Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Texture, texture!

One of the things I like so much about encaustic is the ability to embed a variety of papers and objects.

This 8" X 8" contains balled up tissue paper that is covered with shellac and partially burned and it stands up from the surface about 2 inches. It has lots of warm carmel and brown colors. Also, I know books and instructors out there say that really only light tissue paper can be properly embedded but here I burned some sketchbook paper making large holes and I was able to embed this, so I always say, experiment with the rules!

By the way this is called "Blister" - don't let it creep you out. It's my husbands favorite of the Burn series so far.

We've been struggling a bit on the coast here because the weather has been tootling along for the last 2 months between 57-63 degrees with lots of overcast and patchy fog which is honestly rather cool to do my best work in encaustic without a heated table. So though it's been cool and comfortable in the studio, the wax is a bit sluggish. Then last week the temperature went up to 95 degrees for 2 days then back down to 63 yesterday and today. It's hard to be happy about getting hot weather like that because it's hard to adapt that quickly to a 30 plus degree change.

However we did have some fresh grilled oysters and they were terrific! Yummm.
Happy painting!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Moving forward

With my earlier work destroyed and my new direction set, I find a calmness, a sense of rightness, and a little spark of itchiness returning to me. Curiosity, different dreaming, walk with me day and night along with scary new steps and constantly reassuring friends that I'm on the right path.

All people young or old who take drastic steps like this or who have it foisted on them always walk around for at least a little while with a huge lump in their throat, a stone in their chest wondering what life there is after their big leap.

It's a changed life and life that now can accept new visions. These moments are as close to real freedom as we can get. We can do something different though we may have to linger a while in this scary place till we know what to do. Take heart in knowing soon a new vision will present itself because the clutter is gone along with new energy to carry it out.

In the meantime, I've moved my studio to my garage totally (this would have been really overwhelming without the new energy I mentioned above) and am starting some larger pieces than this 8" X 8" piece called Copper Pit which has been Sold.

At the recent international Encaustic Conference in Beverly Massachusetts, founded, organized and led by Joanne Mattera , I had the great opportunity to hear a 1 hour talk on working large from Kandy Lozano. Kandy is an artist making large encaustic pieces and a gallery owner of Martin & Lozano gallery located in California. She generously shared her own process and tool and substrate changes required when she started working large and added information such as what is required for storing, packaging, showing, representing size on a website and shipping those pieces. Such a rare person to be confident in her own work and forthcoming about the journey. Thank you Kandy.

So I'm going to be putting some of her tips to work and I'm going to be starting a body of work that I feel is cohesive and can be represented to a gallery as a unique expression. The directions will be offshoots of "Copper Pit" and the next several small pieces. I'm tremendously enjoying working in a neutral palette and it's changed the work I do. I like the simplicity and primitiveness of it.

I have to add here that living in rural Southwest Washington on the Coast has turned out to be a real blessing this year in that the weather has maintained a constant 57-63 degrees all summer so far. The marine air has rolled in during the night and stayed nearly all day every day for all of the last 2 months except for 1- 95 degree day. With the rest of the country blistering today, I can work my wax in rare comfort. All of the trees, shrubs, plants and flowers and grasses, even the dune grasses are green and well watered by the dew every morning.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Change -pain and hope

Change is often traumatic, even when you can feel it coming on as I have for almost a year now, and you have an idea what it's about and why "now". The repercussions of change are painful and exhilarating at the same time or alternating from despair to hope in the space of a day and then back again in what feels like an endless loop. But at some point it all comes to a head where you have to make a jump, and usually it feels like it's off a cliff.

Today, here, my picture is Ancient Forests - it's an 8" X 8" encaustic with shellac burn on birch luan -$125 and it's the one I brought with me to Montserrat Conference in Boston for the "Best Foot Forward" exhibit. It's fitting that this is my new beginning because it also signals the end to some of my past painting life directions.

This past week I destroyed all of my work on paper from my watercolor days and more recent acrylic work, and all the inventory I had built up for doing fairs and markets. I sold my tent and am getting rid of my tent table covers as well as most of those related art supplies. I kept some framed work and feel I will reuse canvases. I have been in deep mourning and depression about doing this but now after it's done I feel free and see joy may be around the corner.

