Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 New Works

Some recent news:
So I'm now relatively recovered from my knee problems of last year. For awhile there didn't think I would walk again. And so now I'm back doing art although I have some restrictions I'm under and I can see that I won't be able to keep on doing large size encaustics. But........

 I had a chance to take some online and live classes with Jane Davies, a wonderful mixed media artist in early March in Portland and they were great kick-starters.

I also took a 2 day class with Jesse Reno - renowned Portland artist who does pretty fabulous contemporary primitive work. He has a studio and gallery called True Measure Gallery on E. Burnside in Portland.

Below are just a couple of the paintings I've been doing. These are a grid of 4 paintings - each is about 8 1/2 X 10 on paper -based on the second piece which was my initial inspiration- 18 X 22 paper. Kind of Picasso-like. More to come so keep watch.
Barbara Mallon's photo. 

And the inspiration piece was a scribble painting- a technique that Jane Davies demonstrates on her blog and in her many You Tube tutorials:

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Not So Fast

What was so promising a few days ago with Spring like weather has turned into the last gasp of winter hurling side ways rain today. Still it allows for good time in the studio. Here is my latest encaustic - a 12" X 12" called "Primordial". I'm enjoying this style so much - I've certainly evolved from the beginning of my journey in encaustic.

Hopefully I'll be getting my knee fixed soon so I can stand longer over my bench. Twisted it or something in mid-December and it has gone from bad to worse with Physical Therapy in between so now it's on to an orthopedic guy tomorrow. Fingers crossed for good news there.

I think I will be doing a demo sometime in June at my local gallery - Bay Avenue Gallery in Ocean Park , WA, so stay tuned for that information. They handle my Coastal Collection work which you can see below on previous posts - all blues, whites and tans with coastal themes and you can also see them on my website at which is a live link I think. This collection was initially an experiment for me - a different but also reduced palette and has been pretty popular here in the summer. I'll be adding more of these pieces as they sell so keep watching.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring At Last

It's been quite some time since I last posted - nearly 7 months. During that time lots of encaustic art work got completed and many of the pieces have been sold at various exhibits, shows and events. So for a trip down memory lane for me here are several of my most favorite pieces.

The top two "Golden Archive" and "Shades of Klimt" have been sold and the bottom one "Reservoir" is still available. I've got several I still need to photograph and hopefully I'll get those posted this week.

The best news is I've finally got my website near to finished though I've been publishing it as I build it. Go take a look see at  I have the ability to blog through my website but I think I'll just keep going on this one.You can see on the website where I'm linking to here. If you are interested in purchasing any of my work or asking a question about a piece you'll be able to see a detail on the website and you can contact me there or here under comments.

As you can see, my work now has evolved bringing together more consistently the pattern and texture I like so well and my bright-neutral palette and occasionally surprising embellishments. Burning and carving will be consistent techniques you will see going forward in my work.

My encaustic studio is a space in my garage and it's somewhat difficult to work out there in the winter months, first because it's a bit chilly and damp though I do have heaters and plenty of light going on out there. It's mainly that the wax acts a bit differently in winter conditions and my hot palette has to be set quite a bit higher to maintain the 150-180 degrees I keep my waxes at. So spring can't come too soon for me. Today is the first day to really climb above 48 degrees and we are getting a wonderful taste of weather to come. At 70 degrees the daffodils and hyacinths are popping out all over and I can tell long days in the studio are near.

