Monday, July 18, 2016

Use your words...



A friend came to visit over the weekend and she helped me get started on my Pop X installation.  As we sat out on the back porch for hours each morning and afternoon sanding blocks, cutting paper and pasting paper onto wood we talked about the power of words.  Looking at the roots of words, words hidden in words and words that mean different things to different people.  As I mentioned in my last post, I am creating this installation to engage the Ann Arbor community in conversation, to let people tell their stories and for people to hear what others have to say.  The weight of this idea really hit me hard as we talked about recent events here in this country and abroad and I realized just how important it is that we all do a lot more listening and a lot more speaking up.  



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer color and summer news-

Water's Edge
8x8"



Night Garden
8x8"


Summer is in full swing and the 5 of us are scattered to the wind.  Between us, in June and July, we are in Ann Arbor, Nebraska, Northern Michigan, Southern Illinois, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Ontario...and this is not counting C's work travel!  Lots of fun and adventure kicking off this season with breaks in between where we are all here to hang out and catch up.

I have another week and a half off before I start teaching summer classes at The Ann Arbor Art Center and I've been in the studio every day painting with cold wax and oil paint.  I am totally addicted to this new to me medium. I love the depth of color and the gorgeous texture the thick buttery wax creates and the brightness and clarity it maintains when applied that is very different than my encaustic work.  I have quite a few pieces in the works in a variety of sizes that I will continue to share as they are completed...which may be awhile given what I am sharing in the next paragraph :)

I am super excited to share two new bits of work related news.  The 1st is that I have been invited to participate in Art Prize 2016.  'The Art Of Mending' will be shown in the main Lobby of the FifthThird Bank/ Warner Norcross and Judd LLP building.  If you are in or near Grand Rapids or are looking for a late summer adventure that will feed your soul I highly recommend exploring this art filled community event.  The 2nd bit of news is super, super exciting.  This year I submitted a proposal for POP-X 2016 which is a 10 day public art installation that is up in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor September 22nd to October 1st....and I am one of eight artists that have been chosen!!!  It is hard to describe my project so I am including my actual proposal (and mentioning that 500 blocks will not be enough and I am now up to 700...yikes!)

For POP X 2016 my proposal ’Talking Blocks’ is a dynamic and interactive art installation that invites the Ann Arbor community and its visitors to express themselves in short phrases, six word stories, poetry and full sentences.  The installation will be made up of a tall, free standing, black, four sided wood structure with multiple long black shelves on all four sides. The freestanding rectangle structure will be centered inside of the 100 sq ft house so that the public can enter the structure and walk all the way around it.  Having the structure centered, rather than lining the walls will take advantage of the natural light inside and will allow the installation to be viewed through the windows from the outside.  The interactive part of the display will be five hundred 2” high reclaimed wood blocks of varying lengths.  Four hundred of the  blocks will have words on them and the other hundred will have images form my work on them.  Things like, but not limited to, houses, boats, water, butterflies, rainbows, roads, people and birds.  The words and images will be printed on archival paper, bonded to the blocks with bookbinding glue, the block will then be coated in four thin layers of encaustic medium.  Each layer will be fused to the layer below creating a finish which is durable and impervious to water. I will then cover the blocks in black oil stick and wipe the excess away, leaving the black to fill in the bubbles and lines in the wax highlighting the texture and depth of the layers.  The words and images can be combined in infinite variations creating an ongoing conversation that will change by the hour and the day.  ‘Talking Blocks’ offers a way for the community to share ideas and to be heard, and will introduce many people to the ancient art of encaustic painting.  On it’s own each of the 500 blocks isn’t really much but when put together they will say a lot.

And while we're on the subject of new I wanted to mention a few other things I am exploring.  The 1st involves a new company I think many of you may have heard from if you are a working artist.  VIDA and Co. is a new style licensing company that is very interesting.  I have used three of my 'Art Of Mending' paintings to design long cashmere/silk scarves.  Check them out and let me know what you think and if you have any information or experience with this company I'd love to hear about it.  I have also ordered a 10" square print of one of my larger paintings on wood panel.  I'm not sure how the work will translate as a print but I'm hoping I will love it.  I experimented with prints on paper many years ago and wasn't thrilled with them but I think the wood will help keep the image more dimensional.  And lastly, I'm looking into getting some temporary tattoos printed with my artwork.  The night swimmers are begging to be first :)

Here's hoping your summer is off to a great start and that you are soaking up the sunshine!




Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

cold wax on paper-

they look like illustrations, don't they?


These are the 1st two cold wax paintings I did while at The Vermont Studio Center.  I wasn't really happy with them while I was working on them because they felt so flat and I wanted texture from the wax. Working on paper is very different than working on wood and I had to allow myself the time time to play and experiment freely. After working them over a few days time I was able to get some movement and texture in each piece by using oil pastels between layers of wax. Partially because I taped my edges I think they look a lot like illustrations. Theses two pieces have grown on me but I've switched back to working on wood now that I'm home.  I am really loving painting with the cold wax, oil paints and palette knives...messy in a different way than encaustic and it's nice to move between the two mediums.   Have you worked with cold wax and oil paint?  Love it or hate it?

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

Another piece from my time at The Vermont Studio Center.  River rocks, driftwood, encaustic paint, natural and hand dyed indigo linen.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Patch Work

Patch Work 1 & 2
14"x18"


Another resident came into my studio while I was working on The Art Of Mending pieces and suggested that it might be interesting for me to use the same color pallet and style but to work bigger and loosen things up.  I really like the result and plan to use these two pieces as a jumping off point for even larger paintings.  I ordered two 24" square panels and a 24" x 36" panel which I'm excited to get to work on.  Normally I buy large sheets of plywood and cut them to size for larger work but they are very, very heavy and I move my work around a lot as I paint and scrape and layer and heat set.  So, I decided to order cradled panels and see if it makes working large easier. 

Happy long weekend people :)