2019 is coming to an end and I can not believe how quickly the time is passing!
I survived my first participation in the One of a Kind Holiday Show and with much success will look forward to returning next December. The attendance was incredible, I loved that the show was four days long, and because it occurs at the beginning of holiday season the atmosphere is more festive than the summer shows I have done in the past. A big bonus – weather is a non-issue, the show is held indoors, on the 7th floor of the Chicago Merchandise Mart.
I also had time before the show to attend a three day pastel workshop hosted by the Chicago Pastel Painters, taught by Casey Klahn. I have been following Casey on social media for over a decade, and it was a treat to finally meet him and learn about soft pastels. I have just started exploring this medium and plan on combining pastel with encaustic monotypes. The more I use pastels, the more I am inspired.
I am experimenting with the different papers and boards that allow the pastels to be the best they can be. Above, I used a pastel board thinking the encaustic medium would be easy to incorporate but I wasn’t happy with the stiffness in regards to the pastel dust. I decided not to add encaustic as I think the pastel would act like a barrier between the wax and the board.
Below, I added soft pastel to an encaustic monoprint on a Japanese Sekishu paper and I loved the way the pastels combined. I will continue to explore the combination of monotypes using encaustic and pastels.
After the new year, my next exhibition is “The Sum of the Parts” with the FUSEDChicago group at North Central College in Naperville, IL. I am exhibiting the Roadways Series, inspired after visiting Ireland. Each time I created a roadway composition, I thought about the wide open landscape, and the simplicity of color. I was on the west coast, and it felt like every road either led to the ocean or to the various shades of gray rocks in the Burren.
I resume teaching mixed media encaustic painting after the new year. All class information is available here :
I can’t believe it’s already been a month since my last summer festival participation. There was little time to recover and shift right into teaching mode! Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions I offer mixed media encaustic classes at the Evanston Art Center and North Shore Art League.
My one remaining exhibition scheduled for 2019 is the One of a Kind Holiday Show at the Chicago Merchandise Mart. This will be my first indoor, holiday season venue in Chicago and I have been working hard on what to bring… what would fall into the “gift” category, and what would make my display stand out.
The 10 foot back wall will have over 70 Buddhas, side walls with miniature paintings in 10″x10″ shadowbox frames and nature inspired impressionistic landscapes.
70 completed Buddha paintings to date, (with a few more in the works) can be previewed here – 70 Buddha Oct. 12
The miniature paintings are mostly landscapes and places I’ve visited that inspired me, with a few other miscellaneous subjects.
I am looking forward to participating at an indoor venue (weather as a non-issue) plus exhibiting during one of the best times of year!
It is always a physical and mental challenge when I participate in summer outdoor festivals, from the packing and loading of work to exhibit, the loading of tent and panels required in order to hang and display work, to the unpacking and setup at the actual festival, and then the re-packing and re-loading (and unloading back at home) on Sunday night after the festival weekend is over. The one thing I can never control is the weather, and I have many sleepless nights right before a festival weekend when the weather is not looking festival-friendly. What a huge relief to survive torrential downpours this past weekend!
I have always tried to stay physically fit in order to do what is required, and after having just completed another exhibition two days ago, I admit I am physically and mentally drained. Several factors that feed into sustaining required energy levels throughout a show weekend are a combination of art sales, meeting new patrons and potential students, with the added bonus of winning an award juried by the show promoter… I just won an “outstanding achievement” award at this last show from Amy Amdur.
I don’t exhibit again until weekend of September 14 and fortunately the Lakeview Festival of Arts is right in my neighborhood, no commuting makes everything a little easier. Lots of time to rest, organize new work, and gear up for my last festival of the outdoor summer season.
It rained and rained and it was cold, damp, and dreary… and I woke up July 1 and finally summer is here! Despite the horrendous weather of May and June, art festival season is upon us. Two festival exhibitions are behind me now with four more to go. My next exhibition will be filled with color, collage, and florals.
The back wall of my display is the Face of Buddha, an ongoing series, each painting is 10″x8″ and a small single painting becomes a larger installation depending on how many are purchased and hung together in a patron’s home. Below is a photo from ten days ago, Buddha installation is on the back wall.
Floral collages below are just some of the paintings that I plan to feature end of the month at the Glencoe Festival of Arts.
I’m still working through details on the next festival setup, the unknown factor is always the paintings that haven’t happened yet. I have several extra large frames waiting for two more 36″x26″ collages, just not sure if I’ll have time to finish both before the end of July.
