Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Land of Oz

I spent the weekend in Michigan and was in awe of the landscape - I loved the farms and barns everywhere, especially the vineyards. I photographed the things that caught my eye knowing I would paint as soon as I got back home.

"Red Barn"
18" x 24" mixed media on panel

I took my photographs to the local printer and decided to switch the images to black and white. In a way, creating this painting reminded me of the Wizard of Oz... started in black and white and ended up with vibrant, living colors. The land was so lush and pure, it made me feel proud to be living in the Midwest.

Process photos -
After transferring, burnishing, and fusing the black and white image onto the panel, I added colored wax to the sky first, then moved toward the foreground with various shades of green.

Below is the painting now ready for me to add highlights using oil pastels.

The red barn was my favorite image from the weekend although I do have one more barn photo I plan on painting after my back recovers from the past two intense days of non-stop work.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

12" x 12" mixed media on panel

Down the street from where my mother lives there is a small park with benches and tables, surrounded by buckets of flowers, a fabulous fountain (that isn't always on), and a wonderful gelato and coffee bar. Last week when we visited it I decided to take a few photos. I transferred and burnished one of my favorite photos into wax medium, then added pigmented wax and oil pastel. I have started to think of my image transfer process as a way of breaking down the "reality" of the photo. By adding bold, impressionistic color and textures using wax, I am able to create an image that's more alive with color.

Since arriving in Chicago I have submitted and been accepted into an encaustic show at the Morpho Gallery - Wax(in')Blue.
I have to say, there is no rhyme or reason when it comes to juried shows. I submitted 3 paintings, the show requirement was that each piece had to have the color blue along with encaustic as the primary medium. I chose two of my "award winning" ocean paintings (one was Best of Show last summer in the Marblehead Festival of Arts, the other won 2nd place at the Copley Society Marine Show last summer) and neither of those paintings were chosen! The piece that did get in was a self portrait that I had recently changed by eliminating the text that was collaged into the body of work -

11" x 14" mixed media on panel

The opening reception for this is August 10, details are listed on the blog side bar in "upcoming events".

Another opportunity presented itself when I attended a FusedChicago meeting and one of the board members said she wanted to invite several artists to join her in September to show in the Fine Arts Building 2nd floor gallery. Lucky for me, I am one of the three she has chosen! More details to follow later.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Chicago Gardens

Inspiration is everywhere.
I have started a new series of mixed media paintings focused on summer gardens in the city.
There are no words...

"Saturday Afternoon in the Park"
12" x 12" mixed media on panel

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Work Routines

"Trellis and Roses"
6" x 6" encaustic on panel

Still have not gotten totally acclimated in my new surroundings. I put things away and forget where I put them, I still don't know my license plate number, and have yet to take the Illinois written drivers test (what if I don't pass!) I take photos all the time, download them onto my laptop, and accept that I am always inspired by the summer flowers and gardens.

I am not sure about upcoming show submissions and if I even want to try to "fit" with fellow encaustic artists here. I am not usually big on being part of a group. I will go to a meeting on Saturday with the FusedChicago artists and hopefully get a better sense of the group's goals and direction. One thing I have decided is to continue with mixed media image transfers, incorporate pigmented wax, oil pastel, and etch into the wax to add details. I feel more connected to this technique than I did to the primitive paintings I worked on several months ago although I am planning on visiting the Field Museum exhibit of the Lascaux cave paintings.

I am also planning on visiting the Art Institute exhibit,  Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity. Inspiration is everywhere, I just need to find my niche and work routine.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Back in Business

Before I moved to Chicago, I purposely did not maintain frame inventory and for several months I was unable to paint new work. I had sold most of my small encaustic paintings and was grateful I had less to move. Now that I am back to painting finally yesterday I found my way to an IKEA where I was able to purchase over 20 shadowbox frames. I have yet to find a better, economical option for framing.

I am also starting to look for gallery opportunities but without the work there is no point.

New inspiration, one street over -
"West Oakdale"
2.5" x 3.5" mixed media on panel

And the not-so-beautiful view from my desk -

"Brick Wall"
 2.5" x 3.5" mixed media on panel

City living will definitely influence what I paint, (although this time of year the flowers and greenery are everywhere). I am attracted to fire escapes, brick, and angles.

In the past few weeks I have also attended two different art openings, started the challenge of networking in a new city, and admit I miss being a big fish in a small pond. This is the first 4th of July weekend in many years that I am not actively participating in the Marblehead Festival of Arts and it feels strange, maybe that's why I am blogging on a Friday night.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Time to paint, finally!

It took half the day to setup my workspace in order to get back into encaustic painting but after two months without art, I was desperate to get back at it.

"Blooming Trellis"

I have been saving photos as I take them, planning on mixed media works - photo transfers, encaustic, and oil pastel. While I have been settling into life in Chicago, I continue selling my small works in the Boston area. I still have not had the time to research the gallery scene here but hopefully before the end of the summer I will be able to educate myself and figure out if there is a good fit with a gallery here. I am already working with a fire escape image, as well as a neighborhood street scene. Maybe tomorrow I will have more to post.