Whenever I go to a museum, I may go to see a specific exhibit, but more likely than not I end up in the exhibits that feature art and artifacts from Africa, Indonesia, New Guinea and Pacific Islands. There is something about these objects that is very compelling to me–the materials, the raw expression, and the purpose (real and imagined) for which they were created. In May, I went to teach at The Encaustic Center and spent some time in the Dallas Museum of Art. Here are some of the items that caught my attention.
And so I ask, where in the museum do you find yourself? What grabs you, pulls you in, and excites you?
Since I’ve returned from India, there has been a lot to process. So much inspiration, so many faces, so many emotions….My plan to blog at least once a week while I was gone quickly went out the window as internet and wifi weren’t often reliable. My Instagram and Facebook posts chronicled some of the trip but it is only now that I’m putting some thoughts and feelings into words. The one blog I did start was just 10 days into the 6 week trip:
January 26, 2017 – “As I sat in a tuk tuk at rush hour in Jaipur, India this evening, I thought about how different, and yet not, this reality is. In this swirling sea of people, cars, buses, rickshaws, tuk tuks, bikes, scooters, cows, and dogs all swimming upstream and down, passing within millimeters, weaving in and out, it was pure mayhem. But controlled mayhem. Lots of honking, but no road rage. Everyone getting off work, stopping at the market, just trying to get where they’re going. In the past 10 days I’ve been in Mumbai, Udaipur, Pushkar and Jaipur, each city with their own unique qualities. What sticks out are the faces, the beauty, each our own realities and so much the same — reading the morning paper, laughing with friends, stuck in traffic and a smiling at a stranger.”
I’ll be posting more images and words in the next few weeks and of how the trip is influencing new artwork. I’m excited to see where all this inspiration leads….
2017, another trip around the sun, signaling new beginnings full of promise, adventures, resolutions for change and hope. I look forward to a year filled with art and teaching in new locations. In a few short days I will embark on a life long dream, a trip to a India. With my cohort, Michelle Fletcher, we will be spending 6 weeks immersed in the culture, textiles, art, music and food of Rajasthan and Gujarat. Ten other adventurous souls will join us for 2 weeks road tripping through cities and country seeking out artisans, sacred sites, and markets. We’ll be learning some of the local crafts, painting, sketching, journaling as we go and filling up on inspiration to take home back to our own studios. You can follow our travels on Instagram, Facebook and on this blog while I’m gone. ~Namaste~
I’ve always thought that everyone should have their own room. A place to call theirs. A sanctuary to retreat to, a place to put the collected things that spark the imagination, make us feel good or remind of a pleasant memory. A place to sit, create, ponder and dream. As an artist, the studio is this place for me. In the last 6 months I have moved my studio from my home not once but twice and have found a place I hope to be for awhile. The reason was that my home studio was getting too small (the artwork was piling up and other accumulated STUFF) and didn’t have a sink and water. This was critical as I have been doing more textile work, dyeing fabrics, in combination with the encaustic. I also want to be able to teach out of my studio. My new studio is in an old apple processing warehouse that has been converted into artist studios.
It needed some work, i.e. a wall, lights, ventilation.
I am happy to say that it’s finally all set up and I look forward to many afternoons spent painting, sharing the space with students, and the community of artists at the Atelier One. If you in the northern California wine country on November 12 or 13, sixteen Atelier One artists will be having their studios open to the public from 11:00 to 6:00.
This month I was fortunate enough to travel and teach in Italy. I was there teaching with Encausticamp International at a lovely villa outside of Florence. It was not only my first trip to Italy, but my first trip to Europe. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. The food, the wine, the culture and the art! I found that I fell in love (once again) with the Gothic painting and tapestries. There’s something about the stylized narratives and the fine details of craftsmanship in these works that I find fascinating. It was hard to take pictures of the overall pieces so I’ll share a lot of the detail shots here.
Ok, so these last two are technically not Gothic but Renaissance, but I love these images and was thrilled to see this painting.
This painting has been sitting around half done for months. I had previously dyed all the various pieces of fabric in indigo and then embedded them into encaustic on panel. This panel is 48″ x 60″. Yesterday I decided to tackle it again. Above is where I started.
My inspiration for this piece are the Japanese boro fabrics, patched and worn peasant textiles. I love the textures, pattern on pattern, and the sense of history and use of these pieces. Below is where I ended the day yesterday, but not feeling like it was quite finished.
After sleeping on it and coming back today, I decided that I wanted to knock down the contrast a bit. I think it is finished. I’ll decide tomorrow.
My purpose in starting this blog is to connect with others on a more regular basis. I want to share my processes, inspirations, travel adventures, workshop and exhibition experiences. Work of other artists and shows that are of interest are to be included and I invite you to join in the conversation. Cheers!