to that; this demand on my time to that; I get through my days,week and months in a blink of an eye.  Completing a lot of stuff; dipping my toes in many a pond and having a great deal of fun but it all kinds of floats around in a mishmash of activity without borders, direction or guidelines.

That’s all very well.  A nice, jolly, unfocused existence, guided by optimism and chance, but I really would like to look back on a year without being completely surprised by how I got from January to Christmas and the circuitous route I took to get there.

I’m not saying I don’t love the surprised.  I do.  That’s the problem.  I enjoy the freedom of it a little too much.  Sometimes to the point that at any point in the year I’m not really sure what sort of ground I might find under each footstep.  More importantly I’m not moving forward.  I’m treading the beautiful waters in which I wallow and am allowing myself to enjoy things as they float by; maybe latching onto them for stability for a few moments; but never really reeling myself in.

I’d like to be able to say my starting point was A by goals were B,C and D with a few distractions via M,Q and W, but I made it to D by the end of an allotted time.  I’d like to measure my achievements as well as list them.

So *deep breath* I’m taking Debbie’s advice and starting with a bucket list:

1.TWITTER – I’d love to have over 500 followers before the end of the year, a small hop rather than a leap  – in my mind I already know I really want 1000 but let’s be realistic about these things. This is me

2. ALSO TWITTER – I need to find help and learn how to use it more effectively – I love talking politics, parenting, art, religion, tourism – I don’t want to focus on one topic – I love to RAMBLE and REACT and REFLECT as he mood takes me and the words grab me but I must more effectively access the right people for each topic otherwise I am aware I may bore, or worse, annoy my followers

3.BLOGGING – again I want to ramble randomly so I’m aware I need to be smarter with my tags/metatags/linky’s/sharing . Again I need advice .  I can find lots of blog share site but I’m not interested in fashion, cosmetics, hair and makeup and I’m in the UK… I need to find other companions  – as fun as some of those I follow are – I need more of the random eccentrics out there.  I won’t put a link as you’re already here but feel free to have a look round if you can make it to the end of this post 😉

4.ALSO BLOGGING – I need to set a goal for ‘followers’ but I don’t really want followers so much as interactors – I’ll continue writing it even if no-one reads it because sometimes I can’t sleep until I get whatever it is out of my head.  however, it would be lovely to have a few people who felt inspired to discuss my content… Lets say I’ll aim for 36 new followers / contributors in 2017, 20,000 views

5.TEACHING – this is new to me, I’m loving it – teaching stained glass to members of the community as part of a funded Community Project – my goals are to be proud of the finished product, have it installed by the end of summer and to both blog and Vlog the process.  My aim is to obtain another teaching commission for 2018

6.STAINED GLASS ART- let’s get proactive instead of reactive.  Last year I started thinking about Christmas stock mid October – about 3 months too late when I had zero old stock to sell and had to close by order book on 5th Dec because for some reason we decided a holiday before Christmas would be relaxing.  It was.  The run up to it was definitely not.  So. START making Christmas glass in the summer.

7.ALSO STAINED GLASS – I am really really bad at marketing myself, my skills and my ETSY shop (I bet you are thinking ” whoa, she has an Etsy shop?!”) – I looked at my Etsy shop today and all items have expired.  I’ve not been updating my existing ‘made to order’ items or creating any new ones.  Target – never have my shop empty. Create 2 new designs before summer (lets say end July).  Anyway, here’s a link to the shop ..don’t look yet, I’ve written this but I haven’t done it yet, give me a few hours!!

8. ALSO STAINED GLASS – my favourite moment in the artistic process is creating a new design and making it for the first time.  I love most of all the commissioned one-off pieces.  As an artist rather than a commercial maker, the fun and challenge is in the original design and the presentation of it to the individual who asked for it.That said I really need to focus on marketing myself as a designer and maker of one off commissioned glass panels… If I could get 3 more commissions for 2017 I’d be a very happy bunny.

9.BED AND BREAKFAST – Cerdyn Villa is, in my mind small and perfectly formed .  I love that we run it like we are having friends over.  I love that we spend hours talking to our guests over breakfast or sharing our wine/beer in the garden on a rare warm sunny day.  Yes its a business, but mostly its a lifestyle choice.  What I wanted to do last year was to start running weekenders for like-minded people – eg: an artists retreat, a classic car enthusiasts retreat; that sort of thing.  Basically fill our 3 rooms and maybe have 4 or 5 campers come along – welcome drinks evening around a bonfire, breakfast together, some form of group activity, an evening meal together, possibly everyone heading to the local pub together for a pint, some other activity and away they go – fulfilled, enlightened and loving our home and this little village. My target is to run a first one in 2017…In September *better warn hubby*

10.ART  – as an acrylic artist I am again pretty crap at self promotion.  I would however be very happy to paint 2 more original spacescapes to add to my series and arrange for them to be exhibited somewhere before Christmas.  I’m not a mass creator of sellable art I just want to follow my passion and paint these for me – but be brave enough to put them out there for others to look at.

