Sunday, March 29, 2015


11" x 14" mixed media on panel

Below is the older version of "Wavy", above is the reworked final version. Most notable change: shades of blue, the addition of a shellac burn, and linear textures. I wanted to create a more impressionistic, recognizable seascape.

I decided to share with my weekly encaustic class at NSAL how a painting can be reworked, and reborn. The first original version was part of a seascape series from 2011, my initial intention was to lean toward abstraction rather than impressionism. For the sake of the class demo, I decided to incorporate several techniques we had used to transform this.

We shared ideas on how to recycle works in new ways. I am creating a one of a kind art book using some of my favorite poems combined with original monotypes that were "extras". I have always found inspiration when combining poems with visual art... something I did exclusively in my Landscape to Lotus Series.

As I was putting together the book I decided to cut up some of the monotype images to create various collages. The book is still a work in progress but I do have a photo sample to share -

And I am sharing the poem I have coupled with this image. As the book progresses and is completed, I will share more.

Tide Rises the Tide Falls
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
  And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
  And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Flowering Creativity

10" x 8" mixed media on cradled panel

8" x 10" mixed media on cradled panel

Each week I teach an encaustic painting class at the North Shore Art League. The class size is kept small (mainly because of electrical requirements; griddles and heat guns are essential for each student) and we have been able to cover a wide range of techniques. I feel fortunate that the women in my class are self motivated, wildly creative, and supportive.

Above are two of my recent demonstration paintings from the class. "Orchids" was created from a photo I took at the Botanic Garden Orchid show that just ended. After successfully fusing the photo into wax medium, I added depth, dimension, and details with pigments and oil pastel. This is one of my favorite techniques, allowing me to create a three-dimensional environment that if successful, brings you into another space, a place where you can practically reach out and touch your surroundings.

"Lotus" was created from what started as a simple monotype. I used Kozo (Japanese calligraphy paper) and drew with wax on an anodized aluminum plate, pressed the paper and transferred the drawing with a bamboo baren. I decided to mount the drawing onto a cradled wood panel, then added linear wax details to flowers using a tjanting tool. Once the paper was mounted and secure, I was able to add more pigmented wax, scrape and define details, and highlight with oil pastels without worrying about the fragility of the paper. This particular painting covered a wide range of encaustic techniques, and was the first time I mounted Kozo on wood panel. My monotypes are often framed under glass, treated similarly in presentation to watercolor.

I also love working in a scroll format, working in this shape and size is newer to me. "Undun" is the longest scroll I have done to date; important to me is that the color flows from top to bottom. I am probably going to shorten it to six feet (72" in height) once I attach the scroll hanger, I will hang this with a plain black rod, top and bottom, to weight it down.

78" x 11" encaustic monotype on Kozo

Painting with the encaustic medium is one of the most versatile mediums I have worked with and I continue to be amazed at the different ways artists explore and create with wax.