I will be focusing on a new body of work for gallery presentation in encaustic in a relatively neutral palette with a primitive sensibility. I'm developing a theme and will use that to guide the direction of this new work. I've chosen this as my primary medium for right now - it's very physical work, there are many elements to experiment with, wax has a venerable history and I'm drawn to everything about it. I will be using venetian plaster as my ground (thank you Kandy) on wood cradles. To that end I've set up my studio in my garage where I have good ventilation, a big rough space, large tables with heating matts, overhead lights and new propane and butane tools.

As I move forward and especially as I begin to miss the intense color I am used to painting, I'm going to begin relearning to paint figurative patterned work in oil paint and again I will be developing a theme which will guide my process and development of new work. And yes I have a partially formed idea of what it will be. It's how I knew that change was coming. I kept having these ideas of work that was so different than my abstract color work from my past.

I've contracted with myself to work intensely in these directions and bring some new pieces into the world and I am feeling new energy about it. Hope you will like my new directions. Oh, and yes now I wear a respirator all the time when I paint.

Do any of you readers want to share your change stories?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Montserrat and Beyond

Well what a fantastic experience - going to the Montserrat Encaustic Conference in Beverly Massachusetts.

Here is a small shot of the exhibition of everyone who attended the conference. We were each allowed to bring one of our encaustic paintings and hang it on the board called "Best Foot Forward" . Since there were nearly 250 attending this turned out to be quite the gallery. It was on the second floor of the School building where all of the demo's and talks were being held and where all the vendor's were selling their wares. So we got to go by it frequently and see the new additions.

I met up with 2 painters from Omaha Nebraska named Tricia and Betsy and all together we took in the 4 day event which was packed full of lectures and panel discussions as well as great restaurants and the conference demo's and lectures. In addition there were 4 other gallery shows in the area sporting encaustic works - one of them called "Wax Libris" met us first thing on the morning of the first day as we picked up our registration packets in the Montserrat Library since it was a show of waxed book arts - absolutely charming and amazing. I'll be showing you pictures of this next.

And other than the show itself and the good company I kept, I was charmed and overwhelmed by the beautiful surrounding landscapes, the port and nearby Salem where we made an excursion to. More about that later. It was a cool 65-70 degrees too so just right for my northwest coast sensibilities.

And it helped me choose the direction I want to focus on more clearly as encaustic. So you'll be seeing more wax paintings as I go forward.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Countdown to Montserrat

Here is an acrylic painting I finished recently. It's 24" X 30" and I call it Mixed Message. I have it up at Azure with a price of $350.

In many ways I like this painting in that I felt freer when I did it. I used favorite processes and images like circles and the pattern of metallic gold on my small block stencil. I also wanted layers of colors from background forward and I wanted to include white since many of my paintings once layered with colors don't include this clean looking color. So I like it with the final cobalt blue strings of color to jazz it up and it has a bit of an ancient/modern combined feel to it. The eye catches on the circles.

Though I've been on an acrylic run here for awhile, I really do paint in encaustics and to that end, I'm attending the annual migration to Beverly, Massachusetts in early June to attend the Montserrat Conference. It's now only 2 weeks away and I'm busy making lots of plans to ride share and connect with friends from different parts of the country whom I've known in doing my encaustics. It will be intensive, tiring and jet-lagged, but fun and full of lots of new art work and techniques in molten beeswax. Such fun!

The only challenging part is that I now live and have adapted to basically the lovely marine climate we have on the Washington coast which is right now about 60 degrees and misting where as Boston at Logan Airport hit 80 yesterday and is projected to be 96 today with tons of humidity. How do you get through that much difference in temperature? Any thoughts readers? We are supposed to each bring an encaustic painting that would fit within a 12" X 12" space so we can a feel for what others are doing.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gracies Dress

My husband's granddaughter just had her first birthday and so I made her this little sundress for her to wear over a little t-shirt or bare if it gets too hot. Already she is a national traveler since she will journey with her parents to Oklahoma every summer.