11.FACEBOOK.  I amalgamated my art page (Pink Butterfly Art & Glass) and our B&B page (Cerdyn Villa B&B into one with a view to create a ‘lifestyle hub’  The page is Pink Butterfly Art & Glass at Cerdyn Villa B&B or @CerdynVilla – I’d love to grow that to 1000 likes.

12.LIFESTYLE HUB – with so many facets to life I set up (with a lot of help from my friend and  mentor, Dinah) a ‘one-stop-shop ‘Lifestyle Hub’ combining my blog, Facebook, B&B website, art and twitter into one place from where everything can be accessed.  I need to make it more visible (how? – ok arrange more time with the gorgeous Dinah – for that but mostly for coffee and cwtches).  Plus I promised I’d start a VLOG... so my target is to set up a VLOG!!!

So there you go.  I shall continue fluttering about randomly rambling my way along but at the same time (yes I do plan to multi task), I shall keep my mind on these goals and moreover I shall report back in January on my success/failure/adaptations to the above.

Wish me luck, I’m going in!

Am I too late for Christmas?!……

15 Nov
Christmas Stained Glass, Robin, Xmas Trees, Holly, Mistletoe, Stars

Some of my more Christmassy glass designs

As an individual, I’m not very good at early planning for Christmas.  Unfortunately this is also true of my ‘business head’.  Until I moved to Wales and got in touch with my ‘creative side’ I played the whole 9-5 game.  As a self-employed Artisan (as I now am)  I really need to start thinking about Christmas at the beginning of October (latest), whereas in my ‘past life’ I refused to consider it until after my birthday (which is 19th November and honestly this post is not a hint for birthday wishes…..)

Anyway, this year I have gotten a little better, I started thinking about it on 8th November (only a month late right?).  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view-point), we actually have a winter sun holiday booked for a week in December pre-Christmas, so my “business window of opportunity” has shrunk at the other end too.  I only made that realisation yesterday as I updated my Etsy shop with Christmas stock.

xmas, chrismas, christmas trr, decorations, baubles, trinkets,

Quirky Christmas Tree Decorations, Suncatchers

Needless to say I’m a rubbish business manager but am an excellent free-spirit and hedonist!!!

I do however have a small window of time in which to offer anyone interested a commissioned stained glass trinket or an item from my collection

I’m currently up in the middle of the night cutting out robins, blue tits and holly.  Ok, to be honest as its so blatantly obvious, I’m blogging about cutting out robins, blue tits and holly, but as soon as I stop typing, I promise you I’ll be right back at it…

Me in Blackpool when I really should have been home cutting glass and things in preparation for Christmas!!

Red Kites over Myddfai

3 Aug

 

The inspiration afforded to us by our exquisite local landscapes is unmeasurable.

My latest project was a commissioned piece for a couple who live in the beautiful village of Myddfai, just fifteen miles from my own home and guesthouse .  The village is tiny but is an attraction for many walkers, herbalists, homeopaths and general tourists; with is quaint and welcoming visitor centre  / cafe / craft shop / wedding venue…

Its success is based on several things other than the obvious, genuine and warm welcome visitors receive

  • its ancient (14th Century) tales based around Lyn-y-Fan Fach about The lady of The Lake
  • its provenance regarding a dynasty of herbalists , the Physicians of Myddfai (11th & 12th century)
  • its royal connections to the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles and Camilla have a home there)
  • its proximity to a fabulous Red Kite Feeding Centre

It was this landscape around Lyn-y-Fan Fach and the red kites that inspired this panel.

20160803_162008[1]

(if you are interested in a commissioned panel or window you can contact me without obligation to discuss….you may be pleasantly surprised at the cost of owning your own bespoke and unique piece of glass art)

 

Work of Art…

12 Nov

still waters

Is it just me or is it possible that we all break so easily?  Today I’m ‘hiding’.

If I ask someone to paint my lounge say its £10 per hour (yeah its great value here in rural Wales) and the job takes 3 days, it’s £240 plus materials – no problem, no quibble.

