Friday, August 29, 2008

Encaustic Treasury!

I am posting a second time today to give a big thank you to Shannon of newbyart for putting together a beautiful treasury of encaustic art AND for starting a blog for encaustic artists and curious minded individuals....and I also have to thank Dana (Leililaloo) for helping me figure out how to incorporate links into my posts (I did it!) 


Happy Paintings for a happy friday!
Fish Out of Water and Acorn Army are painted on 1" thick maple blocks  and are headed to my etsy shop....have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Rain King

I found just a wee bit of time to fool around today...what do you think?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Moonlight Message

I painted the background for this piece early yesterday but struggled with the decision about it's subject.  I considered a lone swimmer, a bed of seaweed and even a mermaid but nothing seemed quite right.  I'm not sure where the bottle idea came from but it seemed like a good fit.
The idea of a message in a bottle is holds the possibility of hope, despair, love or loss.  The thing that resonates with me is the idea that someone put the message out there into the great void not knowing if the note would  ever be found, seen or understood....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Beet Advocate

I haven't found my way into the studio yet today but plan to work on a few things later this evening.  I spent this morning at the Green City Farmers Market stocking up on seasonal goodness for the week and enjoying a cheese, herb and heirloom tomato crepe...yum!
It kind of embarrasses my children but i secretly consider myself to be a beet advocate.  My love for beets goes back to my early childhood but until a few years ago I had mainly enjoyed pickled beets from a jar or can.  But then somewhere I read about roasting beets...I can't remember where or when...but I did it and it was simple and they were amazing!  Roasting beets concentrates their earty sweetness and turns them satiny and tender.   Since that time I have taken every opportunity to serve beets to friends, family and neighbors and they always love them and i always pass on the cooking method.  (here's the part that embarrasses the kids) whenever I have to buy beets at a regular market (rather than a farmers market) the person behind me will how do you cook those (this has actually happened 4 or 5 times) and i will tell them about roasting them and how good they are and blah, blah, for anyone who cares here's how to cook that dirty and intimidating root vegetable:

preheat oven to 400
take 3 or 4 beets and clip their greens leaving about 1" of stem on top
Set out a double layer of foil about 12" long
Place the beets in the middle and seal them into a foil package
put the package in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet(in case juice leaks) 
roast for 1 1/2 hours
open the foil and slice the stem and end off  each beet
use a paper towel and gently rub each beet (the skin will adhere to the paper towel and slip off)
slice or cube each beet and put them into a bowl
toss with  a bit of red wine vinegar and let sit 15-20 minutes
add a bit of olive oil and kosher salt and serve or refrigerate

Once cooked they are like the ugly duckling that turns into a swan...they are beautiful, and delicious and really good for you!  These guys are great served plain or as part of a of my favorites is arugula, beets, asian pear, sauteed sliced almonds and shallot-lemon  vinaigrette...tomorrow back to painting. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

One Hour...

Late yesterday afternoon I found myself with an unexpected hour of quiet.  I had been longing to get into the studio all day and then like a empty hour appeared.  So I turned up some music and started these two small paintings.  I like to listen to music turned up pretty loud when I'm painting so an empty house is a rare but welcome occurrence.  I was able to finish them once my house was quiet again (it's good to be a night owl).  

A fellow blogger posted about the difficulty of writing an artist statement and trying to define your work as an artist.  It's harder than it sounds.  She posted a short list of questions which are supposed to help you to create a true's my attempt at answering them:

1.  What is your favorite tool?  Why?
The paintbrush is my hands down winner.  Layering on color and seeing where it leads a  piece is endlessly fascinating to me.

2.  What is your favorite material?  Why?
Beeswax is an amazing material which has a lush quality and depth of color which I haven't found in any other medium.  

3.  What do you like best about what you do?
Allowing my dream life or subconscious self to find a voice in the real world is deeply satisfying and somewhat mysterious.  Painting helps me see the dailiness of life with new eyes.

4.  What do you mean when you say that a piece has turned out really well?
To me a piece has turned out well when it works as a whole and I can look at it without picking it apart.  I am very critical of my work and end up destroying paintings I'm not happy with...

5.What patterns emerge in your work?
I definitely see the pattern of the seasons in my work. 

Have a great weekend!  

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back to the beach...

I worked on this painting (the second photo is just a detailed view) until the wee hours last night and couldn't help but wonder how I ended up back at the is not what i set out to paint but somewhere along the way things took a turn.  Actually I was scanning the paper and came across a fabulous article about senior citizens reenergizing themselves by practicing circus arts (trapeze, high wire, etc...).  One of the 71 year old men commented that it was the most fun you could have with your clothes on!  I knew that the article needed to be a part of something... so a couple appeared on my beach in their suits ( but not in the water).  The stone collectors are alone on the beach arm in arm collecting treasures and watching summer fade away.
My last few paintings have had a little different look about them- a little more layering and a bit less bold.  What do you think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Sunny with a chance of inspiration...

