Tuesday, November 29, 2011

leftovers and a little olive oil

 poppy leftovers on the easel

Thanks in part, to a severely overcooked bird, none of our guests returned for seconds, and we were rewarded with an enormous amount of Thanksgiving leftovers. The leftovers were turned into all sorts of turkey related concoctions. Some edible.

"a very large meal" 12 x 24

Same thing with poppies. After completing such a large body of poppy paintings, I found the studio filled with bits and pieces of cropped images and odd-sized boards. 

detail from "a very large meal"

I don't usually like working with smaller sizes, but I also wasn't anxious to jump back on the computer to develop new large imagery. And the beauty of working small, is that it gives me a sense of freedom to work on new techniques. 

detail from "a la folie"

The details above illustrate how I'm developing my mark making through scraping and rubbing. Keeping in the spirit of the season of cooking, I used olive oil to rub off excess paint. Reheating the area with a heat gun caused the paint to separate in areas, adding texture to the work. 
"a la folie" 12 x 24

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Inspiration From Architecture

"and the leaf is singing still", 32.5" x 30"

This is the final painting ready to deliver to Patricia Rovzar Gallery for the annual group show this December.

I'm planning to explore bamboo in depth in the months leading to my June 2012 solo show. My husband is naturally the best architect in Seattle, but this particular inspiration came from a visit to my neighbor's house, designed by another talented local architect, Tyler Engle

front entry with view of bamboo through window beyond

As you walk toward the entry, you are greeted by a soft glow of light  filtered through the front door. Immediately opposite the front door is a frosted glass window, which looks out upon a contained area of densely planted bamboo. During the day, the bamboo is lit naturally, and the forms take on soft silhouetted forms. At night, the bamboo is lit, and the soft forms present different colors and patterns. These patterns are constantly changing throughout the day. The way some leaves press up against the glass and others fall softly into the background reminds me so much of how wax reveals and hides the image in photo encaustic painting. It was a struggle to join the conversation of the party, as I found myself wandering to the hallway for glances of that beautiful scene throughout the night. A magical box. I must find a way to intrude on my neighbor for more visits, and potential photographs.

If you find yourself downtown in December, please stop by the gallery and then let me know what you think of my new work. 

above: details from "the leaf is singing still"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Fall Palette

 "the constance of change", 32.5 x 30
It's fall in Seattle, and the colors outside are astounding. I just completed this painting of the changing seasons. It's amusing to me that the image I started with was taken in summer. As I painted, I found myself so influenced by my surroundings, that no matter how hard I tried to paint summer colors, my palette kept taking me into the golds and rusts of the moment.
This year I've added a new technique to my toolbox, which I think enhances the depth and color of the finished painting. It's impossible to show the results online, so I hope you'll come visit the gallery artist group show this December at Patricia Rovzar Gallery where you can see the new surfaces in person.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Great Poppy Takeover

"ratatouille", 36" x 54" at Patricia Rovzar Gallery in December

Poppies are addictive. Although the big bloom was early summer, they have taken over the studio for many months.

Earlier in the year, I opened up my photo archives to discover hundreds of images of the opiate flower snapped over the summer. Thinking this must be some kind of sign, I decided to give in. I have two more small poppy paintings to complete, and a large commission.

detail from ratatouille

In order to keep the topic fresh, I am deconstructing some of the forms to give more of an impression of the flower within its environment.

"wild rubies", 2 panels, 50" x 48" overall, soon to deliver to Pryor Fine Art, Atlanta 

I'm also adding more exposed brushwork. Some of the branches and leaves take on a calligraphic quality. 

details from "wild rubies"

"Some say that doing the same thing over and over is boring. 
Others say that doing the same thing over and over can be a door to an experience that transcends boredom." 
- Richard Stine, Pal Press Greeting Card.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October in Seattle

Joseph Maruska, "Sea Cole" 72 x 36 oil on panel

It's definitely fall in Seattle, which means days are cooler, wetter and shorter, giving me more opportunity to visit the local galleries. 