I'm aching to get out there to complete the wonderful new compositions I've been thinking up - some will even be on very large panels. Yes, I'll still be doing the 12 X 12 and 11 X 14 sizes that have been consistent best sellers during the recession, but I'm looking forward to doing larger sizes that look better as main pieces in residential and commercial settings as well as diptychs and triptychs which will allow me to paint much larger and provide some interesting foundation pieces in larger collections. So stay tuned and I'll be posting and writing about how these new pieces develop!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Just finished resting up from the Encaustic Mixed Media Class I just taught at Trails End Arts Association in Gearhart, Oregon on Friday and Saturday. It was such a great class with 11 people and lots of enthusiasm. We reviewed the elementary basics for the 6 brand newbies and then in the afternoon on the first day and the second day we pure and simple explored everything. Plexiglass, masks, paper and fiber collage, mold-making, waxed linen, beads, fibers and plant material --but mostly lots and lots of colored waxes. We were overwhelmed at least part of the time with all the possibilities for mark-making and transferring and embedding but that was overcome and the results were pretty spectacular. At the end of class, each person chose 2 items they waxed - panels or 3D items and held them up for the pleasure of the rest of the class. It was a fun time for everyone and a terrific creative jump start for those just interested in something new to try and to help with informing their other work.

Now I've got boxes and bins and pots of colors in the right bay of my garage just waiting for me to sort through, organize, clear out and tackle putting away. That's whats up for today. And next up after that is getting back to actual painting in my studio.  I'm actually itchy to get back there. I'll be working on a mix for my portfolio that I'll be shopping around for gallery representation in the cities and keeping my fingers crossed that the economy holds up.

There is a Call for Entries due next week on August 27th for a National Juried Encaustic Exhibit at The Encaustic Art Institute in Cerillos, New Mexico which I'll be submitting to and if you're interested and can't find it, comment to me below and I'll put up a link. Having these exhibits of all encaustic work is always very interesting and informative as you can see the breadth and depth of what artists around the country are doing in the medium.

More pictures up tomorrow I hope!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hot, Hot

Did I say in my last post that we've been getting weather in the low 60's? Yesterday it went from low 60's to 78 and today at 2pm it's 95 degrees. Cripes! For us this is incredibly hard to make that jump of 30 degrees and still remain sane, uncranky and upright. We Pacific Coasters are wimpy when it comes to weather - I admit it - we love our cool marine climate and yes even the overcast and rain in the winter.

And today I'm going to Trails End for the August Show awards reception at 3. One of the great things about this is there are gallery and non-gallery artists showing so it will be very fun to see what's up on the walls. Artists go all out to paint something new and kind of exciting for this show. And of course I can turn the air-conditioner on in the car on my journey there. Here are the 2 pieces I entered - one was brand new just for this show - the 3-D Encaustic Mixed Media Mask and the other was a companion piece wedded by color and theme. And I just realized I don't have a picture of the companion piece - well I'll take care of that come September when I get the piece back.

That raffia is tough stuff to work with in this way. It's wrapped around red twig dogwood cuttings from last fall and this picture doesn't do the detail justice on the encaustic mask. I already have a good idea for another sculptural wax piece so maybe I'll do that in the next little while to put up.

Meantime, there is going to be the Long Beach Peninsula Clay Artists sale on August 8th with many fine local clay artists. There are quite a few master level clay artists at this show and sale so I've got my list and will be heading over there to have a look see and purchase some of my own. Especially interested in the tiles - this year they are having a tile making workshop during the time of the exhibit/sale 8th - 18th, 10-6pm at the Artisan in Ilwaco.

So with the temperature expected to be back in the mid 60's range tomorrow I just have to get through the night and then it's back to perfect weather. It's good to love where you live!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Space to Work

Weather-wise, the Pacific Coast has been the opposite of what's been happening in the rest of the country. We've been bumping along with overcast grey and mist to light rain every day, with temperatures in the low 60's. I'm not complaining. Though this weather has certainly not been helpful to the heat loving vegetables that I have carefully provided for, everything else in the garden is very happy. I've got dahlia's in full bloom, so lovely.......

And having been in several shows over the summer and submitting to others, I completed my Featured Artist Show at Trails End in June and that was successful as was my attendance at the Oysterville Artisan Fair in early July - these events have kept me very busy but not too busy to take a little time out to tend to the flowers. I set about making some encaustics that felt more "beachy" than my usual work to see if I liked them so here are several.......

I'm collecting supplies for the class which will be a 2 day hands-on workshop and will be such fun. Next post I'll be showing some of the work I've finished this month and proposing new larger work.

