My paintings and drawings and once in a while a work that I like.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Panel Paintings

I made some panel paintings. I think that just learning a few things from a pro and using a new white ground from Evans Encaustics -rightfully called Holy Grail-helped me achieve some of the things I get wen I paint on Plexiglas.

Encaustic Mono Prints

Here are some examples of the mono printing I did at Castle Hill. I probably did four dozen, but only a handful were successful. I played with different papers and varying saturation. Totally fun!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thoughts on the Encaustic Masterclass

I am writing this on my way home from the Masters Encaustic workshop given by Joanne Mattera at Castle Hill. After all the difficulties and stresses that it took to get there, the experience, relationships and information made the whole experience well worth the effort.
I thought it might be helpful to let you know what went on in the workshop and the things that I felt were most informative and helpful. First off, it hasn’t been since I went to the South Pacific in 2001 that I have gone away and focused 100% on my art career. Otherwise, at home there are the regular distractions and chores that need to be done. So, that made the experience enjoyable and productive.
One thing that I can say about Joanne is that she is both professional and humanistic. She reminds me of one of my BFA mentors, Joe Ostraff. They are both people who want you to succeed at your own goals. Rather those pesky people who are very dogmatic and believe that their way and what they are is the best and only way to go. So, I felt that Joanne was very supportive and yet, not afraid to tell you what’s up—the kind of person who would tell you that in fact your butt does look massive in those jeans, but in a way that leaves you feeling that you are still amazingly sexy.
The workshop was flexible. Joanne had a schedule that we stuck to as much as we needed to. I do not feel like I sat through an incredibly long lecture while in the back of my mind singing the new Interpol album and blurring my vision to see what people look like in soft lines.
There was only one demonstration! I didn’t come all this way to learn to collage or transfer or make some sort of stylized painting. We had a simple and short mono printing demo. We were given the option of mono printing for a couple of afternoons, which I happily did. (It is such a soothing way of art making and you can get a smashing product.)
We had a few discussions on developing you career. I think was probably the most beneficial for me—I am not sure about the other work shop-ees—but, I have never gotten that type of advice from a surviving New York artist. I gobbled it up and am ready to try it out and see if it can work for me.
Joanne addresses archival issues throughout the week. This was helpful to me because I taught myself to use encaustics. In my undergrad studies I learned various archival issues of oil painting, drawing and printmaking, but I didn't know anyone who knew much of anything about encaustic. I feel like I walked away from the workshop with a much better understanding of the needs of the medium.
To top off all of this bliss, I really enjoyed my first visit to the Cape. City life is so taxing, but the fresh air and solitude helped relax my mind. Being away actually made me realize how much I both love and hate New York City. It has everything you could ever want, but too much of it at the same time. I am not really part of the artist workshop culture, one that until this week I didn’t know existed, but I would recommend doing a workshop here and there. It can be rather refreshing for yourself and your art.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It's a miracle I made it to Castle Hill

Earlier this year I found an Encaustic workshop to be given by Joanne Mattera that I desperately needed to attend. But, from the beginning everything was going against me. As soon as I passed the idea by Mike (my good-looking husband) to make sure he would be able to watch Pierson while I was away for a week, I immediately called Castle Hill to claim my spot. I was totally bummed when the person on the other end of the phone told me that the workshop was full, but I had her take my info so that I could be the first person on line if anyone backed out. Just a few weeks ago I got a call from the wonderful people at Castle Hill asking me if I was still interested in attending the workshop. Of course! I canceled part of our summer vacation to get the opportunity to learn and focus on my work for a week with almost no interruptions.
I began planning how I would get to the Cape and where I would stay and get around while there. Being on an emerging artist/stay at home mom income and with a husband in school, I had to find the cheapest way possible. I immediately booked a bed at the local hostel at a lovely $32 a night with a full kitchen so I could prepare my own meals. Then I attacked the transportation issue. I found that I could take a Lucky Star bus out of China Town into Boston for a mere $15 and then from there take a bus into Truro where I would only have to walk a mile and a half to the hostel with all my supplies and paintings. Which I was totally willing to do.
So, this past Sunday I had everything ready to go both for me and the boys that I was leaving behind. I got on the subway outside our Brooklyn apartment and took the R train to the D train at Grand and walked down to the bus.
We arrived in Boston on time and I had 3 hours to spare before the bus going to Truro would leave. When 6 o'clock came around I was in line for the bus excited and ready to go. I got up to the driver and said "one-way to Truro please." He then told me I needed to wait until he could sell me a ticket. So, I waited as he let everyone who was in line behind me onto the bus. Then he looked over to me and said, "you need to go to the counter and buy a ticket". Which is not the same information I got from whoever answers their phone. I was pissed--their ticket counter was closed for the weekend (?) and I was referred to the greyhound counter which had one agent and 15 people in line! At this point I was ready to barf. So, I walked back to the bus driver who basically told me I was out of luck and stuck in Boston until the next bus left in the morning.
So, I was on the verge of a break down...or maybe in the middle of one. I didn't know what to do, so I called Mike who at least could go online and look for some solutions. The call went straight to his voicemail. Then I called my mom who is really great and offered to help in any way so that i could go to this workshop. I was relieved when she answered and calmed me down and rented me a car, offering to pay for $200 of the bill. What a nice lady.
At that point I only needed to get to the airport to pick up the car and then find my way to Truro in the dark. I jumped on the subway to the airport with all my supplies in tow. Then flagged down the Enterprise shuttle to get to my car and hit the road.
Miraculously I made it with the little map I had printed from mapquest and the instructions they gave me at the car rental counter. By the time I pulled up to the hostel it was almost midnight and was relieved when I opened the door and there was a person at the desk. (They normally shut down at 10pm).
Miraculously I made it here despite all the obstacles. And I have nothing to complain about except for the one roommate who snores horribly all night long.

photo courtsey of Jamie Perkins

Blog Archive

About Me

Brooklyn, NY
I am a artist living in Brooklyn and currently an artist-in-residence with Chashama at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. I have been working in encaustic for the past few years, but am usually trying out a couple of different art making media at once. Peter Everett once called my work kitch, but I don't think it bothers me.