Friday, April 11, 2014

on the studio table

Not much to report this week, other than finishing that painting that I posted yesterday. Spent the rest of my studio time that I had trying to take photos of new works and getting them on the computer. But I already started prepping another 24x24 panel and continuing work on this 18x18 inch panel below.

monday. work in progress

friday. detail of work in progress

Painting on a larger scale has been an interesting and a bit frustrating change for me. I'm used to things just happening quickly on a small panel, where on large panels, I ponder much more. It's not a bad thing, just different.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


encaustic mixed media
20x16 inches

Finished a painting this week that is part of my flooded images series, using photos and journal images that were damaged last year. When I had first started this painting, I was originally going to use put one of my trees in....but then this image called out to me. I thought, I don't do figurative art in my body of work, I probably shouldn't....but the pull was strong. And I listened to my gut, not my head. Witness. The figure in the photo is actually of one my best friends from childhood. In my 20s I went to visit her in NYC and we spent the whole trip gallery hopping, shopping and eating. I mean, NYC, right? And of course me making her pose in front of urban grunge here and there. I've always loved the photo and was so sad when I saw that it had fallen victim to the flood. But I had to admit that the ghostly image left over was so beautiful and powerful in its own way. While I was working on this painting, I kept looking up to this painting that I had painted a few months ago and had hanging on the wall near my workspace:

And Then It Was All Gone
encaustic mixed media

I envisioned the two hanging together and so I worked off of it. Now I am pondering adding one of my flooded images to this painting, although I feel good about it as is. I'm just going to let them hang together for a while on my studio and not touch it. Unless one day, I just cave to the curiosity of what would happen if I did. What if?


Please excuse the crookedness! I am sure anyone viewing this just wants to tip it in the right direction.

Looking at this now in my post, I think I'm going to leave it be and just make a third one. hmmmm.

Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep. -Scott Adams

Friday, April 04, 2014

on the studio table

It is precisely from the regret left by the imperfect work that the next one can be born.
-Odilon Redon

This week was not the most productive as my littlest got sick and now I'm pretty sure I got what she had. Germs, bah! I also have been volunteering one morning a week at my son's school helping the art teacher out with displays or whatever she needs help with. She is amazing and I don't know how she does it all!

In terms of what was going on in my studio though, which wasn't much, but still I managed to get in and do some work. I actually declared two of my 12x12 paintings done, hopefully I can post at least one this weekend. I was able to get some time today and I think that I finally caught that elusive resolution.

Perhaps I've found a resolution. Hmmmm #art #painting #studio #mixedmedia #creativeprocess


Subtle difference between the two but feeling happy (at the moment) with the grouping. Now to decide whether I would attach the panels, or just let them be separate but together. hmmmm...

Side view. The amount of layers on this one.... #workinprogress #creativeprocess #art #studiotable #painting
side view of another painting in progress

Lots of layers on this one already. Whether I am painting in acrylics or in encaustic, I paint in layers. My process is similar despite them being very different media. But I do love how when an encaustic painting has many layers, it starts to have this heft to it. Where it becomes more than a 2D image, but a physical object. The depth that is created by layers is another quality that I like as well. But I have to say that the many layers in my paintings often point to the fact that I was painting over previous marks a lot. Lots of different decision being made. Lots of "what if I do this...." which becomes "oh, well, hmmm, that's not what I was really going for...." which becomes "if I do this, this might work"...which then becomes another layer. For this reason I am not afraid to keep going or to keep pushing for fear of ruining what I have. I know that that layer will add to the painting. It really does allow a freedom in my creative process and exploration.

studio table, do I really need to change the paper already?!

This week I received a copy of the Dupage Valley Review, a publication published by the Benedictine University, where I had my solo last year. I was happy to see that one of my paintings from the show was selected for the publication.

Collecting and Gathering
encaustic mixed media
14x11 inches
available for purchase

Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying. -John Updike

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A New Day

A New Day
handbound blank journal
mixed media covers
6x8 inches
exposed spine, 112 white pages


Finally found a bit of time to bind and post this handbound journal. I had made the panel almost 2 weeks ago that night I got back into the studio. I remember so clearly taking the photo of these trees overlooking the Puget Sound about 7 years ago. My son was just about 2 months old and it was our first foray to Golden Gardens in Seattle and my first outing with camera and baby. I remember feeling so filled with hope and potential that early spring day.

Speaking of Seattle I just finished reading a book set in Seattle called Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. A friend of mine sent it to me telling me that it reminded her of a conversation we had had where I had said something like if one is creative in any way shape or form and they don't create, then it ends up eating them alive. A character in the book says in a letter:

"People like you must create. If you don't create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society."

At first I wasn't so sure about the book, but then it grew up on me and the descriptions of the culture in Seattle made me laugh. But through the comedy of the book, there is a deeper and honest truth to the consequences of denying the creative force. I think. And it can be any outlet- music, painting, cooking, writing, building, sewing, gardening. There just needs to be an outlet. I know for myself when I can't get in the studio, I end up in the kitchen baking and cooking. I always need to be making something or I get very irritable. ha!


I was recently invited by Crystal Neubauer to write an essay on Redemption on her blog Other People's Flowers. I was honored and said sure as I can think of all sorts of personal stories of loss, failure, feeling lost, abandoned, etc. etc. etc. and then rising up because we must. We all have those stories, don't we? It's what humanity is about. But as I sat to write, I found that I didn't want to focus on those stories. I wanted to write about my sister who had a very hard life, physically, and how she was a light to so many people in her short life.

