Monday, March 31, 2008

an offering

an offering, encaustic and mixed media, 6x8 inches

Further experimenting on that post a few days ago resulted in this piece. I'm going to bind it up as a journal cover. I am currently using a journal that I made that has encaustic on it and it is holding up fine. But it definitely does not have the texture that this one has. I think it want to be a journal cover. So that is what I will do.

I was clicking on this and that and found my way to this blog. I always enjoy finding new art blogs of any kind, but it's always even more fun finding those of artists who work in encaustics. I love her "Bessie" painting. Some people like chicken paintings, I like cow art. Well, I actually don't own any cow paintings, but I always like them. I have no idea why. And then I clicked on her link to this encaustic artist. Check out her studio photos. Now, that is hardcore. Her paintings are really beautiful. Would love to see them in person.

And I didn't even know about this place. I usually use R&F or Enkaustikos. Which reminds me, I have to order more encaustic medium soon.

As long as I'm linking here~ check out The Altered Page. One of my paintings was featured in The Pulse today. It is an encaustic piece that I chose as one of my favorite paintings.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

with my little eye

journal entry from today

Today "I spied with my little eye...something sweet". I used to love that game when I was little. I went to my studio today and for lunch I decided to get a table at a Teahouse on Ballard Ave. It was too cold to sit on the sidewalk and eat something from the farmer's market. I brought my journal with to write while I drank my delicious chai and nibbled on my lunch. But I basically sat and observed my surroundings. And with my little eye I spied a stolen moment of tenderness. The owners of the teahouse were working behind the counter and the woman owner looked a little pregnant and a lot tired. Her husband checked to see if there were any people waiting at the counter and then quickly drew her into his arms for an embrace. It was so sweet.

Not really sure why I wrote all that out...but it seems to me that it's little moments like that, gestures that may seem insignificant, that just have so much power.

Speaking of sweet, I received in the mail a beautiful textile ATC from Jean in England. Thank you Jean, I love it! I searched my email box to write you and let you know that I received it, but I can't locate the email anywhere. So, I hope you read this. Expect something in your mailbox from me soon! Thank you again.

Friday, March 28, 2008

bloggity blog

This morning I opened up my email and saw that I had received a comment on my last blog post from Cambria, a twelve year old girl who makes and sells her beaded jewlery. How wonderful would it be to be 12 years old and already on a creative path! I saw this independent film made in Seattle a few years ago about a 20-something meeting up with her 12 year old self. Makes you think what would you tell your 12 year old self? What would your 12 year old self think of how you turned out!? I think that I would tell my 12 year old self to not worry so much. And to be fearless. Actually, I need to tell my 32-year old self that still!

When I visited Cambria's blog I saw her and her mom's link to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and was hooked on it for the rest of the duration of Noah's nap. I love finding blogs like these! Food, photography, rural life. And she has a photoshop tutorial.

I use photoshop everyday to crop my images, resize, fix the contrast. But that's about it. Going through her tutorials and gasping at her beautiful images has renewed my dedication to learning my camera as well as all that photoshop has to offer.

I played around a little with a photo of me on a bridge on Orcas Island, I think it was Orcas Island. It's probably not very exciting to people who know photoshop and all its nuances, but I was so excited while I played with some of the tools. I did create a really beautiful photo of my husband and Noah with one of her tutorials that I can't wait to get printed.

me, Orcas Island, 2005

I've been feeling a bit uninspired on the art front lately. Don't know if it's my low energy level, limited time in the studio, burn out....probably all of the above. But I still want to do, to create. Especially at night after my little one goes to bed. This might be my ticket to getting inspired. Doing something a little different for a bit.

alaska, 2005

Oh, yes, and speaking of blogs, my friend, Wendy Lee Lynds out in Whidbey Island just joined the blogging world. Go check it out!

Thursday, March 27, 2008



Playing around in my journal. Journal entry from yesterday Wednesday, March 26, 2008. Feeling like I'm always in a state of anticipation. Waiting....

Tuesday, March 25, 2008



This is an experiment with plaster and encaustic. mmmm, not my favorite outcome. I like the textures, but feel like the image is not quite right. This is definitely going into the save for further experimentation pile.

Still trying to figure out what I will be hanging for my April show at Cugini's in Ballard. I thought I had it all figured out, diagramed out and even had all my labels made. But I just had this gut feeling that it just wasn't right. So still trying to figure this out. blech. Being a perfectionist is a drag at times. But at the same time, I feel that whenever I represent myself to the public, in any shape or form, I can't take shortcuts. And since I'm just starting out with showing my work I don't want to appear unprofessional.

Always try my best, so that I won't have any regrets that it could have been done better. Actually I feel that way about other things in life too, not just with my art. Regrets are icky. Although I know that things can always be tweaked to be better. So, I guess the trick is striving for the best, but knowing when to let it go and be content. Nothing in life is perfect, and life is more beautiful for its imperfections.