It’s hard to believe that a month from today I’ll be exhibiting at the Wells Street Art Festival in Old Town, Chicago. The weather has felt more like Winter than Spring, it’s one of the biggest factors that contribute to the success or failure of a show.
My newest work is focused on organic patterns and brilliant color. Alcohol inks combined with encaustic medium have been an exciting addition. I have also been creating collages using alcohol ink on yupo or card stock, mounted on foam core then glued to the surface and sprayed with an assortment of Krylon products in order to best protect and preserve the work.
“Playful Garden” is the largest collage to date. I had to mount Yupo paper onto a cradled birch panel using heavy gel medium before I started the painting. After completion, I sprayed with Krylon Kamar, Krylon UV, and Krylon Crystal Clear. I am still going to have to watch out for inclement weather because this piece is delicate and quite large!
A bit smaller, “Black Leaf” is painted with encaustic medium layered with alcohol ink, then collaged with painted foil paper.
Other new mixed media works combine encaustic medium layered between alcohol inks on claybord, each panel is 6″x24″x2″ and can hang alone or combined horizontally.
At this point I am finishing up loose ends… wiring and painting cradled panel edges and soon I will have to narrow down what to bring to each show. I have PLENTY of choices!
Springtime is when I have to start planning my exhibition space for the upcoming summer festival season. It forces me to review art inventory, and re-assess what paintings are “show worthy”, and those that need to be re-worked. Ever since I started incorporating alcohol inks into encaustic medium, I have found a new way to create visual energy on a two dimensional surface.
I have taken a handful of older paintings and made them new again by fusing the inks into the wax base. The two mediums compliment each other and the translucent layering captures motion and depth.
I worked with an encaustic monotype as the base layer for the first time (seen below), then added layers of wax medium combined with alcohol inks. I love the way the inks loosen and free up the composition.
I am also working with cradled panels as a ground (rather than papers), adding the inks first, then combining wax medium with additional layers of ink to create greater depth, movement, and life on a flat surface. I’ll be anxious to share this new combination of encaustic and inks in person rather than on the internet and am looking forward to the summer art season.
This past weekend, I taught an encaustic “sampler” workshop at the Evanston Art Center. We used various mixed media materials that combine effortlessly with wax. In the demo painting below, mulberry paper creates a translucent linear wave pattern, I then added white shellac and oil pastel to highlight the setting sun over the ocean waves. There is something very beautiful in simplicity and I hope to continue exploring the “less is more” concept.
One of my older watercolors below, and most likely the subconscious inspiration for the above encaustic painting.
Another new direction: Pea Pods
I built an armature base, coated the wire with plaster, then shaped the plaster and added encaustic medium to the assemblage.
Wax is poured into the cradled panel in order to secure various parts. Building armature for encaustic is a new addition to the weekly techniques we cover in classes. I resume teaching after the new year at both the Evanston Art Center and the North Shore Art League.
I recently visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens knowing I would find visual inspiration. The colors of gorgeous velvety red roses in the Rose Garden, to the perfectly manicured bonsai and pine trees in the Japanese Garden, were a gift. In the English Walled Garden, I watched as wedding vows were exchanged, the scene felt like a chapter out of a fairy tale. I knew this would become the subject for a new painting.
Seeing the vibrant colors of lotus and lilies, wildflowers and roses, were a wake-up call. My eyes had been resting for too long this summer, and the newest series of miniature paintings (above) remind me of what we often take for granted… the purity of nature’s beauty and gifts.
Next weekend I’ll be exhibiting at the Evanston Art and Big Fork festival. If you are local and interested in seeing great art from 130 exhibitors, live music combined with loads of food and beverages, definitely make the time to visit. I’ll be in booth #133.
I continue to be inspired by my visit to the Burren in County Clare, Ireland last September. A new body of work is slowly starting to emerge in my studio, and I am in the midst of it all.
One of the challenges for this series has been my desire to incorporate a variety of mediums. To date: encaustic, oils, mixed media, even encaustic collagraphs, all depicting the Irish landscape, have started to take form.
The newest additions to the series are posted above. Working with oil paints has been an education in itself! I used photos I had taken and after establishing the general composition reached a point where I stopped looking at the photos and focused on re-creating a feeling rather than being exact to the actual photo. Color mixing has been a challenge as the oils beg to be combined; using a limited palette has forced me to learn color theory at it’s core. Most important to these landscape paintings has been to create wide open space, big sky, along with a purple tinge in the rolling limestone hills and mountains reflected by sun (or lack of it).
My next painting will feature the incredible stone walls seen during a visit to the Aran Islands. How can I have a series inspired by the Irish landscape without incorporating a stone wall or two?