Monday, August 28, 2017

Summer 2017

Summer 2017 - a little reflection 
It is my sincere wish that you have had a wonderful summer so far. My summer has been filled with many good things. I’ve kept to my promise to only say yes to things that will be enriching. Having a zest for life means that I say yes to a lot, but who can say no to awesome opportunities?
As a teaching artist, I get to work with a lot of really wonderful people. Many of the people I work with are coming in from different parts of the country, even globe. So, it seems that travel is becoming a large part of my creative undertakings and workshop offerings. Being in new surroundings, or in new communities of people really helps to broaden my skills. 
By the time you read this I will be on my way to Ireland for The Art and Soul Journey, where I will be teaching a workshop alongside my dear friend, Lora Murphy. In my portion of the workshop I will be focusing on the landscape and how our surroundings impact us in powerful, yet sometimes subtle ways. I feel so strongly about understanding the language of the land, that I have developed a course around this concept and am taking it with me to Ireland and to my future workshops. 

I am eternally grateful to Mike Lesczinski, owner of Enkaustikos, where I have worked for over 10 years. The experience and knowledge I continue to gain from working there is crucial to my teaching and reinforces what I am capable of sharing. It has inspired me to dive deep into the world of pigments, where they come from, their true nature, how they mix, and how all of this applies to expressing ourselves with color and responding to our environment in visually creative ways.  ~ This is what I bring to my art and to my workshops.

About the image above… The Inspired Landscape. I often wonder what makes us see things the way we do. How programmed we are from infancy. I had a teacher once say to me that all you need to create the feel of a landscape is a horizontal line. He went on to say that it really didn’t matter what colors I used; the line was the strongest element in the painting. I have explored this many times in my work. In this painting, I wonder if you would read it as landscape if the suggestion of trees did not exist. The patchwork of colors in a loosely formed grid speaks nothing of reality and resembles more of a sketchy pattern for a quilt.  Oh, but the colors are soft like a rainy day. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Few of My Favorite Things

Plein Air painting, teaching and sharing what I know, Linwood Gardens and encaustic!!! Add a few extension cords and thank god for folding tables, and a bright sky over looking the Genessee valley made for a wonderful day of doing something I have wanted to do for a long time.
For those of you who have known me, know that I found my first true expression of art making with pastels and more specifically in the plein air style. However, after years of working for Enkaustikos and learning all the ins and outs of working with encaustic I decided I needed to offer the people who take my workshops a little something different, something that felt natural to me.
I've never been one to sit in front of the easel for long periods of time working on the same piece. My nature tends to do many sketches of the same subject matter until I feel as though I have a sense comprehending the the light quality, the patterns of line and rhythm, the colors that are always in harmony. Ultimately, after the sketches a painting usually happens, but in a quick and gestural way.
This was the format I used when offering Plein Aire with Encaustic at Linwood Gardens and the results from the participants was so rewarding. Many of the women in the workshop had little to no experience with plein air, let alone working with encaustic. I found that so much of working with pastels really fueled my ability to convey what was important in this workshop and I am already planning more more of these classes.
Please enjoy just a few of the paintings created in this workshop by the participants.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Following My Inner Voice A Little More

We are always in transition whether we barely notice it or feel the impact of it suddenly. I seem to have hit the speed dial a little over a year ago and find myself trying to make sense of this new map I’m holding in my hands. Most of it is still printed in invisible ink. Or, is there such a thing as time released ink, when only at a certain time the ink shows up and pathways become clear? An interesting thought. 
So, I look and listen for clues, and learn to trust my instincts a little more every day. It is a waking process. 
One thing that has become very clear to me is that I want my workshops to be more than just about learning techniques. I’m feeling very called to really nurture that creative voice in myself and in doing so, want to be a support to others. Everyone has a creative voice! It’s our own personal roadmap. There are so many ways of tapping into our unique language of making and creating. I am learning some of these ways and look forward to sharing them with you personally and hosting guest presenters to share their knowledge with you, too. My studio is a welcoming place to this energy and discovery.  So, while my workshops are art centered, there is just a little extra something that I am bringing to the table. 

Thank you, as always, for being supportive. 

About the image above… Her name is Blue Angel. One day when trying to remedy what I would call a blah painting I decided to see if adding a glaze of color would help. As I started to work, I could see that I simply needed to get out of my own way and stop thinking about any preconceived notions or designs that I had in mind. I needed to let go and allow my hands to lead the way. Let go of thought and allow for that inner voice to be able to express itself. It is not easy getting my mind to quiet down, but I am practicing because this is when I really learn, and something always shows up. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Beauty of Learning Something New

I just taught two separate workshops in my studio over the weekend. The first was an Introductory to Encaustic workshop and the other was Pastel Meets Wax, both a joy to teach. I was privileged to work with eleven spirited and gifted women. Most of these women have full time positions not involving the arts, some do, some were retired but have filled their retirement with volunteerism or teaching their own craft. But we came together with a common goal, to learn, to expand, to deepen our knowledge. 

