Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ten Things I've Learned From Art

I've probably learned more than ten, but that's just to pique your interest. Everybody likes a list, don't they? You can find my list later in this post.  (By the way, you can click on these images to enlarge them.)

A photo from my show at R&F Paints - in the hallway outside the gallery is Ambit and on the right are four pieces from the Text Messages series

The Solo Show 

So where have I been for a couple of months? I've been right here working in the studio, working at my part-time jobs, getting most of my brain sucked away by Facebook and following politics. Those last two items are pretty much interchangeable.

The big event of my summer, after the Encaustic Conference of course, was my show at R&F Paints in Kingston, New York. That show began on August 6th and is up until September 22nd. There is still time to see it if you are in the Hudson Valley area. Here's the link.

What a fantastic pleasure it's been to have a show at R&F! First of all, R&F (major manufacturer of encaustic paint) is where I was introduced to encaustic painting some years back. At that time I could never have envisioned being invited to be a Visiting Artist at R&F and have a solo show of my work, so it's a thrill to have achieved this honor and milestone in my career.

Laura Moriarty's shot of three gallery walls plus a peek into the hallway.

Two small blue pieces plus Blues For Etta, 48"H x 60" W - one of my favorite pieces

(You can see more installation shots of the show on my website,, link here, as well as a wonderful review written by Lynn Woods of The Kingston Times.)
Secondly, the people of R&F are just great - all very friendly, helpful, aesthetically minded and pretty laid back - a winning combination! Laura Moriarty, Gallery Director, was a pleasure to work with and installed the show with ease. She also mentored me in my three-day Bricolage With Wax workshop, giving advice and assistance where needed (and there were times I definitely needed it).

The Visiting Artist Workshop

Students working in R&F's airy studio facility

More students working

The central table full of bricolage "stuff" for student use plus reference books

Tools for students' use plus student work on the shelves in the background

Class pour of encaustic with embedded materials

The workshop was attended by nine hard-working and enthusiastic students. The mission was to make works of fine art using found objects with encaustic where the objects were not the focus of the works but were used to add another layer of meaning to the works. The objects had to lose their individual identities and become transformed into parts of the whole. This can be a tricky task, especially when you are working with plastic alligators and other easily identifiable things. I'm going to post some photos of student's work on my Art of Bricolage blog later in the week.

What About That List?
Yes, it was a come-on, but I'll give the list a shot, as follows:

Ten Things I've Learned From Art
1) Be persistent
2) Tackle the impossible by starting with the possible - or vice versa.
3) Make lists.
4) Tear things out of magazines and newspapers at will. One of these days you'll look at them.
5) Anything can be an inspiration
6) You will not understand anything you are doing until you have been working at least 20 years.
7) Don't be afraid to be simple and direct.
8) Keep a pencil and paper beside your bed (not a pen because it won't write upside down).
9) Marry someone who loves art (and you).
10) No matter what, it's worth it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

And on my other blog...

On Art of Bricolage I have posted images of people and their works made in my post-conference workshop on Wax + Bricolage. There is still one more workshop and one more post coming.

A work by Maria Lara-Whelpley that uses a bunch of stuff but makes it her own.

Friday, June 22, 2012

My Bricolage Workshop and Show at R&F Paints

Last year Laura Moriarty, Director of Exhibitions and Workshops at R&F Handmade Paints, invited me to be a Visiting Artist during 2012. R&F's Visiting Artist Series "is designed to celebrate the work of teaching artists" and entails teaching a three-day workshop with a concurrent solo show. Of course I was thrilled to say yes and have been so looking forward to the opportunity to teach Bricolage: Making Fine Art with Found or Invented Materials and Encaustic.

The workshop at R&F Handmade Paints

The dates of the workshop are August 1 through 3, Wednesday through Friday. Here is the link directly to the workshop on the R&F website. There is still room in the class to sign up and you will find all the details by clicking the link.

A paint liquid paint pour at R&F

The incomparable R&F paintsticks

Taking a workshop at R&F is a wonderful experience because you get to work with state-of-the-art equipment, all those fabulous paints and the terrific R&F staff - all so friendly and welcoming. This place is like Mecca for artists who work in encaustic and a definite destination for your life list.

Natale: Shifting - Blue, 2012, painted cardboard and paper, book parts, record album
pieces, rubber, tarpaper, treated metal, tacks and encaustic on birch panel, 24" x 24"

The workshop link will give you details on what will be covered over the three days, but briefly, the workshop will be an expanded version of  my one-day workshop at the Encaustic Conference. In learning to use objects and mixed media with encaustic, my emphasis will be on composing works that integrate intention and materials. Critical thinking, observation and analysis will be an important part of this workshop and the three-day span will give students the opportunity to really push themselves and build on what they learn about their own work and mode of expression. My blog Art of Bricolage will show you some examples of student work from the Conference sessions, but this workshop will allow the opportunity to experiment and develop a small body of work along with a process to be used for making future works.

The gallery at R&F

My solo show at R&F will open on Saturday, August 4th, and run through September 22nd. I will be showing new work in bricolage (that I am constructing right now). Workshops students will be able to view the exhibition with me and I will give a  talk on the work for them, addressing examples of what has been discussed in the workshop.

