Come join me in Tucson, AZ, for all new Encaustic and Resin workshops January 27th – February 3rd, 2018 at To Bead True Blue! The weather will be awesome, the company divine, and the creativity will be through the roof at this soul reviving art retreat. I can’t wait to land and reconnect with other artists, all learning together, in the spirit of encouragement and gratitude for such a space, such a time, and such beautiful teaching! More details to come. Thank you!
As you know if you’ve been following my process, I have taken a two year break from travelling/teaching to launch my last child off to college. Well, I am almost at the finish line! My daughter will be leaving for Calvin College in Michigan this August.
Meanwhile I have been playing, experimenting, and teaching locally. And I am happy to say I have developed lots of new encaustic classes to bring on the road!
I have also been playing around in my figurative work, which is posted on:
My new work focuses on Awakening the Santos Cage Doll.
I’ll be posting new things regularly in my Santos Gallery there. Come and visit!
Thanks for checking in!
I was trying on my linen dress, pinning it up to alter it because it didn’t fit quite right, and threw it onto my linen bed. I laughed because if I could cover my world in linen I would. The lighting was gorgeous because it had just stormed.
And just that morning I had been pondering how an artist could, rather than just depicting the objects in one’s environment as an expression of themselves (like an artist drawing their dinner or their garden), one could take the art around them, the meaningful art made by the hands of those who loved them, and re-enter it into one’s art, giving that art double-duty so to speak: art within art. Not a new thought, for sure, but my thought.
I went into one of my photographic rampages. Yes, we all have these rampages, and they are good to keep our images fresh and to keep them rolling in for our artwork. Well, what a supply of imagery came rolling in!
The artwork I chose was by my sister Cheri, who died two years ago. For me she had made this precious little angel from a broken frozen charlotte with a stone for wings. The stone was drilled, and a simple white, waxed linen string was criss-crossed over the charlotte’s chest. Speaking of doing double-duty, she made this angel for me when my baby died 14 years ago, and now she has died, and so the angel speaks in doubles.
They each got a photo session, the dress I covered in a sprinkling of maple tree helicopters, which I had preserved this year, as I had planned on drawing them as much as I could. But now, scattering them all over the linen-on-linen bed, I was reminded of the scene in the Little Women movie, where Beth’s bed is covered in rose petals.
Finally, I drew the helicopters and winged charlotte on tracing paper with white ink. These will be layered in the Art Journal, Linen Bedroom, that is emerging.
I just wanted you to see how a simple hunting with the eyes and gathering of significant objects in your environment can really drum up personal imagery just by laying them out for yourself with intention. It will come together for you as well. You just start where you are. Take a breath, and begin.
Discovering Art Journaling was for me, like seeing a path, and so the next set of pages in my Art Journal is called “Oui, je vois le chemin!” or “Oui, je vois!” “Yes, I see the path! Yes, I see!”
The precious face of the creature in flight, I found in a magazine last year. She has an expression like my daughter’s when she was young, and is a little peeved about the journey even though the path has finally shown itself from such a height.
I had been playing around recently with a type of hollow script I invented when I was a teen, and I wanted to get back to my roots so I “let it come” as Pooh says, into my work today. I am sure I wasn’t the only inventor of this hollow script, but there is my version. I’ll be using and teaching that to whomever likes such a thing.
Another little piece of nostalgia for me was a chocolate wrapper diamond I saved from a day when I offered chocolate to students in my encaustic workshop (must have been valentine’s day).
I also sculpted up a little head for a Santos to come. I will post photos on that process tomorrow or Monday.
Thanks for checking in!
I started my art residency chez-moi yesterday, but rather than jumping right into encaustic painting or right into figurative sculpting I found myself launching into Art Journaling.
You know how I love encaustic art, but out of my periphery I have been catching glimpses, really for the last two years, of artwork made with Acrylic Gel Medium and Acrylic Paint. And I found myself getting a little jealous of such a portable art form!!!
To tell the truth, I absolutely love the sheen and glow of Acrylic Gel Medium (can you say Luminous), and it turns out it is very much like a portable form of Encaustic Medium. Both are wonderful at grabbing up Mixed Media. And for my Art Journaling classes, acrylic gel medium will be center stage to lock all of our mixed media enterprises into place.
But here is the deal on Art Journaling: whether you are new to art or have been around the block a few times, this journaling form of art is a great way to connect into your-singular-creative-voice.
The other part of you, the part that needs healing- the part of you that’s looking for refreshment- the part who’s life is way too busy- who’s mind is too cluttered, too distracted and who’s body is reminding you that life is short… that part of you gets to reach in and grab ahold of the other part- the part that has been buried and ignored for so long. The two of you can go out to play and you will actually experience a zen-like state as you connect all your parts.
And for all of you professional Artists, listen up! Art Journaling differs beautifully from your studio work because as you are making it, you know it’s just not for sale, so the intention is completely different going in. Let’s face it- even if you are making a series of pieces for a gallery show, you are in the creative zone, but you and I both know that the market is breathing down your neck like a relentless beast who needs a salable product! Even a conceptual installation piece, for which you convince yourself there is no market- you know is not true, because the market is your next grant or resume check mark.
Art Journaling takes you on a journey (isn’t that where the word “journal” comes from after all?) into the deep recesses of you that can only make a wiser, better and happier you, as you navigate the complex world you’ve created for yourself in the first place.
This fall I’ll be teaching Art Journaling at FAVA, and I hope it will gather a mixed group that gets as addicted to it as myself so we can continue connecting over and over, sharing the journey together, like an artist’s group, guided by my word and mixed media prompts. And FAVA will be granting special veteran discounts so you can keep returning affordably after you’ve learned the ropes. Like taking yoga! Paper Yoga…Handmade Book Yoga. See you there!
Now back to my art-residency-chez-moi! My studio awaits!
If your summer is anything like mine, with kids home from college, family reunions, programs and festivals, you might love to find a niche for yourself with a little artistic retreat, or “artist residency” for yourself. My artist friends regularly take residencies in exotic places, but I haven’t always been able to get away. Well, rather than wait for that day to come, I am taking the residency bull by the horns and cornering him, and myself, in my home studio, where I will appear each day for 10 days, until the summer hubbub is likely to begin again.
The point is to turn off the mom light that’s always hanging right in the kitchen. Turn the sign over…from “Open” to “Gone Fishin’” and make your escape while you can. Set parameters for yourself. Myself, I am torn between diving into my Santos work, which has been on hold for a while, and tackling the large cradle boards I bought for a series of encaustic paintings. My journal, luckily, is chocked full of notes, so I know just where to begin, regardless of my choice of project.
I am going to photograph and blog on my process. I hope you can join me- My friend Nanette is joining me. She’ll be doing screen printing, and she’s asked me to take part in her process for a few days. I don’t know if our dates coincide exactly, but I’ll post on that experience too, wherever it falls.
Alright, let’s get planning, clearing a space, and hitting our journals. Talk to you soon!