The story of the making of a commissioned piece of encaustic artwork.Read More
Hello all! As summer comes to a close, I wanted to share how running has influenced my creative process, the fun times I've been having with my summer intern and what is coming up.
On the immediate horizon, I am soon to be off and "running" to teach four Encaustic Collagraph Printmaking workshops in three cities. Space has come available in all three workshops and you can sign up for one at the links below.
Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, NYC
I am looking forward to meeting and working with my students! So honored also, to be staying again in the Helen Frankenthaler Cottage at Center for Contemporary Printmaking along with the artist's presses donated to CCP's residency program. I will start chapter 52 of my life on the home turf in New York before heading home to Portland!
Running Boosts Creativity
I have been running on and off since my mid-20s. It has always been the best way for me to reach a certain flow or stream of consciousness that zaps stress and cultivates my creative mind. In fact, I got the idea to write this post while running! It has been a habit of mine for so long, that it didn't occur to me to write about running and how much a part of my creative life it is. Running truly does boost creativity, adds years to your life, strengthens your lungs, prevents high blood pressure, helps you sleep better, increases bone density, cures depression, prevents cancer and strengthens the immune system among a host of other benefits. Here is a great article from the Guardian on how running aids in the creative process.
One of my favorite runs was the loop in Cambridge, MA along and over the Charles River. It was described in the book I was reading at the time What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by author Haruki Murakami. In the book, Murakami talks about how running creates "mindspace" .."where creative ideas crystallize and incubate". This is so true and the book really resonated with me. There have been countless times that I have gotten conceptual ideas for entire bodies of work as well as make decisions, title paintings, prepare for openings, presentations and problem solve while running.
"Wherever you go, there you can run, meditate and practice yoga"
Since I'm going to be away for 18 days, I decided to plan on running while I'm away and look forward to the routes I will find. Running in a new place has always been a good way to familiarize myself with where I am. Plus it's super easy to pack for and a fun way when traveling alone to sight see and get to know my way around a place.
I don't do marathons or anything like that. Mine is a "training" program designed for optimal creative head space, to aid with depression and stress reduction. My combined practices of yoga, running and meditation can be done just about anywhere now more than ever, especially with the added convenience of certain apps. All aid in, and are vital to my art practice.
Past memorable running spots
Must sees while in D.C.
I am looking forward to exploring the galleries of Georgetown on my days off while in the D.C. area. There are also two exhibits in particular that I must see that I think will be huge sources of inspiration. One is Trevor Paglen's mid-career survey at the Smithsonian American Art Museum titled, Sites Unseen.
There is SO much to do and see in D.C. and my time is limited. I am hoping to also make it to the new National Museum of African American History as well as the National Portrait Gallery. We'll see how far I get!
I have so enjoyed having a high school intern this Summer from Portland's Grant High School through the Education Programming at Portland Open Studios. Sophie has been helping me with various projects in preparation for the Open Studios event coming in October. She is also producing a series of linocut reduction prints, some of which she will have on display on a section of my studio wall at my Portland Open Studio.
This week, Sophie applied her third layer of color. I will never get tired of seeing her beaming face after pulling a print! I have enjoyed teaching her about different aspects of printmaking and the many phases of production involved in art making from inception to creation, presentation, framing, photography, promotion and installation.
Upon my Return
I will be welcoming the public into my studio. Portland Open Studios, now in it's 20th year, is October 13, 14, 20 & 21. I hope that if you are local to Portland, you can drop by. I will be demonstrating printmaking and encaustic painting and selling individual and sets of greeting cards.
Sophie is busy right now cutting and assembling collage sets. A popular Etsy item, the collage sets will be comprised of 7 assorted pieces of my collagraph prints that didn't make good prints but something a collage artist would be happy to buy and make good use of.
Thanks for reading my blog. Stay tuned for the next post on WaxingOn, I will tell the story of the making of a recent commission for an airline captain in North Carolina who is writing a book about exploration.
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Looking back on 2017 and looking forward into the New Year.Read More
A working Summer in the studio preparing for solo exhibit at Butters Gallery.Read More
WaxingOn Spring: Behind the scenes in the studio
Palm Springs Workshop
A funny and quite unexpected thing happened while I was teaching in Palm Springs. David's print dealer, Larry Warnock of Warnock Fine Arts came by and saw my prints.
After a wonderful three-day Encaustic Collagraph workshop at David A. Clark's studio in Palm Springs, 2017 seems to be shaping up as the year for prints.
I had a great group of new and returning students for my class. Many prints were pulled and we had our own "Women's Printmaking March" over inauguration weekend. My fabulous host, artist David A. Clark even got in on the act and I managed to make five new prints too!
Portland and Los Angeles Fine Print Fairs
Larry immediately selected 11 of my prints to take to the Portland Fine Print Fair January 27-29 and the Los Angeles Fine Print Fair February 3-5. Big thanks to David for connecting me with this great opportunity to enter the print market as a fellow artist in the stable of Warnock Fine Arts.
Solo Print Show Unearthed at Atelier 6000 in Bend, Oregon
Unearthed, opened the same night as the Los Angeles Fine Print Fair on Friday, February 3. Here are some installation shots of this 19 piece exhibition which features a combination of prints and encaustic collagraph plates. Through February 26th at Atelier 6000 in Bend, OR. Featured in Cascade A&E , Bend Source and the Bend Bulletin.
