Monday, February 28, 2011

Joining the North Light Community!

Well it is official! The book proposal has passed the approval committee, dates are being scheduled for the week long photo shoot in Cincinnati, sample art is on the drawing board and life is in high gear! What a Spring! Two solo shows, teaching workshops in Dallas, Kerrville and Southwest School of Art as additions to an already full schedule. No more solitaire for me.
This is one of the sample images I sent to the committee with the proposal. I wrapped a foam core support with wet hand made paper and let it dry overnight. I used a stamp with burnt umber light fast ink to stamp the dry paper, screened on roofing tar and gave it a little kiss with a torch. The piece was painted with medium to finish. Making and using hand made paper as a support for encaustic work is the subject of the upcoming book.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Grandma's Sewing Box Series

In my growing up, I was surrounded by all things textile. My grandma was a seamstress who earned her living through creating perfect cloth cases for musical instruments or camping gear or widgets. My aunt, Sophie, made Shirley Temple dresses for me and my sisters with intricate details of buttons and lace. My great aunt, Cecilia, quilted downy spreads with tiny, even stitches and gave them to Church auctions where they fetched top prices. While I had the best teachers in the world, I never had the patience to ply needle and thread. I didn't inherit their genes, it seems, but I did inherit my grandma's sewing box.

This body of work, from which my donation to Corina ( comes from, is an homage to the art of my grandmother and aunts and all of the creative women in our history who didn't have the luxury to paint or sculpt. They used the ordinary and necessary skills of farm life, raising these tasks to a fine art.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Interesting Connections

I have never been a fan of social media until I signed up for a daily report on the number of folks who come to my website. I am amazed! I have been making art, putting it on the website (my galleries like that), but I never really thought anyone looked at the site. That is how I came across Corina S. Alvarezdelugo. My report so thoughtfully (thank you, www.fineartstudiosonline.) provided a link to where some of those viewers came from. It seems that Corina wants to come to one of my workshops, From Pulp to Painting, Exploring Paper and Wax, but the one closest to her, probably the three day workshop through the International Encaustic Conference, ( happens on the day of her son's graduation. On her blog Corina was made an appeal to her followers to help with that cause.
That's when I think I got it! Social media is about connections. Here was someone wanting to come to one of my workshops and was asking for help. So, I will. Along with what Corina is offering to those who donate to her cause, I am adding one of my works from the series Grandma's Sewing Box. The show was designed for the Austin International Airport invitational in 2009 and was created to honor the women in my grandmother's family who lived off the work of their hands. More on that story tomorrow. So, if you feel inclined, go to Corina's blog, make a donation and Fretts and Fasteners (above) could be yours! It retails for a little more than the price of the workshop so it is worth helping out my new best friend. You go girl! See you at the Encaustic Center ( in April.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Waxing Wonderful!

It's been a long time since I was on the other side of the workshop table. This weekend I and twelve of my new best friends took a workshop from Patricia Seggebruch. We burned, rusted, plastered and waxed to our heart content in a wonderful three days of what she likes to call, "encaustic indulgence." (Trish is the left of Kathy Maple.) This workshop followed last year's class with new techniques and products. We all went home with lots of art and "art starts", shared moments and new friends.
Trish and I will be waxing eloquent again this summer at the first ENCAUSTICAMP. This is the real indulgence! Three days of camp experience--just like the young old days--complete with three full days of working with outstanding national artists who use wax in their work. The best part of the camp is that it is all-inclusive, meaning that you don't have to worry about anything except getting there and making art! Lodging, workshops, food and fun are in the price of the camp. It's the only thing of its kind. Join us for a history-making adventure.

I discovered a few things about being on the other side of the teaching table. I had forgotten how much energy it takes to absorb new information and to put those techniques into practice. I am going to re-think the schedule for my workshops and perhaps edit the number of techniques I demo per day. Hmmm.....if you have thoughts--especially if you have taken my jam-packed workshops, I'd be happy to listen....

There is an ongoing debate among my artist friends about whether I should add anything--including wax to the cast paper. I believe that wax has a place in the process. I used the time in the workshop to explore using only an area of the paper to enhance with wax. I wanted to see the results before I put paint to paper in two larger works. For the most part, I was pleased. I did learn quickly that the working surface has to be extremely clean and that I have to protect the white portion of the paper. I don't usually do figerative work, but this little man seemed to want to be born. Thanks to Ann Marlar's gift of porcupine quills and Laura Beehler's instructions on Lutrador, he was.
I also wanted to explore using only glazes, oil sticks and pastels to color the work. I had less success here, partly because I didn't bring the materials I needed. I have some pan pastels coming in soon. I'm thinking that the soft pastels will work much better to apply soft color. I used mostly oil sticks and found that the work stayed more tacky to the touch than I wanted. I'll wait to see how it sets up. If any of you have more information to share about oil sticks and tack, I'd love to hear it. These two works are fairly small (10"X10") studies. Unless you are an artist, people don't understand how many "studies" have to be made before the "real art" is ready to be created.