Tuesday, April 26, 2011

my bowl is full

my bowl is full
8x8 inches

Yes, I am still making my bowls. I have the two 8x8 inch bowls that I have made so far hanging together in my studio and I can't wait to make more. I foresee a grid of them.

There are so many things I could say about my thoughts as I worked on this painting. Feeling overwhelmed at times by all that I juggle on a daily basis. Something we all can relate to. Feeling overstimulated by technology. So much "connecting" can be too much at times. I recently took Facebook and Twitter and all of that stuff off my phone and have been spending less time on the computer in general. There are times when I find myself with a rare chunk of time to myself and it's so easy to get sucked into the computer, but I would much rather be doing something else and actually NEED to be doing something else. Although it is fun to browse around and it is wonderful to connect with people, friends and family all over the world. It's all about balance.

The other thing too that I have been thinking about is that whole "cup half full/half empty" argument. For some reason I think of bowls differently. I don't want my bowl to be full all the time, I want it to be empty, open, ready to receive.

Fill Full Unfill


Speaking of full, my encaustic workshop that I will be teaching this Saturday at Perfical Sense Studio in Evanston is full again! I really enjoy sharing the things that I have learned in my own practice and am looking foward to this workshop.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Encausticamp Spotlight: Crystal Neubauer

Hope everyone had a lovely Easter weekend. I have always preferred Easter over the craziness of Christmas, and really, Easter is a reminder of life, renewal, and promise. But it is so much fun reliving the holidays through my young children. Being the youngest of four girls, I never got the chance to believe in the Easter Bunny! All the suprises were spoiled for me. Not that it mattered, I still remember the thrill of the Easter egg hunt.

As mentioned before, I will be spotlighting the different instructors who will be teaching at Encausticamp this July in Salem, Oregon. Today's spotlight is on a fellow Illinois artist, Crystal Neubauer. I have been fortunate to have visited Crystal at the One Of A Kind Art Show here in Chicago last December and her work is just as beautiful in person, actually even more so. Computer screens just cannot capture the nuance of wax, but it also leaves out the impact of the strong, quiet essence that is in Crystal's work.

Anyway, I have always been a huge fan of her work and am excited to be teaching with her this summer. Without further ado, here is Crystal's post:


‘When you share your strengths you create competition. When you share your weaknesses you create community.” ~Rick Warren

Recently I have been sharing a dialogue about a dream of developing a series of workshops and retreats where women can go deeper in their creative lives, a place where they will be supported, encouraged, and strengthened in their identity and worth as a woman and come away with the tools they need to begin to trust the voice they hear inside to guide them. A place that feels more like a community of friends who have gathered for a weekend of fun and fellowship then just a series of art-project oriented workshops.

crystal neubauer

The process of using art as a tool in healing from the past and uncovering my true identity has been such an integral part of changing my life that I’ve begun to share it with other women in some of my art workshops, uncertain of how they would respond or receive it knowing they were expecting to simply learn how to create a specific project. But each time I’ve included something as simple as a breathing technique I learned in my own journey, I find at least one woman who writes to say it was the most important thing she learned that day.

crystal neubauer

As the dialogue with my artist-women-friends begins to solidify into a clearer vision of a deeper more meaningful art retreat experience and dates and locations begin to be penciled in on our calendars, I’ve wrestled with letting go of my desire to teach at some of the larger more well-established venues, but then an email shows up in my inbox telling me of how the breathing technique I shared became a lifeline during a family crisis and I know in my heart this is the direction I was intended to go.

This July I will have my first formal opportunity during a two-hour breakout session at EncaustiCamp to share what I have learned along the way. I will bring a kit for each student who wishes to participate, that will include collage materials to be used as we walk through exercises designed to release that “inner-self” and allow one to experience what it means to “hear” or “listen to” their own voice and allow it to tell their story. The tools I hope to pass on in this exercise will go beyond paper and glue. This uncovering, discovering and releasing-of-self, is a journey so many women find themselves in the midst of and often without the resources or knowledge of what to do with all of these unexpected feelings and emotions. I will come, not as an expert or teacher, but a fellow sojourner sharing what I have learned along the way.

crystal neubauer

Of course, encaustic art will be the main focus of EncaustiCamp, but I am excited that the intention is to create an atmosphere that will be safe, cozy, intimate and restorative. This is where art becomes more then just a pretty picture; this is where it becomes a seed through which inner-healing can flow.