The forecast here calls for lots of painting today.  Last week was really productive, exciting and exhausting.  I shipped my 1st painting outside the US and am a bit concerned about transit time ( but am thrilled to be sending work internationally) .  I also sold my 1st "large" painting which was REALLY exciting but the stress of getting it packaged and shipped caught me off guard.  The other thing that surprised me was how anxious I felt until I heard the painting has been received and was loved (the buyer had many kind words and ordered a second painting!).  "Treading Under the Moon" and "Swimming in Seaweed" are now residing in the fabulous city of San Francisco ( I spent eight years there and am sure the ladies will be very happy).   However, those two paintings were kind of like the "rock stars" of my etsy shop (they got lots of looks and generated interest) and they will be missed.  So the season of swimmers is ending as did the season of sprouts and seeds...what's coming next???
 I took the weekend off to decompress, check out lots of great etsy shops and blogs,  bake bread and obsessively watch our 1st tomato turn red.  It's good to be back and I hope to have lots to share this week!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A Hat of Cloud and Sky

That Mother Earth is such a diva!  A different hat for every day...sometimes two or three on the same day.  She's got the somber and moody gray, the clear blue that everyone loves and drop dead gorgeous rainbow one full of pink, orange and purple.  So I've been looking at, drawing and painting landscapes these past few days.  I couldn't seem to come up with an idea for an image so I went with the simplest...paint a line near the bottom of a panel and suddenly you have realms.  Earth and sky or sky and sea...the possibilities are endless!  I really enjoyed creating these small landscapes and found that once the base colors were painted they each took on a very different and distinct character. Each one called out for a little something extra which took a bit of experimenting but I think they feel pretty balanced???

Saturday, August 9, 2008

On the Shore

On the shore about to step into the water...that's kind of how I feel right now.  I am continuing to connect with other artists and grow.  My desire to do both is increasing and I thank everyone who has visited this site for encouraging and supporting my efforts.  Sometimes you have to put something over your eyes to see more clearly....especially when the waters are murky!  

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Face in the Crowd

The painting above is an exercise to help me overcome my  faceaphobia. In case you haven't noticed most of my figures are faceless and it's working for some of them but I really need to grow as an artist and overcome my issue.   It's not that I can't draw faces... it's that I have trouble commiting to them and when you paint with melted beeswax that can lead to problems. Scraping away or melting off a face can ruin an entire painting and to be honest it's really kind of creepy. Lately I have been admiring the work of quite a few artists who do lovely portraits in a variety of styles and  they have inspired to me to just get over the control issues and paint some faces.  What I've realized by looking at these other artists is that our faces are asymmetrical and odd and that makes them beautiful.  They are reflections of our experience, emotion  and  character.  So I had this old painting which at one time was a complement to "One in a Million"(in my etsy shop) but decided to jump in and etch in some faces onto this crowd.   Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Life Imitating Art

Thanks to an evening of painting well past midnight I'm posting early today.  The grey/black skies and constant thunder and lightning gave way to a few hours of calm in the late afternoon yesterday so I packed up the kids and headed down to the beach for a quick but refreshing swim.   And there in the water- out just a  little ways  were two women doing the backstroke under the indigo skies (did they have swim caps on?)  It was as if the ladies from my earlier paintings had come to life!  They swam the whole time we were there and I knew when I got home that I needed to capture the image of them out in the water.  Summer is fleeting and these women with their constant calm strokes served as a reminder to slow down and enjoy these next few weeks and all it has to offer. So above are the two smaller paintings of night swimming women and my messy late night studio.   Now I have to wonder will I start seeing rainbow houses and chocolate chip cookie weather vanes???

Monday, August 4, 2008

Who are the people in your neighborhood

These brightly colored houses hint at something unusual inside.  Every house on my street is so different as are the families inside.  It's funny to think how often we lump people together when in fact we all have something special to offer.  I started off with all the bright colors to represent  the boldness that can come from opening our eyes and recognizing each other's unique gifts.  In this particular painting I have represented  dreamers, baker's (yes the blue house has a chocolate chip cookie on top!) nature lovers, urban farmers and a few others as well. I really like the way the color shows up against the black background and how each house has it's own personality.  It's a bit tricky working with the black AND white oil sticks in the outlines without them running together so it took me a few days ( and a few choice words...) to complete this one.