Monday, November 28, 2011

Local Publicity

Fortunately over the years I have established a relationship with two local Arts reporters. My current show has been publicized weekly for the past month in the "Arts and More" section of the town newspaper ( The Swampscott Reporter) with show information and a brief description posted every Thursday, the day the paper is printed. I also was interviewed by the Arts reporter for the online paper, the Swampscott Patch.

Deahn Berrini Leblang came to the show, took photos, and yesterday I was the feature story in the Sunday column of local culture.

Swampscott Patch

It's been great getting all the publicity and this week I will be preparing my encaustic panels for Saturday's demo. I want to have plenty of choices and backup plans in case the wax and I aren't in sync. Just like I always tell my students, the worst thing that can happen is the painting does not turn out the way I envisioned it, but I will still be sharing the process which is really what it's all about.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

My Thanksgiving holiday usually means a trip to Chicago to spend a few days with my mother and brothers and their families. When my adult children can join me every other year, it's a more meaningful holiday, and I am always grateful.

I am starting to plan my move back from the east coast to the Windy City, and after having spent 23 years living in New England it will feel good to move back to my roots. One of the biggest challenges I will face is networking and re-establishing myself in the art communities. It's been too distant to grasp so far and I still have plenty of time with an estimate move date planned for the summer of 2013. My art has always been inspired by my surroundings and I wonder if the cityscape will become a new, important inspiration. I am already thinking about streets, angles, grids, and geometry.

View from the hotel, looking east toward the lake -

These encaustic paintings (medieval walled cities but city inspiration nonetheless!) could be a precursor of what's to come -

Yesterday we managed to make time to eat out, shop, and eat out again! The holiday decorations are always so beautiful. 

Today will be a big, festive, extended family get together and I am so grateful that we are able to do this.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. What are you grateful for?

Monday, November 21, 2011


Recently I had been told about an application that allowed retailers (specifically, me when I am at shows) to accept credit card payments without charging a monthly service fee. I had been apprehensive about making a change over to a new company that would need to be linked directly to my business account but after many years of paying monthly service fees that continuously increase (with an additional fee based on a percentage of every credit card sale that is processed and deposited into my account), I finally decided to make the change. The application is called Square, and their website is

I am already setup with Paypal for online purchases, but now I have the ability to accept credit cards and NO MORE MONTHLY FEES!

Once I signed up with Square I received one of these small swiper plug-ins for my iphone. After swiping the card, the dollar amount and description is entered on the phone, I can even include a photo of the purchase! A receipt is then sent in the form of an email (or text message) which includes the dollar amount, description, customer's signature, and my business information. 

Please let me know if any of you have heard of Square or similar applications, I am still curious and open to learning about various options that do not carry a monthly service fee.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mission Accomplished

You can see the challenges I faced when hanging the show - the long gallery wall has windows dividing up the hanging space and the opposite wall has two oversized windows facing the street with a very narrow hanging column between them. I added my easels in order to include the Autumn pond paintings in the show and I also think it creates a more interesting space.

Small encaustic works followed by Summer Pathways

Autumn and Winter hang together on the far end wall

Summer hangs on a side wall opposite the big windows

Spring hangs on the shorter entrance end wall (after the doorway)

The gallery director will be typing up and labeling each piece for me, along with putting together a book including my artist statement, resume, bio, and price list. All that's left for me to do is prepare for the demo I am doing at the opening reception on December 3, and hopefully the show will be well attended. Maybe I will see you there!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Space limitations

Today I brought "Pathways and Transition" to the Willow Community Gallery at Lynn Arts (it was hanging day for my solo show), only to discover there was not nearly enough wall space to include everything. What was I thinking? I setup and display work in a 10" x 10" show space regularly but this was much more challenging for me even though the space was larger at 12" x 25". Not leaving any breathing room between paintings made them all look terrible. 

Eventually I worked through the space problems (with the help of the gallery director) and tomorrow I will finish hanging, tweak a few other things, take photos, and probably obsess about details for another day. I have until the end of the week for the show to be completely setup.

Over the weekend I had worked on a large encaustic version of the Autumn Pond thinking it would be a nice addition to have in the show, especially this time of year. Unfortunately two of the pieces that had to be eliminated were the photo and watercolor versions of the pond.

"Autumn Pond", 18" x 24" encaustic on panel

Digital photograph, 16" x 20"

Watercolor on paper, 18" x 24"