Monday, September 26, 2011

IEA Retreat

This will be a short check in. I just returned from 4 days at the International Encaustic Artists' Retreat last evening. I was unfocused and tired much of the time at the retreat but woke up today clear-headed and wishing I'd shot more photos for you. It was a successful retreat and I learned a lot.

Encaustic is so broad and there is so much you can do with wax that there is no end to the new discoveries. And the shopping is fun too; lots of lovely colors and tools to collect. 

There was a beautiful gallery show titled "Encaustic Masters" and that's my piece on the wall. The opening was a solid crush of people; it was great fun.

On the home front John worked hard getting the harvest in ahead of the rains. The garage is full of produce while my car sits outdoors. Here are just a few pictures; it's too dark in there to get very good ones.

John's pride and joy; the Orenco gold tomato that he has kept going from a sport of a red roma. We love this tomato and he offers seeds through Seed Savers Exchange. As you can see it is thick walled and similar to the roma. It's so pretty in salsa fresca with red tomatoes, cilantro, and green chilis. 

Along with everything else we have a new septic tank now. Nothing like a little noise and mayhem to rattle your nerves. 


Onion seed heads.

These are Magnum Orange Habaneros. They're hot.

These are called Tiger Teeth and originated in the Caribbean. 155,000 Scoville units.

This is Aji Limon hot pepper from Peru.

This is the Mayan Red, another habanero.

Some Orenco Gold tomatoes.

Some of the corn that will be ground up for polenta.

Gotta go now. Stuff's happening!! Art and Soul this weekend; I'm teaching 2 days. See some of you there. I WILL take photos for you. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

This Year's People

Once again my friend and teacher extraordinaire, Shannon McBride, has invited me to come to her art classroom and guide this year's people through the intricacies of the long stitch journal. Here's what we did this week.

These journals will be used for writing and art exercises. And secrets. Personal stuff.

Each student tries a personal approach for their covers. Some paint, some collage, some glue fabric or paper. 

Not one of them is afraid to try. 

I consider that advanced.

This is happiness.

These are the raw materials.

"I made it!"

The boys thoroughly charmed me. Graceful, willing, promising.

This is what pride looks like. Each book a masterpiece.

Well done, grasshoppers. Once again ... I love the classroom. I love these kids. They really, really give me hope. We have to take good care of them, fund our schools, protect their future. xo

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The State of the Studio

Sweet summer lingers on in Oregon. It's been an unusually busy time, with harvesting, canning and time in the studio keeping us occupied. Tomorrow I teach journal making to the high school kids near where I live. I'm taking stacks of my filled journals and I hope to instill in several of them a life long habit of writing, creating and loving the book form.

This is the back cover, spine and front cover of the journal I'll be putting together in class. The photo is a picture of my mother when she was 16 years old. Yesterday would have been her 87th Birthday and I just love this picture of her. It's printed on tracing paper, glued over an underpainting and then coated with 2 layers of tar gel. 

This is how I treated the insides of the journal covers. Wallpaper scraps glued randomly.

Recent pages. Lots of deep thinking. 

I had a dream a few nights ago that I was telling a class that now that my mother is gone that my journal is my mother; where I go with my good news and bad. And the people in the class looked at me like I was stating the obvious and said, "everybody knows that".

This afternoon I'm determined to get back to the cold wax paintings. I have a bunch of panels stacked up at the in-between stage.

Stephanie and I put in the mostly-final edits on the Plaster eBook this weekend so in days now I expect it will go through the final edit and on to the master disk guy. We check his work and then we get the disks made for all of you who have ordered them. It has taken awhile for this to come together but in seeing the final product I think you will appreciate all that's gone into it. Thank you all for your patience; you've been wonderful.

More studio stuff. Gotta get some of this packed away so I have room to make more stuff.

John made a very spicy soup out of these ingredients that had a creamy base of soy cream. It was just incredibly good and involved a trip to the neighboring farm stands for the corn because ours is not quite ripe yet. John is on a gluten free vegan diet now; good thing he's an awesome, creative cook.

Here is the recipe, it's in Spanish but I think you can figure it out. John made substitutions; olive oil for butter and soy cream for mayonnaise. He left out the meat too, obviously. Oh, and the chicken feet too - lol. That might disturb some people.

That's all the news I can think of today. Just breathing in summer, eating strawberries, giving thanks for life. I've said it before but I'll say it again, "Life: even when it's bad it's good". xo

Friday, September 02, 2011

Hot Wax Fit

I kept wanting to prolong the fun of working with the ivory confetti imagery so I did 3 more in the series.

Those of you who have taken classes from me know how these were created. Patience and love of the materials.

I'm pretty sure I could keep going here but other sirens are calling ... is that you, cold wax?

Look what I discovered at our local taqueria. What is it about the mexican culture that is so brilliant about food and drink? This is not carbonated and I had never seen it before in my travels although it must be common somewhere. Have you guys seen it? 

Buff Beauty is still carrying on.

These are our regular daylight neutral, ever-bearing strawberries.

And this is a strain of very fancy incredibly flavorful little strawberry. The best.

And these are a mixture of the two which happened by accident in our garden. Now that bitty delicacy is big and fabulously flavored. Yum!

Heritage has put on a hearty re-bloom.

The little house John built over the tomatoes so they don't get rained on if we get an early rain. Our tomatoes don't like to get wet in the fall.

The sunflowers are nodding their heads; heavy with summer memories. Sleep will come soon enough.

The glorious sunset over our lane.

All is quiet here. Everything that lives is holy.