Thursday, December 30, 2010

Winter Solstice

For the first time in many years, I have had a creative surge during the holidays enabling me to finish three large paintings. I'm not sure where this surge came from and I am happy to report that there was time for friends and family too!! I always think of spring and summer, mostly summer as my creative time and have always had difficulty continuing any project this time of the year. So welcome this time as January and February look to be especially busy next year. Very grateful for that too.

The day after Christmas, Charlie, my stepson and I had an exhibit in my studio. We exhibited his photographs taken in Sweden, where he lives now and my photograph taken here in the States. I was amazed at how our similar points of view merged for this show. Charlie is so creative both in this music (his real career) and his photography. I have been watching the progress of his image making for a long time and admire his ability to see. We were hampered by such horrible weather and his long journey from Sweden (43 hours) but we managed to have a great exhibit and great conversations with all those who were able to make the trip to the studio.

As an addendum, I have to say that I found out today that some paintings I like so much, I don't want to finish them. I delay and delay their final layer or whatever it is that needs to be done to put a final touch. I'll now watch that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Southern Living Publication

Received a note from "Southern Living" magazine on Friday that one of my paintings will be included in the Christmas with Southern Living 2011 hardcover book. Not due out till July but I'm psyched already. A rather nice Christmas gift.

Working in the studio today to get ready for Charles and my photo salon on Sunday, December 26. Charles has been taking photographs for years and I've always loved his work but it's never been shown anywhere. So he'll be here from Sweden during the holidays and we're putting together an informal exhibit to introduce his work. He's such a wonderful musician it'll be fun to see another side of his talents.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Art Interrupted

Okay that's a strange title but it came to mind as I started to work after an illness enforced break. Years ago I was asked to be represented by a gallery with the same name as the title of this post. Yes, the name of the gallery was "Art Interrupted". I believe that the owner's own art work had been interrupted by the usual life shifts and was eager to get back to art. I still thought the name a very unusual and perhaps not to promising a name. The owner was very nice. She was young and enthusiastic and sold a painting an hour after I delivered the first work to her. But alas not long afterward her life took another shift and she had to close the gallery. It's a tough business.

It is amazing to me how many galleries have represented my work over my art producing life span and how many are not in business anymore. Each one is special with its own stamp on my art career. I'm very lucky to know and have known so many art lovers who showed me something new about art and sometimes about life. And too, how much I've grown many times with their backing and encouragement. Artists do have fragile egos no matter their outward posing and demeanor. A good gallery owner means a lot. An artist is supposed to distance themselves from their work but that's way to hard when you invest so much of yourself into each artwork you create. A little piece of yourself is broken off and embedded or at least that is what you can hope for if the artwork is a success.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

And I Can Eat it Too!

I thought I had finished a painting and THEN (actually nothing new) there it was a space for a pomegranate. This summer the apple tree outside my apartment was full of apples but, well they were a little sad to look at. Since I never ate one, I'm not sure they tasted good either. Nevertheless I really fell in love with this little tree as it tried to compete with space with the boysenberry tree which has truly taken over everything. I still took photographs of those apples and wanted to immortalize them just for their tenaciousness. Back to the space in the painting. I left a square unpainted and the color rather pedestrian until the other day the painting called me back for a finish after I heard a story about pomegranates on NPR. Someone had traveled half around the world to see a big grove. For me the trip was a lot shorter as the Whole Foods near my studio has I can draw the lovely prop and eat it too.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Good, the bad and the beautiful

This was a most unusual Thanksgiving. Since I had the flu, I was in bed sniffling, coughing and sneezing and just feeling generally miserable. It was such a shock to get sick this time of the year. We were supposed to be vacationing in the mountains and then having a family dinner at my sister's house. Didn't miss the turkey since I'm a vegetarian but I did miss my family. We'll catch up at Christmas.

Here at the studio I began preparing for Open House and my trunk sale of oil paintings the weekend before Thanksgiving. Well part of the weekend went well. I made it till Saturday afternoon before I had to give in and go home to bed. I was so pleased that four of my very large abstract oils went to excellent homes...very nice collectors. They were as pleased as I was for those paintings to have permanent homes. I can't wait for the photos of them installed. The best part of course is that I now have more room for the large encaustics that I am continuing to work on.

Yes today, it's beautiful to be here in the studio working on these paintings. It was all I could do to stay away from the studio but much better to feel better! I'll post photos soon.

