Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tool of the Urban Troubadour

As I get ready to spend the weekend at Lollapalooza listening to oodles of live music I felt the need to pay homage to the instrument that speaks most profoundly to my heart...the acoustic guitar.  Many songs that end up being electrified, amplified and synthesized start out as a simple melody or heartfelt poem in a basement, bedroom or studio.  That is where the connection between the musical artist and the visual artist intersects...we both start with nothing and end up with something.  Sometimes we end up with a whole lotta nothin' but sometimes we are able to connect with other people through what we make and that's really cool.  

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Living With Art

I don't have anything new completed today but I have two promising ideas unfolding which I hope to work on tomorrow.  The smidge of a painting pictured above is something I started a few months ago.  I know it's not done but I haven't known quite what it needed so I actually hid it behind a larger painting for awhile and now I'm revisiting it like an old friend in need.
I hope I'm able to breathe some new life into it and give it wings so it can go out into the world.   
It's funny how once you have a space to work in you are able to live with your paintings.  Some get finished quickly and are listed and sold, others sit on the shelf waiting for their perfect match to find them  and still others take time and perspective just to complete.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Greatest Show on Earth...

As I was sitting in the waiting room at the hospital last week I sketched a little circus tent.  The excitement, mystery and worldliness of the big top...what's gonna happen here???  Part of the allure is that you just never know.  So here we have the plain cradled maple panel which is 1" deep.  I covered it with black, heat set it and transfered the outline of my sketch to the wax.  The next step is to paint the colored wax on in the appropriate spaces(yes, like paint by number).  After that I outline the drawing with a fine point stylus, fill in with an oil stick clean the whole thing up with linseed oil, lay on a little silver leaf for a shimmery full moon and voila! 

Monday, July 28, 2008

Jack of All Trades...

Above are the 3 sample prints I ordered from "".  I know the photos are crooked and the light isn't great but the quality is kind of beside the point.  The thing I really like about making art and selling on etsy is that people are able to purchase an actual handmade item which is one of a kind(yes I have issues with the prints).  But everybody is feeling the economy's squeeze these days and so I'm torn....prints are much more affordable that an original but with encaustics the depth and texture is the whole point of the medium.  The elephant(Forget-Me-Not) looks ok but the woman swimming in seaweed is drab and unremarkable.  I think "fish farm" looks awesome as a print.  It was the first thing I ever painted in wax and from that moment I was smitten.  I will never part with the original so maybe a print is ok???  It's amazing how many things you have to do as an artist.  Before I started in encaustics I was making ceramic art tiles and had my work in 5 galleries.  But the pieces I was doing were custom and I framed the time I stopped it had become more about the framing than the tiles.  And now with etsy I'm becoming much better at data entry, photography, packaging and shipping and now printing archival copies????  

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shock and Awe(some)

No pictures today since I'm away for the weekend but I was so thrilled to have comments that I had to send out some good juju and say thanks for taking the time to write! Next week I'll be working on a few small pieces that I hope to share in phases. I'm also experimenting with having prints made of some of my paintings (hopefully they won't be a big disappointment). The texture and depth of the pieces may not come thru in a print...we'll see next week! Have a lovely and inspired weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Well today ended up being less productive than anticipated due to a medical emergency (UGG!) Above you will see a frame in progress(for the ladies), a fresh wood panel and 3 unfinished paintings. The blessing and the curse of working in wax is that you can always undo what you've done(thanks to the heat gun) but sometimes you wish you hadn't undone what you had done....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My teeny-tiny studio...

Welcome to my studio blog!  I am starting this blog in an attempt to better manage creativity and dailiness.  By opening up my studio and sharing process of encaustic painting I'm hoping to connect with other artists and give some context to my work for potential customers.  So to begin this journey I'll start by sharing a few photos of my tiny but much loved studio.  It has no door and used to be catch all storage room with lots of built in shelves. Encaustics is not really a portable or "kitchen table" medium and so carving out this space to set up my equipment and a ventilation system was really important.  I'm also including a few photos of a new and kind of large piece I started yesterday....