I am a glass enamel artist. I use finely powdered glass enamels mixed with water based or oil based mediums to paint onto glass. The majority of my paintings are done in a reverse process onto the back of clear glass. Each piece is fired multiple times in the kiln to cure the enamels as well as to change the glass, rounding it and forming it to the final product. I feel that the clear glass is simply a unique substructure for my artwork and allows my paintings to become more than just drawings – they become unique and one of a kind tiles, bowls and plates - functional art in most cases
My art imagery is influenced by nature and whimsy. I constantly feel the need to express the fun and beauty I see around me. I love to include all sorts of animals in my work, mostly focusing on birds, dogs and cats. Owls are a particular draw for me as well as other backyard birds. Feathers, trees and flowers are also prominent in my drawings.
I draw my ideas in a way that is unique to the final outcome of my glass paintings. The techniques that I employ for my enamel painting on glass are unique to this medium and so my drawings are more than just sketches – they are specific and detailed renderings of what I will trace onto the glass. My work does not hold some other-worldly meaning to me. It is simply a way to express my love of nature, fun and animals and I hope it puts a smile on your face.
Cheryl Chapman - Glass Artist
Cheryl Chapman’s artistic and animal loving journey began in the 1960’s in Middletown, Connecticut when she was born to a scientist father and an artsy-craftsy mother. These seemingly differing points of parental influence can be seen in her glass painting style and subject matter.
Cheryl has developed a unique process and style of painting that conveys the tight, concise lines you might expect of a scientist and the color, whimsy and fun of all things artsy.
Cheryl moved with her family to California when she was 14 years old and started high school in Fountain Valley, CA. She was very fortunate to meet her lifetime love, Mark, while in high school and the two married in 1989.
After completing a bachelor's degree in psychology at CSULB in 1990, Cheryl found herself working as a counselor in a group home for abused and neglected children. At the same time, her husband was a new police officer and they were building their lives together. She found her career choice to be very rewarding, but also stressful.
Cheryl took advantage of a stained glass class that was being offered at the local junior college. Very shortly she realized that glass work was what she wanted to be doing with her mind and hands. She immediately began designing and building her own stained glass windows and soon quit her counseling career to start a new one in the art glass field.
This was in the early 1990's and fused glass was just beginning to be popular in the art glass world. Cheryl was fortunate enough to have a sponsor who sent her to a glass fusing class to learn glass fusing and slumping. She continued to practice her art glass skills with design, shape and color throughout the years. She had her own small art business selling at local art and craft shows as well as designing, building and installing stained glass windows for private clients throughout Southern California.
In 2006 there came the opportunity for an important change in the Chapman’s lives. Cheryl’s husband retired from his police sergeant position and they moved to the wonderful mountain community of Crestline, CA. Here Cheryl joined the local artist’s network and started mingling and becoming friends with artists of many differing mediums. This sparked an interest in painting, and more specifically, painting on glass.
After some research, Cheryl purchased a set of glass enamels and began painting on glass. Online courses, books and studies of other painters have brought her to the development of a unique style of reverse glass painting.
Cheryl employs techniques of traditional glass painting such as the “grisaille” technique of creating shadowing and texture and combines it with the addition of opaque high fire glass enamels and glass “frit” for color. She starts with drawings that are embellished with a bit of whimsy and then begins the painting and firing process which can take as many as six turns in the kiln to produce the final piece.
Animals, especially birds and owls take precedence in Cheryl’s work. The scenery found around her current home in central Oregon has been a tremendous influence in the development of her subject matter. She enjoys detailing the close up and even sometimes partial view of an animal’s face or head.
Working small is one of Cheryl’s trademarks, but that has not stopped her from also completing some very large glass and wood totem poles. Cheryl has recently completed a 10 foot, a 7 foot and a 5 foot totem pole that have each been installed around the Lake Arrowhead, CA area.
She enjoys creating pieces of art that convey realism mixed with a splash of whimsy. Cheryl currently divides her time between painting, spending time with her animals and husband and traveling. The Chapman's recently relocated to La Pine in central Oregon and look forward to what will inspire more art in this beautiful community.