Time to get ready for my photo exhibit with my stepson Charlie. The day after Christmas we're launching an exhibit of our photographic work. Charlie is an excellent photographer (musician by profession) and I'm sure we'll put together a great exhibit. Can't wait.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hambidge Residency

The news was very good yesterday. I was accepted for a residency at Hambidge. So long I have wanted to apply but there was always some reason I could not be away for two weeks. I can now only imagine how great it will be to have two weeks to work in solitude in a beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain location right at the close of winter. So many vistas to visit, draw, photograph. Staggering to think how excited I am. The prospect of the hours to just luxuriate in the quiet cabin on my own. So grateful for the opportunity.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Georgia National Fair

I took a trip to south Georgia on Saturday and it was a great trip. Two of my encaustic paintings were delivered to the Georgia National Fair Fine Arts Exhibition. Immediately I met an artist who was volunteering and had just bought encaustic paint. She had not used it yet and we had a good talk about the project she was planning.

The trip itself was interesting because we decided to travel home via Fort Valley and Pine Mountain. The weather, of course, was hot but the ride was great traveling on a four lane at 65 mph almost all the way. No traffic either which was a pleasure having made the trip down in a whole lot of traffic on I-75. We stopped in a town called Junction City...nothing there anymore though it had been a thriving railroad stop at one almost deserted.

The trip across Pine Mountain was stellar and a dinner at the Country Store topped off a most enjoyable day in the state of Georgia. The State has so much to offer with its rolling countryside.
Should mention a stop in a "junk" store in the town of Pine Mountain that yielded me two more items for a sculptural project that will soon start.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Always A Nice Surprise

I've been very lucky to work with wonderful gallery owners. One of whom is Rick Griffith. He serves up a treat with each sale, a yellow sticky note with info on who bought the painting(s) and where it will now reside...oh yes and why the painting was the right one for this client. Besides that info, there is always a funny line or two from a guy who has a great sense of humor. Over the years I've saved these gems and often display them by my computer just to remind myself to have fun.
The image to the left went to Florida with a man who bought it for his wife as an "I Love You" gift. Nice huh? "Sunflowers II" a 24 x 24 inch encaustic painting.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


I just remembered today that I forgot to post photos of the two commission paintings that I did for Griffith Art Gallery. Each was 37" x 72". This was the great commission for the summer and I enjoyed very much the challenge.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

So Cool

Right now I'm sitting at the computer and enjoying the cool air. Yes it is very humid outside but my air conditioner is keeping up with the temp and humidity inside very well. So many days it has been too hot to work but of course I have anyway. Firing up the grill on those 90 degree days, not something to look forward to but on the other hand fusing the wax was faster or it seemed so.

I just finished the accompanying painting yesterday and love it. The photographs of the apples were transferred to the encaustic surface and then I had fun doing my usual creating and destroying as I make the painting. The apple tree is right outside my apartment and I've been taking photos for a few weeks now in anticipation of doing something with them. The finished product says what I wanted to say. What more can you ask?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Art Forger

For the past three weeks I have been working on a commission for one of my favorite galleries. The assignment sounded impossible but I agree to it! A client loved two of my paintings so she decided she would take them home on approval. The next day she brought them back and requested that the artist (that would be me) create for her two paintings that were almost identical but much much larger...I'm talking about very big. The original paintings are created in a multitude of layers and frankly I don't remember how long it took me to finish them. The other stumbling block was the fact that the client mentioned a month deadline which was shorter than that by the time I got the necessary photographs of her daughters. Oh did I mention she wanted the figures to represent her daughters.

Well I did it. The paintings are finished and photographed and now are drying..oil paint of course. But I had the strangest sensation on one of the painting days that I was an art forger as I studied the originals and did my best to recreate the touch, color, and feel of those paintings. I think this may be the most complicated commission that I've ever done. I will await the client's response coming next week.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Oil in the Studio

After so many months working in encaustic I am working in oil this week. I have a request for a number of paintings large and small and have spent the week immersed in those images. It was hard to get started, very hard in fact. Unlike working in encaustic it is so fast, unbelievably fast. That's the part that I like right now. Finishing seven paintings in a week. Woohoo! Almost ready to return to the grill and torch. The one thing that I especially liked this week was the cool studio. The air conditioner actually kept up with the heat not having to fight with all the heating tools.


Friday, May 14, 2010


I am playing tonight. Bought a new computer for our home and wow is it fun to use. Of course there is a learning curve with a new operating system but it's a piece of cake compared to our first computer, a Comodore 64. I'm sure there are many people who don't even know what that is. The most fun must be the Webcam. I'm positively giddy using that feature. Really makes me laugh. Especially creating a avatar. Always wanted one. The graphics have to be the best feature of this computer and of course I've tried all the games available.