If you are interested in using mixed media in your work and/or if you want to understand a more effective way to develop your studio practice, I hope you will sign up for this workshop. Although we will be making serious art, we will have plenty of fun doing it and it will be three days well spent.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Conference Shows: Kobalt Gallery

During the recent Sixth Annual Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, I had the pleasure of participating in five shows in four commercial galleries plus Gallery X (the library) at the Castle Hill Center for the Arts. I thought I would share some photos of those shows so you can see the high caliber of the work included in them. (click on photos to enlarge)

Right wall of Kobalt Gallery on entering.

The show at Kobalt Gallery, juried by owner Francine D'Olimpio, was titled Confluence: Water and Light and included works by 35 artists selected from those who had submitted images. This show is what we refer to as "the conference show." There was a size limitation of 24" in the largest dimension, and I think that keeping the work to this smaller scale allowed for breathing space between works that gave the show an expansive look. Also, the blues, turquoises, greens, grays and mostly soft cool colors made for a cohesive and pleasing presentation. It was a great-looking show.

My piece, Remnant of a Dream, is the striped one in the center of the wall above. I am very pleased to announce that it was given the Juror's Award! Of course, I failed to get a separate photo of it as I did of the other two works that won awards, so I'm showing you a close-up below of a photo from my file.

Remnant of a Dream, 2011, 24" x 24" x 1.75", painted cardboard and metal with tacks
and encaustic on panel - Winner of the Juror's Award

David A. Clark, Vers La Nuit, 2010, 15" x 15" x 4", encaustic, paper and object on panel.
Winner of the Director's Award.

Patricia Malarcher, Segment of the Second. I'm sorry I don't have details on this work
but it appeared to be a sewn textile that had been dipped in encaustic,
size about 12"H x 16"W (as recalled and estimated).
Winner of the Castle Hill Award.

A part of the left wall as you entered the gallery. (Note Patricia Malarcher's piece at
top.) Other works I recognize are Dora Ficher's diptych near the corner,
Binnie Birstein's yellow/pale blue piece
and Elena De La Ville's work at top beside Patricia's.

For a better look at some of the works in this show, take a look at this link from the Encaustic Blog. That will do them much more justice than my images here.

Here is Francine D'Olimpio, gallery owner, who was suffering from a cold and about to
go home to rest. Her show selection and installation were outstanding.

Two shaped pieces by Shelley Gilchrist at the foot of the gallery stairs.

Part of the upstairs back wall. Note those red dots beside two works by Debra Claffey and Alison Golder!

This piece by Deborah Kapoor was a favorite of mine. The photo on the encaustic
blog is much better and shows you the dimension of this work.
It is called  Merging Light, 2012,  18 " x 13" x 3.5", and is shibori with encaustic on kozo paper, fabric, string.

More work on the upstairs wall. I recognize those three pieces in the foreground are
by Kellie Weeks.

Here's the piece at the end by Susan Lasch Krevitt., Race Point Sunrise, 2012,
18" x 14" x 1.5", wool, stitching, encaustic, oil glaze on panel

What a pleasure to have the conference represented by this lovely show and to have so many artists get to exhibit their work in Provincetown. Seeing actual work in person makes all the difference, just as meeting a person in the flesh that you have only known through email and Facebook is a revelation. Having this opportunity to meet, talk, laugh, and bond together is what makes the conference such a wonderful experience and why we can't wait to do it all over again next year!

Monday, June 18, 2012

First Conference Report

I'm mixing things up a little by making my first conference report about my Pre-Conference Workshop on Wax + Bricolage in my other blog - Art of Bricolage. Here's the link. Hope you enjoy seeing some student work. More to follow from the other two workshops I taught during Post-Conference Week.

Way off in the distance from the beach behind the Provincetown Inn,
what else by the Provincetown Monument.

Meanwhile, on this blog, I'll be posting some info about the Provincetown shows relating to the conference, my conference talk and more. It's a lot to dig out from so I'm talking it slowly. After all, I do have another year before Conference 7!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Early Morning Walk

Waking up too early can be a problem but not when you are in Provincetown and have all that scenery to see. Early morning in Provincetown is so quiet - just the constant ocean, birds, bunnies, one or two cars driving by with people delivering newspapers or performing some service that requires an early start. Here's what I saw one morning. (Click to enlarge)

Soon, soon, I'll start posting something that requires more work than just pictures. Just as soon as I dig out from under.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Provincetown Doorways and Gardens

I'm just back from 12 days at the Sixth Annual International Encaustic Conference and suffering jetlag (I know it's not really jetlag but it feels like it). I have so much to do to get back to the place I was before I left that it feels overwhelming. I'd like to share the gazillion photos I took but that would require more work than I can invest right now, so I thought just seeing some lovely atmospheric photos of Provincetown would give us all a restful interlude before the hard work begins.

It must be the seaside air and the exceptional light that makes Provincetown flowers and gardens so lovely. They are really beautiful. I hope you enjoy this small selection of photos that I took on an early morning walk at one end of town. (I still can't figure which end is east and which is west, so I'll just say "one end.") If you click the photos, they will enlarge even more.