Friday, October 25, 2013

Totem Poles, Animals and Skinny Spaces

Woodland Totem

Woodland Totem detail

Woodland Totem
encaustic 6 x 24
 I needed a long skinny painting.  I have just the space.  But, what does one paint in a long skinny format?  Actually, this painting has been tossing around in my mind for some time.  I'm a bit interested in the idea of animal totems and the wisdom they hold.  So many of our cultures hold beliefs of the animals and their stories and meanings. 
Living in the pacific northwest, we have a very rich Native American culture here.  There are many totem poles around our area.  The belief is abundant about the concept of animal spirit meanings.  Stories have been passed through generations that decipher the meanings of these animals.  Each animal has its unique message that it carries.
It was a pretty joyful experience for me to put together this painting with my furry and feathered friends in totem pole style.  Have a happy Friday, everyone!

Woodland Totem detail

Woodland Totem detail

Woodland Totem detail

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Sylvester the Cat, Boston Terriers, and Encaustic Painting

People often ask me how I came to do encaustic painting.  Its kind of an unusual story - it includes a dog, a doll and an architect.  A couple of years ago, my Mom and I went on an open studio tour on nearby Whidbey Island.  We took the ferry across to the island and spent the day driving around following signs to artist's open studios. 
We had stopped for a nice lunch and had left the restaurant and started wandering along the sidewalk window shopping. 
This dog caught my eye.  Mind you I am a huge dog lover and rarely do I miss a furry face as I pass by.  But this particular dog really caught my attention.  I think it was because of the Sylvester doll he carried.  Not only were they both black and white, but the fact the dog was carrying the cat doll was one of those "notice this" kind of moments I get sometimes.  Well, needless to say, I could not just walk by.  I had to stop, pet the dog and talk to the owner. 

When we were ready to part, the owner handed me a postcard.  It was an advertisement for an open studio that was very close by but off the track.  She directed us and said that her friend wasn't getting many to his studio because of its location and would we mind taking a look.  The painting on the front of the card was an acrylic figurative of some kind.  Mom and I being adventurers decided to go have a look.  We climbed up a long staircase to the office of a local architect.  He had all of his acrylic paintings on display.  There were several figurative paintings of jazz club and restaurant scenes with colorful figures enjoying their environments.  But, there was also a couple others that seemed very different and interesting in the way they reflected the light.   They were simple atmospheric paintings of vistas - a horizon line and that's about it.  They were magical.  The textures were awesome, layering, color - really beautiful.  They were so totally different than the acrylic works propped and hanging around the room.  I asked him about them.  He could tell that I was very intrigued by his wax beauties.  He invited us to follow him into another part of his office where he had a studio.  There he had an encaustic palette set up and he was demoing - I fell in love - immediately - no questions asked... I just knew I had to try it and so I did.  That's the story of how I found encaustics and the rest has just fallen into place since that day. 

Peeps II
encaustic 6 x 12
Happy Friday!
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