Saturday, March 29, 2014


The creative process is equally as important to me in the kitchen as it is in the art studio. Last night I gave a small dinner party with the help of my partner and together we put together a delicious combination of our favorite foods.

We didn't photograph everything but some of the highlights are shown below. Terry was in charge of appetizers and he made prosciutto wrapped around melon, too delicious to do justice with a photo. He also created the beautiful bruschetta. 

Bruschetta with tomato and basil
(cheese platter in the background)

Our main course was Caesar salad, poached salmon with a cucumber dill sauce, Pici pasta (discovered when we visited Tuscany), sautéed asparagus, and Italian bread with dipping oil.

Poached Salmon with cucumber, radishes, lemon, and dill

Pici pasta with olive oil, basil, parsley, and parmesan cheese

Pici is a thick, hand-rolled pasta, like a fat spaghetti. It originates in the province of Siena in Tuscany; in the Montalcino area.

I have to admit I got carried away with desserts - red velvet cake, lemon cookies, fresh fruit platter, and vanilla ice cream topped with mixed berries.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Marsh Grass

"Marsh Grass" 
30" x 60" encaustic on panel

The safest way to store large paintings is by hanging them... and so that is how my newest work is shown above. I have to admit the colors and fabrics in my living room inspired the painting, both earth tones and linear shapes as I re-created the tranquility of an early misty morning at the marsh. I have always strived to bring the beauty of nature into my art and home. I used the same translucent watercolor wash techniques when I applied encaustic pigments and medium.

I am also planning on reworking several of my large watercolor landscapes by adding layers of wax textures, then framing under glass and spacing the matt in order to prevent the wax from touching the glass. Motivation is coming from my summer show schedule and the opportunity to exhibit large mixed media works. So far, I have committed to weekend festivals in May (1) and June (will choose 1 of 2), still waiting to hear about one more show in August.

Inspiration comes and goes in spurts, right now lots of it is coming my way and I just want to embrace it all.

Charlie on the couch

Friday, March 14, 2014

City Life

The gallery representing my work recently sold 2 of my paintings and has asked me to bring in more work. That was the motivation I needed to get back in the groove. 

"Big Bowl"
2.5 x 3.5 mixed media

"LaSalle Street"
2.5 x 3.5 mixed media

I have also started a large 30 x 30 encaustic painting that will not include an image transfer but will be painted free hand. Several layers of wax into it, I have established the composition - pussy willows  and marsh grass in the foreground, pond and sky in the back ground, and most likely dragonflies will be strategically placed. There is a lot more work to be done but I had to put this aside in order to create new work for the gallery. I have a 2nd panel the same size and depending on how things develop I may end up with a large diptych. 

Before you know it, the festival season will be here and I will have a 10 x 10 booth to fill. It's almost show time, folks, and I have lots of work to do.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Slow Recovery

About 2 weeks ago I had the best time in New Orleans and then off to Cajun Country, so much fun that when I came back to Chicago I was sick with high temperature, bronchitis, and total exhaustion. I am still not up to my usual high energy self but I finally did feel well enough to get back to painting.

The French Quarter
2.5 x 3.5 encaustic on board

At this point I have only painted from one of my photos taken in front of Muriel's, my favorite restaurant in the quarter, adjacent to Jackson Square. The horse and buggy walking past Muriel's combined with the french inspired architecture is the epitome of the Quarter for me. I am sure I will want to work larger with many of the photos I have from my recent trip.

I also visited my old neighborhood a few days ago and could not get over how big the trees have gotten, and how small the houses were. My childhood memories are filled with playing on the street with the neighborhood kids, climbing trees, and rolling in the grass. I never noticed the houses or their size when I was growing up. It was an eery feeling to see where my home once stood ... it is now replaced with a McMansion that looks totally out of place with the rest of the street. The trees were bare, beautiful, and still cozy, and I had to paint them.

"Birchwood Memories"
8 x 8 encaustic on cradled panel

I am starting to hear back from the weekend art festivals I applied to participate in as an exhibitor this summer. The only definite yes I have received at this point is in Winnetka, IL on June 21 - 22. The North Shore Art League sponsors an "Art in the Village" event, (it is also where I will be teaching starting next month). 

I applied to another show in Evanston, and one other in Deerfield. I missed the cutoff in January for the biggest show sponsor, Amdur Productions Next year I will be more punctual with my applications.