Monday, December 28, 2009

I have no idea but...I do know this...

My Bee Girl painting is still alive. Not finished but alive just the same. This has turned into my "go to" piece. I spend a small amount of time with it then move on to something else. It's always waiting for me when I need it. It has gone through a developmental art phase right along side of me. I have no idea how it will look when I finally decided to call it quits but have grandioso ideas of where it could go. I've even had flinting ideas of branching it into a childrens book. Currently it's not even close. I do know this...when I stop posting in this blog I fall away from the creative mode I intended to keep rolling by making this blog in the first place. Subconscious or not it-is-what-it-is. Here's a little something I've been listening to lately while cocooning. [CLICK HERE] and [HERE]

Productive Cocooning

After spending the last four days in a total cocooning state of mind I decided to hang what encaustic art I have tucked away on the walls of my old coffee house. I just received a new shipment of moo mini business cards I ordered from [CLICK HERE]. Those are shown next to each piece I hung. Coming out of that cocoon I felt a sense of accomplishment after spending three hours hanging my work, even though I had spent much more time with it during each creation. Hmmm, time well spent and it has sparked a wee bit of inspiration to get back into the studio. That's always a good thing.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Art of Vegas Baby!

As Kent drove up and down the strip I captured many iconic shots of Las Vegas Blvd. Shown here is a quick snap of New York New York (the Five Irishman bar/restaurant has an incredible menu) I couldn't go on a brief vacation and not turn something into an art project. It will take time to assemble my vision so don't expect anything soon. In the interim here are a few photos I posted in celebration that art is everywhere!!

We stayed at the Bellagio. The mosaic tile work, windows & ceilings were definite works of art with old world charm.

A GIANT Holiday

The conservatory at the Bellagio was decorated in a giant way. Vegas flare & sparkle was well represented.

Giant snowmen made of carnations were kind of creepy yet festive in their own way.

Palio packs on the pounds

Incredible pastries (for Kent) coupled with Illy espresso drinks (decaf for me) made for a killer way to begin each morning at Palio in the Bellagio [CLICK HERE], Las Vegas, NV.

Dale Chihuly in Vegas

A Dale Chihuly [CLICK HERE] ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio, Las Vegas NV, an ultimate creative experience.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So now what?

So I've spent the last half a year creating as much encaustic art as I possibly could in preparartion for last weekends what? I ponder this throughout my day of normal tasks. It seems I function more fluidly when I have an assignment so to speak. A goal to reach. A subject to keep me focused. Not to say I have blinders on and do not veer off my path but rather create with a prescribed theme, medium or concept leaving plenty of room for the unexpected burst of inspiration. I have responsibilities that require creative organization, that are much less demanding at this point in time, leaving me with a void in productiveness. There was no question of what to do with myself in the past few months. That is the chunk of time I now am pondering, wandering & soaking in.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My personal Vanna White & my messy studio

This mess is my tiny art studio. I created 54 encaustic works of art for the Audubon Wild Arts Festival last weekend sitting in that single spot on my chaise next to he electric skillet of wax, over the last five months. I organized a pivot like space so I wouldn't have to climb through the tangle of wires (1920's house). No sense in cleaning anything up. That made it soooo much easier to return to the work at any given moment. I now have to clean it up for I need the space for my mixed media acrylic collage work. For me, having a few mediums to work with keeps the boredom at bay.

With thanks given to my friend Brenda for the idea of using old doors for my booth walls I was able to affordably create my own little gallery space within the show of over 40 artists. I chose hollow core to keep them light, painted them black with the help of my 13yr. old Keaton and hinged them in small sets with my husband. A big YAHOO!! to the Gorge Rebuild-it Center [CLICK HERE] in Hood River, OR for having exactly what I needed at the budget I had to work with and the flexibility to accomodate my lack of immediate cash situation (cash or check only).

Encaustic art = encaustic sign. I love this medium!!!!!!!
I had a lot of help in preparing the details for this show. My friend Andrea (not pictured :( ) was my own personal Vanna White. She looked like a super model and rocked at organization & helping me with what ever I needed throughout the weekend.

I have so many wonderful friends and family who support me through my artistic ventures. Pictured here is Susie, me & Venka at the show. Truly a magnificent experience all around. I'm thankful for the opportunity to showcase my pieces that come from my imagination. I met incredible people who had questions and praise for my work. Many inquired how that could take a class from me. I'm flattered but not prepared to do so at this time. With returning full time to school my plate will be quite full. I do have a business plan in the works for opening an art studio here in Stevenson but have no idea when that idea will come to frutation.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Astounding Gasps of Wonder's a rather large chunk of art for my show this weekend. I'm comfortably prepared, taking things in stride and enjoying every step of the process. Could it be my age that has me so relaxed? Sure, I'll chalk it up to the wisdom of a life thus led. It's not a bad place to be. Here's some of my inspiration this week in getting to that space [CLICK HERE] and [HERE]. Clicking to enlarge the images will result in astounding gasps of wonder.

