Art Galleries

Debby Gwaltney

artwork by debby gwaltney

I was born to be an artist. The first time my folks dragged me kicking and screaming to my very first art festival as a young child, I saw the incredible variety of works that were created with glass, and I was instantly mesmerized. Since then I have always wanted to work with glass, but in what form? No answer ever really came to me. Then, eventually, I found a passion in doing beadwork. This led to buying beads. Buying beads led to discovering handmade glass beads. It seemed perfectly natural for me to blend my two loves into one art form: making glass beads. I love to make small, delicate pieces of art that can be worn close to the body. I think of my art as an intimate connection; it carries a piece of my spiritual energy that connects with the energy of the person who wears it. It is the perfect creative expression for me. I don't worry about where my art will take me, because I know the journey will be full of happy surprises, disappointments, roadblocks, and breakthroughs. When I'm working, I am able to completely lose myself in the work. Lampworking is my path into a fantasy world where I can be anything I want, anywhere I want-and that comes through in the glass. The glass constantly challenges me to keep discovering more ways to play and dance with it. I firmly believe that art comes from the soul. My soul has had the deepest need to create art ever since I was first able to pick up a crayon and color on paper. I need to make art as much as I need to eat, breathe, and sleep. Art is my inner fire and is the essence of my being.

I begin a piece by thinking of a design and a shape, and then choosing the colors. Sometimes I go out to the studio with a plan, sometimes I throw that plan out the window once the torch is lit and just hang a right on the next tangent. Those are often the most fun, and most rewarding, times. I love exploring just one aspect of a technique and trying it out in many different ways. I'll have an idea what I want, but the final result will be something completely different yet just as exciting, if not more. I do not have just one favorite color. I love ALL of the colors of the rainbow simply because I love the different relationships the colors have with each other; I rarely choose to use just one or two colors in my work. I also prefer subjects found in nature. God gave us all of these beautiful things to experience and enjoy. The earth is one giant toy box for all of us to sense, taste, smell, touch, and see. I enjoy creating art that connects with that force. God, followed by anyone with vision and creative spirit and the passion and the confidence to do what they want to do, mostly inspires me. Every artist is different in their own way, with a different set of skills and techniques, so I do not worry about how different my art is from others simply because I know that it is. I love to learn and discover new techniques, and so the journey along the way is so much more important to me than the actual destination.

Gallery of Images

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