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New windows at St. Pauls Episcopal Church/ Chapel
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 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2012 11:52 am
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plstudio
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Just wanted to give a shout out to Mary Clerkins Higgins and the stunning and cheerful windows completed for St. Pauls Episcopal Church/ Chapel. I was able to see them this morning, they are really wonderful!



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2012 01:25 pm
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Judy K
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Congratulations Mary



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2012 06:05 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Thank you Betti and Judy!  The eight windows were designed by the great Rowan LeCompte.  I then did the full-size cartoons, glass selection, painting, and installation.  Rowan was there for the dedication and was very pleased with them all.  He is now finishing up the sketch for the first of the three large clerestory windows in the chapel.  By the way, today is his 87th birthday!  I'm attaching photos of four of the eight 6 foot windows. Best, Mary                                 First Attachment

 

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#5 copy.jpg



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2012 06:06 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Second Attachment

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#6 copy.jpg



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2012 06:07 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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#7 copy.jpg



 Posted: Sat Mar 17th, 2012 06:08 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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#8 copy.jpg



 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2012 08:13 am
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Don Burt
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Amazing. I spend so much effort trying to eliminate the lead line. These windows celebrate and emphasize it.

The handling of the border paint, in several of them such that the pieces look chunky and irregular despite being fairly smooth leadwork....works beautifully and should be considered a stolen technique, now that its revealed to me.

I'm wondering how the church ever approved the non-liturgical themes, without demanding some text banner or iconographical reference. Certainly wouldn't need it from my point of view, but I'm not a card carrying Episcopalian.

Thank you for posting Mary.



 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2012 09:09 am
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plstudio
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Article in the Winston Salem Journal this morning. Mary, I will save the hard copy article for you and send: Congrats!

http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2012/mar/18/wsmet01-stained-glass-windows-make-church-a-great--ar-2055149/



 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2012 12:08 pm
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Judy K
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I agree with everything Don said.

Thank you so much for showing us these windows . They are so happy. I love Rowan's idea of flowers. It makes you feel like you have returned to the Garden of Eden.

The thick and thin lines and the off set leads give it movement.

I am in awe of you doing 8 windows this size in 1 year. I am struggling to build 2 in 2 years.

Absolutely Fun windows. Tell Rowan for us. And tell him Happy Birthday.



 Posted: Mon Mar 19th, 2012 11:57 am
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Thanks, Don and Judy. It was a lot of fun. I spent a good deal of time translating each sketch into a full-size cartoon (using Photoshop) - did a lot of research on flowers since the sketches only suggested them and spent weeks on each doing the color selection and painting. It really was a collaboration - I tried to stay true to Rowan's vision but had to follow my own instincts to reach the final destination.

I'm looking forward to the large one coming up next. For one thing, the chapel needs to have the three large upper windows in place so the windows below will receive less light bouncing off their fronts - they'll glow more then.

Don, I liked your point of celebrating the lead line. I've always thought it was an asset, rather than a problem. The black paint here - and this is a technique that Rowan has used to great effect and I have learned from him - helps to separate the colors and the windows to glow, and allows very spontaneous painting - though of course, the basic plan was mapped out in Photoshop. Happy to have your feedback!

Best, Mary



 Posted: Mon Mar 19th, 2012 05:42 pm
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Judy K
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I love the pink tree. May we see a photo of the weeping willow in the article?



 Posted: Tue Mar 20th, 2012 03:16 pm
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Ellen 1
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Don and all,

 

You noticed Mary's important use of he lead line. A long time ago she counseled me to REALLY use it artistically - "it's part of the process" and that affected my work positively,

 

Ellen



 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2012 09:44 am
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Tod
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I’m a little confused. Folks are talking about celebrating the lead line, but the pictures seem to show the lead lines being completely disguised and obliterated. Maybe a photo of reflected light would better show the effect that I’m not seeing?

I do agree wholeheartedly with Don about the effect of the borders; I like that, too, and will probably consider stealing the idea as well.

I’m not saying I don’t like the windows, just that I don’t understand the terminology, I guess. I love the very few of Rowan’s windows I have seen (he needs a book) and have had the extraordinary good fortune to have met him at two conferences. All in all, a nice job and I’m grateful to Mary for posting the photos.
- Tod



 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2012 12:23 pm
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scott ouderkirk studios
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Mary,
Really nice job overall. The technique you're using is seen so often in older work but done so well that it is hard to understand until someone points it out. I've been trying to use more of it in my work but have found it hard to master. I used to paint each piece separately on a light table, now I paint them together "waxed up" on a glass easel. I think for me this is the key to better understanding glass painting in this way.

We don't emphasis enough with beginners that great color will not save a bad lead line drawing. Especially in unpainted glass work, the lead lines are going to show so they'd better be right. Many people start out with patterns books full of bad examples of lead line drawings. No wonder they end up with their originals looking the same way.

Looking forward to Pittsburgh!
Scott



 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2012 01:10 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Hi All,

You're right, the leadline here is hidden by the paint lines. I guess a better way to put it is - to not be unnerved by the blackness of the leadline and to embrace it to whatever extent works for you.  I have found that adding even more black works for me (then I can have fun with the borders). That opaque line rimming every color or tint is not found in other mediums and it can seem like an obstacle, but how have successful artists dealt with it? They've understood it's an asset to be exploited.  

It's difficult if one's style relies primarily on realistic painting.  It's been pointed out time and again that some stylization is an asset in stained glass.  What is often lost is that artists must always hit their mark, no matter what they're trying to do.  Abstract paintings work because they find the core "truth" of what is being abstracted.  But, a good bit of abstract art - and abstract stained glass - misses that point by a mile, there's no core and it's just a mishmash of lines and color.  

The leadline can be used to add rhythm and energy to a composition and be a beautiful calligraphic element, even when it's simple.  I also always wax up panels, even small ones, so I can see if the color is working, if the painting is working from different distances, etc.  

By the way, about Rowan, my husband and I have started interviewing him with the idea of writing a book on his life and work.  We hope to interview his contemporaries as well, to present a larger picture of the field, and we welcome stories, observations and reactions to Rowan's work from everyone. I'll start another thread for that soon.  

Best, Mary



 Posted: Tue Mar 27th, 2012 01:31 pm
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Courage
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Mary your windows are spectacular. I love the flowers and your use of color. They are beautiful on line and they must be even more lovely in situ with their own lighting. What a collaboration of talent!



 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2012 09:24 am
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Tod
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I, too, really enjoy the flowers, especially how they all face us as if giving and expecting full attention. - Tod



 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2012 01:27 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Thanks so much for your comments! I finally had a chance to look through my images of windows 1-4, so I'll post them now.  Best, Mary

Window #1

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Window #1 copy.jpg



 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2012 01:28 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Window #2

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Window #2 copy.jpg



 Posted: Wed Mar 28th, 2012 01:29 pm
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Mary Clerkin Higgins
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Window #3

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