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Stained Glass Studies

"Peony Square", acrylic painting by Athena Cooper

In late 2013 I began painting studies of Louis Comfort Tiffany lamps and other glass works. I was fascinated by the intense colour of these pieces and the way the light interacted with the glass. I wanted to see if this look could be replicated in acrylic paint, so that it would appear as if light were shining through the “glass” of the painting.

This led to a series of painted studies that have taught me a great deal over the years. I’ve learned that Tiffany stained glass’ beauty lies in the imperfections that were created in the glass to generate that riot of colour. Also, for the brilliance to shine through, there needs to be a balance of greys, browns and other muddy colours.

I have since taken the lessons learned through these studies and applied them to the works I am creating now of everyday scenes that glow like stained glass windows.

Still, every so often, I’ll return to doing another examination of Tiffany glass art. I find these pieces to be very relaxing to create—like taking a warm bath in pure colour.

"Peacock", acrylic painting by Athena Cooper
"Trumpet Flower Lamp", stained glass inspired acrylic painting