Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Summer Thoughts

Today in Chicago the high temperature is predicted to teeter between 0 to 5 degrees F. Wind chills are predicted to be around 30 below F tonight! This frigid weather spell has guided my inspiration into mild summer breezes and wonderfully meditative places from my past.

"Rangeley Lake"
8" x 8" mixed media encaustic on panel

8" x 10" mixed media encaustic on panel

This month is the much awaited release of "Embracing Encaustic, Learning to Paint with Beeswax", the 3rd edition ebook, offering simplified and helpful ways of how to paint with this incredibly seductive medium. I am excited to share that I am one of the 35 artists featured in the book's Inspiration Gallery section.

My painting in the book is another favorite summer escape.

"Sunday on Snow Street"
8" x 8" mixed media encaustic on panel

Partial screen shot from e-book 

All of these encaustic paintings start with a photograph I have taken from places I have visited. The photo is then burnished and fused into layers of wax medium. I add depth, texture, and pigments with encaustic paint, oil pastels, using pottery tools to scrape and sculpt the wax. If my painting is successful, it takes you on a journey into a newly discovered space with dimensionality and tangibility. I hope I was able to warm up your body and soul with a brief journey into summer.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Where to go from Here

Often, creating art is my safe haven, a place I find peace and love, beauty and serenity, even hope. This week I am on hold from the creative process. The world is scary right now; terrorism and deadly threats to humanity are running rampant, it's hard for me to ignore the darkness. This negative energy is the polar opposite from "Sacred Spaces", paintings inspired by visits to various churches, temples, and houses of worship, focused on different ways we find spirituality, peace, hope, and prayer.

Recently I visited the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago -

"Prayer to Durga Mata"
8" x 10" mixed media encaustic on board

And the 2nd Presbyterian Church of Chicago -

"Ascension #3"
2.5" x 3.5" mixed media encaustic on paper

I also visited the Bahai Temple in Wilmette (photo soon to become a painting) -

Although it wasn't a temple, I visited the Vodou Exhibit at the Field Museum this week. 

Photos from exhibit -

The exhibition featured sacred objects and even included short movies of Haitian rituals and ceremonies, I felt like I was in a sacred space. And it opened my eyes to a different way of praying, using objects to create the seduction of evil vs. good. It also educated me to how the Haitian people found ways to triumph over slavery, from love to sensuality to courage through the personification of spirits known as "Lwa". 

I am sharing an older painting from about 10 years ago during a difficult time in my life, when I felt negativity and hopelessness; this painting connects me to now -

30" x 22" watercolor on paper

It takes time for me to process shifts in my creativity and I am not sure where I will go from here.