A Balance Of Color In Artists' Marriage



Tradition met abstraction when Bob and Glenda Roark married five years ago.

Glenda was translating the landscapes of Montana onto her canvas in 1996. Then she took an abstract oil painting workshop from a Yugoslavian artist.

"He blindfolded me and made me paint with both hands," Glenda said.

"When I took off the blindfold and I saw the abstractions and the balance of color, the shapes and their sizes, I was challenged," she said.

The experience of being in the dark and trying to be ambidextrous was the catalyst for Glenda's current style.

That style informs the fused glass and silversmith jewelry she and Bob create together.

Bob made traditional silver and lapidary Southwest jewelry when they met.

They were both living in a retirement community in Surprise and one day they struck up a conversation.

Glenda said she would like to jump in a car and go to Jerome.

"I'll take you," Bob said.


Hardly a day goes by that the Roarks' kiln is not turning out a piece of fused glass.

The rest is history.

Glenda had never touched silver or a torch in her life, but with Bob's help she soon became addicted to making sterling silver jewelry.

The Roarks make their contemporary silver jewelry by pouring molten silver through water or over rock salt.

Bob does most of the lapidary work in the free-form shapes.

"If you are working alone, you have one mental image, vision, of what you are doing, with someone else there are two, so the ideas feed off each other," Bob said.

He still likes traditional jewelry.

"There is nothing prettier than real Southwestern jewelry," he said.

"Bob is quite a help on my abstract paintings because I think he has come to appreciate how colors and shapes go together," Glenda said.


Glenda Roark says her husband, Bob, is quite a help with her abstract paintings because he has come to appreciate how colors and shapes go together.

Just like the couple.

Glenda teaches hand-built pottery and Bob makes Nantucket baskets while they winter at their home in Surprise.

Their glass can be seen at Art Mart of Sedona and Thingz in Scottsdale. Glenda's paintings are at Myra's in Pine and Wilcox Fine Art in Sedona.


Names: Bob and Glenda Roark

Mediums: Abstract paintings, furniture, dinnerware and sculptures in fused glass, and jewelry in silver and fused glass.

Bob's advice to beginning artists: "Just go for it."

Glenda's advice to beginning artists: "So many people say to me when I do a show, ‘Oh, I don't have talent.' I always tell people that everyone has a hidden talent somewhere."

Bob is proud of: The fact that I can sell my art.

Brenda's motto: Live life to the fullest.


The Roarks make their contemporary silver jewelry by pouring molten silver through water or over rock salt.

Why Payson? Bob's son used to drive through Payson on the way to Montana and three years ago Bob and Glenda came up and looked around and found a home almost right away.

Upcoming project: Bob has glass he wants to shape into mosaic pieces and Glenda is itching to get at three new paintings and some new jewelry.

Bob's Faves:

Music: background music

Author: Louis L'Amour and W. E. B. Griffin

Glenda's Faves:

Music: Country western and disco (almost all music except heavy opera.)

Movie: Fiddler on the Roof

Author: LaVyrle Spencer

Food: Cheese pizza

Points of contact: Artists of the Rim Gallery, 408 W. Main St., Payson, (928) 472-1159 or winter studio (623) 977-8453, summer studio (928) 468-6965 or bgroark@earthlink.net.

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