Friday, December 31, 2010

New encaustics


Here is a preview of a new series I am working on.  Encaustic paint on ceramic tile.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Post Christmas Inspiration

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, 
and the life of the candle will not be shortened. 
Happiness never decreases by being shared. - Buddha

The house is quiet today, but my mind is racing with ideas for the new year.  While making plans for the future with my art and fledgling business, I'm going to make a more conscious effort to stay grounded in the present.  It is so easy to retreat into inactivity, which doesn't permit me to make those steps forward that I know I can accomplish.

  • Thought of being more economical with food - not letting leftovers languish in the refrigerator  -  led to potato pancakes:  

  • Gifts of new wax has my creative juices flowing:  R&F encaustic paints - Iridescent German Silver, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Violet Deep, Celadon Green, Jaune Brillant, Alizarin Crimson, Cobalt Yellow, and Viridian.

Watercolor pencil & paint spattered paper towels
Hamsa of zentangle-inspired doodles

  • Make art everyday: 

I have several art journals in progress right now.

These two pictures are from the "Make Your Mark" traveling journal, sponsored by Dick Blick and the LaGrange Art League. I have 9 months to work in and share the journal. At the end it will go on display with other artist's journals and travel among Art Leagues in the Chicagoland area.

    Friday, December 17, 2010

    There really is no good reason

    Jennie and Kyle
    ... to not have blogged over the past four months - other than the usual business of life,  Well, that and keeping up with friends and family on Facebook, rather than posting here.  So I'm acting on a decision to get a move on and post here as often as possible - maybe not daily, but certainly I can manage a weekly of post.

    We have a new member of the family - Jennie!  She and Kyle were married in October.  Here is the happy couple.

    A few weeks ago, I presented a demonstration at the Kishwaukee Valley Art League's December meeting.  My topic was "Encaustic Painting and Collage".  It was the first time I'd done such a demo for my art friends in a public setting.
    dipping paper into hot wax
    working on a ceramic tile

    Today I plan to finish up my section of a Traveling Artist Journal.  Our journal was started by fellow FusedChicago artist, Jenny Learner.  So far we have the artwork of Jackie Hefty (owner of Whispering Woodlands) and Bridgette Guerzon Mills.  Over the weekend I'll add some photos of my journal pages.  Time to get back to work on it so I can get it to Jenny this weekend.

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Encaustic: Hot Art Show

    Yesterday was a busy and enjoyable day in the 'burbs.  Attended an organizing committee meeting for FusedChicago at  Mary's home.  Then on to Elyse's house to drop off my artwork for the FusedChicago show at The Art Center in Highland Park, IL.  Here's the blurb from their site:

    Spiral and Leaf

    September 3rd - October 1st, 2010
    Opening Reception: Saturday, September 11th from 6:00 - 9:00pm 

    "Encaustic: Hot Art" is an exhibit of work by members of FusedChicago, a group of area artists whose practice involves using layers of pigmented beeswax and a heat source. Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been a resurgence of interest in this ancient medium. The exhibit showcases the wide and current variety of techniques and methods artists are using as they work in this increasingly popular medium.

    and here's my painting

    Sunday, August 08, 2010

    Thursday, August 05, 2010

    Making Encaustic Medium

    Today I finally took the plunge and worked on some handmade encaustic medium for my next series of paintings.  I'd run out of commercial medium and had decided earlier this summer that I would just make my own, as it was more economical.  So, today I followed a traditional recipe of 8 parts beeswax to 2 parts damar resin crystals.  I ended up making two batches this afternoon, so now I have 24 muffin-sized cakes of medium and 2 small "loaves".
    Here I am stirring the sticky melting resin crystals into the melted beeswax.  Notice the dirt and bark that will be strained out of the mixture through cheesecloth after the wax and resin are completely combined.

    This is a shot of the hot liquid medium right after I poured it into an old muffin tin and a foil loaf pan.  (Neither will ever be used for food again!)  I had a feeling the medium would be difficult to remove from the foil - and it was - so with the next batch I poured the extra into a metal loaf pan.  Much better results that time.  It took about 2 hours for the wax medium to cool and harden in the kitchen even with the A/C on.  When the bottom of the pans were cool to touch I tapped them lightly with whatever tool I had handy and the wax popped out smoothly.
    Here's a shot of Batch One of my handmade encaustic medium - Tah-dah!  I was really quite pleased with myself and set about making Batch Two right after lunch.  (I am easily amused!)

    A special thanks to Jaime Lyerly for posting her foray into handmade medium and to Susan Crouse-Kemp for her video "Making Encaustic Medium".  

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010

    The ARTery in Davenport, IA - my wall

    Carolyn Krueger (owner of The ARTery Gallery at the Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport, IA) did a great job hanging my acrylic and encaustic paintings on the 8' wall space I've rented.  I'm looking forward to visiting monthly for "Final Fridays".

    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Art at The ARTery in Davenport

    Last week I dropped off 15 pieces to The ARTery gallery in the Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport, IA.  I have encaustic paintings and acrylic paintings and collages on an 8 foot wall.  This weekend I'll post a pic of the wall when I visit  for the Final Friday celebration.  Here are some of the encaustic pieces that are hanging.