I hadn't realized it had been so long since my last post. I finished up a number of paintings, varnished them and rigged the hangers and have now hung a 14 piece show of new work in variable sizes at Azure Day Spa in Ilwaco, Washington. All of it is mixed media and all of them are paintings except for a 12" X 12" cloth quilt and bead piece.

I'm getting ready for the big peninsula wide garage sale that is annually held May 28th through 30th and is attended far and wide drawing people from Vancouver, Portland, Longview and many places east. This is our first since we moved down here and we hope to clear the whole left side garage bay of it's treasures and trash. It has been a really overwhelming process.

And for those of you who follow this blog, I'm heading out on June 10th to Beverly Massachusettes for the Monserrat Encaustic Conference. This is the 4th annual I believe and it is an international conference of encaustic painters. Many of my aquaintances will be there for the 4 day conference which includes a full slate of demonstrations and talks and gallery showings of encaustic work. There are 3 days of post conference classes which I will not be attending. But this is my first conference for encaustic and I'm looking forward to it mightily. I'll take lots of pictures with my crummy digital and post some for you so you can see a bit of the conference.

I'm sad I won't be able to attend my friend Sue Robertson's Joyful Art Exhibit opening at Art's and Cultural Exchange in Astoria for Art Walk that will be showing during the time I'm gone but I will get in to see it after I return. I'm encouraging my art loving friends from the peninsula to go see her show as she has great, great work! It kicks off the summer tourist season too!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Coming Down and Putting Up

Morning All! I'm getting ready to put up a new group of paintings at Azure Day Spa in Ilwaco next week. Meaning I'm in the finishing stages of preparing the work - wiring up the canvases, putting on isolation coats, varnishing, taking pictures (with a terrible digital camera).

This picture will go up and is much brighter and more cheerful in real life. I call it "Migrations", it's 30" X 24" mixed media and I think I put a price of $425. I used technical inks, reduced fluid acrylics, absorbent ground and lovely patterning all over.

I have some other paintings I'll be showing over the next few posts that will be hung in that show and I'll be painting more too!

We've been doing intensive landscaping at our new home since the site was completely filled with beach sand and in order to prevent tracking indoors on our new floors AND to prevent serious erosion we planted local lawn and sod and it's been a big project. We're done now with that and are just finishing our shrub borders.

I'm going to be attending the Montserrat Encaustic Conference in Boston on June 10th through June 14th which I have been wanting to do for many years and it just so happened we had the airline points to do it this year so back in January I signed up for this - a great confluence of encaustic artists in this country - capped to 250.

Then on June 21st through June 25th I'm taking an Acrylic Workshop with Robert Burridge up in LaConner, WA - my friend Sue Robertson has taken many classes from him and highly recommends him. And since I feel the need for some change in my work - more texture maybe, more meaning definitely, more versatility in and direction in creating series of works, this seems to be the year - and the month for investing a bit in myself and my painting.

And let's not forget how important it is for an artist to get out and see new things, get excited about new patterns and combinations, bump into different opinions and ways of looking at the world. Several of my friends are in the process of planning wonderful trips and I just wish I could ride in their pocket as they travel to all parts of the world.

So all you readers - get out there this summer and sample the life all around you especially if you're going to new places and send us some pictures of your travels, even and especially if it's just interesting patterns or colors on pavement or on old walls!

Friday, April 30, 2010

And on to Poetry

Today is a new day for us as we have great hopes of finishing the sod in our landscape. Trying our best to get all of our plants planted and the sand kept safely tucked under lawn. It's blowing a cold north, northwest wind but we are motivated to get this main work done.

The painting I've posted for today is called "Poetry" and it's 20" X 20" and is $300. As you can see I'm still having trouble with my camera, overexposing on the right hand top and not picking up true color which is a strong yellow gold. This painting was a remake of an older self portrait painting I had done and I like it much better in it's new life. I combined colored paper towel pieces and hand made stencils and it came together the way I like the work to do. This is a favorite.

