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Howard Hersh at Butters Gallery

Last night I attended the Butters Gallery opening of a beautiful new show of encaustic and acrylic works by Howard Hersh. He and I both show at the Shelly Hall Gallery but I had never met him so it was a pleasure to have a few moments to talk with him about his work. We are also both member of the International Encaustic Artists, so I gave him the scoop on the IEA retreat I attended last weekend.

If you get a chance to go see this show you won’t be disappointed! Howard pours his wax instead of brushing in on, which gives his work a feeling of calm and peace, but his imagery make sure there is an undercurrent of energy at the same time. The show is open through June 2. Enjoy!

One of my encaustic paintings is currently part of a survey of contemporary abstract art works at Lauryn Taylor Fine Art in Carmel, California. The show was juried by George Y. Blair, who brings over 30 years of experience collecting and exhibiting abstract art as President of the Board of Trustees at the Monterey Museum of Art. The photos below are from the artist’s reception I attended on Saturday, April 28, 2007.

New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax show opening

 

New Directions in Wax New Directions in Wax

Wow, what a wonderful retreat! This past weekend in Carmel with the International Encaustic Artists group was filled with making new friends and learning new techniques. So much happened that I can’t possibly address it properly in one post, so I’ll be adding lots of photos over the next couple of weeks. Today I’m VERY tired as I got in late last night and had to work right away this morning, so here’s a little taste of things to come…

Check out the amazing array of ways people fuse their wax!

 

Group working with torch

 

Most of us used a propane torch or a heat gun, but…

 

fusing with a light bulb

 

Mary Farmer uses a light bulb…

 

Fusing lens

 

and Adele Shaw found a giant lens to harness solar power!

 

Fusing contest

Later there was a fusing contest: Two layers with torches and no air bubbles. After some dirty tricks (all in good fun) including a little kicking, shoving and torching each others work, Lissa won! Yes, we are serious about air bubbles. 🙂

Check back tomorrow for the ongoing saga including member demos, and the opening at Lauryn Talyor Gallery that included work by many of our members! Now, I’m off to zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

Amazing! My garage actually is starting to look like a real studio. Check out what happened in just one day! My contractor is awesome and very creative. Pair that with my good fortune at finding the used door and window at the Rebuilding Center and it’s a miracle.

bigday1.jpg bigday3.jpg

bigday2.jpg bigday4.jpg

bigday5.jpg

OK, so the flag pole is actually free, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. (Sorry folks, the flag pole is long gone!)

As you probably know by now I’m getting rid of a lot of the junk in my garage in order to build it out as my new art studio. My husband and I are deicated to using as many reclaimed materials as we can, but I’m also recycling the things I’m getting rid of. My neighbor very happily made off with half of our “free” pile including lattice and gardening pots, and a happy traveler screeched to a halt to pick up the extra bead board from our bathroom remodel to use as the backing on a shelf.

Bill and Todd remove the spring from the garage door hardware

But here’s the kicker: when we had to get rid of the old garage door opener hardware we knew who would want it. My friend and fellow artist, Todd Samusson, makes amazing sculptures from old hardware and reclaimed wood. The enormous spring from the garage door hardware was too much for him to pass up! You can see Todd’s work at the Mt. Tabor Art Walk on May 19 – 20. I won’t be participating this year because my studio will still be in progress, but you should really plan on attending this free event as I will. There a lots of talented artists within easy walking or bike riding distance and you’ll have a grand time. Don’t miss my neighbor, photographer Max Drake (location #2), and if I’m working in my studio feel free to stop by!

(Note: My husband just added a great post to his blog about our cleanout adventure that you might also enjoy: http://iblueyonder.wordpress.com/)

OK, so I did a little shopping today! When I left for The Rebuilding Center my garage (but soon to be studio) looked like this.

Studio front before buildout

I was hoping to find a window and a door, and that’s just what we came home with. Did I mention its a HUGE door? It’s a very heavy metal door with a nice glass panel on one side, but its reclaimed and I got it for $100. We almost couldn’t get it in the truck, but thanks to my hubby and a nice guy named Ray we we’re good to go.

I couldn’t’ wait to see what it would look like, so I had a little fun with the photo below. Thanks to the magic of Photoshop you can see what they will look like in place. Exciting!

Studio Front as it will look after

I’m taking an encaustic painting class at PNCA with Jef Gunn and am really enjoying it! I’ve been working in this medium for a few years now and teach encaustic workshops myself, so I already know most of the techniques he teaches, but every time I work with another artist, in any medium, I learn something new. That’s why I don’t think I’ll ever stop taking classes.

I’ll post my sketches from class here, so you can see how things evolve. The first piece is the beginning of a sketch for another painting. I posted it unfinished because I think you’ll be shocked at what it looks like when it’s finally done. You’ll still be able to make out many of the forms but it will be very different. Stay tuned!

House sketch

The second piece below is from an exercise we did using texture, and as you can see from the detail below, I really got into it. I love to scrape that wax!

Texture exercise

Texture exercise, detail house detail

Click either image above for a larger detail. In the detail of the house you’ll be able to see that its made up of material, wax, pigment and paper. The paper is a Japanese receipt book from 1903!

To view more sketches look here.

Soldier in IraqNight of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraq is a photography exhibit at the exceptional new gallery, 23 Sandy. This is a beautiful, intimate gallery space created by Laura Russell, a talented photographer and book artist in Portland Oregon. This inaugural show of work by Joel Preston Smith is not to be missed!

The title Night of a Thousand Stars and Other Portraits of Iraqis taken from the central essay of the photographers book. The essay describes the first night of the Gulf War from the perspective of the patients in the children’s cancer ward of Sadaam Pediatric Hospital in Baghdad. Rasmeyah Abduhl Sattar, their nurse, listening to their cries, convinced the children that stars, not missiles, were falling on the city.

http://www.23sandy.com/Joel.html

I’m thinking about buying a new camera so am doing research and trying to make sense of all the features. While looking I just found a wonderful site that explains, IN PLAIN ENGLISH, all about digital files and megapixels. Check it out here:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/digital-camera-pixel.htm

 By the way, if you have a digital camera you love I’d really like to hear about it. Please leave me a comment with info on the make, model and your favorite features. Thanks!

Well, today is the day! It’s time again for Art & Soul registration to begin. Last year I took classes from Nina Bagley and Claudine Hellmuth, but I’m interested in taking a class from Juliana Coles this time. She says “We will explode across the page with the furious speed of raw creation.  We will push past our limiting boundaries as well as our beliefs about what is art and how we should make it as we smear paint, scratch,  ooze, work, and rework, and then start all over again. ” Oh yeah, my kinda gal!

For the uninitiated, Art & Soul is a paper, fabric, jewelry and fiber arts retreat held around the country, but they bring the classes to us here in Portland in October. They offer dozens of mixed media workshops taught by internationally recognized instructors including Anne Bagby, Lesley Riley, Michael deMeng and lots of our wonderful local instructors too like my friends Suzie Wolfer and Diane Downs.

 Classes fill up quickly so if you want to attend you’d better register quick. I hope to see you there!

http://www.artandsoulretreat.com/portlandin2007.php

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My Books: Embracing Encaustic Series

There are now two books under the Embracing Encaustic title, Learning to Paint with Beeswax and the new title Advanced Techniques for Mixing Media, each focusing on specific encaustic techniques. Between the two books there are a total of 70 artists who share their work, reveal their personal painting methods and explain why they are compelled to make the work they do.Find out more and purchase them online here.

Embracing Encaustic: Learning to Paint with Beeswax
By Linda Robertson

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