Statement - Unearthed
Printmaking has become an important part of my studio practice. What I enjoy most is its immediacy, sheer spontaneity and element of surprise. Not knowing exactly what will come from a print underlies my overall approach to painting, making way for new conceptual directions to evolve in my work. This way of working enables me to further refine my printmaking skills on my own terms as a painter.
In putting together this body of work, the word “unearthed” kept coming up; this show embodies the diversity in my approaches toward integrating and marrying encaustic painting with printmaking. Some of the pieces are traditionally framed as prints under glass, others are mounted on board, glazed, color penciled or buried in wax. Still others, take a more 3D approach, showcasing the Plexiglas plates themselves framed in shadowboxes mimicking the print background in the form of an encaustic painting.
Unearthed, represents a selection of collagraph prints which, through color, imagery and concept, have been informing my encaustic paintings. A conceptual conversation is continually taking place in my studio practice between both disciplines of printmaking and painting.
The title of the show also signifies my method of process. With each painting exhibition, an edition of prints is unearthed, they are either framed, mounted or turned into paintings. All serve as studies for paintings, or vise-versa which creates a strong dialog that I have grown to thrive on as an artist. This particular body of prints spans five years and were created concurrently with my past five solo exhibitions in Portland, Boston and Seattle.
Meanwhile in the studio, I slowly chop away at my ongoing to do list. Most recently, we augmented my hanging system to accomodate my larger panels to my actual height (or, shortness) so that I don't have to get up on a step ladder to paint. The foundation of my studio interferes with keeping the paintings level on the wall while working and this was greatly interfering with my ability to work, and for a long time has limited the scale I have endeavored to be working. So, my talented woodworker, neighbor, assistant and all around collaborator, Brendan Alvistur made me a removable hanging system so that large paintings can hang flush to the wall below the foundation level.
Brendan has also been the maker of my painting panels and storage crates over the past several years and helped me design the diptych panels with recessed wood separators for my Opposing Cartography and Pluto Atlas series. Next, Brendan is custom building a flat file cabinet for the base of my press table for paper and print storage. I could not be luckier to have him as my neighbor and friend!
Over the 25 years that my parents have been living as Jersey transplants in the Houston area, I have been exploring and grown familiar with the museums, galleries and food scene there. I've also been fortunate to make a few artist friends there along the way. I thought, what better way to write my debut blog post (albeit the longest) about my art and food travels in Houston.
Many would be surprised to learn that Houston is one of the richest cultural and arts hubs in all of Texas. It's also the fourth largest city in the U.S. and is rapidly growing.
Thanksgiving 2016 was the perfect time to go and my trip was multi-faceted. My father turned 90 and I got to celebrate with my family on his special and momentous birthday.
Houston's Museum District is in the heart of the Montrose neighborhood with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and The Contemporary Arts Museum located across the street from one another.
Meeting Gremillion in person
I got in touch with my friend, Ken Goldsmith, a violin Professor at Rice University who has long admired my work. As it turned out, I learned that he is a past client at Gremillion! It was wonderful he could make it into the gallery to visit and see my work in person.
Gremillion Fine Art & Co. has been in business for over 36 years. They are dedicated to the support and sustaining of artists locally, nationally and internationally. I am honored to work with them look forward to a promising future there. There was talk about my debut solo show next November, so, stay tuned.
Ken told me about another light piece - The James Turrell SkySpace on the Rice campus just outside the Shepherd School of Music.
Best seen at dusk, reservations are required. There are also concerts there too which is definitely on the list for my next visit.
I spent two days hitting the Houston art pavement with my pal Gwen. Many of the popular galleries are on Colquitt Street in the Upper Kirby neighborhood. We started at Hooks-Epstein then happened upon a show of Michael Kessler at Dean Day Gallery who also shows where I show at Butters Gallery in Portland. We saw a wonderful show of Gwen's friend Grace Phillips gorgeous starched paper pieces at Nicole Longnecker.
My Airbnb was down the street from 4011 Montrose (left), a newer gallery building that housed Guerrero-Projects, Barbara Davis, Anya Tish, David Shelton and Cindy Lisica Galleries.
The Silos at Sawyer Yards
On a previous trip, I visited Spring Street Studios that, along with Winter Street and Silver Street studios are all part of Sawyer Yards. The studio buildings were so nicely done, each with their own heater/ac unit and many of the building's exterior walls lined with colorful murals.
Gwen also took me to see her studio at The Silos on Sawyer Yards, an old grain silo made into creative spaces located in the Washington Area Arts District.
The large creative community at Sawyer Yards regularly has events, open houses and special juried exhibitions on the hallway walls. I was very impressed and it was incredibly energizing to see all that is going on inside the art, photography and design studio facilities of Houston!
My Austin friends John and Andrea met up with me once again for art and food. We went to the Picasso Line show at the Menil and visited the Cy Twombley gallery next door, that houses his ginormous paintings and sculptures.
As luck would have it, we all found Airbnb's down the street from Pax Americana, rated the #3 best Houston restaurant. Who knew? This was one of the most memorable meals we'd all had in a while!
If you are looking for an art and food destination that is not L.A. or New York, I would definitely put Houston on your list.
The best time of year to go is October-May. When I was there in November, the average temp was 75 and sunny.
Here are a few links to great restaurants in Houston:
The charming Airbnb I found in the Montrose neighborhood, was perfect, an apartment that sleeps five. Kerri the host is terrific, I was greeted by a bottle of wine upon arrival!
This turned out to be a business and pleasure win win of a trip and I hope you enjoyed this sharing of my journey! Until next time, I'd love to hear from you so, feel free to subscribe or leave a comment below.