((L-R) Tuxedo, Fall Joy and Sunflower Fields by Cheryl Chapman)
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, California. 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 of all kinds 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 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, trees and flowers 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. Cheryl divides her time between painting, spending time with her animals and family, working around their three-acre property and camping around the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
You can find Cheryl’s glass art locally at the Silver Sage Trading Co. (the High Desert Museum gift shop) and at the Artists’ Gallery in Sunriver. She also shows her work at The Perfect Piece Gallery & Gifts in Lake Oswego, Oregon and Seattle Glassblowing Studio in Seattle, Washington.