Welcome to my world...

"Every good painter paints what he is."--Jackson Pollock

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Encaustication is Up and Running!

The dream is now a reality! Encaustication Art Studio and Workshops is now open for business....at least "most Fridays and Saturdays", when I'm in town. No set hours, but a girl's got to start somewhere....right?

The absolute best part of this move has been that I've been able to sort, organize and find a place for everything. My home studio has been so jam-packed for so long, that it was next to impossible to get anything done, let alone have clarity of thought to spark a creative moment. It is pure joy to walk into a clean, organized space and get right to work! 

So far, the space has been used to host a few events for co-workers: knitting group and brainstorming. It seems to be a "good space", and I'll start hosting my "8 is Enough" workshops in January. I'll kick things off with an informal monthly Artist Trading Card themed make & take get-together one Friday evening each month. January's theme will be New Beginnings....registration is now open!

Live the dream:)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Studio Space for Encaustication!

Since returning from EncaustiCamp 2011, my mind has been buzzing with ideas for my work. One thing I learned is that I am an Artist. For too long, I have shied away from that term, thinking to myself that I couldn't use it until I was doing it full-time and making a living at it. To appease my analytical mind, I officially set my studio up as a business: Encaustication, LLC.

I've purchased the web address (www.encaustication.com) and just designed the logo! Let me know what you think (it only took 2 months to force it onto paper!). My other hurdle is space. My studio is currently taking up a spare bedroom in our home. While this is more space than I've ever had, I find myself lacking in adequate work table space, and my current storage set-up leaves me wondering where key supplies are stowed "this time". I have been looking around and found a great spot for a real studio about a block from my house in Steinmeier Station. This particular space is approximately 750 square feet with a private entrance. The ceilings are high, with great light, and it seems to have most things I would want/need. Now, the hard part----which comes first, the chicken or the egg? Do I get my business started and website running first, hoping the space is still open six months down the road, or do I grab the space, move-in and then get my business going?

By the way, in case you were wondering----what is Encaustication? It's a combination of my true loves: bookmaking, art journaling, and encaustic painting! I plan to make and sell custom art journals that are bound with covers finished in encaustic medium. These journals won't be the kind you sit down and write your thoughts in per se, but more like the kind you play, create and inspire yourself with as you fill the pages of canvas, mixed media papers, envelopes, etc. All this creative play-space enclosed in the yummy goodness of original encaustic book cover panels. In the meantime.....decisions, decisions....

Live the dream:)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Crystal's Adornments in Wax

Before attending EncaustiCamp 2011, I had it in my head that encasutic wax was meant for rigid surfaces only. It makes sense, and that is what I had been taught....up until NOW!

First, Bridgette Guerzon Mills opens me up to the idea of combining bookmaking with encaustic wax, but then on Day 2: Crystal Neubauer blew all of my assumptions out of the water with the introduction of creating small, three-dimensional adornments and jewelry out of rebar wire and waxed paper.

Not much of a jewelry maker myself, I felt I was really opening myself up to trying something new with Crystal's class. I quickly found that I needn't limit myself to brooches and pendants, and struck out to create a few pieces in the "Christmas-ornament-sized" scale of adornments.

My first attempt was an old, but true design I created many years ago for my Mom, when she was raising and showing Siamese cats. This particular design has always been a little difficult to shrink down to the size of wearable jewelry, but at 6" in height, it makes a wonderful tree ornament for the holidays.

A single piece of rebar wire was first sanded, then bent to the proper shape, in one continuous line. The paper was selected, dipped in encaustic medium and allowed to dry or harden. The waxed paper was then cut to fit the wire and additional medium was applied in small quantities as I pressed the paper forms to the wire outline.

I ended up creating six or seven completed pieces, incorporating found objects and 3-D embellishments to truly get into the mixed media possibilities this new technique had to offer me. I'm pleased to say, every single piece (despite being somewhat fragile) made it home to Indianapolis in my checked luggage!

Live the dream:) Brenda
Jesi's steampunk pendant
105% pendant

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

EncaustiCamp 2011, Part 1

One week ago, I was standing in a junior high school quadrant listening to Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch as she welcomed the first group of artists to her vision of EncaustiCamp. I was so excited to be a part of this very special event and had been looking forward to it for many months. I'm happy to report that my expectations were fulfilled...and then some!

July in Salem, Oregon....attending a "camp" dedicated to the art of encaustic wax? HELLO....I'm there! The day started with a whirlwind caravan of campers invading the art spaces of Portland after meeting up at Voodoo Donuts: SCRAP....Muse...then wandering through the Pearl District before heading south to Salem. What a wonderful way to get to know fellow artists and adventurers! After a few map mishaps, I finally made my way to campus in time for Trish's welcome speech and evening demonstration to kick-off the 3-day camp.

My first day was spent with instructor Bridgette Guerzon Mills, encaustic book artist extraordinaire! She shared her work, her knowledge, her techniques, and herself with the entire group. Incorporating encaustic painting with bookmaking and transfer techniques were exciting enough. But then.....she introduced us to the union of paper and encaustic wax to create pages within our trifold books. I was immediately in love with this new technique!

Encouraging us to work with our own photographic images and create a theme for our books, I focused on jellyfish and then added some candid photos of my daughter at the beach. The final product......Jellyfish Beach Book.

My triumph of the day was to successfully transfer a color photo to my waxed paper page, which turned out to have a wonderfully aged look:

Day one ended with a great meal, made fresh with local produce. This was followed by an Instructor Q&A led by Trish. I drove back to the hotel that evening with my mind abuzz with new ideas, inspiration, and of course---wonderful wax!

EncaustiCamp is too much to share in one post, so until next time....

Live the dream:) Brenda

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Inspired 2011: One Month Later

Last year, my friend Debbie and I attended Donna Downey's Inspired art retreat in Charlotte, NC for the first time. We were blown away by the entire event, from the level of professionalism, to the variety of classes, and the overall "feeling" of excitement by the attendees.

I was fortunate enough to win a trip for two to Inspired 2011 as the raffle grand prize winner last year. So, Debbie and I made our way back again last month. I can't believe a month has passed since I was meeting new people in Charlotte, and learning that it was to be the "final" Inspired event, at least in this format. Despite the sad feeling, after learning it was to be the final Inspired, we had an even better time than we did in 2010! The atmosphere was laid-back, the classes were wonderful and diverse, and we met lots of new people from all over the country. Our "dynamic duo" became a trio, when we instantly connected with Molly from Atlanta. The three of us are researching venues for next year, looking for that "perfect retreat" that speaks to the three of us and calls our names to get away from our daily lives and become Inspired, once again. If you have any recommendations, please post a comment!

So, what have I done to remain Inspired in the past month? I carry my lovely lunch bag (pictured above) to work with me every day. When I take a break for lunch at my desk, my little recycled tote makes me smile, thinking of Tracie's class. I've also realized that my life has been too crazy this past year and that I need to make more time for creating in my studio. With that in mind, I am moving to a 4-day workweek, giving myself every Friday as studio time. This week was my first week, and while I technically "worked from home" about half of the day, I did manage to spend a good three hours turning one of my Alyssa Burke class canvas pieces into my new art apron!

Today, I packed my art backpack for next week's family vacation, Up North (Michigan). In my pack, I included three encaustic wax books to read in preparation for Encausticamp 2011, which is next month in Salem, OR. I also included lots of supplies for working on my art journals, so I think my time by the lake in the next two weeks will be well-Inspired.

Live the dream:) Brenda