Monday, August 27, 2012

Waxing Storm

"Living Water 73" 24x24" encaustic 
Yesterday I spent the day in the studio, painting, scraping, and fusing. For some reason, I was blissfully ignorant of the whirlwind of action all around me.  People were storming the markets for provisions, gasoline, batteries, etc.
After work, I stopped by Whole Foods, for my favorite yogurt. The store was packed with shoppers. While it was unusual, I was not concerned. Shelves were stocked with my  yogurt, and I loaded up.

By the time I got home I was inundated with calls, emails and text. "Protect your art from the storm. Wrap everything in plastic." Warned one email.  My encaustic studio in on the second floor (of an art "colony"), with two windows and a french door, opening to a rickety balcony. The studio I oil paint in, is on the second floor of my home. It has seven lower windows, two french doors (opening to a sturdy balcony), and seven extremely high dormer windows. While this may be wonderful for light, it is dangerous for the storm. Flying debris is a real worry. There is really no feasible way for me to protect all of my art, equipment, and supplies.

Today,  my " Issac" prep has been somewhere between Chicken Little's "the sky is falling" and Scarlett O'Hara's “I won’t think of it now. I’ll think of it later when I can stand it.”  I am making homemade granola to eat with the yogurt. My hubby is battening down the hatches here at home,  securing all the loose hanging baskets and outdoor plants. 

In the morning I will close the shutters on the lower windows, of my home studio. I have a tank full of gas, in case we need to leave town. The last hurricane, left us without power for nine days. We will not stay for that unpleasantness, again.

My precious art will be on it's own in the encaustic studio. I just have to have faith that it will still be there, safe and sound, when I return. It will (hopefully) be sometime Thursday. 

Until then I will be at home, eating yogurt. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Moving the Work Forward

What an amazing meeting I had yesterday. I contracted Miles Conrad, to do an art/business consult. He has his finger on the pulse of the art business, and gave me extremely helpful information.
Ohhh there is a hummingbird on my banana tree! (Sorry about the ADD moment.)
Back to the subject. My darling hubby sat in, took copious notes, and asked relevant questions.
Miles said my work is visually stunning!! I was (and am) extremely flattered and humbled.
My organizational skills, not so much. Still there is hope for that area. I can hire someone, or get an intern, to help me. Yaaay!!
Now, I am encouraged, and inspired to press on with my goals and keep pushing the process and moving forward.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Larger Pieces

My new 30x72" stainless steel table.
After working smallish in encaustic quite a long time, I finally decided that it was time to work larger. My sweet hubby happily started making me 24x24" boards. Working my way up to painting as large as I do in oil, will take a little time. Mainly because of logistics and technical challenges. Because I paint the pieces horizontally (I do hang them to check the work, and see how the look on the wall), I must have a surface large enough to physically hold the paintings.
This prompted an adventure into the far reaches of town. Thankfully my (amazing and brilliant) artist friend Patti Hough, was up for a ride. With her help I found a great restaurant supply store, that had exactly what I wanted. Not only that but they would assemble and deliver it, free of charge!
My lovely new table arrived at my studio (at N the Art Space) this morning. My dear friend (and landlord) Mark Nikoff, helped the delivery man carry it up the stairs.  I even have a revolving stand so that I can spin the painting while I work on it.
Larger pieces are currently in production.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Cajun Comes Home (from Cape Cod)

Notice the spelling. I did not make my own name tag!

Whew! This encausticating, southern girl is really happy to be home!
Things started out pretty good at the International Encaustic Conference, with nice weather, and meeting some cool artists from New Jersey right away. The accommodations were shabby-ish and dated, but my room appeared to be clean.
Things began to get a little shaky when I found a bug in my bed. After a tremendous amount of investigation I found out it was NOT a bed bug, but my excitement about being there definitely started to wane. (I later found out the French couple next door, had one in their bed as well.) I also had daily issues with my room key but I won't go there.
Friday dawned beautiful and sunny, and it was difficult to stay indoors when the weather was so beautiful. I spent waaay too much $$ in the vendors room. The first couple of events were redundant for me, but I met two delightful artist ladies from the area, who allowed me to hoove in on their lunch. That night I went to some amazing art showings in Province town and had dinner with a great group. Our food (and waiter) was amazing!