As an artist, I paint a work of art, it takes the same 3 days.  I procrastinate, deliberate and ruminate over what to price it at.  I can’t charge an hourly rate like my builder? Can I?   How do I value this piece of art?  What would be the ‘market’ rate?

I look at other local artists for inspiration.  I seek out affirmation from friends and family.  I have a bond with this work.  So I think well, I’d quite like it on my own wall. So I think, “how much would I be prepared to charge to let someone else have it on their wall instead”.  I price it.  I rethink, I add a bit; I knock a bit off, I add it back on again.  I ask my artist friends.    If I worked it out hourly I feel it would be ‘unaffordable’ in the local market.  In the end I price it at what I’m prepared to lose it for.

But then a friend wants it.  A friend will ask for ‘mates rates’.  Ok, I think, this is a friend, I ‘should’ do a deal.  So I offer a super special price thinking, its part business/part gift.  Its declined. I’m dejected.  My self-esteem is crushed.   I think  “maybe my work is just not very good'”  .

Or, another scenario, someone simply says, “I’m give you £xxx for it”  I’m offended. dejected.  My self-esteem is crushed.   I think  “maybe my work is just not very good'”  .

I want to hide.  I’m embarrassed by my work. I want to be angry and offended, but I just feel like a fool…….

Is it all crafters/artists who struggle like this, or is it just me?   Are there any other professions suffering from these dilemmas?  What do you do about it?  How do you price your work?

 

Painting a garden

24 Jun
painti g a garden

painting a garden

my garden

my garden

Gardening to me is pretty much approached in the same way as painting.  It’s about blending the colours, curves and form.  It’s about shapes and textures.

The result should be calm, soothing, and warm

The process should be therapeutic, mindful and relaxing

 

Like my paintings, it is multilayered: layer , upon layer, to create depth.. Colours over colours , they’re there but you can’t always see them.  Of course, unlike the painting, the garden reveals its layers with the changing seasons, and the trick (and I’m still working on the ‘tah-dah’ moments) is ensuring a smooth transition a seamless flow of colour and form

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

blend

My aim for this ongoing art project is semi abstract, ‘loose’ style, with the colours mingling, no sharp edges and a gentle flow ….

Here it is right now

it’s getting there….

smile

smile

Tangerine Dreams…

27 Jul
Based on APOD images of Whirlpool Gallaxies - this stained glass window panel was produced for our bathroom as an alternative to obscured glass

Based on APOD images of Whirlpool galaxies – this stained glass window panel was produced for our bathroom as an alternative to obscured glass

Tangerine Dream - Acrylic on Canvas

Tangerine Dream – Acrylic on Canvas

when you stand in our bathroom at night with its curved black ceiling speckled with hundred of fibre optic pinpoints of light; and look down into the shiny black floor tiles, you get the wonderful sensation of floating in space and a weightlessness and clarity from the silence and the sense of infinity all around.

"As we look out from our World the Universe looks back" - acrylic on wood based on the Helix Nebula, a great 'Cosmic Eye' 700 light years away in Aquarius

“As we look out from our World the Universe looks back” – acrylic on wood based on the Helix Nebula, a great ‘Cosmic Eye’ 700 light years away in Aquarius

I imagine for a brief moment the ever-expanding universe with its countless galaxies and unfathomable numbers of stars and planets.

"THere is Beauty All Around; We Simply Have To Open Our Minds To See" - based on the grat nebular in Orion

“There is Beauty All Around; We Simply Have To Open Our Minds To See” – based on the grat nebular in Orion

Then take an introspective look at our small life on our speck  in the infinitely varied and technicoloured, ever-changing, ever evolving universe; and find peace.

This moment in time, the one in which man occupies a little blue and green ball of rock is but a breath in the universal expanse.

"We Shall Never Tame Nature; It Will Not Surrender To Us" - acrylic on wood - A hurricane over the Earth

“We Shall Never Tame Nature; It Will Not Surrender To Us” – acrylic on wood – A hurricane over the Earth

We should cram it full of friendship and joy, it is too short a moment to squander.  After we are gone – I wonder what magic will fill the tiny void our absence will create.

"When Considering the Universe, We ARE But a Speck of Dust" - acrylic on wood based on APOD image by Adam Black of a spiral gallaxy 300 Million light years away in Andromeda

“When Considering the Universe, We ARE But a Speck of Dust” – acrylic on wood based on APOD image by Adam Black of a spiral galaxy 300 Million light years away in Andromeda