I subscribe to a free online Art new letter/email from an oil painter named Robert Genn that comes twice a week to me and today he talked about how an artists style becomes somewhat hard-wired, even if they are flexible in many other ways. (I'll put a link to his site over on the right hand side so you can sign up for this free newsletter yourself if you'd like. I agree about half the time with what he says but it's always interesting to hear what another artist has to say.) His premise being that we need not try to change our style so much as go deeper and embrace that style. I regularly have thoughts about landscape painting in oils but it may be that I would never be satisfied with any of my work unless it was very abstract. So maybe it's time to embrace and go deeper into the original abstract and hope there are people out their who also enjoy symbolic patterning and can bond with these paintings. Any thoughts from you artists out there?

My show at Arts & Cultural Exchange is coming down on Sunday and I will have those pieces in my home studio. An I hope to line up a new series of work at Azure this coming week.
Happy painting, and happy poetry too!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hailing again

How do you like this painting? I call it 1950 Night Traffic and it's a 10" X 8" and is $45. It has a lot of reduced crackle paste on it so it's not functioning like crackle paste but more like a gritty light molding paste.

I point this out because when I started this painting I wanted to play around with yellow and purple and before I knew it I had a night scene and traffic and building lights bouncing off wet pavement. I guess those late night city work nights driving in traffic or waiting for the bus are still right there in the old memory because I was right there again, cold and shivering!

Speaking of shivering, I woke up this morning and it was hailing. Both dogs couldn't wait to go out and being the furry double coated kinds of dogs it really was their kind of weather. Have I mentioned my dogs are a Samoyed girl named Delilah, now 10 years old whom I got as a rescue, and Keir my 6 year old boy, black and white Sheltie - Shetland Sheep Dog. Excellent dogs to raise together by the way. Both heavy coated with outside guard hairs and inside soft fluffy fur.

Now it's blue sky out and ready to begin the day! I was thinking this morning that I really have to change out my paintings at Azure and I need to call Julia at Arts & Cultural Exchange to go take down my exhibit there next week. Have a great day!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Life Happens!

Just when you think everything is cooking along all right life happens!

Before I tell you the story, here is another small painting I did called "Supplicants". It's 8" X 10" and is $45 and in this one I layered strips of canvas and extra gesso and crackle paste to give me some texture then dribbled and dabbed Quinacridone Gold and Pthalo Turquoise - a favorite combination. It looks and feels old to me-even ancient and the imagery felt like it could be a call to a sacred site, so I enhanced it with a little mettalic gold.

So on to the story. Who would have guessed at 9pm on Tuesday night as we all began to go through our end of the day routine - take the dogs out for their last duty call, feed the fish, brush our teeth and settle the dogs in with their end of the evening "biscuit" which in our family is a carrot chunk since our dogs need to lose some weight that all hell would break loose! Keir, my bi-black Sheltie in an acrobatic leap, amazing in it's gymnastic grace, snapped up his own chunk of carrot and then midair grabbed Delilah's chunk and swallowed it whole. Thank goodness it didn't get lodged in his trachea or I'd be very sad right now instead of just very tired.

After frantically calling to our vet on call for emergency advice on what was happening (choking? or retching? or what?) and another vet in Tillimook, Oregon many miles away, we connected with Dr. Daniel Cameron and he had us check if Keir had a pink tongue and whether we could see the stuck carrot and then advised us to go to the DoveLewis ER Vet Hospital in downtown Portland, Oregon - a 2 and 1/2 hour drive (though it only took us 2 hours that night). They are open 24 hours a day and all weekends and provide emergency as well as intensive care. This veterinary hospital is caring and endowed with equipment and personnel and were able to x-ray Keir and test to find out where the carrot was lodged and then perform an endoscopy which entails putting him under anesthesia and snaking a camera to the chunk and in our case pushing the carrot all the way into his stomach from where it was lodged.

John and I grabbed short naps on their benches in the waiting room while we waited for the operation to be over. We got to the clinic at midnight and left at 4:30 in the morning for home, but we left with an alive Keir and very, very thankful there are such places to get the help for our family. Our heartfelt thanks to you DoveLewis!!!