Saturday morning dawned cold, rainy, and gloomy. I watched a nice demo by Cari Hernandez and listened to the keynote speaker that evening.  My other adventure included an attempt at walking on the jetty curving around the cape. My venture was thwarted by strong winds and lack of ear protection. I endeavored to use a left over piece of plastic wrap (I found in my coat pocket from Friday's lunch) as ear plugs, but the wind still got in. I did however have a lovely dinner with my friends from New Jersey.
"Party in the Potty"

Sunday was another dreary day but there was no time to think about it because my display had to be ready for the Hotel Art Fair. I chose to put my paintings in the bathroom, because the light was best there. After covering the bathroom fixtures with a sheet, I placed my paintings to the best of my ability. I called it "Party in the Potty". (It was a very intimate show.) It went well and I sold six pieces. The two largest, one medium and three small. Many many people wanted to know how I achieved the finish. They also were interested in the inspiration behind the series, "Living Water". Some asked if I would be teaching a workshop in their area, including New York City! Ed Winkleman  liked my instillation, chatted a bit, and took one of my cards. His partner told me "congratulations".  The other artists had some amazingly beautiful work and creative installations as well. I really saw some gorgeous encaustic. That afternoon, I went to hear Miles Conrad speak about presenting to a gallery. He was very informative and I don't know whether to be encouraged or discouraged.  I am doing all the right things (according to the experts), people say they love my work, but I still don't have good gallery representation. That evening, I had a final dinner with friends and headed to the room to pack. 
By this time the event was getting to me. Lack of sleep, and spending so much time in an old, leaky, creaky, moldy, hotel was making me ill. My dust and mold allergies were in high gear. 
Monday morning was another dark, rainy, cold, day. I loaded up my car and hit the road. The long, drive into Boston was in torrential rain and gusty wind. Two flights and many hours later I was picked up 
at the airport by my amazing hubby.
Tuesday I was really ill (from the dust and mold allergies), so I stayed home, unpacked, and did laundry from the trip. The effects from my allergies are cumulative. Over the days they build up until I am
 knocked down. Hopefully I will be functioning better tomorrow.
So, my final words on the conference... Many of the demos and speakers were redundant for me (excluding Miles and Ed). Networking was good and I made some new, amazing friends. The amount of work to put the conference together must have been tremendous. 
This kind of event is deserving of a better venue. It is desperately needed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cajun in Cape Cod

Today I am (nervously) excited to be packing, for a trip to Cape Cod. I will be attending the Sixth International Encaustic Artists Conference. There will be waxy goodness on esoteric level.
This will be an amazing time of learning and networking. Plus being in the gorgeous area, (with cool weather) will be a treat.
There are a gazillion events to keep me busy at the conference. Speakers, demo's, art shows and other amazing functions. There is even a hotel art fair. We will be bringing, and showing some of our own art in our hotel rooms! I have been working away at the studio, making small (easily packable) pieces. I hope they are well received. (Kinda scared-ish.)
It will be rarefied air as many, many of the top names in encaustic painting will be in attendance, either speaking, demoing or doing workshops. (I won't be able to attend a workshop, because of time constraints.)
When I get back, I will hit the ground running with (teaching) four workshops in the next month or so.  Whomever is in these upcoming workshops will get the benefit of whatever new knowledge I acquire, in Provencetown. I hope to be encausticating at a much higher level as well.
Hubby will be maintaining the home front and  taking care of sweet joy Green. They will be missing me.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Water From Wax

After working with encaustic for quite some time, I have finally gotten to the place, where I feel like I can successfully do the "Living Water" series. Not that I could not always make a water painting from encaustic. What I wanted to do... What I felt I needed to do, was to bring something different to the series. Something that could not be achieved with the oil paint, I have loved for so long. There are so many other directions I can go in the wax, I didn't want to do "Living Water" until I had a fresh look for it. After multiple attempts, and some marginal success, I have finally come up with the process that (while still keeping the essence of the series) takes it farther. Using multiple layers, as well as multiple techniques. I am pleased with the work that is happening. Sooo, I am back in the water. This time it is waxy and warm.
"Living Water 44"  12"x24"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Anticipating Amazing

Joy admiring the neighbors garden

Calla Lily

Hardy Orchid

Spring is in full swing, here in South Louisiana. Joy Green and I so much enjoy all the gorgeous flowers, on our morning walks. Everywhere we look blossoms are bursting with color.

