Donna Sarafis: Inspiration from Within


Loving glass and loving to talk about glass and art are two of my favorite things to do. What I will be sharing with others and what others ask me about most often will be the subjects of my blogs for Delphi. But my first thought is always to one issue that I believe causes crafters, artists, and those who wish they could make something beautiful to stay on the side lines and possibly never take a class or open a book. It is this issue that often defeats us before we even start. It is a belief that we have no talent which often brings on a fear of failure. I have heard over and over again, I'm just not artistic (artsy, crafty, talented, gifted, good at). If you have ever felt that way, then you need to hear this. At one time, I felt the same way. Oh yeah! I could copy things when I was young, but I could never do anything ORIGINAL. I did paint by numbers, not REAL painting. I'm just a Mom, and I do crafty stuff. No one would PAY MONEY for my things.

Have you heard these same or near same voices running around your head before? Well, you are in good company because most of us suffer from the nagging feelings that we are probably not a Renoir, and in reality, most of us aren't! However, what I've found is that most of what artists and other creative people, i.e. musicians, do is based a lot on learned techniques. I was overwhelmed when I tried watercolor. My pieces were horrible, and I was convinced that I was definitely NOT a painter. When I finally took a watercolor class, I found that it was a process combined with techniques that could be learned, and when that was combined with practice, it could produce some amazing results!

Having majored in music in my very early life, it was apparent that a gift for music didn't produce music, but hours and hours of learning the process, practicing technique and playing the pieces with musicality....which came from MY heart..... produced music that people enjoyed hearing. It is the same premise here. When you take the class and learn the process and the techniques needed to achieve different results, THEN you will create art from YOUR heart that others will want to see.

Each person has their own voice. The wonder of every class that I teach is that every person's work looks distinctly different even though we are all making the same piece, and they are following my demonstrations. In every class there are students who have made one or more of the statements listed above, and I have asked them to step out of the boat and walk on the water....I'll hold their hand. I have yet to have anyone say they were not tremendously pleased with the process, the techniques, and their piece. Of course, the pieces are not a Renoir, but neither are mine! They are an original though, and they are reflections of their hearts and personalities. They are unique.

Check back for the next part in a series of blogs by guest blogger Donna Sarafis. Visit her website website for more information on her work.

What have you been inspired to create that exceeded your own expectations recently? Visit our Artist Gallery for more inspiration.

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Marilyn W.  •  June 30, 2012
Thanks, Donna... very inspiring! Your work is absolutely beautiful, and if you felt challenged to start, then that is encouragement to us all! Marilyn
Donna Sarafis

Donna Sarafis

Donna Sarafis and her husband John own Dancing Light Fused Glass Studio in Huntsville, TX. There they create their original designs which often include landscapes, birds, and florals with dimension and texture. Their studio also provides a wooded and peaceful atmosphere for their workshops where they teach their original, watercolor-like approach to painting with frit. Recently, Donna and John were the guest artists and instructors for the Delphi Art Glass Festival in Lansing, MI. In 2010, they were honored with a first place in the spring Art Glass Festival contest, and second place in the kiln formed category.