Friday, November 27, 2009

Creativity and the Holidays

Each year I notice that as the year winds down it is harder to work. I go in the studio in the morning and sit for a long time or pace around and around trying to decide how to proceed. It's hard for me to know if it is the outside world invading the studio or just a memory overload from all holidays past. There is definitely a sea change in the atmosphere.

I remember several years ago having an exhibit open in January. The struggle to finish all the work in December was very daunting and I determined never to schedule another exhibit in January and have kept that promise to myself.

Each year I plan a vacation during this time. It seems the best thing to do under the circumstances and at least I can leisurely draw and take photographs just for myself. This year it will be the beach, sand, cold wind and breaking waves that will in concert by my muse.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Open House

This weekend was "Open House" at the Artisan Resource Center where I have my studio. Really love my studio, by the way. So many people came through and I had the chance to talk about the encaustic work I am doing now, do a little demonstrating, and meet such great people.

Friday night was the first anniversary celebration at dk Gallery. So many of the artists represented were there and I continue to be impressed with owner, Donna Krueger, who cares about her artists. She is really an amazing person and I'm lucky to know her. I also admire the artists' works that are in the gallery and enjoy just going in to be inspired. The gallery has changed the landscape of the Marietta Square.

I now look forward to a trip to Savannah to not only have a few days of r&r but also time to take photographs. There hasn't been much time lately. Spending time in Bonaventure Cemetery will be wonderful this time of year. So many old trees. Just being in Savannah is like going home in a way. Living there for a while was such a pleasure...though I don't miss the heat and humidity of the summer.
The image above doesn't really have anything to do with this post. Just an image of a recently completed oil painting that I like.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Hot Wax in the Studio

I've started new paintings. Since I spent the summer preparing for an exhibit at the Walker School, a private school in Marietta, Georgia, I have had my usual interim period of cleaning up and waiting to start again. It wasn't really a down time since I had an oil commission painting to work on and two other large oil paintings to finish for the Tannery Row "Big 2" exhibit coming up in a couple of weeks. It has become relaxing to paint with oil, somehow so much easier than encaustic. The encaustic method has greatly influenced my oil painting I think mainly looking at color in a new way. Not sure how that works yet but I'm thinking about it. No matter how often I return to oil it does not satisfy me in the same way as the encaustic painting.

This week I did three demos and had a great time. I love the excitement generated by the contemporary form of the ancient painting technique. Now over time I've become very comfortable talking and painting. I remember the first time I did a demo many years ago at Sam Flax and had a very hard time talking to people and painting.

Looking forward to seeing Jack Kehoe's sculpture at dk Gallery at the end of the week. His marble sculpture is so beautiful.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

My favorite quote for the day

Vladimir Nabokov wrote that the purpose of storytelling is "to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in the kindly mirror of future times; to find in the objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern and appreciate in far-off times when every trifle of our plain everyday life will become exquisite and festive in its own right; the times when man who might put on the most ordinary jacket of today will be dressed up for an elegant masquerade."

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Early Saturday

This morning I'm in the studio early to look at the work I've finished and assess it. I'm working methodically and therefore self-consciously. There are times when it may not be possible to rid my studio of the voices that try to direct me toward an image. I'll be teaching this morning and then I'll do that lovely exercise of inviting everyone, in my head and on my shoulders to leave the studio so that I will no longer be concentrating but composing without an audience. This is not an easy task and may take some time. However, I'm dedicated to the proposition that being alone in the studio is the only way to make art that is meaningful to me.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

She Always Walked That Way

And there, hanging my the one hair left to her, she heard a song.
Bent backward and all around she dreamed of inventing the sea.
She tried to understand why she was so solid and not there.
But was geometrically opposed.

She had many eyes at the tips of her fingers but could feel nothing.
Did she need arms to go behind her looking for the answer.
She always walked that way.
Staying connected or wishing for no silence, whichever came first
Part of her stood waiting for the many faces left in her brain.

