Green exhibition at FAB Studios

Excited to share I have two new paintings featured in the GREEN exhibition this month at the Fine Arts Building in Chicago! Come out to support me and other members of FUSEDChicago, midwest encaustic artists and their interpretation of the word "green". The gallery opening is one week from today on Friday March 14, from 5-8pm.

GreenShow_ecard(2).jpg

Changed and Hope Within explore my love for nature. I am inspired by elements of the natural world, travel, texture and found abstractions. "Green" is not defined by the color itself, but also a feeling, a place, or a moment in time.

Changed, encaustic mixed media, 18"x18"

Changed, encaustic mixed media, 18"x18"

Hope Within, encaustic mixed media, 18"x18"

Hope Within, encaustic mixed media, 18"x18"

New addition

It's been a few months since my last post due to a very important addition to my family! My husband and I welcomed home a bloodhound puppy named Harvey in early November. He is the sweetest boy, such a loving cuddly puppy. Just this past weekend was the first time Harvey sat with me in the studio and took a nap! He is 6 months old and already over 80lbs :) I love that he wants to be near me and especially while I paint. We've been working up to that and trusting him to make sure he doesn't try to eat anything that could be toxic. I'll have to get an extra dog bed so he has his own place to lay down so I can get work done!

Enjoy a few photos below! Now onto new work...

Color with Intent

There's a wonderful new video from R&F Handmade Paints, an encaustic paint supplier, about the company's founder Richard Frumess. If you have a few minutes it's a fascinating peek into the making of their paint and pigment sticks, celebrating the company's 25th anniversary.

Enjoy!

Also, check our their newly revamped website here.

Happy place

Nature is my happy place. I love the outdoors. I dream about being in the forest, hiking through the trees, lying down in a field full of wildflowers and tall grass, or walking through a shallow creek. My love for nature started when I was young, as long as I can remember. I was always outside playing with friends. We'd go to the park, play in the mud, swim in the creek, explore the woods — I loved getting filthy. The dirtier the better! I bet my Mom loved that. :)

When I was in my early teens, I attended Camp Ondessonk, a youth camp in the Shawnee National Forest. My best friend, Katie, asked me to go and thank God I went! More than 15 years later, it's the one place I hold close to my heart and can call "my happy place". When I close my eyes and picture my favorite place in the world, it's Camp. Truly God's creation — acres full of lush forest, natural waterfalls and swimming lakes, steep cliffs and dark caves. Not only was it a ton of fun, filled with friends and memories that will last a lifetime, the best part was being outdoors, living in nature for an entire week. Camp was not for the average outdoorsy person... it had no electricity (except the dining hall) and we slept in treehouses and caves, tons of gigantic bugs and lots of dirt! I am officially way too old to be a camper, but I have gone back as a volunteer and would jump at the chance to go again. I am so thankful I was able to go year after year and experience all of that Camp had to offer. I will always carry the memories with me!

As I was working on this small painting below, I started thinking about my love for nature and how it's shaped my life. It calms and relaxes me... makes me feel home. I picture myself in a golden field, letting the sun hit my face. Feeling free and unrestricted. It makes me think how nature is such a big part of me, maybe more than I realize... and I am passionate about it. It would be natural for my work to continue to go move in that direction. An underlying theme I never realized was there but already was present in my work?

All I have to do is close my eyes and think about my happy place. 

 

Golden Fields, encaustic and pigment stick on panel, 8x8

Golden Fields, encaustic and pigment stick on panel, 8x8

Opening Reception at Morpho Gallery

A beautiful show at the Morpho Gallery last evening! My two works are on each end in this photo, Space Between and Before the Light.  

It's always inspiring to see how other encaustic artists use the medium. Everyone has their own unique style and it's fascinating to observe how many different ways you can use wax. The possibilities are endless! Go check out the Wax('in)Blue: An Encaustic Exhibition the entire month of August at the Morpho Gallery in Chicago.

Morpho Opening 081013.jpg

Slowing down

In the last few weeks I've been trying to paint as much as possible. I've been working on small panels which help me get in the experimental groove and not worry about making art. I wouldn't say I'm rushing, instead slowing down. By experimenting with the techniques I learned with Shawna Moore, I am taking a new approach entirely. She brought up an interesting quote today on Facebook from one of her workshop students. I agree with this thought:

She wrote, "Perhaps one of the nicest post-workshop comments I have ever received from a student in Toronto:  "I really enjoyed learning the techniques you demonstrated (smooth layers, "whispers" and "kisses" of colour, calligraphic marks etc.) but what I thought was more important for me was your approach to painting, which I would describe as "calmly meditative." With these words, and "keep it simple" in my mind, I hope to slow down and engage with the process a little more reflectively, cleanly ........ and calmly -  instead of just charging in and slopping on the wax.  My yoga instructor is always using the words "no rush, no hurry" and these words came to mind as I watched you work."

Slowing down is a challenge for me. Engaging with the wax. Let the paint settle. I am really enjoying the process.

No rush, no hurry. 

Encaustic workshop with Shawna Moore

A few weeks ago I was lucky to attend the Encaustic and Pigment Stick Workshop with artist Shawna Moore at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago. I learned a TON! So many new techniques and tips that will help develop my ideas.

It will forever change the way I paint. The techniques she taught open up my eyes to something new, a new way of working and applying wax. The process gives greater depth and transparency -- something I've been exploring and practicing lately. The use of oil paint and pigment stick give an infinite number of possibilities with layers, color and mark making.

I am especially intrigued by mark making techniques. Pounding into the wax with various tools and objects, rubbing pigments into marks and revealing them as each layer builds with transparency. One of my favorite thoughts, Shawna expressed "damaging the painting will give it flaws you can respond to."

Here With Me, encaustic on panel, 11 x 14 inches

Here With Me, encaustic on panel, 11 x 14 inches

We also learned how these techniques can apply to landscape images. It was a new method of abstract painting, using tape to mark a horizon line and letting the wax encapsulate the pigment. I really enjoy this concept. Here was my first try: 

Landscape 1, encaustic on panel, 10 x 10 inches

Landscape 1, encaustic on panel, 10 x 10 inches

New techniques and new inspiration! I have so much to explore and can't wait to discover my work again. Thanks to Shawna Moore and Jenny Learner for hosting an incredible weekend! I look forward to participating next year.