International Artist Magazine Finalist

Sheila's mixed media piece "Shattered" was selected as a Finalist in International Artist Magazine's Art Challenge No.102, Abstract/Experimental Art and is publuished in their Issue 118 Dec.2017/Jan.2018



I am a realist painter but often feel the need to step out of my comfort zone by experimenting with different mediums, opening up avenues for expression and meaning. What excites me about experimental art is the fact that I am swimming in unknown waters that force me to be creative and innovative in my approach. It makes me feel like a child at play; however there is nothing accidental about this piece. My reference photo of the shot out car windshield was what I strived to duplicate. The inset imitation diamond gave the piece meaning. I am partial to working in a square format and in this case it allowed me to use one of the cradled boards that George had constructed for me.



My first task was to cut out the bullet hole and grind the wood from behind to give the edge of the hole a thin appearance. After sealing and priming the surface I drew each piece of glass and went over my outlines with black acrylic paint. I began to apply heavy gel medium in small sections at a time using a pallet knife to create each shard of glass and a small flat chisel to shape the edges and clean up the negative space. The entire piece was then painted in detail using acrylic paint with a layer of self leveling clear gel over the shards to give them transparency and shine. Finally, I inserted the diamond in an attached 1” deep black box.



The inspiration for “Shattered” came after my husband George’s sudden death. I saw my life as fragmented pieces of glass and about one year later I came across  a photo that we had taken of a shattered car windshield and I knew that through this image there was a message of hope, for myself and for a world that is suffering and broken. Like diamonds, we are often cut painstakingly with many facets that we might shine with brilliance. Though the process is often excruciating, especially when our lives seem shattered, God is faithful to comfort us, and create in us the rarest of diamonds reflecting His glory.