Friday, December 21, 2007

Winter Solstice

Apropos of the season is the photo of a new encaustic painting. Very difficult to photograph encaustics. I've become fascinated with trees and have been retrieving the many photographs I have of trees a collection of twenty years worth of images. I'm amazed at how many images I have to work with but have not yet decided exactly how I want to use them in the series. At least I have a few started using a technique of drawing in India ink on the panel and then building up layers of encaustic medium and pigment. I've been experimenting with different "burning in" methods as well..mainly the use of heat from underneath the panel and infrared light bulbs. Both are very tricky to control and I've begun to realize more and more that I don't have total control of the process and will not have total control no matter how many hours I spend using the medium for painting.

I just viewed "Le Belle Noiseuse". It was four hours of heaven for an artist to watch another artist drawing from the figure..Well the entire DVD is not drawing, there is a story so to speak but the drawing was mesmerizing. After viewing I took out my extra long filbert brushes and discovered new life in my paintings of the figure this past week.

Then there are the holidays. It is hard to keep working with all the hubbub around me but I've been managing quite well to keep the work going that needs to be delivered after the first of the year. January will be a very busy month to say the least.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The weather finally feels like fall. I'm not sure how long it will last but a few days will enervate me for sure. I look around the studio and see so many paintings in progress and I love it; they are all encaustics at the moment. I've fallen in love with the circle, circumference, the sphere, a hole in the wall, an opening. Frankly I'm not sure if I understand the significance of the emerging images but they please me. There is now a series of twelve "roundnesses" that appear to be one painting---8 x 8 inch paintings. Don't know yet what configuration they'll take. All in a row...I like that. So much texture. Can't get enough.

I've been fascinated by the NASA "Earth as Art" site. Can't get enough of the photos available online. They are inspiring my underpaintings for the current series but they're not the only inspiration. My photos taken through the microscope are a second sources and an interesting one.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Georgia Women Artists Blog

Check out the new blog, Georgia Women Artists. Look forward to interesting discussions. The first entry has great photos of the recent exhibition in Athens, Georgia, "Stretch". It was an amazing experience to be part of the exhibition. But perhaps even better was to see the other artists as they installed their work. Many, many hours went into the creation of those works.

New encaustics, my format is getting bigger and I'm certainly getting more ambitious with the texture becoming richer and richer. An unusual format for me, I'm painting round images in a square. Boundless symbolism. The inspiration for the images is coming from NASA photos. I'm of course not recreating the photos but rather using the color and texture for my underpaintings.

Monday, July 16, 2007


I am as relaxed as is possible with all the deadlines looming ahead. One day at a time, I've heard that said so many times...just hard to practice. The "Stretch" exhibit is next and my installation is finished (the image shown here). Then the show in Kingston, New York, "Encaustic '07". My "Calypso" painting will hang there and then move to Ball State University for the rest of the show till December. I am really excited about showing that work in such a prestigious venue. I hope to meet the other encaustic artists..what a blast.

Today I'm readying my presentation for the Atlanta Artists Center, explaining the wonderful world of encaustic painting. I'll do a workshop there in September and look forward to sharing all the fun with other artists willing to do all that "burning in".

Our trip to Paducah was great. What a wonderful idea their artist relocation plan. Not many properties still available but I can't wait to go back and see the progress. Met artist and gallery owner Char Downs there and visited the Mark Palmer Gallery...outstanding. So much abstract art in the heart of Kentucky. Who knew? With so short a vacation there was no time to explore everything. We'll be back.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Hello Out There

I have been at it again. Working 18 hour days to get ready for upcoming exhibits and painting new work needed for my favorite galleries. Though I must admit that some of those hours are spent staring at blank canvases and waiting for lightning to strike, so to speak. The work was going so slowly I was beginning to think I was going to be in big trouble. Then it happened. Out of the blue come images and colors that started singing to me, yes singing! I finished a number of encaustics, very pleased with those and oil paintings too. My model was unavailable last week so I had to focus, luckily, on the abstract work I have a little over three weeks left before the deadlines. Fifteen paintings in all, would you believe it. It's freezing outside here. Maybe that's the reason why I recovered from what was becoming a serious case of "spring fever". The painting to the left is "Calypso", my favorite so far.

Monday, February 26, 2007

It Won't Work

What, I forgot how to log in! Don't tell me I'm not keeping up with my wish to blog. Alas. I have been brush to canvas for several weeks now. Starting and starting a painting which will never work. I can't make it work. I cannot direct the art I have to let go and let it come. Oh brother. So I have put it away and have begun again on an image that will work, I'm sure it will?

I am enjoying the oil paint again and am ready to start on new encaustics. Everyday I think the commission is finished and it will be possible to get to the lovely wax. Well, maybe tomorrow is the day.

I heard a great lecture (courtesy of Netflix) on Louise Bourgeois. How wonderful that she has created a sculpture that will celebrate the lives of those who were lost in the tsunami. I would very much like to see it in person.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Where are the hues?

Why is it that spontaneous color is so hard to come by. I've been working in oil for the past three weeks and for some reason the colors will not come. They're not singing to me. I teach private students and I'm always on their backs to loosen up, let the color and images come to them. Don't try to push it. Well, guess what? I'm pushing, pulling, almost no hair left on my head and all I see before me is mush, not mud, mush. Letting go has to be the hardest thing an artist must do to create. Part of the problem has been commissions...I love doing them but they can stop me being me at some point and trying to find me again takes some time.

The painting here is what I consider my only success lately. But it didn't come easily. The failures are lining up now and I'm quickly removing them from my studio. Sure, I know that learning from failures is how you find success but it feels terrible sometimes.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Catch Up Time

I know it's past time to catch up with myself. The winter is a very busy time this year, new galleries, new work. Soon, soon I'll have time to start some new encaustics as I've been working in oil for a show. I viewed some encaustics at a prestigious gallery yesterday and was amazed at how much wax I estimated to have been used in the production of some very large pieces. All that "burning in" boggles my mind. I worked on a couple of large pieces several years ago. They were very long and very narrow and took forever to complete. Totally worth it but I think I'll stick to working in series in the smaller format. I love the idea of experimenting and feel so much freer to do so on a smaller scale. The big ones till come eventually because I can not stop them.

The encaustic above is more whimsical than many of the others I've been working on and I like it.