Gallery 'N' Gifts featured artist for September is stained glass artist Diana Pittenger, a painter in the most unusual sense of the word. Instead of using acrylics or oils, she uses bits of colored glass to illuminate her works using God's most wonderful gift — sunlight.

After a lifetime of admiring this art form, she got her first exposure in its creative process in 1989 and has been creating her portraits of people, places and things ever since.

After developing her skills for a couple of years, Pittenger began her custom stained glass business here in Tehachapi in 1992 called Glasskutz. She executes a wide variety of original subjects and designs of all sizes and succeeds in tailoring her work to please the eye and heart of all viewers. This can range from windows to three-dimensional objects such as trophies for clubs, boxes and suncatchers.

Pittenger's glass is anything but usual. Incorporating textures and colors with glass baubles, precious and semi-precious stones to everyday stones, recycled glass taken from old chandeliers or taillights from cars, she manages to put an interesting twist into the creation of stained glass. Everything from human and animal portraits to the carefully transferred lines of a child's first painting, she manages to bend light, glass and metal to please the viewer.

Besides creating new works, she also breathes new life into old stained glass by repairing them.

Her motto is "anything in glass" and she enjoys the challenge of the art and tries to see how close she can get to evoking the real object that she is trying to portray. It is only as sunlight passes through one of her creations that htie true colors become apparent — or transparent in her case.