Frog legs and Fellowship

This past week I had the extreme good fortune to FINALLY meet up with gifted glass artist extraordinaire and my friend Anne Nye in person for the very first time.  It was definitely a pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming kind of moment when I shared a most memorable meal with her and her delightful husband and partner in crime Richard at Hugo’s Frog Bar & Fish House in Naperville, IL. Not only was there unspeakable fun and fantastic fellowship, but the food was Epic with a capital E!

Anne came in from Omaha, Nebraska to teach Color Theory and Watercolor Technique at Ed Hoy’s in Warenville, IL.  I had carefully weighed the option of taking her amazing class or heading to Omaha with the family for a visit this Summer. As fate would have it, it’s a good thing that I settled on the Omaha option. Our twelve-year-old daughter took a recent fall and herniated a disc in her back. So we have had lots of ongoing doctor and physical therapy visits including two that overlapped with Ann’s class. So we are Omaha bound this summer!

To give the reader some idea of what sparked this friendship, a couple of years back I was just starting out playing around with glass fusing in my wee little microwave kiln (Ha!) when I had the “new to me” idea of including glass in my collage work. Around that time I came across Anne’s website and was absolutely blown away by what I saw. Anne combined her background and love for painting with the bewitching nature of glass in her joy inducing work. She was paving a trail and doing things I simply had not observed anyone doing. I responded to the intrinsic joy that radiated from her work and became an instant fan.

Dream Pilot by Anne Nye - Mixed-media with glass inclusions

Here is the part where I will come off like a crazed internet stalker…I was so, SO excited about seeing what she was doing that I felt an instant prompting on my heart to share a copy of “Higgins: Poetry in Glass” with her.  It’s a true gem of a book that takes a special kind of person with a heart for glass as an art medium, to fully appreciate it’s inspirational qualities. It provides an insightful glimpse into studio life at Higgins Studio when Frances and Michael were very productive at cranking out a respectable and commendable body of work in glass.  After Anne received her gift, I totally freaked out when one of her awesome trees showed up in my mailbox! The rest is history and what I really view as a “God thing” that continues to enrich a growing friendship that I so appreciate.

Speaking of productive studio work, Anne’s body of work is growing as I type this. I’m sure something is currently firing in her kiln because she posts regular pictures of exciting kiln openings on her Facebook page. Check it out! What is hugely impressive as I have gotten to know her better, is to have a clearer understanding of the incredible journey that has influenced her to where she is today. Equally impressive is the fact she is mostly self-taught and fires her work a single time! Amazingly cool…Not only does she have an unquestionable artistic gift and unique vision, but she has to be one of the most focused, disciplined and determined glass artists with a distinct, joyful voice that comes through in vivid color that I have had the privilege to observe. Now I can officially say, the same holds true of the beautiful person behind the work. I can’t wait to see what my friend cooks up next!

“I am an artist and making art is what I do. It’s my profession, and my obsession.” – Anne Nye

A couple great links to articles to read more about Anne’s work:

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Softer-Side-of-Art&id=5212708

http://therealchicagoonline.com/2010/05/06/living-the-dream/

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