Friday, December 19, 2014

Merry Christmas, December Reflections and Thrushes

Encaustic mixed media on birch 6x8
I want to wish you all a Christmas full of Joy and Peace.  It is a special time of year and I hope yours is Merry and Bright.  M.x

Below are more photos from December Reflections. You can catch up here with last week's photos.
12/14: Stripes

12/15: Favorite Camera
Voightlander Bessamatic - it hardly works but I love it anyway

12/16: On the Table

12/17:  Triangles

12/18: 15 Years Ago...
I called myself an Artist

Sunday, December 14, 2014

December Reflections - week two,

Another week of December Reflections with Susannah Conway.
I haven't done a photo challenge in a long while.  Its nice to be back at it, taking a month to pause during my day and in the moment record my December.   

12/5: Leaves

12/6: T is for Trees
Jamison Park, Portland, OR
12/7: Best Book of 2014
my new sketch book
12/8: Sunset
No sunset on this evening - but it can be very pretty
Looking west to the West Hills of Portland, OR
12/9: Diagonals
12/10: Reflections
Nothing like a rain puddle for a good reflection
12/11: Best Photo of 2014
Top of the Lake - taken on a January morning looking south on Lake Washington

12/12: White

12/13: Comfort
my favorite scarf

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Linocut Christmas Cards, Printing for Fun and Sharing Art

Printed and Drying
Christmas Card Linocuts
Love linocut!  What better way to say Merry Christmas than to share art with a handmade Christmas card.  I have been a little slack on sending out cards in the past few years, but this year, I've changed it up.  Seems I've been bitten by the printing bug in a number of ways and its been taking up lots of creative space in my brain.

Inking Up
This past weekend, I spent Saturday and Sunday making and printing more encaustic collograph prints.  This time in the studio of Elise Wagner.  Printing is such a brain teaser for me - I love the mental gymnastics workout that it gives me.  Thinking in reverse, positive and negative space and of course throwing in the fundamentals of composition just to keep things exciting.

Artist Proofs
I love the graphic nature of the linocut.  The designs can be complex or simple - but the contrast is what is the tell all if it works or not.  Good things happening here and I'm super proud - I only cut my fingers twice :) 

Mounted on cards and ready to send

Now I just have to get these addressed and out in the mail.  Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!  And, Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Encaustic Collograph with Elise Wagner

Akua Intaglio Inks
nontoxic soy and honey based inks
Encaustic collograph printing...  can't seem to get enough of it.  I joined Elise Wagner in her Portland studio for her encaustic collograph printing class.  Elise is the mastermind behind using encaustic wax for collograph printing.  She's been experimenting with it for over 7 years, bringing it from an idea in her mind to where it is now - an emerging art form.

Prints Drying
A couple of times, a year she opens her studio for a workshop in combining wax and printing.  The rest of the year, she offers the classes around the country and in 2015 there will be a big event at R&F Paints in New York in August.

Inking Plates for the press
I took my first class in encaustic collograph at Atelier Meridian in November.  I was totally hooked and now even more so.  Learning from the printmaker's side to begin with and now more information from the encaustic painter's side providing me with a combination of perspectives. 
Encaustic collograph print
I'm very anxious to try and try again at this new endeavor, which means lots of trial and error as I make my way along the learning curve.  However, the holidays are bringing a rest from the studio and all the excitement and information rolling around in my brain.  It will all simmer away in the back of my mind, slowly cooking up some thing that will surprise me in the new year. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Encaustic Painting, December Reflections and Blue Jays

While You Were Away
encaustic mixed media on birch 6x8
Seems there isn't much going on for me in encaustic painting.  I feel lucky if I get some hours in the studio this time of year.  This Steller's Jay is one of the most recent and probably last ones I will do in 2014.  Its amazing to think that it's December and we will be waking up to Christmas Day not too far from now.  In addition to being totally distracted by the Holiday season, I've gotten bitten by the printing bug and it seems that my mind has shifted to thinking in terms of how to carve a linocut so that the positive and negative spaces work out.  So, I got the happy idea to make my own Christmas cards this year - all linocut of course!  I've been printing like crazy in the studio and have them all ready to be addressed.  I'm feeling very smug that I'm actually on top of it this year.  I'll share my Christmas card and printing endeavors next week. 

