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In September of 2017, West Indian native and beauty-school grad, Giniece (pronounced “gin” as in the drink and “niece” as in your brother’s daughter) Noble started Noble Arts, a glass-painting company out of Narrowsburg, NY. Her mission is to “provide beauty through art and inspire creativity one person, one neighborhood, one community at a time.”
And it all happened quite accidentally. Two years prior to starting the company, Noble bought an art kit—one that came with everything including easels, paints, brushes, canvases, etc. “I bought it because I needed to do something to de-stress after work and on the weekends to help fuel positive energy.” She soon discovered that the more she painted, the more she loved it.
Soon afterward, just before the holiday season, Noble resigned from her secretarial job. “Around that time I bought a set of glass paint with the intention to paint glasses as gifts but never got around to actually doing it,” she explains. “Fast forward to 2017—I’m between jobs trying to figure out what to do. At this point I’d been painting for some time on canvas and paper, mostly art to hang on the walls around my home. A friend’s birthday was coming up, and I wanted to make something special for her. I remembered that I had glass paints that I hadn’t yet used.
“I watched tutorials on YouTube and looked at images on Pinterest and started Googling different flowers and even found out what her favorite flowers were. Then I sat in my living room with a vinyl shower curtain covering the floor and started painting. Needless to say, it took me a few tries as I wasn’t automatically a natural, but I was determined to get it right. During the summer I continued to practice using photos of real flowers as my guide, painting mixed-matched glasses of all different colors, shapes and sizes, and with every new flower the joy of glass painting blossomed. I just loved creating beautiful pieces of usable art.”
Then something spectacular happened: Noble’s husband, Nick, encouraged her to take a final leap of faith. He supported her decision not to go back to work and instead become a fulltime artist. Her family and friends were also extremely encouraging from the very beginning, which she says helped to boost her confidence. “Whenever I shared with them something I created, their feedback was unwavering. Without that support I probably would never have pursued it.”
Positive comments on social media, particularly Facebook and Instagram, continued to fuel Noble’s passion for painting on glass. She would hashtag and share wherever and whenever she could, just to test the waters with strangers.“I was pleasantly surprised by the love that I received and still do today, using different social media platforms.” Today, Noble’s a fulltime artist, and she loves every minute of it. “Not only do I get to create art that puts smiles on my customer’s faces, but it’s also an amazing feeling to work at my own pace and have flexibility in my daily life.”
She’s completely self-taught but admits that the internet has helped her greatly. She hasn’t taken any particular art courses but is always on the lookout for anyone offering art classes in and around her area. “Everything I know, I’ve learned by trial and error,” says Noble. “I won’t say practice makes perfect, but it does make [things] possible. I’m a true believer that you can do anything you put your mind to and if you stay positive, patient and persistent, hard work will pay off.”
Noble starts by cleaning the glasses with alcohol, which removes any dirt or oils that might prevent paint from adhering. She then chooses her color family. “If I’ve chosen purple, for example, I’ll separate and mix my purple paint into about three different levels of color intensity by adding a little white to lighten and a touch of black to darken, or even by adding a little red to change it a bit so that as I layer the petals their colors either increase or decrease in vibrancy,” explains Noble. “I find that using different variations of a color help to create depth and character. I begin layering first with the stamen, which is the innermost part of the flower. I try to make the individual flowers all unique. This can take me a few minutes to visualize. Once I’ve painted the stamen, I allow it to dry for an hour. Then I continue layering, starting with small petals and increasing in size, with the outermost petals being the largest. Each flower usually ends up being about three overlapping layers of petals with 30 to 45 minutes of drying time between each row.” Noble signs each individual piece with her signature in the form of a dragonfly. Then she oven-cures her one-of-a-kind collection so that it is forever dishwasher safe.
“I’m inspired every day,” Noble continues as she talks about the surrounding area as muse. “How could you not be from the tranquility of the rivers and lakes the rolling mountains the beautiful birds and wildlife? Springtime flowers, the warm summer sun and greenery to the autumn leaves and the pristine beauty when everything is covered in snow? It’s such a wonderful place to be. No matter the season I’m always in awe of its beauty. Sullivan County is really a special place, and how lucky am I that this is where I get to call home.”
Locally, Noble’s line of glassware can be found at Delaware Valley Arts Alliance in Narrowsburg, NY; Jeff Junction in Jeffersonville, NY; and the Dancing Cat Saloon in Bethel, NY. You can also find Noble Arts at Etsy.com/shop/NobleArtsStore and on Facebook and Instagram @noblearts.gn.