To find out more about this retreat, please visit the Encausticamp website.

Monday, April 18, 2011


They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder...not sure if that is true when it comes to being absent from the computer. I recently went away on a wonderful trip that included my sisters and my mom to a far away island. It was heavenly. No internet connection, cell phone, etc. I can't remember the last time I had been completely disconnected. What a strange world we live in nowadays.


But absence from my studio has been tough and I am scrambling to catch up. I am working on a commission of 3 large paintings in acrylic. These paintings will be taking up a lot of my studio time in the next month and so I won't be posting here very often. At least I don't think so. I tend to only post when I have art to share. The commission will be taking up all my time and honestly, now that my youngest is walking (running) everywhere, the night hours of working in the studio after my kids go to sleep are dwindling. I am exhausted! But sometimes the siren song of the studio lures me in. As well as deadlines.

What Brings Me Peace
encaustic and mixed media

But, I am excited to share that I will be teaching another encaustic workshop at Perfical Sense Studio at the end of this month in Evanston, IL.

Saturday, April 30, 10:00 - 1:00
Perfical Sense Studio
1127 Florence Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60202
Phone: 847-316-1900
E-mail: cindy @ perficalsensestudio.com

Encaustic painting is a method in which pigmented beeswax is painted in a molten state and then fused onto a receiving surface. One of the wonderful traits of painting with a wax surface is that wax loves image transfers! This workshop will cover the basics of painting in encaustics- working in layers and mark making. But we will also focus on different transfer techniques such as photocopy transfers, graphite transfers and transfer papers. Time will be given to allow individual exploration.

The painting above showcases transfers on wax. If you're in the area, come join the fun! I believe there is only 1 spot left at this moment, possibly 2.

Monday, April 04, 2011

encausticamp preview: me- a book of images + wax

I mentioned in my last post that I will be previewing the instructors that will be teaching at Encausticamp this July in Salem, Oregon. This week it's my turn.

I am really excited to be combining two of my passions in one workshop this summer- bookmaking and encaustic. Well, actually three, come to think of it, because I will be covering mixed media techniques and incorporating those into your encaustic practice.

As readers of my blog, you all know that I have been creating handbound journals for many years. But my love of making books, goes beyond binding blank journals, it goes into the book art forum.

a flag book I created of my xrays

What is book art? Book art is works of art in the form of the book. Simple as that. But when you think of the book as a medium of visual expression, well, that opens of a whole world of visual exploration! Book art is the artist's interpretation of a "book". What I love about book art is the interaction between the artist and the audience. A book is not just meant to be looked it, but opened, touched, perused. So form invites exploration, while concept also engages. My first ever exhibit I was in was a book art show in Seattle, that included two of my pieces. I have been experiementing with book art forms since high school when my ceramics teacher, an exhibiting book artist, took me under her wing and introduced me to this fascinating art form.

mixed media book, includes pigmented beeswax
published in L.K. Ludwig's True Vision: Authentic Art Journaling, 2008

It was only a natural progression that I would start exploring marrying encaustic with books. I am excited to be sharing my process at Encausticamp this summer in the workshop entitled "A Book of Images and Wax".


In this workshop we will go over incorporating photographs with encaustic with either collage or transfer techniques. We will create these on boards which we will bind in an accordian type of binding. I will also go over using paper with encaustic, one of my favorite things to do, and incorporating those creations into our book of wax and images.


If that sounds like fun to you, then head on over to Encausticamp to register for 3 days and 4 nights crammed with all things beeswax. This is a retreat that is for all levels and beginners in encaustic will feel at home here too. I think that people are often intimidated about starting to paint in encaustic, so this is a wonderful way to venture into painting and creating with wax.

a little sample book I made of encaustic pages coptic bound