I am a glass enamel artist. I use finely powdered glass enamels mixed with water based or oil based mediums to paint onto glass. 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. 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 boxes, tiles, bowls and plates - functional art in most cases
My paintings are a reflection of my love for animals and nature, with a twist of whimsy. I love drawing dogs and cats, but also venture into bears, foxes, hares and so much more.
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 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
My artistic and animal loving journey began in the 1960’s in Middletown, Connecticut when I was born to a scientist father and an artsy-craftsy mother. These seemingly differing points of parental influence can be seen in my glass painting style and subject matter. I have 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.
I moved with my family to California when I was 14 years old and started high school in Fountain Valley, CA. I was very fortunate to meet my lifetime love, Mark, while in high school and we married in 1989.
After completing a bachelor's degree in psychology at CSULB in 1990, I found myself working as a counselor in a group home for abused and neglected children. At the same time, my husband was a new police officer and we were building our lives together. I found my career choice to be very rewarding, but also stressful.
I took advantage of a stained glass class that was being offered at the local junior college. Very shortly I realized that glass work was what I wanted to be doing with my mind and hands. I immediately began designing and building my own stained glass windows and soon quit my 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. I was fortunate enough to have a sponsor who sent me to a glass fusing class to learn glass fusing and slumping. I continued to practice my art glass skills with design, shape and color throughout the years. I had my 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 our lives. My husband retired from his police sergeant position and we moved to the wonderful mountain community of Crestline, CA. Here I 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, I purchased a set of glass enamels and began painting on glass. Online courses, books and studies of other painters have brought me to the development of a unique style of reverse glass painting.
I employ techniques of traditional glass painting such as the “grisaille” technique of creating shadowing and texture and combine it with the addition of opaque high fire glass enamels for detail and color. I start with drawings that are embellished with a bit of whimsy and then begin the painting and firing process which can take as many as five turns in the kiln to produce the final piece.
Animals, especially dogs, cats, foxes and birds take precedence in my work. The scenery found around our current home in central Oregon has been a tremendous influence in the development of my subject matter. I enjoy detailing the close up and even sometimes partial view of an animal’s face or head.
Working small is one of my trademarks, but that has not stopped me from also completing some very large glass and wood totem poles. I recently completed several totem poles that we have installed on our property in our very own "Glass Park".
I enjoy creating pieces of art that convey realism mixed with a splash of whimsy. I currently divide my time between painting, spending time with my animals and husband and traveling. We love living in La Pine in central Oregon and look forward to what will inspire more art in this beautiful community.