Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Wax

Wax. Sweet summer. Friends visiting. Lots of work and dreams floating around with travel talk and living vicariously through friends who are having adventures. A rich imagination is a good thing to have on a lazy summer day. Especially knowing that tomorrow brings a delicious change; when things get fast again, when fall's charms present themselves.

I've always loved September. That's when school starts, when we put on our thinking caps and get to work. I love work too. As daydreamy and lazy as I am I have a strong streak of loving book lists, goals, studying and learning.

So today I'm celebrating the last day of August by wiggling my toes in my sandals and looking toward September with real enthusiasm. Looking forward to the International Encaustic Association Retreat at the end of the month here in Portland and then to teaching at Art and Soul. 

I don't know if this last encaustic is done or not. I've been painting over work this week. I love that about wax, hot or cold. There is always the next layer. Like life come to think of it. Layers of memories, history, experience. It's good, all of this. xo

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Some Goofiness

Checking in. My friend came to visit today and we made a little video after she asked me how you could tell the difference between a cheap brush and a good one.

We horsed around for awhile and then we turned on the hot wax and I did the painting below; exploring some of the landscape imagery I've been working with.

I'm working cold wax over a large old encaustic painting as an experiment. I'll show you in a few days if I can get back to it. And for those of you who get my blog on a feed and never see the side bar, I am gearing up for a huge, tell-everything encaustic lollapalooza-extravaganza online class that starts on October 13th and goes on 6 days a week until November 11. You can read about it here

Here are some kind words from participants of my last online class ...

"This really is the best online course I have taken. Such attention to detail." ---Sharon

"The videos for this class are wonderful! The images are so clear, the sound is great."---Ginny

"I loved the fresco wash video! I have watched it 8 or 9 times now. I was sooo excited to try this technique and paint a beautiful woman's face." ---Dorylyn

"I am loving (!!!) this class." ---Mary Beth

"Thanks for opening my creative eyes! This is definitely one of the best online classes I have taken .. and I've taken quite a few! "---Fran

Okay, see you in a few. Don't forget to get your brushes wet before you purchase them and make sure they are springy. You're welcome!! :-D

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Another Painting and Some Other Stuff

Another 20x20". My friend visited today and we discussed the big-big painting I'm going to do for her. Yeeks, I'm scared but also determined to follow the advice I always give to students and that is that you will only improve by spending lots of time in the studio.

Seth sent the cover of his new book on over. It won't be released until March but we are already getting excited to visit with 100 artists and read about their secrets and passions. That yellow arrow points to an image of mine.

And while I'm telling you about new releases I'll give a heads up on the new stencils that Mary Beth Shaw is selling based on my designs. Her stencils are so strong you can use then with hot wax, then just melt the wax off the stencil by laying it on the hot plate after and wiping with a cloth. It really works.

This was supper last night. Although by the time I took this picture the guacamole was almost gone.

And the beans are coming now. Here is the recipe from

Sesame Green Beans:

  • Fresh Green Beans (whole or already trimmed)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons toasted Sesame Seeds (untoasted is fine too)
  • Coarse Salt to taste
  1. Steam or boil green beans for about 2 minutes (still crisp.)
  2. Drain the beans in a colander. 
  3. Heat a wok or large pan over high heat.
  4. Pour or spray a small amount of vegetable oil and spread around the pan.
  5. Add the sesame oil and crushed red pepper flakes to the pan. Don't worry if the pan smokes. That's normal.
  6. If sesame seeds are not already toasted, add them to the wok or pan at this time.
  7. Add beans to the pan/wok and stir fry for several minutes.
  8. Sprinkle sesame seeds (if not already added) and course salt over the beans, stir, and serve.

Later gator. xo

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm Good, Really

Oh dear, I must have overdone the drama in my last post; even my daughter phoned to ask if I was okay. The answer is "of course, just the usual". I've been working on more cold wax pieces, my artist statement and visiting with friends here in town which has made me very happy. The piece above is 20x20", the largest I've done so far. Cold wax and oil paint. Make it big so you can see the detail. 

More soon xo.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Working Away

This will be short and sweet. I'm working well after a period of letdown following my trip to Telluride. I wonder if others have the mood swings I do to deal with on top of everything else. It's fascinating, really. How differently the world looks on some days than others. I liken it to a piano. Some pianos have x number of octaves. Artists have 10x number of octaves. Higher highs. Lower lows. 

I'm not saying we're nuts. Just a little amped up; a little different. It can be a blessing as well as a burden. 

That's all I have for today. A good day. When I am working it is a good day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Journal, My Friend

It always comes back to the journal.

This is where I bring all my questions, celebrations, depressions and boredom.

With a pen in hand, coffee nearby, relaxed and receptive, gifts arrive.

Sometimes it's just about the fun of pasting, doodling, playing in color.

Sometimes it's about time to fill while I should be doing other things. Dreaming of adventures. Lots of dreaming.

All I know is that it is a part of what I need to feel whole and hopeful.

It helps me gather myself in and give myself the gift of time and solitude.

I've heard from my friend the incredibly gifted art teacher that I get to spend time in the classroom showing this year's crop of high school kids how to make books. I love the classroom; any classroom. Eager minds, clean slates, and OMG their beauty of which they are mostly unaware. It fills me with awe to spend time with them, to tempt them to acquire the lifetime habit of journaling. Something bright on my horizon, a happy feeling!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Wax and A Garden Visit

I'm even dreaming of wax now; closing in on the last of the videos. 

The gardenia has given me three glorious blooms at once.

It's almost too much beauty to bear. And the scent. Takes me back to the prom in my 16th year when I saw and smelled my first gardenia. I have loved them ever since.

Oregon is lavish in her gifts this time of year.

All the good things we love to eat.

Colors to bring us cheer.

Divine scents, loamy earth, tomato vines, buzzing bees.

The garage smells like ...

garlic! Drying in the racks John brings out once a year.

Lots of tomato, cucumber and onion salads with rice vinegar.

Sunflowers for the birds and because they are so beautiful.

Blue salvia to attract hummingbirds.

Someone asked about the corn. It is up and away.

Fairy roses. These grow under a blue spruce.


And those beans have grown all the way up since you saw them last.

The days are long, filled with sunshine and work. 

John spends his days on his knees tending and tilling and watering.

I hope you get to eat a fried zuchinni flower in your lifetime. It's decadent.

And until we planted a persimmon tree I didn't know that they looked like this in the green stage. Aren't they flower like?

This is the big fried egg flower. Big as a dinner plate.

I just heard John pull into the garage with the groceries so I'm going to go now and see what treats he brought home. Thank you for the visit. It's very good to have a friend stop by. xo

Sunday, August 07, 2011

More More More

I love to be productive; to go into the studio each day and see what waits to surprise me.

I'm shooting video for the last of the hot wax classes. I have to dodge the droning planes and lawnmowers and train whistles outside but that's part of the fun.

I watched a lot of the videos I'd previously shot a couple of months ago and am surprised by how much I want to go back in and perfect them.

Left to my own devices I would never finish anything. I have a bit of a compulsive streak ... 

"Perfection is the enemy of done". I'm trying to cultivate that.

So if you do hear a train whistle in the background or see me light my torch off camera when I should be on, just remember that it's killing me too.

I have about a zillion things I want to say here.

A zillion photos of the garden and what's cookin' in the studio.

But I have to go back in there now. The days just slip away, no matter how try to hold them back.

BTW, these are cold wax, not hot.