At this time of year I am inclined to start something new, in my art. Sometimes it is a new series, and sometimes I take an old one, in a new direction.
Antique rose Dortmond

While I don't yet know what I will be doing, I am anticipating something amazing!
Louisiana Walking Iris

Monday, February 27, 2012

Planning with Pinterest

Today, I was catching up with a dear friend, on the phone, when she asked me if I had any ideas for a wedding shower decor. Boy did she ask a loaded question!
When I replied in the affirmative, she hopped in her snazzy little SUV and drove right over.
We had a quick lunch of Tuscan lentil soup and steamed asparagus, and got right down to business. Armed with my Mac Book Pro a fast internet connection, and Pinterest, we were on our way! 

There are just so many clever, easy to do ideas, we had a hard time narrowing down the list!!

easy to make

Finally it came down to these amazing tissue paper flowers  ~~~> 

this felt bunting,

                                            these floating tea lights ~~~>

and this cute cupcake liner flower.
(Maybe a couple other paper garland ideas as well.)

I kept getting distracted with all of these yummy, clever dessert ideas, but she was not in charge of dessert, so she kept us on track.

  She left me craving cupcakes and wondering where and when I will be able to use some of these fun, girlie, decorating ideas.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Goodbye pic of one of my favorite pieces.
Today I packed up and shipped off one of my favorite paintings, to it's new home, in Colorado. I made it early in the "Living Water" series. It had been in a show at UBS financial for a couple of months, so I had not seen it in a while.  When I walked into the foyer of the building and saw it hanging, I let out a little gasp. It was like a glowing pearl, hanging on a smooth, contemporary, dark wood wall.
 When I began "Living Water", I did not know in what direction the series would go. It has evolved considerably since this piece was completed. It is still changing. With a name like "Living Water" change just seems providential.
"Living Water 25", 24"x24", oil on panel

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gettin' Hot' and having fun

All in order and ready.
On Monday I had an amazing coterie of talented artists come to my studio for "Gettin Hot", my introductory,  encaustic workshop. I had everything in order and was super excited about this group.
I was not disappointed! These seven women came in and really rocked the waxy goodness! Adele, and Buble were serenading us and Joy Green (the poodle) was begging to join in the festivities. We had so much fun they asked to spend the night! I think they were only half kidding but I was inclined to say yes. When you have a group you immediately click with, you just want the fun to continue!
Alas, everyone did go home, and I collapsed into my regular, after workshop stupor. 
Today I am recovering, planning and looking forward to my next workshop with this gang. They ALL advanced to the next level.
 I can't wait!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Waxy, Fun, Workshop, With Friends

On Sunday I got to teach an encaustic workshop at Deux Bayous. It is the co op gallery I am involved with, in Arnaudville. I always have a great time when I teach workshops but this place is particularly special to me. The people make it so. Mrs Rita made the best black eyes and rice I have ever put in my mouth. She also made some really nice encaustic pieces!
Actually I believe my favorite thing about teaching workshops (and really doing art in general) is the people I meet and get to know.
Amy and me
This particular workshop I had invited someone to come as my guest assistant, the amazing Amy McDonald. She has a great art site
Check it when if you get a chance. There are lots of tutorials and inspiration on there for mixed media art making.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Postcard From Brazil

While Carnival rages on in Rio, Gannon ventures into the deepest Amazon rainforest. He is after photographs of the Brazilian Morpho butterfly. He found the perfect shot in the highest reaches of the tree canopy.
This postcard is encaustic/mixed media, using image transfer, accretion and PanPastels. The butterfly is hand cut, painted with watercolor, dipped in encaustic medium, painted with blue Pearlex and attached to the card. Photographs never do encaustic work justice.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waxy Goodness in a Bean Field

NuNu and  Deux Bayous Gallery Collective
On Sunday I go to a small town in Cajun French, South Louisiana. It is a little hamlet named Arnaudville. Arnaudville is right down the road from Grand Couteau. Grand Couteau is right near Lafayette. (If you don't recognize any of these places or can't pronounce the names, just Google it..) I will be teaching an encaustic workshop, to an amazing group, in an equally amazing space.
NuNu and Deux Bayous Gallery Collective
 What was once a lumber warehouse ( on the side of the highway, in a soybean field), has been transformed into a cultural center, in an area rich in local color. Both visual and performing arts are shared and experienced there.
It is through my experience in this space, that I have come to know and love, so many of the people of the area. My respect and admiration of them continues to grow. 
Mr Rex and Mrs Belinda