By the way, I've got a high school class reunion coming up in September and have never gone to a reunion before. Do any of you have any advice for me? Do I go or not go? Why or why not?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Earthen Energy, Ninebark and Red-winged Blackbirds

Earthen Energy - 12" X 12"
Here is another of the paintings that is in my current show at Trails End Gallery. This one developed on a solid chunk of plywood and has the drips on the edges in tact. Normally, I create pieces that are waxed only to the sides for safety reasons (so a chip on the edge won't tear up into the picture) but on this one, the painting was such that it demanded to have the most primitive and powerful feel I could give it and so the wax is built up over the edges as well. This would be a painting that could be hung without a frame or placed in a float frame so edges ,protected by the frame also show as an integral part of the piece. I like this one too - very visceral! Available for sale!

This week at home has been filled with discovering the native plants that I have now blooming in my shrub border. A favorite and very vigorous plant is the Western Ninebark. I planted it in my wild border and it looks quite at home with Red-Twigged Dogwoods, Rhododendrons, Maple trees, Escallonia and ferns. 7-Dee's in Seaside carries a really nice selection of native plants and I have found that in my windy, sometimes salty misty, rather extreme environment on the coast, I sometimes have to resort to the natives to find the plants that are adapted enough to withstand and thrive in the elements. Here is a picture of the Western Ninebark in bloom - tidy white little puffballs at the tips of the branchlets. Another telltale sign is a striped, deep carmel and tan bark seen best in winter that adds a lot of interest to an otherwise stark landscape during that time of year.

Western Ninebark
Also, for those of you with deer problem, I believe the Western Ninebark is somewhat unattractive to deer and in any case is vigorous and fast growing so is a great plant to consider adding if you have the space - allow at least 6-10' spread. I do have mine more tightly packed as I want a very dense look. Mary comes to help me weed every week now during the summer and I enjoy all the shrubbery up close and personal through her eyes.
Red-winged Blackbird

And another great thing has happened out bay side! After I got my pots finished and set on my deck I knew it was time to set out my spring (yes spring really, not summer) feeders for the hummingbirds, and the thistle feeders for the goldfinches to tide them both over until the flowers and seeds they like to feed on become abundant.

As soon as I set them out we were just flocked by those birds getting sustenance. Since this early time is also their nesting time and summer appears to be very late, I like to think my early feeding station helps provide them with what they need to stay strong themselves and also get their nests and fledglings off to a good start.

On our site by Willipa Bay, I tend to taper down my feeding towards the end of summer so the birds won't be tempted to delay their fall migrations and also to keep bears from getting interested in our garden for goodies. This year, I had some left over suet balls from previous seasons in my freezer. They not only contain suet but also mixed seeds including black sunflower seeds, millet as well as peanut butter. I decided to use them up early and see what other birds might be interested and tho it took a few days for the red-winged Blackbirds from the Willipa Bay fringe area to find it, we now have several to many of these birds hitting on the suet balls. It is such a joy to see these birds up close and to hear their song nearby.

Today as I weeded my nearby Dahlia and Gladiola bed and Strawberry patch, it was a joy to see these birds along with the many many barn swallows zipping around. It's hard to feel like you need extra music when there are so many creatures singing around you. I haven't actually seeded up my garden beds this summer. The weather has been so cold and wet and punk here on the coast that I felt there wouldn't be enough heat to get a crop of anything here. However I did decide I'd plant some crops this year in my new service area raised bed which is in a protected location on the south side against the house. If anything actually thrives it will be there. I already have some raspberries growing there and I did put in 3 cherry tomato plants but I will seed out corn, summer and winter squash, bush beans, carrots and another crop of spinach and lettuce.

And then back to painting after a brief rest. I have an entry to paint to submit next week, for the International Encaustic Show this year in San Antonia Texas in September and I promised myself I would paint some smaller pieces and submit these to a local gallery for sale and I have a 6" X 6" to paint for the local heritage museum for a fundraiser. All good! Happy painting!