Tag Archives: art

Journaling and Dialoguing

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I just have to tell you all how much I’ve been enjoying your comments lately.

I began this blog with two goals, or intentions. The first was to simply get down my thoughts and ideas as a record for myself- as a way of journaling. Keeping this blog has given me a place and reason to think deeply about what I’m making, why I’m making it, and why other other people might want to look at it. It’s been a reason for me to write it all down, and share my progress. Even though it is a digital journal, floating in cyberspace, it lends a feeling of solidity to my ideas and history for me to look back on. 

My second goal was to find some community, and begin a dialogue with other artists and people interested in art. When you comment, this digital journal becomes a conversation. My monologue becomes a dialogue. I go look at your blogs and websites, and gain inspiration and insight.

So- thank you for sharing your own thoughts about what you’re making, why you are making it, and what our art is for. Your comments make my day.

Inspiration: Creative Process with Elizabeth Gilbert

I was going to share pictures from the opening last night in Walnut Creek, but that will have to wait. (Just till tomorrow, I promise- so, so much fantastic work!) First, I have to share this video, from TED, of writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) talking about creativity, and the possibility of re-inventing our perception of it. It’s funny, and bone-true, just like her book. And it’s worth watching if only for the description of the poem and the poet… you’ll see. It took my breath away.  *Thanks to Beth for sending me this!!

Experiments In Wax and White

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I’ve been having some fun in my studio this week experimenting with wax inlay (intarsia). Here are some of the results-in-progress.

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First, I tried putting oil paint into the texture and doing a wipe, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped, so I tried filling with wax and scraping back, and I’m much happier with it. I like using intarsia in my underlayers, as I like to imagine that they are more stable, and an oil wipe in the last stages of a painting. But, Oh! The scraping- my fingers don’t like it much. I need to do a serious perusal of my local hardware store for a razor holder that works well for this. I took good photos of the intarsia process this time, so I’ll do a technique tutorial on it soon.

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Above: a detail of a larger acrylic painting. I’ve been trying some new things with acrylics, too…. laminating milky, transluscent papers into this painting, tracing some of my field sketches, and using a graphite paint that I found recently. It is such a good exercise to try to explore the same aesthetic and formal concerns as the white encaustics, but it a radically different medium. I think it keeps things fresh all around, with each medium informing the other. Well, we’ll see. I don’t think the above painting is really successful in the way I want it to be, yet, but I’m going to keep on playing with it. I’d love for it to segue into a new (and parallel) body of work.

And I’ll leave you with one last image, something I picked up on a walk the other day. I don’t know what my neighbors thought, with me traipsing through the neighborhood with my dog and a dead bush, but I love it- it’s color and form- and can’t wait to take an hour or two and draw it from different angles. 

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P.S. I’m going to the opening for “Working in Wax” tonight in Walnut Creek (see announcement below) and am so excited to see so much encaustic work!

New Work #11: Encaustic

Here’s what I’ve been working on… more from the “Winter” series.

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This last piece is larger- 25 x 28 inches. The top two are 12 x 12″.

These paintings are continuing from a series I started a few months ago. I took a walk near my home, and gathered some of the mid-winter weeds and flower/seed stalks that had dried but were still standing tall against the wind. I’ve been drawing them, and incorporating them into these paintings. I’ve been enjoying making these so much, my ideas for them keep getting bigger… as in wanting to paint bigger and bigger. I use a lot of clear wax in these, about 15 layers or so, and the image elements float between layers, creating a depth and space that gets more interesting as the paintings get bigger. There is more room to visually float and explore in the picture space.

New Work #8: more winter wax

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We are having a delicious, drizzly February day here, and the starlings outside are making quite a racket. My wind chimes are going a little crazy. I’m just enjoying it all, taking care of family life, and baking ginger cookies (because that’s what I do when it drizzles outside!) Also, sharing the latest “Winter” piece, above. I feel like I’ve finally struck a balance between complexity and simplicity in these latest pieces. I am enjoying letting the wax be what it is, not fighting or trying to overly control it. For instance, when I first started adding the tiny white dot areas, it frustrated me to no end that I couldn’t get them all to look uniform. Some of them are big, some small, some stick up and others are flat. And it’s all dependent on too many factors- like if my pallet is heating up or not (it’s on a thermostat, so there are slight variations in temperature as it cycles on and off), or how long I hold the brush on the pallet to warm it up again, or how many dots I try to make before returning to my pallet (which, of course, has everything to do with my mood and patience that day). Etc, etc. But then I just gave up. It is what it is. And I fell in love with the variation. Now, I just let it be, and I think it is one of my favorite things about these little paintings. Sometimes, acceptance can truly transport us to new places!