Wednesday, September 26, 2012


"Dreaming of Water", 18 x 24, encaustic on cradled panel

My recent focus has been on painting with wax using abstract techniques to depict identifiable landscapes in new ways. I am inspired to convey a message about the land and a view of the world that allows for an essential appreciation of earth and nature.

I painted "Dreaming of Water" using shades of blue combined with the earth pigments that are most predominant in Aboriginal paintings. I have just begun reading a book, "Mutant Message Down Under" by Marlo Morgan; she shares her experiences from walking across Australia with a nomadic Aboriginal tribe. The tribe lives and thrives in natural harmony with their surroundings and through reading her first hand perspective, I have developed many new visions of the world. I just need the time to paint them all.

Unfortunately, I will have to take a short painting break as I prepare for the upcoming Paradise City show over Columbus Day weekend followed by my solo show and encaustic workshop at Brush Strokes Studio. I have been very protective of this newest body of abstract work, although I am planning on including some pieces in upcoming shows. It's important not to ignore that we need to live in peace and harmony with not just each other, but the land, too. Primitive art has become more meaningful to me than any other art form, it brings me back to the essential basics of life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I put together a short 1 minute slideshow of my recent process, all inspired by Aboriginal art and a humbling view of the world. This discovery has been exhilarating, allowing me to explore new textures, patterns, and dimensionality. 

A birds eye view

"Footprints", 12" x 12" encaustic on panel, the newest addition to the Outback Series

I am looking forward to adding additional works to the slideshow as they are completed.
Music by Thievery Corporation, Incident at Gate 7


Monday, September 17, 2012

Demo paintings

Saturday I was at the Copley Society in Boston demonstrating two different encaustic painting techniques in the upper gallery. It was a treat being able to answer questions, demonstrate examples of my work, and explain my processes. 

The first technique I demonstrated was an image transfer. I had 2 prepared panels ... a second panel as a backup with the image already transferred into the wax just in case I had a problem during the demo. I was able to complete both transfers today, can you notice the differences between the two works? I did not want them to be identical.

"Koi Pond 1", 8" x 8" 

"Koi Pond 2", 8" x 8"

The second technique I demonstrated was excavating a design into layers of colored wax. I also added colored inlays and today was able to better refine the design. 

"Watering Hole", 6" x 6"

I continue to be focused on developing the Topography series of encaustic paintings. Tomorrow I begin excavating a new design in a 12" x 12" panel that I prepared with layers of color today.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Encaustic demo tomorrow

"My bags are packed and I'm ready to go..." No, I am not leaving on a jet plane, but I am ready for the encaustic demonstration I will be offering at the Copley Society of Art tomorrow afternoon. When I arrived at the opening reception for the Marine Art show yesterday, I was surprised to see this poster directly in front of the gallery on Newbury Street. I knew there would be a poster promoting the event but this was more than I expected, almost life size!

The reception was well attended and there have been lots of inquiries about the demo. I am looking forward to sharing several of the techniques I have been using over the past few years.

My painting received the 2nd place award and was the only encaustic painting in the show. I feel the encaustic medium is still misunderstood and painting with beeswax seems to be peaking lots of interest lately. I will share more after the demo tomorrow.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Timing is everything. 
 "Drought", 12" x 12" encaustic on cradled panel

At the last minute, I found out and signed up to attend an encaustic workshop end of July, and knew it was a perfect way to better educate myself using the encaustic medium. One of the techniques I learned from Laura Moriarty in her workshop clicked and was my "aha" moment with wax. I realized layering colored wax and then scraping it away allowed for a more dimensional, sculptural use of the medium. It was the opposite of what I had been doing - taking wax away rather than building it up - and this new way of seeing shapes and colors captured hold of me.

A month later when I visited my daughter in Seattle I became aware of the Aboriginal exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum and although I missed seeing the exhibit I was able to purchase the exhibit book. The Aboriginal view of the world has been another "aha" moment for me. The textures and shapes that seem simple and abstract are actually depictions of places, people, or stories. So much is expressed in their eloquent, simplified way. 

Landscape paintings are my passion, seeing and creating abstractly has been a goal of mine for a while. It was Karma - to learn the skill then realize a new way of seeing the world, simultaneously.

"Sand Hills", 6" x 6" encaustic on board

Because the encausticbord was flat and not cradled, I decided to use a frame to add display depth and highlight the contrasts in this smaller work.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Aboriginal Art - Inspiration

"Outback", 12" x 12" encaustic on panel

Recently, when I was in Seattle, I was disappointed that I could not make it to see the Australian Aboriginal Art exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum. I have always been drawn toward primitive art, particularly Native American and Art of the Southwest U.S., which is why my attraction toward Australian Aboriginal Art seemed natural.

The next best thing to seeing the exhibit was ordering the exhibit book "Ancestral Modern". While waiting for the book to arrive, I began learning how the Aboriginal outlook of the world was a most unique perspective - sometimes a view from the sky looking down on earth, other times from the ground looking up to the skies; abstract patterns representing anything from landscapes to animals to people, often times telling a story or describing a dream. Predominant colors are earth tones although I have noticed a minimal use of greens, this would make sense as the desert (and desert colors) are most predominant on the Australian continent. I am looking forward to researching further.

I decided to paint 2 panels at the same time using the same layers of color, 12 x 12 and 6 x 6 - the smaller panel is now ready for an upcoming encaustic demonstration I will be doing at the Copley Society of Art on September 15. Both panels were taped around the edges in order to keep them paint-free.

After fusing many layers of wax, I then removed the tape.

I have still not decided if I prefer the clean taped edges to the random drips revealing how the layers were created although I have been told galleries prefer the clean edge, a more professional presentation.