    A keychain book giveaway on Sue Bleiweiss' blog

    Sue Bleiweiss has a blog giveaway of her keychain books.  Check out before midnight Sunday and you might win one!

    Friday, June 04, 2010

    work in progress

    I started these a week ago, and need to finish them asap! Just not really sure where I want to go with them.  They are collages with encaustic paints and decorative paper on  6" square cradled hardboard.

    Saturday, May 01, 2010

    Venus envy reception

    Last night was the artists' reception for Venus Envy - Quad Cities.  I toured the venue - Bucktown Center for the Arts  in Davenport, IA, had a chair massage, glass of wine, and then a very much appreciated surprise. When I came upon my 4 encaustic collages I saw two red dots on the cards - sold two of the four pieces before the show even officially opened!  The sold pieces are Circles and Buttons (top center) and Button, Button (right).

    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Venus Envy is almost here

    This past Saturday I took the four encaustic pieces shown in the post below to the Bucktown Center for the Arts in Davenport.  I was so fortunate to find Helen Boyd and Jacki Olson working in their studio, so I stopped in for a chat and to admire their work.  They are two gracious and generous artists with wonderful work hanging .  Jacki was using an iron to smooth out the wax on paper on cradled board abstract.  Helen was deftly using a heat gun to get a very shiny and smooth surface on her piece.  They were both encouraging when viewing my four small pieces.  It was great to be able to share ideas among us.

    I also visited sculptor Paul Algueseva in his new studio in Moline.  He has many irons in the fire (sorry, I couldn't help that!).  I'll look for his website later.
    Gotta run - time for work!

    Friday, April 02, 2010

    Venus Envy - Quad Cities 2010

    Several of my encaustic pieces have been juried into the Venus Envy -Quad Cities 2010 show.

    Sixty visual artists will be showcased along with musical performances, dance, installation performances and interactive workshops on Saturday, May 1st, from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. at the Bucktown Center for the Arts in downtown Davenport, Iowa .   

    The exhibit runs through May 28 during Bucktown's normal hours of operation, Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

    Saturday, February 27, 2010

    Love doll for mmartfriends swap

    Finished up the "Chakra Love Doll" for Lori A, my swap partner on mmartfriends.  The doll has bits and baubles to represent the 7 chakras:  white, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.  The body is a collage of fabric paper, stitch, quotes, sequins, and paper ephemera, inspired by Kelli Perkins' Stitch Alchemy.  Thanks, Kelli, for being a generous participant and co-host in the study of your book!

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Pieces I've worked on lately

    Here are a few of the acrylic and encaustic pieces I've worked on lately.  (Thanks, Wally and Barb for the photos!)
    Bohemian Memory was done in the summer of 2009 and hung bottom-side up for quite awhile until I kept seeing Abraham Lincoln peering back at me!  So I flipped it over and liked it better this way.  It's 24" x 36" acrylic textured with molding paste and stencils and some paper collage.

    Breathe and Live Abundantly were both done in January 2010.  They're highly textured acrylics with paper collage.  They were done for fun.

    The last one of this group is Delight, an encaustic collage I worked on in the summer of 2009.  I changed my color palette from the darker tones to a pastel palette.  R&F oil paint sticks were added to the encaustic medium to achieve this lighter look.  I collaged a vintage photo, some sticks from a bush in the yard, pieces of map and dictionary pages.  It's a 10" x 8" piece that I need to find the right frame for it.  I'm thinking weathered white wood.

    Sunday, February 07, 2010

    Esther's Place

    Yesterday I stopped in at a wonderful fiber shop in Big Rock, IL called Esther's Place.  It is a feast for the eyes and a tactilely soothing experience.  The Lehrer family owns a farm, sheep, and this lovely B&B/ fiber arts studio.  I can't wait to return to take some classes.  Natasha Lehrer was a demonstrator last week at the Kishwaukee Valley Art League in DeKalb and truly opened up my eyes to the art of wool felting.  Her work is beyond that of what I usually associate with felting - very artistic and creative.  Check out the blogs for Natasha and her mom, Donna, as well as their Facebook page

    I specifically stopped in to purchase some Lincoln sheep curls to include in my artwork.  After admiring the rack of a multitude of hand dyed curls, I decided on just purchasing the contents of the scrap basket and was pleased with the variety of colors.  The curls in the 3 baggies in the photo are Wensley dale lamb locks.

    Check out a great review of Natasha and Donna Lehrer's venture on the Try Handmade blog.

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Fabric Paper projects

    As part of some swaps for the yahoo group, Mixed Media Art friends, I've made book marks and strings of  "good luck birds".  These were based on Kelli Perkins' book Stitch Alchemy

    Here's the patchwork bookmark without the frou-frous of yarn embellishment, and a couple of birds before stringing them onto transparent ribbon.

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Time to update

    It is way past time to update this blog. I'm thinking about a new theme and some links to coaching and goal setting.

    I can't believe I mailed off my fabric paper bookmarks for the mmartfriends yahoo group swap without taking a picture of them! I have one left without the yarn tassels. I'll snap it tomorrow and post - I'm just so sleepy tonight - it's been a long week at school :)