When I'm not feeling well, I tend to babble. I should just go drink some tea or something.

The great thing though is that I have a body of work to pick and choose from. It's a good feeling to not have to rush around or settle.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Playing Favorites

Seth of The Altered Page has done it again- gathered up a bunch of mixed media artists and asked them to pick out their favorite pieces they've created and why. I have always been fascinated in hearing the background stories of paintings. Today's theme is assemblage. Seth will be showcasing different artists in the days to come. Be sure to check it out~

Here is a synopsis of what's coming up on The Pulse:
Imagine a museum filled with the work of all your favorite artists working in all your favorite artistic mediums. Now imagine that every piece of artwork has been hand chosen by each artist as their absolute favorites. Then imagine that printed by each piece of art is an explanation written by the artist detailing their selection. Welcome to Playing Favorites!

Responding to my invitation and an open call on my blog, more than 45 artists (and counting) have generously donated their art and their words to this installment of The Pulse. Collectively, they have submitted over 120 pieces of art. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting selections from each artist that are their favorite creations. Along with the images are their own stories that explain the significance of their choice or choices. Both the selections of artwork and the accompanying stories will help you get to know each artist on a more personal and revealing level.

Playing Favorites...coming to The Altered Page on Monday March 24th. See you there!

Friday, March 21, 2008

a fork in the road

After I came back from Chicago I caught a nasty cold and am still recovering. I have not had much energy for anything beyond what needs to be done or taken care of. In addition to Noah and I attending music class and a gymboree play class and me chasing an inexhaustible running tot around, I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Often when I'm quiet here on my art blog, I'm usually transferring my creative energy via food. Gotta create something, even if it's not with paint. Even so, I was forced out of the house today and went to my studio this afternoon. It was a much needed break for me.

I also needed to go to Cugini's and measure out the walls so that I can figure out what and where I will be hanging my paintings in April. I'm not allowed to put nails in the wall, which makes things a bit more challenging. And the ceilings are really, really high. Which makes me wonder how my little paintings will look. Well, I'll figure something out.

detail of a visual journal spread

I did manage to finish the commissioned painting that I have been working on for a few months now. I thought it was done about two weeks ago, but something was nagging me about one little corner. And I just couldn't let it leave my hands with it not being just so. But now it's done! Whew.

I worked in my journal today as I didn't have the energy after I finished the painting to work on anything else. This spread is not the prettiest spread, but it actually was a good tool for me. Working through my issues regarding our future move. I believe that if you click on the image it will take you to my flickr page to see the full spread.

The image on the left is an old Chicago map. The image on the right is from a photo I took on Orcas Island (my most favorite place in the whole world). And the picture of me was taken in either Whidbey Island or Lopez Island. Probably Lopez. It is a polaroid transfer. I've had that transfer laying around for 3 years at least. I sewed it into the spread, between the two pages.

right side of spread

Thursday, March 13, 2008

dreaming of...

mixed media and oil
4x4 inches

Just received word that this painting sold at the gallery in Florida. It's always nice to get an unexpected check in the mail! I've done several variations of this image before. I think I may have one more in me. We'll see.

Last time I was at my studio I actually counted the number of blank canvases that I had. I had a stack of 5x5s and 6x6s. Very few 4x4s left. Some 8x8x and fewer 10x10s. I've really been getting this feeling of wanting to work large. Like, big. When I began painting again I started out small as a way to just get warmed up again. Plus I was used to creating mixed media pieces for journal covers that measured 5x7 and 6x8 inches. I liked the small intimate feel of these canvases.

But something in me is pulling me towards larger. I wonder if the smallness of my studio also has influenced the size of my paintings. hmmm. Something to think about.

Well, I have a stack of small canvases that I will attack and hopefully send out into the world. And then onto larger. Excited about the idea, but a little anxious too.

I will be making a solo trip out to Chicago this weekend. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

crow for a crow

The opening reception on Friday was a lot of fun. It was really nice seeing Wendy and Karon. There was a really good turn out too. I didn't even get to drink any wine or eat any of the goodies that were spread out on thetable because I was too busy. That's always a good sign. Well, I was also busy with Noah who came to the opening, of course! I got to meet Lisa Jones Moore who I had only known through Flickr previously. And Binky Bergsman and I finally complete a trade that we had first talked about many many moons ago. We traded a crow painting for a crow painting. I love my new painting and I can't wait to hang it up.

Another cool thing that came out of Friday night was a deal I worked out with my neighbor who drove all the way out to see the show. She asked me if I would be interested in taking an afternoon to teach her about encaustics and that she would pay me to do so. I said, how about if you teach me how to sew instead? She is a professional seamstress and she did my wedding dress, which was how I met her and found out that she was one of my neighbors. Anyway, I am so excited as I've always wanted to learn how to sew. I am so so terrible with reading manuals and trying to figure out my machine. I'm afraid though that this is going to start a very bad fabric collecting habit.

journal entry from today

Saturday night we went to the Ballard artwalk just to check out what the scene was like on the street. I don't know if we were out there too early, but the energy level was low. Hmmm. Something to think about, if I want to pursue doing the open studio during the artwalk. Do I have the energy to make it work? Hmmm... One good thing though is that I may have found a possible new venue for my work for a future art walk. I spoke to the owner of the shop and told her that I thought my art would be a good fit. She was very interested and I just have to call to follow up.