I'm also taking part in December Reflections with the brilliant Susannah Conway.  A photo a day (with word prompts) doesn't seem too overwhelming and is actually a nice pause during busy days. 

12/1:  Drinks
December Reflections
12/2:  Lights
December Reflections
12/3:  The Best Day of 2014
Today of course :) 
December Reflections
12/4: Red
My favorite foxy mug and my very first linocut :)
December Reflections

Hoping your Holiday season is rolling along smoothly so far.  Happy Friday everyone! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Encaustic Collograph, Pomegranate Art and Pulling Prints

encaustic collograph print 8x8
I feel a bit like a giddy school girl with a crush.  I just took a class at a Portland print studio - Atelier Meridian.  The class was taught by master printer Jane Pagliarulo  - Two half days of pulling prints -  I am totally hooked.  Jane is brilliant at combining monotype printing and encaustic collograph and was a great instructor.  And the studio is a wonderful place to work.  Granted I have A LOT to learn - but I'm kinda pleased with my first attempts.

3 Poms
encaustic collograph print 8x8

Collograph printing is about using collage or wax in this case to build a relief design which is then inked and run through the press.  We used Akua water based inks as they work well with the wax and also are a non toxic ink.  The textures the wax provides are incredible and beautiful.  I spent my time experimenting with an encaustic hot pen and seeing if I could get raised line on a flat background to work.  It did and it didn't, I lost a lot of detail, created halos and I learned a lot and have a ways to go to get it right - but there are a lot of good things happening within the prints.  Below are the plates that were used to create the prints.  They are beautiful in their own right with the remnants of ink still on them.

encaustic collograph plate for "Poms"
These plates were created on encaustic board.  We were also using plexiglass as our substrates.  These encaustic boards can now be mounted as paintings when I am done with them - double benefit.  Love - that's all I can say.  Going back for more print time when I get back to Portland. 

encaustic collograph plate for "3 Poms"
Happy Friday everyone!
And - my friend Nic over at gave me the most amazing gift - you have to go have a look.  I am over the moon grateful - thank you, Nic!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Art and Stereotype, Encaustic Painting and Franie

encaustic mixed media on birch 6x6

I just left a long winded post for a good friend, Kat Sloma, over on her blog - Kateyestudio  She was pondering the concept of labeling in the art world.  She is a photographer.  Now, I ask you.. does that conjure up a picture in your mind of what her art might be like?  I know the label photographer definitely brings up images of traditional photography in my mind.  Yet, her art is beautifully altered photos done digitally.  She is really good at it and her art is beautiful.  However, her question is - is what I do photography?  That's where her roots are and where her artwork starts - as a beautifully taken photograph.  Yet, after she works her digital magic - her art looks more like a painting.  It brings up a really good question of labeling.

So, I label myself as an encaustic artist - yet the representational work that I do in encaustic is the minority of what is done.  Most people conjure up the idea of beautiful textured abstract work as the stereotype for encaustic.  Yet, as a medium it is hugely diverse... There is encaustic collograph printing, encaustic over clay, rich beautiful monoprints  Its endless what can be done with the medium, yet is there a stereotype?  An expectation if someone says - I am an encaustic artist?  Is there a label?  How about other artists - oil painters, acrylic painters and watercolorists?  Is there a stereotype with these mediums?  Or have these been around so long with so many different representations done that people are open to and curious about what it is versus planting a stereotype?  Its an interesting subject to ponder. 
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Produce Produce, Encaustic Painting and Getting My Fruits and Veg

Produce produce - that was the request.  And here they are:
Five encaustic mixed media paintings that are all 8x10. 
When I say mixed media - although they don't really look it - their starts and under paintings are begun with layers mixed with paper, fabrics and book pages: tissue, patterns and whatever interesting things I can find to put into the works. 

Rabbit Food

Waiting for Smoothie
Red Bells

Heirlooms II

Green Fig

This was a fun subject for me to paint and try and figure out a way to do it that was interesting for me as well as hopefully for others.  Since I was happy how these turned out, off I went off to Whole Foods and bought another round of interesting subjects that will include egg plant, yellow beets, red pears, tri color carrots and I'm hopeful to pick up a turnip or two.  They will be round two of the produce produce paintings.  Happy Friday every one!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Encaustic Landscape Painting, Texture and Unsticking the Stuck

Somewhere Between Here and There
encaustic mixed media on birch 30"x30"x2.75"
Encaustic lends itself to painting landscapes quite well.  In fact, encaustic + landscape are meant for each other.  Imagine being able to just slash away at the wax to create all kinds of luscious texture, melting and dripping and more gouging to create the beautiful textures of nature.  How fun is that!?

