Wanda Spangler-Warren Is Easily Amused

A particular paragraph in an article entitled Buffalo Township artist feeds the imagination and fools the eye (from TRIB Live News) delighted me:

Spangler-Warren considers her naivete to be a strength. “Since I am self-taught, perhaps I just dive into a project with no preconceived notions or internal critic,” she says. As she learns more, she says, she hopes to maintain some measure of that “blissful innocence.”

How many artists have you met who appreciate their own naivete? Or are not still smarting from ta recent flogging, administered by their merciless inner critic? If Spangler-Warren is as free as she claims to be, it is no wonder that she is producing art forms like luminescent sculptures.

Luminescent sculptures are described as “airy creations of paper, reed and wood, which can be wall-mounted and backlit.” They have already afforded Spangler-Warren several solo shows,  entry into Making Connections with the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, and a Best of Show at the Associated Artists of Butler County’s Age of Aquarius show for the sculpture entitled Dove.

Dove ~ by Wanda Spangler-Warren

Dove ~ by Wanda Spangler-Warren

Another approach which I personally relate to very strongly in Spangler-Warren‘s work is that she “derives great satisfaction from bringing together “humble things and wispy ideas” to produce something “detailed, colorful and evocative.” Furthermore, in her own words:

I felt called to produce a very tactile third dimension in my art while making something fabulous from unsung and inexpensive materials. From this preference developed a desire take my art into new, three-dimensional forms incorporating translucency and light.

See more of Spangler-Warren’s Luminescent sculptures in the Portfolio section of her website, and on Flickr (where she also reveals some of the underlying structure of her pieces). You can also view other art forms that she happily pursues,  including fiber art, her riotous mixed media, and ladyface collages.

A resume and bio are available at the Pittsburgh Artist Registry and Wanda has a blog, Easily Amused, which she began in 2008.

Other artists employ the luminescent sculpture form in their work. Here are a few more links if your interest has been lit.

William Leslie demonstrates his whole process on HGTV.

He begins by visualizing the size and shape in his mind’s eye, but he refuses to sketch anything out. He prefers to allow the wood to tell him where it wants to go.

Todd Camp uses sewing tissue paper to produce his illuminated sculptures. I really enjoy his works on paper, as well. He has a provocative approach to his painting:

If the viewer is able to identify with a shape or color in my painting then they begin to travel along with me. I build layers of complex relationships between color and shape using house paint, china marker, pencil, stencils, silk screens, and spray paint. Some areas of the painting are buried and completely painted over, some lie just beneath the surface, while the most important recollections from the journey float above the surface of the canvas. All of these elements combine to bring to life, once again, precious memories from my simple observations.

Niara Isle‘s lightsculptures will “provide beautiful ambient light to any room.” They have a flowing, organic quality that is very attractive and lend an artsy alternative to conventional lighting.


Autumn Moon ~ by Niara Isle

Stephen White calls his work Illuminated Light Sculptures, which are created in suspended, wall mount or ceiling versions.


From the Source II ~ by Stephen White

As stated on the Corrie Croft site,

These fine art light sculptures are one-of-a-kind sculptures that are designed for residential or commercial interiors where a unique artistic expression in lighting is desired. Stephen will work with you directly to make your dream space come true.

Now that’s a tall promise, a little too tall for credibility perhaps, but I am willing to forgive Mr. White because he makes such pretty shapes. I think From the Source II is rather exquisite.


About CarolWiebe

Art entices, inspires, and delights me. Art is a vehicle for laughter, tears, wonder, enlightenment--taking me on a constant path of discovery. You can't say that about housework (except, perhaps, for the crying part).
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One Response to Wanda Spangler-Warren Is Easily Amused

  1. Wanda says:

    Carol, this post is just wonderful, and I’m so pleased and honored that you’ve written about me and my work. Your work is stunning, and you teach very well. I watched your three-video series about cracked paper quilting, and I read your article in Quilting Arts Magazine voraciously. Now that you’ve included me in your blog, I feel I’m part of the collegial fiber artists online and in this profession.

    You’ve made my day! Thanks again.

    Wanda Spangler-Warren

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