Monday, August 29, 2011

Encaustic Workshop from Stephanie Hargrave

Awesome workshop from
Stephanie Hargrave

Rosarii (left) gets some instruction from Stephanie

I was so lucky to get in on the last (at least for a while) encaustic workshop taught by Stephanie Hargrave.
It was a couple of weeks ago at her studio in West Seattle. 
I've been a fan of Stephanie's work for a while, so this was a real treat for me... Just to be there and soak in all the creative vibe going on in that place.  There were 5 of us in total and we were a grand diverse group.  Rosarii (in the photo above)is an amazing photographer.  You can visit her website HERE

It may be some of the same stuff I learned in an earlier workshop, but to actually see and learn HOW Stephanie uses those techniques was really cool.  Of course, each artist/instructor has her own style and techniques for using the same stuff.  I learned all kinds of new twists and ways to think about things.  New embedding paper ideas... and OMG! I learned about shelac which I have never used.  And, how easy it is to tint shelac with powdered pigments (yeah, gotta be careful with those.. need good ventilation).  There is something about the shelac when coated with wax that really gives an awesome look.  Can't explain it - just need to experiment more with it. 

One of my other learnings is to melt and make up 1 pound of medium at a time in an electric wok, strain and use that to have the working medium.  Holy cow, beats the heck out of muffin tins and little containers like that.  Of course need a big space for it.  And... Stephanie tends to work on big paintings which = the need for a lot of wax. 

We even had a bonus lesson from Rickie Wolfe, who is a talented artist who teaches at Pratt in Seattle.  She gave us a lesson on print making using ink on a glass palette using a brayer to spread the ink.  She used tissue paper and drew great designs that could then be embedded into the encaustic paintings.
Give Rickie's website a visit and see all her great stuff HERE 

More to think about::: Tons of layers (like 100!) and lots of deep interest.  I realized that I'm not even scratching the surface of the layering thing. 
  There is so much that can be done with encaustic that it truly is an amazing thing - this wax. 

Other learnings:  Be more intuitive and don't be afraid to experiment
Here are some of Stephanie's paintings.  You can see more on her website Stephanie Hargrave

Friday, August 26, 2011

Postcard Swap!

Liberate Your Art
Postcard Swap

I sent 5 postcards of my artwork to Kat Sloma of Kateye View of the World and she liberated them.  My 5 cards in turn went to 5 other participants in the swap.  Throughout the month of August a beautiful postcard arrived in my mailbox and I would had the opportunity to experience some really beautiful art from others around the world.

This is my collection.
Aren't they amazing!?
Mail has really gotten boring over the years.  Its bills, or flyers or solicitations of some kind.  A few magazines do brighten the month - can't seem to not have
InStyle, SELF, and Cooking Light.
However, the written card, letter or postcard is really few and far between.  I have some friends that still do the written word.  But it seems like with email and text in our lives, that the keep-in-touch thing has really changed.

Starter Stones
Visit Sassy's website

I was really excited to visit all of these talented artist's websites and blogs.  Such a treat to see what others are doing out there in this big world. Sassy has some beautiful photography to share on her site.

"Here's a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished:
If you're alive, it isn't"
~Richard Bach~
Visit Rosa's website
Simple Mansion
Rosa lives in Hong Kong.  Its a place that I also have lived.  She has a beautiful website.  *Rosa - when you find this post, I hope that you tell me/us more about your beautiful postcard - about the original artwork from which is was made and your process.
"The Dust of Life"
Visit Ann Isik's website
Ann is located in the UK.  She has a beautiful website with lots of inspiration for artists.  *Ann, I also hope that you share how you created this beautiful postcard.

"In art, the hand can never execute anything higher than
the heart can imagine"
~R.W. Emerson~
Visit Cara's website
Cara's was my second postcard that I received.  You can check out that post HERE
Hello from Jamestown, NY!
Lynn Wigren
visit her blog

Lynn is a talented collage artist.  Lynn's was my first postcard and there is more about it on this post HERE 

Kat Sloma
Visit Kat's studio with this link
Kat Eye Studio

And, Lucky me... a beautiful card from Kat, too!

Wow - fun, easy and did I say fun?! 
Kat is going to have another postcard swap in early 2012.  If you are interested you can follow the link to Kat's studio where you can get on the email list for future notification.
Or, come on back here, and I'll let you know how to sign up once the news comes out.

Now the really fun part!!
Its a blog hop to all the participants websites or blogs
I hope you join in the fun and see where it takes you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

It's A Start

It's A Start

I'm trying for a start.  This little sedum was in a beautiful flower arrangement that a friend gave me.  The flowers have faded, but the sedum seemed like it needed to carry on. 
So it sits in the sun on my kitchen counter in a jar of water.  I'm hoping it will spread its roots and grow into a beautiful plant.  For whatever reason, I am wanting to make a terrarium.

I'm feeling the same way a bit...  like its time for a start. Time to spread roots and get planted and get going.  
 I've been taking a break and enjoying summer.  However, I am missing my blog friends and my Flickr friends.. so it's time for a start - again.  Maybe a little slow at first, so forgive me - but little starts can grow into big things.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Got the Whim

I went to the Bellevue Art Festival last weekend.  I go with nothing particular in mind - I just go really to get inspired.  I like to see what other artists are doing out there in the big world.

This is my first attempt at portrait painting
Encaustic, paper on birch panel - 6x6x2
It seems there really is a lot of stuff that doesn't "do it" for me.  But, I have to say that I appreciate the craftsmanship, the passion and the creativity that is behind the work. 
Usually I find at least a couple of artists that really strike a cord with me.  This time, for whatever reason the artists that really resonated with me were both people painters.  I don't want to call them portrait painters - they paint beautiful people subjects.  One was whimsical and one was more serious, but had some whimsy too.  One used pens, watercolors and papers.  One was an encaustic painter.  I'll highlight both of them in a few days when I can pull together some of thier work.  Two totally different styles - yet a similar subject matter.
I have to say that I was hugely inspired - like couldn't wait to try to paint a portrait.  Never really crossed my mind.  OK, I've thought about it, but never really thought I could.  Too complicated - especially in wax. 
But, no guts no glory - right?
I'm finding that I'm loving trying - that's HUGE.

This is my second attempt at portraits
Encaustic, paper on birch panel 6x6x2

Postcard #2

This is SO Fun!!
Postcard #2 arrived - YAY!  I'm starting to really look forward to the mail pick up on Thursday.
This card is from Cara - visit her blog HERE.
Thanks Cara for the great note.  This is a stone that she found after much looking.  In a photography class she was taking, she had an assignment - Find A Heart.  Doesn't that sound like something we should keep our eyes out for every day?!  What a great idea.  You never know where you might find one. 
I have noticed that if you do keep your eyes open for looking for hearts - they are there.  They show up quite a lot really.
I have seen them in my cereal bowl as a cut strawberry, I have seen them in nature as leaves, stones even shadows. 
What are your found heart stories?
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