Joseph Maruska is the featured artist this month at Patricia Rovzar Gallery. Maruska is an expert at drawing the eye deep into the painting. The colors and textures and application of paint is luscious. To me each painting tells a mystical story, revealing atmosphere infused landscapes. Maruska's show will be up through the end of October. As an added bonus, I have three of my own pieces hanging in the alcove.  I just love the way my work looks with the Maruskas. 

Alan Fulle, "Video Tower: Wish", cut epoxy materials in epoxy resin, projected video

Traver Gallery never fails to surprise me. I am especially drawn to the work of Alan Fulle and his towers that combine epoxy resins with projected video. You must experience this work in person. 

Upstairs from Traver Gallery lives the architecture firm SRG Partnership. They have designed a large open space in their entry to support a gallery highlighting local artists. This month elevate one floor up to see the beautiful landscapes of Anita Lehman. Fresh, simple and masterful. I want to drink them up. And. They are affordable.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pryor Fine Art

I am honored to be accepted for representation by the prestigious Pryor Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia. I join a talented and mature group of artists including encaustic artists John Folsom, Jeff Cohen and Tom Brydelsky; mixed media artists Andre Petterson, Todd Alexander, Paula Landrem, Michael Barringer and Michael Moon; and painters Susie Pryor, Amy Cannady, Peter Bruega and more! If you find youself in Atlanta, be sure to stop in to see my work, and give my regards to gallery director, Tiffany Hay.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Stephanie Hargrave at Patricia Rovzar Gallery

Stephanie Hargrave "imbricate 1", 40 x 60

Last night was opening night of the Hargrave exhibit at Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle. In this new body of work, Stephanie has rediscovered her skill with transparency through layers of color, line, and organic shapes. The resulting compositions have both tranquility and energy. The line work is stronger than ever, and the addition of little dimensional spheres of wax drop like jewels onto the surface. They are perfectly placed. Like all encaustic, any form of reproduction is a woefully inadequate experience. Do yourself a favor, and skip the online show and go directly to the gallery to view the work in-person.

The show will be up until August 4th. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Atlanta Bound

"secret signals", 36" x 40"

Call me crazy. I'm absolutely thrilled to have my work shown by the prestigious Pryor Fine Art in Atlanta Georgia. But am I out of my mind sending encaustic to the hot south in June?

"my interesting neighbors", 48" x 40", diptych

I've decided to use the professional packaging and shipping services of Artech for this first batch. A small fortune, but I wanted to get my first national presence off the ground with confidence.

"a capricious little breeze
", 36" x 40"

When I know the final cost for crating and shipping 5 panels (4 paintings) I'll be sure to post it.

"gaia's window", 36" x 40"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Willow Test

I have an entire series of willow leaves that I'm beginning to pursue in wax. This little painting is a 10 x 10 test for a large 36 x 72 panel. I've utilized too many colors here, and I plan to work on making the leaves more mysterious by melting them further into the background. I'll keep you posted on the development over the next month.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

bubble wrap, bubbled wax and heartbreak

"twigs tangle in feathery tails" 18 x 48

This is a story about lessons learned. The triptych above is from my 2010 'dogs eye view' series. I had it up in my studio for a month. Rather than sending it to another gallery, I decided to put it on display in my home for a while.

I only live five miles from the studio, so rather than bothering with the usual glassine and panel insulation, I wrapped each panel in it's own bubble wrap and loaded them in the car. On my way home, I parked in the shade and stopped by the gym for a quick 1-hour workout. As soon as I got home, I unloaded the paintings, and left them in their bubble wrap until I had time to hang them.

Three days later, I removed the wrap to discover that the wax had melted in areas of the paintings, and the bubble wrap had made serious impressions into the surface.

After the initial shock, I brought the panels back to the studio. My plan was to heat them up in these areas, and scrape them down to the base photo. Then I would rebuild the wax and apply new paint.

But after the initial burn (carefully, with a heat gun), I decided that the wax had smoothed out enough without scraping. The surface is still uneven, but after the new oil glazes are applied, I will live with it for a while and see if I like the new texture.

details of reheated wax surface prior to new oil glazing

I actually feel lucky that this happened now, before I inadvertently pack up a big stack of work to store this way. From now on, rigid foam box with nothing touching the surface!

details of the completed "fix".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Master Encaustic Artist Betsy Eby

I just returned from a trip to the Winston Wachter gallery to view the Betsy Eby show, "Arrangements". I am always inspired when I see Betsy's work in person, and this new body of work really knocked my socks off.