Some of this & some of that = layers of wax, wax etching, aluminum foiling & copy transfering.

Front & side. I think some of the sides could stand alone.


Front & side.

I shot this photo while hanging out my bedroom window last winter. The snow had made everything so quiet. It was created on a Romeo Y Julieta cigar box, 2.5" deep. This second photo shows one of the sides.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Little boxes...on the......walls all over the place

After each piece is complete it must cure. The encaustic medium is soft. I have been hanging them everywhere I can successfully pound a nail. They now cover the built in shelving that house books, art supplies, ceramic gifts from my children's art classes, old music cd's, dvd's & vhs tapes I can't part with that display favorite family interests from the late 80's. I have been mused by an eclectic mix of music throughout this process [CLICK HERE] and [HERE]. The entries to follow portray a peak into my recent process in preparing for the Audubon's Wild Arts Festival the weekend of Nov. 21 & 22 [CLICK HERE]

My encaustic alchemist palette. I sit in my art space in an upstairs dormer room of my home, fan blowing out the open window to keep the air clear. I can't begin the thought of cleaning up my space until this creation process is complete. When I commit to the time it takes to melt down the wax in my old electric skillet and flow into the creation process, I typically am able to complete five original works of art. This productive time seems to occur a few times each week. With the show date arriving November 20 & 21st, I am on a sturdy path to having a well stocked art booth for the weekend.

I have been recycling cigar boxes as some of my substrates. I appreciate the depth they bring to each piece as it hangs flush to the wall. I'm saving the lids for a future unknown project.

A sturdy cardboard box left over from a Costco run provides a trustworthy surface for working with the encaustic materials. It seems with each piece I complete the box gets coated in additional spuratic layers of strength.

Tools of my encaustic process domiate my computer desk. I still squeeze into the teeny spot where I can manouver my mouse and lift the palms of my hands to reach the keyboard better.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spellcheckless Encaustic Works

I use this photo frequently in my encaustic work. The way it's composed works well with my dimension choices & medium. I did splurge and purchase a couple premade encaustic paint pots. I like the affordability of mixing my own but so appreciate the perfection & lusciousness of the premixed paints. Warning...if you click on the art don't be shocked by it's intense stunning detail, you may be mildly phased but this will pass :) My blog host has done some software updating. Either I can't find the spell check button or it hasn't been added yet. I'm adjusting to the new formatting procedures with frustration & mild whining. Nothing ever remains the same does it?!?!?! Adapt or get left behind. Forge ahead. Crying and hairpulling are optional. Here is a local Portland artist who's music has inspired me while I lost myself in the passion of creating. [CLICK HERE]

A cigar box substrate provided the perfect "reuse-recycle" material for this box. I've noticed my recent choices in reading material [click here] play an inspirational roll in the process and out come of my work.

My husband has been saving cigar boxes from our store for me to use with this project. Of course I had no idea what I was going to use them for a year ago. I slice the tops off, flip them over and transform them one by one. I used white pigment to tint the encaustic medium to a dense opacity, transfered my photo onto the wax, layered plain beeswax and rubbed in an oil bar in the shade of payne's gray.

Photos I have taken in the Columbia Gorge lend themselves to the Audubon's bird & nature theme. They are the focus of some of the encaustic pieces.This one was snapped out my back door last winter.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Encaustic Journey

A year ago when I sold my coffeehouse I had no idea what I would do next. I've always had a plan or at least a notion of what to research to take me subsequently into the next phase of my life. I knew it had to do something with art but that's a pretty broad subject. I purchased Golden acrylic paint tubes in colors that caught my eye, many, many canvases and begun to paint. It actually took six weeks until I painted something for I was frozen in fear I would ruin the expensive product I had just invested in. I recall passing a section in the art store that had encaustic materials. I was curious but totally turned off by the sample that hung on the wall. I walked away and thought who would ever spend their money on such a medium. I was apparently stuck in the small business mind frame and lacked vision and the openness it took to think outside my frugal box. Above is one of my latest encaustic creations, below will explain more of my journey. Click on it & check it out a bit closer.

I received a new camera from my husband for Christmas. I snapped photos of everything that triggered an interest. Sunlit dancing shadows, textures of household objects and the insane snowfall we had last winter. I ended up taking a beginners encaustic class given by local Portland artist Amy Stoner at the Collage DIY Lounge store on Alberta Street. The sample that hung on the art store wall haunted my thoughts. Not that "I could do better" but more of a challenge to explore that strange medium. Amy was a great teacher and I took my two class projects and hung them proudly in my art space at home. They are nothing like what I have morphed into recently with incorporating my photography into my encaustic pieces but they symbolise a step into the unknown. In taking that class I opened a door within the depths of my creativity that I did not know existed. Go ahead...Click on it, it's cool.