Landscape art is new to me - but somehow I couldn't resist the want to try it. I actually started this painting the early part of summer and it got stuck in the ugly teenager state and ended up kicking around the studio for the entire summer until I just got tired of looking at it and tripping over it.  Its rather large at 30x30, so it was hard to ignore it.

After a late summer visit to Eastern Washington and a drive through apple country, the landscape of the great wide open with billowing fields of grasses stayed in my mind.  I roped in a couple of good artist friends and got their opinions on how to unstick the stuck painting.  Lucky for me their guidance was what I needed to get at it again.  Can't tell you how important it is to have artist friends to discuss arty things with.  I mean who else would listen to the woes of stuck paintings, color choices and the benefits of diagonals in composition?  Definitely need these people in my life.  *thank you - you know who you are :) 

I pulled out all the stops for this one - paper, fabric, oil paint, pastels, and Plej radio on Pandora - anything and everything to create texture.  I figured it could only get better from where it was, and if it didn't then it would become an under layer for the next big idea.  This big guy takes up my entire work table and its hard to reach the entire surface from my usual spot.  So, I hopped up on my little step stool so I could be above it a bit and went at it with pokey tools, ice pick looking things and scraping tools.  Heat, oil sticks, paper - more heat, more wax.  Standing it up and heating it til it dripped - laying it down and scraping away.  I just let the creative process take me away.  It was fun and nice to be loose.  A little of this, more of that and so here you have it - the first of many landscapes to come.

Happy Friday everyone!

PS - the Art Walk last night was well attended for an October evening.  Thank you to those who came to share the evening!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Blue Shoes, Foxes and Studio Time

I Will Take Them in Blue
encaustic mixed media on birch 8x10
Its October - wow.  I signed up to be the artist for the October Artwalk in Edmonds, WA.  My artwork is hanging in the Coldwell Banker Bain office on 5th St, for the entire month.  Last year, in April was my very first showing of my work publically and it was in this very same spot.  The show is much smaller this year but as I reflect back, its amazing to me how far I have come in such a relatively short time.  My artwork keeps changing and getting better as I find my way and hone my style. 
Encaustic is a very fickle medium but I enjoy it so.  Just when I think I've got it - I don't.  But I am a firm believer in showing up every day in the studio or at least in some form even if life gets in the way of true studio time.  Some days - its a walk outside and just taking in color, texture and line - seeing how light plays and shadows are created.  I let that information center itself in my mind for future reference.  Its as good as true studio creative time and just as important. 
Happy Friday everyone!!  And many many thanks to you that visit here and fuel my inspiration. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Imperfect Perfection, Painting Vegetables and Feeling Figgy

encaustic mixed media 8x10
I was asked to paint some vegetables/fruits.  I personally like fruits and veggies, so the subject matter kind of appealed to me.  Although I honestly had to find a way to paint them in some manner that isn't quite ordinary.  There are a lot of fruit and veg paintings out in the world because they are such a wonderful subject matter and one that we can relate to.  Yet, in my mind, if I'm going to paint a tomato, it has to be an heirloom in all its imperfect perfection.  Or to paint a fig - one that I picked from the tree in its unripe state before I realized that indeed it really wasn't ripe at all and needed more tree time to become its figgy perfection.
As artists, we are very much like the heirloom tomatoes or the unripe figs - we are perfectly imperfect.  Happy Friday everyone! 
The start of something Figgy
encaustic mixed media 8x10

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Watcher, Summer and More to Come

Encaustic mixed media on birch 6x6
Been painting some, but not enough.  Seems like summer is getting in the way - but I really don't mind.  There are many studio days coming my way as the season winds down. 
I just uploaded a bunch of new works into my gallery.  I hope you go have a browse. 

And just for fun - for those of you who are interested - Flora Bowley is offering Bloom True Boot Camp for the month of September - Here
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