Thessaloniki, Greece

My husband and I had a great one week visit to Thessaloniki, Greece where our daughter Delaney is spending her first semester of college. We split our time between the city and outlying towns. Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece situated on the Thermaic Gulf of the Aegean Sea. November is off season which proved to be the perfect time to see the sights without the summer crowds. Our hotel was right on the water which meant watching beautiful sunsets every night.

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The hotel was also walking distance to many restaurants and markets. The first day we had a food walking tour. We were able to taste the local foods and learn about the area while walking through Aristotle Square and the open air markets.

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A fun alleyway with sculptures overhead and lots of bird cages.

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I snapped a photo of this old guy in the antique row. I just thought he was adorable. I didn’t inquire but I guess he would have sold me anything I wanted out of the room behind him. The graffiti was compliments of the Greek youth and was everywhere. I know, I’ve been known to say I like graffiti but I’ve kind of changed my mind. When I say it was everywhere there was no part of the city spared and it was not pretty.

 

We took a train to Meteora to see the monasteries built on top of the rocky hills. It was spectacular and well worth the long train ride there. We stayed overnight which meant we had a sunset tour the first night and a morning tour the next day. Both were beautiful.

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On our last day there we hired a guide to take us hiking on Mt Olympus. Delaney joined us even though she was a wee bit tired from her all night escapades in the clubs that stay open until 7 am. The mountain was beautiful, the air was so fresh. The hike was challenging because you were either going straight up or straight down.

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The mountain wasn’t really purple like my cell phone shots made it look. It was light gray actually. It was crazy beautiful though.

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We ate lunch on a plateau and talked to our guide about the Syrian refugee crisis. It was so interesting to hear stories from someone who has actually encountered and housed refugees. She told us the family she housed had spent the winter on the Turkey border living in tents. She said they are just like us. Normal people trying to keep their families together and find a safe place to live.

New Painting Video

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I just finished editing a new time-lapse painting video of my painting Earthly. Sometimes I set up the camera and film my pours but it usually takes me months to get around to editing. I love watching them when it’s all said and done. Weeks worth of work colapsed into 6 minutes.

The painting is 36 x 60 inches on stretched and primed canvas and currently on view in my show Fluent at the Mezzanine Gallery in the Carvel State Office Building, Wilmington, DE.

Mezzanine Gallery, Wilmington, DE

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You are invited to my upcoming exhibition at the Mezzanine Gallery in Wilmington, DE. The opening reception is Friday, November 4th, 5-7 pm.

I am a recipient of a fellowship in Painting through the Delaware Division of the Arts. I was interviewed by Christopher Yasiejko and here’s an except of his article:

Linda Celestian’s love of water harkens to her childhood, when her father owned a 31-foot Richardson boat. They had a spot on a marina near her grandparents’ summer home. During her father’s annual two-week summer vacation, the family of five — Celestian has two sisters — would trace the Finger Lakes of Central New York on a boat whose dining room table converted into a bed.

That half-dozen years of summers spent afloat, Celestian learned to pay attention to the nature that surrounds her. As a full-time artist (and part-time art teacher) who’s been painting for 30 years, all of her senses inform her work.

You can read the article in it’s entirety here.

My paintings and works on glass will be displayed for the month of November. Here’s a video sneak peek of what I’ll be showing.

I wasn’t sure if it would be overkill to show some of my silk sculptures with paintings and glass but I think I might sneak a few in.

So I’m off to the studio to finish a fiber piece before my install date. I hope to see some old and new friends at the opening.

Fiber Sculptures

I’m showing some of my fiber sculptures at Highlands Art Garage in Wilmington this month. This space also houses Barrel of Makers and a classroom where I teach. It’s always fun to see the  sculptures in a new space.

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Thanks to everyone who came out on first Friday. If you are still interested in seeing the show stop in on the next 2 Saturdays anytime from 10-2:30 pm. I also have a Felting Workshop happening on Thursday Oct. 20th, 6-9 pm where I’ll be teaching participants how to make a felted coaster and a bowl. you can register online here.

My Time at Corning Museum of Glass

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The 2-week course I took at the Corning Museum of Glass with Denise Stillwaggon Leone was amazing! She was so generous with her time and so patient with us. We had a great class of 6 people along with a wonderful teacher’s assistant Cat Burns to help us along our journey. The journey started by learning a new language. Enamels, frits, sandblasting, hi-fire, low-fire, fusing and cold working were some of the things we were learning. The very first day we learned stage sand blasting and I completed this piece.

thumbnail_img_1152thumbnail_fullsizerender-1I was not completely thrilled with the finished product but I got the concept and could see the possibilities. We were given a 3/4 inch thick piece of glass and I worked on this piece for the next week and a half.

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I finished it literally in the last few minutes of work time we had. First I thought I had ruined the piece by inadvertantly passing the sand blasting nozzle over an area that was supposed to stay untouched. Well mistakes can also be opportunities and this accident opened the door for me to loosen up the piece by giving it a few more gentle passes with the sandblasting nozzle in a few different areas. I would love to have more time to explore the possibilities of this technique the results are so sensual.

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I was sand blasting pretty much every day!

The second day we were instructed to find some things to print. I gathered as many natural elements as I could find outside and another student found me a feather. Thank you Beth for your keen eye. We printed with water based ink and then re-scaled the prints on a copier. After they were printed on a transparency we used a light sensitive film to make a stencil that was stuck to the glass. Then came the sand blasting and like magic the details of the print were engraved into the glass. Here is my first one.

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We were able to fill it with powdered enamel and fire it to give it color. The process is magical and I decided to use the feather in the stack that we eventually worked on. We also photo sand blasted a halftone photograph onto glass. Here’s my mushroom gills, at the top you see the half tone photo printed on a transparency and the bottom image is it sand blasted on glass. It’s photographed with black paper behind it.

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I decided to give it a painterly treatment with silver stain. I wanted it to feel like an old damaged photo.

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We learned some painting techniques as well. Here’s one example.

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Our next project was a piece we called a stack that was going to be 8 layers of glass fused together. I made my own colored glass with fruit which is powder glass that was sifted in layers onto the glass and then fired.

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This is called a frit wafer that is made by sifting powdered glass onto kiln shelf paper. After firing, it can be layered into the stack.

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This is how they looked before they were stacked and fired.

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Here’s my finished stack. feather-fused-glass-1920

I learned a lot working on this piece. With the time we had left I worked on a few other pieces using my own photographs and continuing the nature theme.

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I’ll be showing some of these pieces at my up-coming show in November at the Mezzanine Gallery , in the Carvel State Office Building in Wilmington, DE. This amazing opportunity was made possible through a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts.

 

Inspiring Artist / Mary Fischer

Whenever I’m in Philly I try to get to the Snyderman – Works Galleries on 303 Cherry Street in Old City. I somehow missed their fiber show, what a shame. I did come upon some ceramic works by Mary Fischer that were captivating. She makes these beautiful little structures with glazed wonky line work on all the joints and other details that make them look like drawings. I love how she makes 3 dimensional objects read as little sketches from an artist’s sketchbook. It’s probably a lot of work to make things not square but have them meet up just right so they hold together. These pieces are  included in the show called Edifice that is up through May 11th.

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