Through my exploration of mixed media, taking photos constantly, posting in this art blog, discovering new magazines in the trade of mixed media art and brewing them together to created encaustic pieces...I have surprised myself with a path of creativity that feels sooooo right. It's taken a year of self discovery and conquering simple fears (but fears none the less) that has landed me in this spot. Hard to believe a whole 12 months have gone by. I don't do much acrylic painting these days. My canvases sit snug behind my desk & under a chaise....patiently waiting. I have been accepted into an art show for the Portland Audubon Society's annual fundraiser Wild Arts Festival at the end of November. A first for me. I'm working on creating my booth space as well as a well stocked arsenal of encaustic art all in the theme of birds and nature. Yet another path in the new journey of my life.

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Mermaid R O C K S!!!

Who doesn't love a good mermaid?! I LOVE the process these mixed media projects take from concept to completion. Grabbing a color pallet and winging it begins the first phase. The art takes on it's own form and leads you along. If you think you messed up, keep going and what transforms is amazing. I had absolutely no idea this was to turn out as it did and a mermaid...who knew???. I seem to fancy sewing on a button here or there. Buttons of which were purchased at a local antique store (that has been "going out of business" since before I moved here six years ago - I'm glad it hasn't) in an old jelly jar for $3.00. If those buttons could talk I'm sure they would say some pretty interesting things about the lives & situations they have been privy to. Mmmmm...finding something that makes you content, excited & bursting with joy is definitely a thing you'd like to keep around. To have something to look forward to without expectations isn't always the natural path to allow. Our thoughts seem to get in the way in most cases. We're all right where we're supposed to be, I've read, been told & believe. I like this place I have landed for now. Click it for a closer look.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"My Thing"

A piece of art to keep the creative flowin'-goin'. After I made the decision to stop working on this project I took a step back and appreciated my efforts. I like it. I really do. I labeled it "ballet" for the simple reason of the black toe shoes she is wearing. I am so enjoying this medium and the new tricks I have learned. Her face came out somewhat like a china doll. How I did that I have no idea. It's all about the color pallet I presume. I'm lovin' the sewn on buttons and funky adornments I decided to use. I do think arm & leg tights will be "my thing" for a while. I am working on ideas for it's presentation. Framing it instead of creating it in a journal format. I'm thinkin' something with aged hand detailed tin will fit the bill. If you click on the image you'll be able to check out the detail.

Monday, October 5, 2009

How Bizarre How Bizarre

So I've been on a creative roll since I've learned a few new techniques. Actually more than a few...many. I've locked myself away for two solid days doing nothing but art. This piece I've labeled "Divine". I thought I ruined it right out of the gate and wanted to set it aside for a "more convenient time" to make something out of it. Instead I kept the creative juices flowing and pulled off something I love. I don't usually like anything I do, it's always been that way. A shift in my perception has been made with this particular project. How bizarre that this "Divine" work of art represents a different view for how I look at what I create, or lack of view would be a better way of describing it. I kept going and pulled through an awkward stage resulting in something that makes me smile. The intent was.....well.....there wasn't any. That made the entire process all the more joyous. I was present, without thought and this is what happened. I like that.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Creative Seed Planting

For the past two days I have been doing nothing but art. I enrolled in a mixed media 2-day course with the artist Misty Mawn at Art & Soul Portland. She instructed us along the path to create an art journal using various mixed media components.

I have chosen to clip my finished cover piece to show the depth & richness of the products once combined. Acrylcs, inks, stencils, ephemera, artist crayons, markers, razorblades & water all came together to form a basically unplanned piece of art with a lot of scraping, sanding, rubbing and pounding.

What transformed was an amazing, eclectic conception that my imagination kept rolling with as each texture morphed into another.

I had the pleasure of meeting some beautiful women who were in that same place at that same time all in the name of creativity and inspiration. Misty covered a lot of information. The seed is planted.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Art of Going Back

Returning to Arizona to visit my family is always a mixed bag of emotions. Living in Washington State in a small river town there is an abundance of surreal natural beauty. An over population of rich greens & fairytale waterfalls provides a much needed sense of calm. In revisiting where I did a lot of growing up, I do not have such a connection. It is empty to me, as if my creativity was stripped away.

The dense populous lends itself to someone other than me. I have grown to feel embraced by my current surroundings which in turn unselfishly shares it's innate source of imagination and comfort.

The views at sunset are consistently awesome but I crave the misty rain and foggy blanket the pacific northwest possesses. I feel cocooned, ready to create after awakening into the crisp mornings.

The in-your-face mega consumerism coupled with the need to drive everywhere you have to go is so foreign. The more time I spend still, the more I come to the realization of what I like and can do without. Spending time creating of my own mind brings a wholeness like no other.

The family is what makes these trips possible. If it weren't for both of my parents living in Arizona I don't think I'd ever go back. I would much rather have my friends/family visit me here where I can share my fascinating discoveries of a life so different. Living in a small river town is an art of it's own, a dying lifestyle protected in my little bubble of the world.