Wednesday, March 27, 2013

field trip

My friend Jen Goldfinger is a fine artist and a children's book writer / illustrator.  She also runs her home outside of Boston with her husband Michael, two daughters and their sweet doodle-dog Lila.  Talk about busy and multi talented!  These are two of her triptychs that hang in her home.

parallel play 1 and 2

Jen has been working with encaustic materials for a few years and I wanted to see her set up.  I do love looking at other peoples work spaces! Jen's studio in Arlington is in an old brick building, the space is long and narrow but flooded with light from the far window.

Her space is divided into two work areas. The far end is for the painting with that nice restaurant type fan installed to vent the fumes from the heating/burning in of the encaustic materials.

Somewhere in the middle of the room, the space shifts to her work as an author illustrator.

Jen recently up a blog where she has begun writing about her children's book illustrations, and she was just signed to Writer's House!
Congratulations, Jen!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

weekend update!

I love learning how to use new materials to use in my work. I like to stretch myself and work in a variety of mediums.  Even if a technique doesn't end up suiting my practice, I find that doing something different helps to look at my own work in a new light.  So I spent this weekend in Portland learning the basics of encaustic painting. Kim Bernard taught the amazing and intense two day workshop, and now I am filled so much information in my head,  its going to take a bit of time to absorb everything presented.  

Here are a few of the initial boards with the techniques I tried out.

 transfer using a photo copy image

two transfers using pencil, and an image from my journal
collage with birch bark, embedding with beads

taping off areas, gouging and filling, using oil pastels

texture with cooler wax build up, embedding nail heads, 
gold leaf, transfer from journal copy, scraping, oil pastel

What I really like about the processes is the ability to work in quickly in layers to build depth.  I plan on spending more time experimenting this spring.  Have you learned anything new lately?

Friday, March 22, 2013

seeing red

I couldn't just leave anxiety lingering here over the weekend.  I am off to Portland for a two day encaustic workshop- completely new to me.  Who knows, maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks. I am looking forward to having all the mystery of wax revealed to me!  Updates to follow on Monday. Until then, here is the latest from my studio.

 oil and silver leaf, 24x24"

Thursday, March 21, 2013

high anxiety

The anxiety is unbearable.  I only hope it lasts forever.
- Oscar Wilde

really??  I have to pay for it??

It is time for the anxiety post.  I have been holding on to this image for about a year now.  I saw it in the window of an antique shop in North Adams, MA while visiting colleges ( a slight anxiety provoking activity) with my son last April.  I kind of think it was tailor made for me....but I didn't buy it.  At the time I thought that might have been bad luck, darkly prophetic, or maybe something worse.  But here it is, anxiety is creeping up on me again and I've begun reading a book with a whole section of the introduction devoted to anxiety and the creative process.  It is called 'Fearless Creating' by Eric Maisel.  I know, I know it sounds so touchy feel-y, but I think he is a really great writer- no fluff.  AND,  he touts that anxiety is both a necessary and integral component in all stages of creative work! phew!

Here is just a bit of what he says, "...I mean to describe the kinds of anxieties that attend each stage of the creative process.  In large measure these are anxieties that you should experience because, while anxiety is the greatest impediment to aliveness, in order to create you must invite anxieties into your life and live anxiously.   For every miracle of creation, you will experience a week of anxious brooding.  You will only earn fine camera angles, lucky brush strokes, and brilliant poetic images by risking anxiety and living with anxiety."

So, I believe I have all the necessary supplies at hand to forge ahead, fill a museum and have  my monograph printed.....if only it were that easy.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

monday morning

nothing subtle going on in here today

palette and details

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

marching on

 After a few grey weeks and a couple of grey paintings....


I decided to squeeze out some red paint


Friday, March 8, 2013

Maine Gold

First, a disclaimer: We are from away.  Meaning, we were not born in Maine, but we did move here on purpose, for the slower pace of life, the beautiful outdoors and a positive environment in which to raise our kids.  Since as we made it here, we try to embrace our inner Yankee from time to time, ie-we try to do a lot of "it" ourselves.  We mow and shovel and stack our own wood piles.  We garden some of our own veggies, most success comes in the easy growing leafy green variety.  We have even managed to keep four laying hens alive providing us with plenty of eggs for eating and baking and sharing in the summer months.  But I have to say the sweetest endeavor we have taken on is tapping our maple trees.

This was all L's idea to start.  Off to the hardware store he went three years ago and proudly came home with a couple of funny little gadgets that you pound into the side of a maple, hang a bucket on the hook and wait for the drip drip drip to fill it up.  

The official start to the season is sometime in March when the days start to warm up and the nights stay below freezing.  This year we were maybe a bit too early to start (see above)? But no matter, things warmed up later in the day and soon we had a giant lobster pot filled with sap. My son drinks it straight from the tree just to weird me out a bit. We set the pot up outside on a propane cooker ( a 'real' Mainer probably has a beautiful wood fired set up in a little sugar shack) and forget about it for a while.

When it gets dark out and there is not much left to boil outside, we bring the batch into the kitchen to finish it off. 

 We watch the thermometer pretty carefully- because we've made candy a couple of times!

Here's the first batch of 2013 basking in the afternoon light in the kitchen.  It is a little cloudy.  I've read that we can pour off /reheat /strain/ and re-jar....or we can just have waffles in the morning!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

field trip

Last week I drove down Route 1 for a ways into the village of Wiscasset. I was on my way to visit the artist Lari Washburn (in real life!). Lari and I had exchanged emails and blog comments before, but this was our first meeting in person. Lari's kitchen was filled with the aroma of fesh cranberry nut bread, and when she made us coffee we sat down to talk about being an artist in Maine.

Lari Washburn

What a treat it was to discover that we share many similar ideas both as women and artists. Our studios, our homes, our gardens and our lives were all carefully tended to as artistic pursuits. While we were drawn to the quite, the solitude and the uninterrupted beauty of life in Maine, making connections with other artists was becoming important to us. 

Lari Washburn

Lari recently added ceramics to her repertoire and she studies with 'another' Ingrid at her studio in Edgecomb, Maine.

Lari Washburn

I think Lari's work reflects a quiet rhythm that one finds here in Maine. There is a subtlety in her palette, yet her surfaces are rich with texture much like the landscape of our winters. You can see more of her work here. And please poke around her blog- Lari has a quiet a knack for discovering things, people and places I didn't know I loved! 
Thank you Lari!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

snail mail

mixed media postcards going out to Maine and Minnesota

Monday, March 4, 2013

a visit with an old friend

oh hello!
I painted you in Boston, a long time ago: bk, before kids
in a beautiful studio in the Cyclorama Building in the South End
overlooking the Boston Ballet School of Dance
You went off to live with friends of mine, Michael and Jen
in their beautiful home.
It is nice to see you again after all these years
I still remember the hum of my final brushstrokes

oil on canvas
pretty darn big? @ 3x5' ish??