Her dress was dark and stormy
And her eyes had two lenses.
It was funny the appendages she grew while waiting to divide.
Living up in a row, she saw no one.
Uncontrolled hands were never there.
Was her father the fly on the wall?

Her senses tried to find calm.
She saw a mechanical leg---then she wept.
Her ears grew longer and she felt an eye.
She stood on the stand half thin,
But her eyes were wings, green.
She grew pregnant and heard voices.
Hooks and hangers stabbed below her heart then came a hot whistle.
Her neck stretched to a long finger and she wept again.

Small and black and finely grained
Her legs were shorter than she was.
There was a big line that threw itself about her.
She was only three.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I have seriously neglected my blog lately. Maybe Facebook is partly to blame but for the most part I have been working on new work truly spending hours fusing encaustic paint. The results have been pleasing but I have struggled too. The struggle comes with trying to pinpoint exactly what I am saying right now. I don't really have very much of a clue. It has to do with pattern, symmetry, repetition...I may know what is emerging soon as the series continues to stay with me even when I'm sleeping. That really doesn't happen to me very often. I am really working on three series at once. The floral with texture, the serial abstract, and photographs of trees that are cut and pasted resulting in the most fantastic images. Accompanying is a floral I find fascinating because the color palette is so different for me.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Encaustic Talk

Ah yes, this was a truly interesting week. There was the fact that I am finally recovering from the worst viral bug in my history and I had an opportunity to talk about encaustic painting two times this past week at dk Gallery. Of all the talks I've given I think I enjoyed these the best. The audience was made up of art lovers and artists who were almost as enthusiastic as I was. Lots of questions which made my job so easy.

The "Live and Learn" series at the gallery is such a wonderful way of making art accessible. Each month since the beginning of the year an artist has had an opportunity of bringing his or her art to life. Kudos to the gallery owner.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Too Busy

When I get too busy to blog, I know I'm too busy. On the other hand I had a stellar January. Right now I'm fully engaged in making work and teaching. I'm enjoying both roles and they are feeding me. The photo encaustics are still my favorites and I'll be posting new images soon.
I just finished the book "The Spirit of Abstract Expressionism" the selected writings of Elaine de Kooning. A most satisfying selection of essays. How fun to read about the process of various artists including Hofman, de Kooning and Wyeth. Particularly Wyeth whose work I love with a passion. Elaine de Kooning had access to so many artists and faithfully recorded her knowledge of, interest in and admiration for so many of her artist friends that now we can savor her thoughts.
John Updikes's death last week was particularly sad as I had grown up reading him. Every year, or almost, I waited for the new book to be released close to the beginning of the year. Though I haven't checked, I think I've read all this books. I remember reading his memoir in a rain storm while camping in North Carolina. Our tent was leaking and despite it all, wet socks and shoes....everything wet, I was engrossed in his writing though I remember thinking he was whining just a little bit. Since I was whining too perhaps that makes sense. This was an untimely death and I look forward to reading his last words in print.
Why the chair photo? Well next week I deliver my installation of chairs to dk Gallery for a show that opens on Friday, February 13th (yikes). I will enjoy once again visiting the "Family Circle". One of the chairs went to a collector in California so I just finished the replacement and wouldn't you know it's "The Princess".

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Yesterday I left for the studio on a beautiful morning. It was so foggy. I loved the feel of all that water in the air. Even the sound was deadened as it is when it snows. Since snow is rarely a possiblity here then fog will have to do creating that amazing quiet. Of course it was very early when I left and I have to admit I love the very early morning. I'm still getting acquainted with my camera but I did take several shots that I like.

Today I'm finally working on new paintings for the Spotlight exhibit. I've done this show for so many years, but who's counting. The venue has gotten very crowded now but it's for a good cause and I make money too. It will be interesting to see what's on tap for this year.

The dk Gallery exhibit opens on Friday evening. I already delivered my paintings, all oil this time and all in the series of soft geometrics (with bold color) that I have painted since '01. It will always be my favorite series. I'm attempting to carry them into encaustic. We'll see if that works. They will of course be different in feel because the oils have very energetic brushwork. Maybe it's a different series.