It has taken us 2 days to get some sleep. On Wednesday morning when we got back from Portland - a 3 hour drive making the many stops for coffee/tea we had to make, we layed down to sleep but couldn't sleep more than 2 hours so we got up and went about our daily business. Today, Thursday, we crashed big time sleeping 12 hours straight then added a 3 hour nap mid-day and seem to be doing better today. Keir has recovered from the anasthesia and appears to be fine following the fiasco. Though his esophagus was abraded a bit and he's getting medicine for that, he's eating soft food and following me around like normal now and I cherish every minute of this!

Back to painting tomorrow I hope. Hug your pets tight and love them while you have them!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A little rain, a little sun.

I really like these Spring days. Because I do a lot of gardening and landscaping now, I welcome the rain because it means less watering for me. But I like the sun as well because it warms the plants I've just put out and takes the chill away, starts lawn seed germinating and generally makes me feel good.

It has been a few days since I've added here because of my outdoor chores but I thought I'd show you a cute little piece I did called "Watching" it's 8"X10" and is $45.

I'm preparing boards to do monoprint color splashes as starts - one canvas just has the acrylic gesso finish that comes with the canvas, one has an added coat of gesso, and one has 3 coats of absorbent ground which makes the canvas surface act like watercolor paper. I'm going back to trying my initial process to see if I like that better than my texture experiments. I'll let you know.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting Past Critics

I have to again apologize for my digital camera - this is the best I could do with the flash going wonky. I tried to to distort and skew in Photoshop to eliminate the worst of the exposure but I'm afraid not very successfully. I see a big expenditure in my future!

Well this being a Monday morning, rainy outside, with the soft rain more reminiscent of late spring than early winter, I come into my studio. I see all good things around me, lots of light, inspiring work from my collection of artist friends, excellent starts begging to be worked on. I am feeling deflated and not jazzed to paint.

This is a common feeling artists get when they see a lot of artwork which I have this last week - the PAA Exhibit, the Astoria Artwalk and local galleries. It's not the art itself but the internal questioning that starts within the artist to go forward with work after a battering of critique.

In some case bad judges exhibiting poor choices calls into question what is good art. In other cases it's ordinary viewers criticizing work that is intentionally done and well done in certain styles. It makes artists wonder if it's worth it to create a vision that exists in our minds, that explores concepts not of the everyday experience.

All artists have to get past other peoples opinions and get on with the work. Put away the voices and listen for the clear tone that happens when those voices have been silenced. Wait for the questions that start in our own mind and follow those bread crumbs of thought down the rabbit holes of our own thoughts, experiences, challenges and problem solving. It must be that here is where our occasional greatness hides out.

Today I wish you successful painting, and with luck I will see you down the rabbit hole today! Happy painting!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Artwalk Astoria, Oysters and Art, and Bernies Artichoke

Before I tell you about the Astoria Artwalk, I must tell you about Oysters and Art which happened in March here on the Peninsula. It's an annual Rotary Club sponsored fundraising event for several groups locally like the Boys and Girls Club, scholarships for kids etc. Artists and businesses donate art, trips, meals etc and then they are bid on in a silent and live auction. They charge for tickets and there is a buffet sponsored by many of the local restaurant and catering businesses.

It was very well attended, I had 3 paintings in the auction of which 2 sold but what I wanted to mention mostly is that I bid on and got this very fine painting of Bernie Elliots! I was stunned to see it and lucky to get it. I love seeing it every day and although my jpeg doesn't do it justice the picture is a wonderfully done bright and crisply painted artichoke and I now have it in my studio where I can see it every day when I start to paint. I love the colors and the sharp textures of the ribs of the leaves. It reminds me again when the pressure builds to come up with something totally never seen before that an ordinary vegetable, done well by a fine artist, is as compelling as any abstract can be. Thank you again Bernie for painting it!

The Astoria Artwalk last night was too short to see everything! I think next time I should go early and eat early and then just have all my time to see the galleries. The Artwalk hours are now 5-8 which is a shorter time then they used to have, and it isn't enough time to eat in the middle and still see everything. But even so, I got to the Lightbox Gallery, River Sea Gallery, Lunar Boy, Adiago. Bergenson Tile and Art & Cultural Exchange were closed by the time I got there. I'm going to start taking in the Clatsop Community College Gallery spaces - one in the art building and I think there's another one in or near the Library too.