When these folks come together, whether it is to work or relax, there is a true sense of fun and joie de vivre.
If you are ever driving down the I 10, and see the exit for Lafayette, Breaux Bridge or Hendersonville, take a side trip and experience the people and culture of the area. If it a Saturday or Sunday, plug in
1510 Bayou Courtableau Hwy Arnaudville, LA into your GPS and you may find yourself at NUNU, an art space (on the side of the highway, in a bean field). You will be sure to "pass a good time".

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Postcard challenge ~~ From Spain

Because I was traveling this week, this postcard was done entirely on my iPad. I have a couple of drawing apps that I love. I also use a stylus.
Arianna is in Spain to enjoy one of her favorite sports. While there she also has a visit with her favorite athlete, and close friend. She makes a little sketch and sends it to Gannon. Maybe she is trying to make him jealous..

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Crystal Bridges

Last week I was fortunate enough to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It is in an area of the country not known for its artistic culture. In fact there were a few (actually a lot of) highbrow art folks who thought it was a waste to put such an amazing museum in such a humble area. 

It is my opinion, that it is in the perfect place. It is choices like these that create art colonies and destinations for art aficionados. 
What I see is potential.... 
 Potential for cultural growth in an area where the land is beautiful but the people have not had the opportunity to see brilliant works of art, in person.
 Potential for galleries to open with art for people to purchase. 
 Potential for workshops, and artistic learning experiences of many kinds. 

If you can make your way to this gorgeous location, I believe you will see the potential as well.

Friday, January 6, 2012

First Postcard

Today is the first day for the 2012 postcard challenge. While I do not have a step by step for the creation and design of my postcard, I do have the story line....

In his work as a historical photographer, Gannon Luca Shavonne travels in time. His mission is to document select events for his overseer.
His heart of hearts, Arianna Mazziotta lives on Capri Island, Italy.
Every postcard he lovingly makes, and sends to her has a clue to what she does and is. Everything connects and has meaning... even the stamp.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Cleaning up

Yesterday I cleaned and organized-ish my home studio.
It was an embarrassment to me and reflected poorly on all artist kind. Seriously.. there was not a single ------- --------- --->
surface that was not cluttered with paint (oil acrylic and encaustic), brushes, stencils, pens, pencils, glue, paste, look a giraffe--->
(sorry but I love giraffes don't you) medium (soft gel, matte and gloss, and oil), wax, paper (scraps and whole sheets), vintage books (used for paper), wax, lace, punchanello, used paper towels (I know.. yuck), scraping tools, stick pastels, pan pastels, ink, stamps,
vintage postage stamps, (did I mention wax)  fabric bits, beads.. Ok you get the picture.
For a special treat I had ankle deep paper bits everywhere. You know the ones that you make when you rub the white paper off an image transfer.
Speaking of image transfers, the raven image --->
( I made it on my iPad) is a freebee if you want to grab it to use for a project. Just please don't sell it as a digital download.

I finally got the whole thing clean-ish, after HOURS of work. Then I came downstairs and looked at my dining room table. It stretched out for hundreds of feet (well maybe not hundreds) piled to the ceiling with sewing projects, Christmas projects, boxes (I use my table to box and mail the paintings to Crate and Barrel), and really a lot of the same stuff I had in the studio, minus the paint. So...
Encausticamp 2011 Bookmaking

I sat down and started cutting up and sewing together, an old thermal shirt of my son's and an old groovy blouse of mine. I am making an amazing new top for myself. (I will have step by step soon). I have to say I increased the mess quotient exponentially.  By this time it was getting kinda late, maybe midnight thirty or so. Hubby comes clunking in, having just woken up from falling asleep on the sofa while watching TV. He was incredulous that I was making more mess. I had mentioned that I was cleaning the dining room as well. Whatever.... I carried on sewing..
 I did however clean the table (all hundred feet of it), finally making it to bed at 3AM.
Now all the clean empty spaces are calling to me.. Cooooooome create on meeeeee, cooome creaaaate oooon meeeee.
So it all begins again.