Thanks, always, for visiting and reading!

Friday, March 28, 2014

on the studio table

Hmmmm #workinprogress
Still working on these, but going to take a break from them for a bit. I say that every week, but then return to them thinking that I have figured out how to resolve them, and then it still eludes me.

In the studio this morning! Feels like it has been an eternity. Detail of one of my larger acrylic canvases #workinprogress #art #painting
Pulled out my acrylics and worked on large canvases this week. This is a detail shot.

Detail of a beginning. #workinprogress #art #collage #mixedmedia #painting #studiotable (actually not on my table as this isn't encaustic- on my easel )
Another detail of a beginning.

One of the things I really love to do is to bring in other paper with marks I've made and adding them to my panels, or in this case, my canvas. My friend Renee Decator, from FL, does this as well. She made a video recently on how she makes her paper paintings that she then tears, cuts, etc. then adheres to her canvas before she starts painting. This is not what I do as I don't have any stencils, but I like the idea.

Corner in my studio for paintings to wait while I figure out what's next. #workinprogress #art #studio #painting #mixedmedia
On the wall so I can ponder what to do next.

Enjoying working in acrylics again and on a larger scale for me. I often paint with a palette knife often when I paint with acrylics on a large canvas.
Yikes. My creative process can be quite messy. It's all picked up already though. #studio

My creative process can be quite messy. This blog entry could also be called "On My Studio Floor". And this is why I am always busy cleaning up when I bring my kids in the studio. They create and I clean up my mess.


I received my certificate of my 3rd prize winning from the Encaustic Nature in Art exhibition at The Art Center in Highland Park and realized that I actually won it for my painting "Gathered and Pieced Together", not for the other one that I had posted a week or so ago. My mistake. A friend of mine in Chicago sent me a photo of the banner that had been placed on the facade of The Art Center that had an image of this painting blown up on it to advertise the show. That was pretty exciting to see!

Gathered and Pieced Together
enaustic mixed media
20x16 inches

This painting and my two others will be hanging at The Art Center until April 1st, so if you're in the area and have yet to check out the exhibit, you have a few more days.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A New Dawn

I recently got back into creating my handbound journals again here and there. In my studio I have been concentrating on painting 24x24 paintings and up, as well as trying to get those 12x12 inch panels to work together. (And slowing driving myself crazy with those 12x12s.) But one evening last week I pulled out my small panels and made a few covers to be bound into journals. While I created the panel that became the cover for the book below I was listening to Nina Simone's song "Feeling Good" and I just had to pull the title from the lyrics.

A New Dawn
handbound blank journal
mixed media covers
exposed spine, 112 white pages


I took the photo of the tree right when a flock of geese were flying over head. That image is actually dipped in wax. The rest of the cover is collaged papers and acrylic paint.

Feeling Good

Birds flying high you know how I feel
Sun in the sky you know how I feel
Breeze driftin' on by you know how I feel

(refrain:)x2 It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

Fish in the sea you know how I feel
River running free you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree you know how I feel


Dragonfly out in the sun you know what I mean, don't you know
Butterflies all havin' fun you know what I mean
Sleep in peace when day is done
That's what I mean

And this old world is a new world
And a bold world
For me

Stars when you shine you know how I feel
Scent of the pine you know how I feel
Oh freedom is mine
And I know how I feel

If you want to hear her beautiful voice, click on the video below.


So, yes, I do have an etsy shop where I have sold my smaller paintings, prints and journals since I closed down my other site that started this whole journey, But I have been souring on etsy and decided to give this a try. I've always resisted selling directly on my blog because I want my blog to be a place where I can share my art and discuss the ideas behind my work and not be a place where I'm trying to sell my work so blatantly in your face. After years of debating this, I decided to just try it out and see how I feel about it. So, please forgive me for caving, but I'm trying to simplify things and if I just have two places to update- my website and my blog, then I will be on my way to simplification. Which is a good thing.

Friday, March 21, 2014

on my studio table

Had about 1 1/2 hours this am to prep some panels and get a few layers of paint down in one. #studiotable

prepping some larger panels about a week ago

Something new I'm working on. Includes an image of a water damaged photo of one of my closest friends when I visited her in NYC in our 20s. #workinprogress #studiotable #art  #painting
Monday, this has changed quite a bit already, but I don't have a photo of the latest. I kind of wish I had stopped at this point though- liking this much better than what I have now. It's currently in the ugly, good lord what did I do to this phase

Spent a good hour today cleaning up my work tables, organizing, etc. Now I'm all set to make a new mess. #studio
My daughter and niece are on spring break and I had to clean up as I knew I would have kids in my studio this week. My tables do not look like this anymore.

Good creative energy this am. And my studio assistant (niece, my 4 year ild is not much of an assistant yet) helped me prep 6 canvases for future acrylic paintings

My niece was a studio assistant for a day! She helped me gesso over some old acrylic paintings. Painting some large canvases in acrylic is in my very near future. Excited for a bit of change. My Grace is painting on her easel on the bottom left.

Painting over old acrylic paintings. First layer. Something so liberating about coveting up old work with gesso.

I told my niece to do whatever she wanted on 6 canvases with the only instruction of "cover it up, here's the gesso". She had a ball.

"A New Day" acrylic and collage, 6x8 inches. Work in progress, will be bound into a journal
That night I just had to get back in the studio after the kids went to bed. Being around the acrylics inspired me to work on some panels that will be bound into journals. This panel is titled "A New Day", 6x8 inches, acrylic and collage.