The Exhibits in Lightbox were exceptional. On the lower floor was a great fine art photography exhibit and the upper floor, along with fine prints by the Lightbox's user group, there was a special exhibit of photographs of Ibeji's - iconic wood holders of souls of dead twins from Nigeria. River Sea had an interesting exhibit of impasto oils as their main exhibit along with their group of selling artists and Lunar Boy had a well publicized exhibit of characterized painted and collaged birds in seasons. I haven't done anything I saw justice so from here on out I will take notes on artists and see if I can get a picture or 2 for my blog.

And the weather was perfect - like a summer night!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Something Different and Artwalk Astoria

So here's a painting I did, something different and darker with more texture. It's finished meaning I'm not going to add anything more to it. It has some great pattern in it but other than that appears tighter than I usually get.

It is a recovered painting times 2. And I like it better than any of it's other lives. Not perfect but....

This Saturday is the Astoria Artwalk - always 2nd Saturday of the month and I'm hoping for decent weather. That is, no hail, no snow, no downpour of rain and no 40 mph wind gusts. A group of us are going and I hope to make up for not seeing the art last month. I'm going to stop in at the Art & Cultural Exchange and see what Julia's been up to over there. Always tons to see and projects that she's doing. After dinner out at a local Italian restaurant we'll take in the other 10 or so galleries on the map.

I think the point is it's important to go to the art openings, see the new art and patronize those shops and restaurants that are trying to stay afloat during this extended recession. Wall Street and Washington pundits may tell us all that the recession is over but if you live rurally, in Washington and Oregon at least, you know it will be a long time before our economy is lively again.

So it's supposed to be Spring but the weather is keeping me indoors so one thing I thought I'd do is to sew a Jean Jacket. I got a Petite Plus pattern, initially measured all the pieces and then did the sewing, trusting that the proportions would be correct and the details sized down for a petite. But at try on time -today- I am disappointed at how badly it fit. Then I had to go on line to see how tight the jean jackets should fit on various models because mine had fistfuls of extra fabric all in the wrong places. So now I've got the various seams partially torn and repinned hoping I will be able to get the right look and size more in keeping with an authentic jacket. But disappointing! I'll let you know how it turns out and maybe take a picture.

More news on the art front is the Peninsula Arts Association is having their local show over the weekend at the Kite Museum and an artist friend of mine and I are going to go view it tomorrow. Also, there's been a new gallery opening in Ocean Park called the Bay Avenue Gallery and we may stop in and see the owner and the gallery. Their grand opening on April 1st was successful and well attended by local arts afficionado's. Good luck Betty Lu!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Art resolutions for 2010

Today I wanted to say a little something about art resolutions. I didn't really make any art resolutions for 2010 until now because we had just finished moving to our house and I hadn't even got finished unloading all the boxes much less sorting through and throwing out a bunch of stuff. And typically right around the first of the year I actually do my Art Income and Expenses so I don't hold up my tax preparer. This year I didn't do it until 2 days ago thus I didn't get around to my resolutions.

What I'm really trying to say is that I have a much better idea now what those resolutions should be. I've already done an Encaustic demo, had an exhibit of my mixed media "Legacy of Trees" work. Watched the recession recede somewhat. Recovered from the worst of the winter flu season. And tried to find storage space for my painting finished and unfinished that are not in shows.

Drum roll please......the only art resolution that is possible after looking at my supplies and materials and unfinished paintings is .....To finish all unfinished paintings and use up all canvas', boards, paints, wax, collage materials in an envelope pushing kind of way and to make them exhibit ready artwork!

Here's an example of what I mean. On the left was a painting with potential that I got too detailed with and started "fixing" then put away because it was a sample of the worst thing an artist can do, then I picked it up at the end of last year and gessoed it over totally and did a new painting which then promptly sold. If I can do that with every half finished painting I have then I will have the work I want for 2010!

And lest you think I've given up on encaustic - NOT SO. Its just that my garage studio is ccccooooolllllllddddd right now and windy and the wax will work much better for me when it warms up so I've pretty much settled myself to doing my encaustic work only on warmer days, ie mostly summer.

So have a happy Easter to you where ever you are!