It wasn't that long ago that the thought of approaching someone about my work would make me sick to my stomach. It's really true how once you start to just do it, how much easier it gets. Actually, the first time I approached a gallery/boutique to carry my journals, I didn't approach them. My husband did! That's how much of a weenie I was. I did have to meet with the gallery owner to look at my journals. She was so nice, and even took the time to explain to me how wholesale worked and helped me with my price points. I didn't know anything back then.

Anyway, it's all about baby steps. Anyone who is reading this, if you have a dream, like I did/do, pursue it. Envision it, then take the steps. Just believe in yourself, even when you don't. I'm still figuring things out, but that's one of the lessons I've learned. And it's one I still have to remind myself of often.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Women In Wax


Opening Reception tonight 6-9 pm at exPRESSive Arts Gallery. 3710 W. Mukilteo Blvd., Suite #1, Everett, WA 98203. If you're in the area, pop in!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

visions of home

visions of home
visions of home, mixed media and encaustic, 5x7 inches

This is another piece created using plaster and encaustic. I put the finishing touch on it this afternoon. Top right corner. I had posted a work-in-progress photo of this painting a few posts ago, so you can see an earlier version before I added the wax.

I wanted to note that the first time I saw plaster and wax together was at Trish Seggebruch's house. She had a beautiful piece of art sitting on her desk and I was just drawn to it and asked her about it. She told me that it was encaustic on top of plaster and said that it was a gift from a friend of hers...who turned out to be Stephanie Lee. Which was why when I saw that Stephanie was going to teach a workshop on plaster, I jumped to take it. I couldn't get that piece out of my head.

You can see how encaustic really adds that glow. Well, I don't know if it really translates all that well on screen. But to my eye, it does. And one of the reasons why I fell in love with encaustic as a medium to work with in the first place. Especially white. Or plain encaustic medium overtop a white background. mmmm.

Through all my paintings I have developed my own personal visual language. On a very simple, basic level:

trees = self portrait of some sort
crows = vision, dream
use of thread = ties that bind, relationships
circles = life, cycles

Every painting is different of course, but this is what has developed for me, within me. I could go into more detail, but I think it's better to keep it short and simple for now. Probably boring anyway!

I mainly worked on a commission painting this afternoon. I've been working on it for a few months now and I'm happy to say that I made really good progress on it today. It's 99% done! Just need to let it dry and come back to it and see if it needs anymore tweaking.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Patterns Often Overlooked, again

Patterns Often Overlooked, encaustic, 6x6 inches

Back in December I made this encaustic painting. It was done. I was finished with it. Or so I thought.

It was hanging on the wall in my studio and I don't know what made me do it, but the other day I pulled it off the wall and created the above piece on top. To be honest, I don't think I was ever completely satisfied with the original painting. Not sure if that's a good practice to do or not- take a painting and paint over it. I have some very old paintings that I have piled in a corner in the basement and I've been tempted to do the same. My husband tells me that I shouldn't do that because it's better to keep them. For what? I don't know. Although I did paint over one painting that I did while I was in college and I do regret it.

But this change, I don't regret. What can I say? I like trees.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

forever constant

forever constant, mixed media and encaustic,
10x10 inches

I finally got a full day of studio time in today! Woohoo! I was so excited to finally get my hands back onto the plaster pieces that I had started in Stephanie Lee's workshop two Fridays ago. I was a little anxious going in this morning as I get when I haven't been creating. But once I shut the door, tied my apron strings, and rearranged a few things, I was just ready to go at it.

The piece of this painting that came from Stephanie's workshop is the crackled texture. She taught us how to create that with burlap and plaster. I have never had luck with the crackle paste that I bought from Golden. I know it is a great product, but I think my impatience is my downfall. I can never wait long enough!

So after puttin the finishing touches on the crackled burlap this morning, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. I messed around with a lot of different layouts. And then it struck me...I went back to a visual journal entry I had done back in December and knew that this is what I wanted to expand upon. This is why I do visual journal entries in the first place. It's an arena to practice, to experiment, to say "what if...". Some people do complete visual journals- as in a book with page after page of entries done visually. I love flipping through books like that. My journal is not like that. I write, make to do lists, glue in family photos, and then I also have entries where I collage or play with paint color combos.

Nothing may come from these type of entries, but every so often they serve as a starter for something bigger.

This painting is very mixed media. Let's see...burlap, plaster, acrylic, encaustic, oil paint, print of photo, and cheesecloth. I think that's it.