This computer will be a breeze to use when I'm working on my website or editing photos of my artwork. Can't wait.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Paintings This Week

This morning I'm taking stock of the past week which was creatively fun and successful. I finished the last of the paintings that were started earlier in the spring and found inspiration in unexpected places. I'm not a gardener at least not for many years but since moving into the apartment where I live now I have a renewed interest in everything growing. The grounds are simply beautiful with so many flowering shrubs, flowers, and trees, including fruit trees of every variety. I enjoy without actually working to maintain them. I almost feel guilty but not really. The grounds crew is far more knowledgeable and efficient than I would be now. The studio and painting really chew up everyday very nicely. The center courtyard this year was a sea of azaleas of many varieties. I've never been a big fan of azaleas but have been converted this year.

The painting pictured here was inspired by the beautiful spring. "Essence".

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Art Start

Last evening I had to admit to myself that I am experiencing disappointment. Whenever that happens I have to reach back and find my optimism again. I also pull out a copy of "Finding Water" because Julia Cameron articulates better than I can myself what happens when you lose your optimism and how to balance yourself again to regain that very important quality which keeps me going. How else could I continue to make art?

One side of the "art business" is going very well and that is the teaching or mentoring side. I have been very blessed and grateful for the wonderful people that I work with. Yesterday a raw beginning adult student drew for two hours straight completing the exercises I gave her. Her passion to learn how to draw was a revelation to me as I don't see that kind of eagerness to start at the beginning. Seems everyone wants to start at the end. Not that I don't understand for the discipline to draw everyday is sometimes elusive.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Saturday Morning

This morning I was awake at 5:30am thinking about the paintings I want to start today. After handling a family affair for the past five years, I am now able to wake up and think only about art if I want to. What a rare and wonderful privilege. I feel so free and it has taken a while for it to happen. But finally so much imaging time! During the past week, my visualizing has really taken off and sitting on the easel in the studio is a painting that is the result of uninterrupted time to work. May I say, I am grateful.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New Work

I have been so absorbed in my work that it continues to flow. I don't feel hesitant to paint, make wholesale changes...the images are right near my hand. And I am painting for myself in a way that I haven't in quite some time. It feels quite miraculous and hard to explain in words. The images float through my dreams, meet me when I awaken and stay on my eyes as I head for the studio to start work again. I won't talk about it anymore because I think I may be superstitious.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

New work

The last three weeks were spent finishing a large number of paintings for a gallery. It was rewarding in the fact that I am now working with great concentration at a time of the year that is not usually a very good one for me. I'm not sure why but the winter has always been a difficult time even though after the first of the year I have always had a lot of time in the studio. One big difference is just how busy my schedule has been. So many activities I am presuming have energized my work.

Now I've begun work on the next series of paintings and am working non-stop, experimenting and planning as never before. If it is this good now, I can't wait for the summer my most productive time. "Regeneration" to the left.

Friday, March 05, 2010

A Day Away

I'm taking a day away from the studio today. Need to refuel, repair, and rethink. Well maybe not think too much. After delivering so many paintings this week, it was almost like I had mounted an exhibit. My energy drained and time to rest. An uncertainty always takes over after mounting a marathon of painting and perhaps a letdown. I need space so that I can see again.

The painting pictured here was especially rewarding and will lead me forward.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


The Trinity School artists' market is about to get underway. I delivered my work today after being delayed by the snow for a couple of days. The latest I've delivered in the nine years of participating. If you can't get out of your driveway, you can't. I also delivered my painting for the auction; that is something new this year and I decided to participate. Hope the painting makes some money for them.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fun with wax

I must admit to having fun while painting with encaustic though at times it is a daunting task to forget the process while using so many tools, electrical wires and heavy duty extension cords everywhere as well as so many pots of paint, sharp ceramic instruments, irons, the list is too long. As time has passed I am freed, most of time, to pursue the "subject matter" that I'm exploring. It is so difficult not to blown off course by process experimentation. Especially since I've been teaching other artists how to use this method of painting. The workshop and classes are great and as I've said before I learn alot.

It is so interesting to me that my path has now led to the incorporation of "real" images though I still vacillate between pure abstraction and shall I call it semi-abstraction. Yes I am playing with terms knowing that most will say all art is abstract. But you get my meaning. Using the silk organza photographs in my work give it a new quality that I quite like. I have now spent many hours photographing winter trees for future incorporation.

Above is a photo of some of the encaustic paintings I recently delivered to Rick and Dave at Griffith Gallery in Pelham, Alabama. Rick made the photo for me after he framed some of paintings to hang. I often say it and will say again my nearly eight relationship with the Gallery is stellar. I'm lucky to work with great gallery owners who send me commissions of which I am very appreciative. Thanks guys!