BradoSonata, 36 x 58

Her colors seem more muted than in past shows, allowing my eyes to revel in the beauty of her surfaces and textures. I just love the depth of the greys and whites.

detail from my personal show favorite: "Soledad"

It was an inspiring, humbling and rewarding visit. You can visit the work in-person until June 16th.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Apres Show Work in Progress

The show is over, and I'm busier than ever. I have 10 new paintings in the works, with lots more concepts banging around in my head waiting to get out. The two above combine the poppies with the grass series. I'm incorporating more of the layers of colored shadows and deep layers of wax.

The photo above shows one of my grass images layered with some of the smokey colors and shapes from the willow paintings. The wax application is about 50% complete.

My plan is to have five paintings out the door by end of May!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Studio Visit with Alicia Tormey

I just returned from a wonderful visit with the talented encaustic artist, Alicia Tormey. We met at Patricia Rovzar Gallery where my solo show is on view until May 2nd. We then trotted across the street to Taste Restaurant to enjoy a lovely lunch enhanced by Alicia's beautiful work on display until mid-June. We finished the afternoon at Alicia's working studio in the enormous Inscape artist building in the International District.

A great thing about visiting working studios is that you have the opportunity to see the little personal projects and new developments and experiments that you won't see in a gallery. One of her workbenches (above) had several small works in progress. They are sweet little paintings that she refers to as her "truffles". Yummy.

Everywhere I turned there was a new discovery. The photos above are a rather poor representation of one of these fascinating projects. Alicia first created a ceramic form and then applied her unique encaustic approach to the surface. The dimensionality of the form combined with the texture and depth of the encaustic is incredibly seductive. It's as if one of the forms has popped right out of the painting and set itself squarely in the middle of the table. I can't wait to see how she continues to develop this approach.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Final Four

"and so it will ever be" 36 x 36

The final four panels for opening night on April 7th are completed and delivered to the gallery. In these paintings,
I create a surreal landscape
, where reality and imagination live together. I find the many layers of transparent wax and oil glazes incredibly seductive. As I gaze at the paintings I begin to feel as if I am inside the paintings, looking back out at the world through layers of fog. I invite you to visit Patricia Rovzar Gallery Seattle, during the month of April and share your own impressions with me here.

"beyond the wild wood comes the wide world" 36 x 36

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Light of Morning Curls Forth

Left: 'forest spirit'. Right: ' the light of morning curls forth'. Total size: 43.5 x 72

Two paintings recently completed from the series of birch trees enveloped in fog. Rather than a direct representation of what the camera sees, this series is an impression of my memories of the colors and atmosphere on my late summer barge trip through the canals of France. None of the actual photos captured the spirit of the experience. Through photo manipulation, wax and paint, I more accurately portray the view that I saw in my minds eye.

Although this was created as two individual paintings, I liked the way the two work together as a single diptych. I really love the blue tones, and I'm hoping Seattle has a heat wave during my show to encourage collectors to purchase more cooling images.

Detail from ''ight of morning curls forth'

Monday, March 7, 2011

Giggles of Delight

"giggles of delight" 36 x 63

I'm stunned at how long it's been since I've posted to my blog site. My excuse is a good one, as I've been holed up in the studio finalizing the work for the April show at Patricia Rovzar Gallery. There are 17 paintings completed, and I'm working on four additional panels which may join the show if they look like a good fit.

"Giggles of Delight"
is one of the larger pieces for the show next month. I love the movement in this piece. The wild grasses really seem to be dancing as little seeds twirl off the stems. The naming of this was a serendipitous moment. As I completed the painting, a friend posted a photo on her Facebook page of her daughter in absolute glee, the description included the words "giggles of delight". Makes me happy just to type those words here.

I'll share more sneak peeks during these final weeks of prep.

above: details from "giggles of delight"