Friday, April 2, 2010

It's about the work

I've decided that there is nothing in the world like doing the work. That is, challenging myself everyday to paint and let the creativity just pour out. I stop up everytime I try to structure it or corner it or guide it. I think for me it just has to flow. This plays havoc with trying to develop a conceptual theme and a body of work but perhaps with many, many works done, the theme will arise naturally. So that's what I'm going to try.

My friend Sue just finished a great class with Robert Burridge in Palm Springs. I've heard so much about him from her that I finally decided to take a class from him this summer. I have been trying to find my way into more texture and maybe he can help with that.

For now, on this very windy, blustery day, I finished varnishing 5 small paintings like this 8" X 10" called "Future" which will go for $45 and I will show them over the next several days. As they dry, I wire them up and it's very satisfying to send them out into the world. Stay tuned to this blog.

This particular painting is mixed media with collage elements. I painted most of it in one session at the firehouse where I meet on Wednesdays with my fellow artist Bernie. A great way to stay connected to whats going on around the community and not just with the arts happenings. On our way home, we stopped in at a small artists studio which neither of us had ever visited. We were quite blown away by the great paintings - Michele is a superb artist doing work in metallic painted scratchboard. Some of her paintings are $4500 and worth every penny. She also has been investigating some very interesting textile "art to wear" knitted items.

Now joyfully back to painting!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sign and Gallery Opening

After so much time has passed since my last entry, I thought I'd catch up on my finished projects lest you think living rural means doing nothing! Quite the opposite!
The Sea Mist cottage sign was finished in real life with proud owner Marcia standing beside it at her house. This project required buying a piece of fine cedar, then distressing it with bleach, washing it, drying it, knocking off the edges, sanding it and finally staining it to match the character of the driftwood piece that it is accompanying. Came out beautiful. and I agreed to talk about garden and house art at their July Garden Club meeting which I'm looking forward to.
Today looks to be a beautiful day at the coast with temps soaring to low 60's after some very seasonal weather mix up. that means that 2 days ago the wind was gusting 30 mph and it was 43 degrees and raining buckets.

Next up is a picture of the Astoria Art Walk opening of the "Sanctuary Gallery" for the Art's and Cultural Exchange headed by Julia Carter with help from husband Mathew and many friends in the community. Here are some of the entrance way art done by children of the local Catholic School Star of the Sea. Julia worked with them to create these patterned flags that represent different tribes in Africa and really looked like colorful mud cloths whether done by young children using crayon resist or older children using fabric paint. Congratulations all on fine art work and magical night. My picture here is not nearly as good as I'd like but you get a feeling of how great it was.

And lest you think that I had time to really rest on my laurels, this week I am finishing up the planting plan for one of my landscape clients, meeting with a new client and beginning the concept sketches for the cutest little house in town. Hopefully next week I'll have some new paintings for you on the site. Stay tuned.

Monday, January 25, 2010

New sign

Today along with gesso-ing my large panels and getting them ready for a triptych painting, I thought I'd put up a mock up of the house sign I'm doing for a lady here in Long Beach. She's a transplant from the Seattle area and saw my earlier sign - see Pub sign posts in archive)and I had to put her off till I finished my move and set up my studio. Now all that's done, I have the mental room to concentrate on her design and do a color board - part watercolor part color pencil full size image of how it will look. I'll be meeting her tomorrow and we will add or subtract based on what we see here. Then next will come the actual painting on a piece of her found driftwood and a partially deconstructed cedar board.

I'm looking forward to the Encaustic demo on Saturday, February 27th at 9:30 at Arts and Cultural Exchange in Astoria and then later the Gallery opening on Saturday March 13th in Astoria at the same location.

I've also got some smaller paintings going and will post as soon as they're finished. I need to move on to a new series of work in both encaustic and acrylic and I'm not there yet. Like some of my other art friends, it takes a period of thinking, feeling and experimenting time to find that series of thoughts and concepts that click. See the links I've posted to the right to go visit some of my favorite artist and non artist blogs.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm back

I've got my studio(s) back up now and am just finishing up sorting supplies. It's been like 2 months down and the creative devil is gnawing me from the inside out.