Watching these women move around the room, exploring a new technique, or working with a foreign media, quietly talking among themselves, or sharing stories and experiences with the group, was wonderful to be part of. 
I love offering workshops and really enjoy filling my studio with people who want to learn. There is something wonderful about being part of a learning experience. 

The work they created was pure. The thought that went into their process was at times like learning to walk, taking time to be present with each little step. I think that is what I like most about it - the presence we bring to our learning. 
The room was quiet and calm at times and at other times busy and energized. It was like watching a dance as if synchronized. It is a beautiful thing to come together, to learn, to share, and grow from each other. 




Monday, January 23, 2017

Winter Wax 2017

The only word I know to use at this point is ecstatic. That's how I feel even after a nine hour car drive, a couple loads of laundry, hours spent catching up on emails, and putting all the workshop supplies away. 

Ecstatic that this workshop provided a space where twelve beautiful women tapped into something very good and unique in each others presence. Ecstatic that we allowed a bond to form so quickly among us, that we took part in a greater vision and it proved to have yielded more than we could have imagined. 

What was it? The perfect alignment of the planets? 
The energy of the house? 
The trusting and open hearts? 
The letting go of all things except to be present? 

Winter Wax 2017 took place in a newly inhabited Victorian home. A home that is experiencing a beautiful transition. A transition that honors its past and embraces the polish. A home in Lexington, Kentucky owned by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch and husband, John Govaert. 

Winter Wax 2017 was the vision of Patricia, and in collaboration with Brenda Tassava, a woman who skillfully empowers women to speak their dreams and embrace them, and myself, a lover of sharing all I know and being in full presence with my fellow creators. We did what we do, and we did it well. 

Winter Wax 2017 was twelve beautiful women who stepped up to the table and allowed themselves to be open to the new, truthful in their voice, and above all supportive of one another. 

The art that was created, the stories we told, the poems that we read, the meals that we shared, and the goals we set are all worthy of celebration. 
I'm so honored to have been a part of this very special week. This is the kind of high that I could live on. In gratitude, thank you Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch for seeing this come to life. We are all the richer for it. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

My Bucket List Gets A Check Mark


I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Yesterday, I went to the Cleveland Museum of Art, something I have wanted to do since I moved to Rochester almost twenty years ago. Why did it take so long? It is only 4 hours away, and that is with two stops ( lots of coffee ). 
The museum is lovely and can be enjoyed in a day. 
The take away lesson: Don't let the energy invested in what I want to do be more than the doing. 
I hope you will enjoy the pictures of just a few of the highlights for me, some of which are just the details.

Jean Lecomte du Nouy
Henri Fantin-Latour
Camille Corot
Friedrich Amerling
Edgar Maxence detail
Redon detail

Fayum Portrait detail

My Favorite and will do a little blog on this statuette - Stargazer

Friday, January 6, 2017

Just the Beginnings

The other day I went to my favorite art store, Rochester Art Supply ( I also work there on occasion :) and bought some new panels for a show that I am going to be in soon. 
I had no intentions of purchasing this long rectangular format, but my instincts were already stirring when I saw it. You know that feeling of excitement that comes over you unexpectedly? I'm learning to trust those feelings. My head thinks, but my body feels. Move over head! Your job is just to make sure I drive safely to the art store and hold the pen so I can sign the receipt. 
What you see is just the first round of colors. In fact, as I was looking at this image I realized that I seem to be staying with this same color palette. That too, is instinctual, and I love it. These colors really offer enough zing, but are somehow calming and grounding, too. 
It feels totemic and I wonder if there might be an even longer panel in stock, hmmm . . . .

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcoming the New Year

It's been awhile since I've made a post, and one of the reasons is that I have put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to write, but I've been highly censoring in what and how I write.
End result: no postings.

I have to ask myself why I would do that, and the short answer is for no good reason. All throughout every day things happen that give me pause and I think . . . "shall I write about this?" but for some reason I don't.

This is not a post about me getting down on myself, God forbid I start the New Year as a Debbie Downer, but more a post of just sharing an aspect about me that hasn't served me and one I would like to leave behind. So, for those of you who are following me, it is my intention to make more posts and even possibly that they could be about simple and random occurrences.  And that would be just fine and fun.

Today I share with you something I find myself doing a lot, and that is taking what I call a selfie shadow. Sort of a twist on the "I was here" mentality. This was taken yesterday, January 1st, 2017 in my studio, a very special place for me.

Happy New Year everyone, may we all have the peace we seek and relish in the simple things that give us pause.