I've had a young man helping me push boxes, bins and tables into just the right place for creating masterpieces both in my garage and in my inside office studio. I got 2 inspiring magazines in the mail - Ornament with a shimmery egg on the front showing jewelers and beaders inside the covers and Surface Design all about felt this time.

And it isn't that I lack customers either since I left one client hanging until after my move to finish her gorgeous house sign composed of dolphins and seahorses - I'll take a pix to show. Both of my local art hanging places would love to see some larger brand new work, and I've got a new gallery gig for March of my "Legacy of Trees" series in Astoria at the Arts and Cultural Exchanges new gallery space.

So I'm bbbbaaaaackkkkk! :-)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Stormy Bay

Here's a typical picture of the deluge like rains, low cloud cover and wind we've been having here. To live here you must love this kind of weather and you need to have several inhouse activities that really turn you on!

Which makes it the perfect time to a: unpack boxes (this is where the real deluge is since we moved into our new house just before Christmas) b:unlitter yourself-that is go through your belongings and simplify by throwing out or giving away 1/3 of your belongings and c: set up your art studio(s) in my case it's 2 different locations - one where I can vent fumes (say garage) and the other that's warm and dry d: knit e: read. Preferably the last 2 by a lit fireplace.

For men though, going to Home Depot seems to be the activity of choice. Something about rain and the smell of lumber and all those tools.

After all that rain yesterday and the rain and wind to come which has been forecast for the next 7 days, it dawned today with a beautiful sunrise which I hope to be able to show you shortly once I find my download cord. It's these wonderful winter sunrises that are so inspirational here whether you're a painter or not.

My encaustic painting class did not fill though there were 7 very interested people. The recession/depression has hit our families hard here and money for classes is scarce though interest is high. So Julia of Arts and Cultural Exchange in Astoria has suggested I do a demo on February 20th instead and so I will.

My "Legacy of Trees" series will be hanging in the Arts and Cultural Exchanges new gallery space opening in March for 2 months. It will be seen for 2-3 Artwalk nights.

I have 5 small paintings up at Old Trading Post Coffee Shop - a gathering of artists, antique collectors, knitters and Heritage Museum folks as well as 15 paintings up in Azure Day Spa. There always lots to see and do here for people who want to get away and take a breather on our lovely coast.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 2010 - the resolutions

Well as part of my first blog of the new year, you all will note that I have changed my blogging name to Waxing Rural which just seems a lot more fitting to where I am both physically located and where my head is.

It seems like all the blogs I look at have great resolutions for the new year and I applaud this. Jokingly at first I have been emailing friends and family with my top 3 resolutions of the year and these follow directly from our recent move.

1. Eliminate printing everything out on paper which not only is bad for the environment but means you have to save and try to re-find those pieces of paper and they are just impossible to find when you are 59 years old as of December! So my alternative is to create some directories on my computer to save things and we'll see how this works in 2010

2. Get a cell phone for god's sake so people can get me - this is a problem for my husband as well as for friends and clients since I am rather reclusive and elusive at the same time. (By the way, this one is done as of 2 days ago, breaking a long standing vow never to have a cell phone -the most demonstrable item of my former and hated life)

3. Simplify my life by dis-accummulating material things that I have to keep track of, dust, move and make room for. I always had this goal when we moved here to coastal Washington, but the reality of getting rid of stuff that filled a 2,500 square foot house and fitting in to a 1,200 square foot house is still daunting.

Now these seem like very worthy resolutions but here a couple more that I found out there in the ether that I especially liked:

Start everyday from a "yes" point of view, meaning get up everyday willing to embrace the positive spin rather than the negative or crabby spin. It's surprising how easy it is to fall into the negative but negative doesn't help you find or seek answers,or joy, or acceptance. So this one is one I'll adopt.

Become healthy self - not a thin self, not a certain weight self, not an athletic self (all of which deny the many years of dieting, running, walking, low carb and low fat foods I've done or eaten) but instead be as healthy as I can be, as pain free as I can be, as benign as I can be right here and right now. I think this is worthy one too.

And then finally I really will blog nearly every day and put up plenty of photo's and painting. I'm also going to update my website more often too so folks can link to that and see all the work. I PROMISE!