Friday, December 13, 2013



Thank you for visiting my blog. I'm currently in the process of moving myself over to Please join me there for more updates!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Midnight on Pear Pond

I'm pleased to present the second piece in my new series: Pears, a Study in Shape.

It is entitled: Midnight on Pear Pond.

Midnight on Pear Pond measures 30x40 inches.
Here are a few close-ups.

I'm pleased with how it turned out. It is really different.

Just like Pear Possibilities, the finished product is far from my initial vision. In fact, I don't think that Midnight on Pear Pond really had an initial vision. I just kept trying to fix my mistakes until it finally morphed into something that I liked. Does that make sense?

I've got two more pieces in mid-create so hopefully, I'll have more to share next week.

Until then!


Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Calculus Helped Me Define My Artistic Voice, A True Story

Recently, I took a few month hiatus from art-making. Before I disappeared from my blog in October, I found art frustrating. I knew where I wanted to go with my pieces, but I couldn't quite put my finger on how to get there. I wanted to create art that wasn't just beautiful. I wanted substance too. I wanted to create images that would require more than just a passing glance. I wanted the viewer to wonder about the piece. To ask questions and to become a part of the narrative. But I couldn't quite get there.

I put down my brushes and I focused my creative energies on what most people would deem "completely unrelated pursuits." I decided to go back to school and take.........calculus.

Calculus was the class that I started my senior year of high school. Failed the first test and dropped it like a lead balloon. Calculus was the class that lead me to believe that I wasn't smart enough to pursue the sciences. It was my Achilles heel. And it haunted me.

It was time I faced one of my deepest fears....failure. So in August, I researched online math courses. I checked out a pre-calc study guide and went through it. Working the problems one by one. When I felt like I was somewhat proficient, I drove to the online university building (Yes, I know that is an oxymoronic phrase.) and I took the math placement exam. It was hard. I hadn't reviewed trigonometry. My algebra was rusty, but I did my best. When I got my score, I almost couldn't believe it. (In fact, I did indeed need clarification from the proctor.) After almost 19 years sans maths, I tested into precalculus. For the first time, I thought that I might not be as number illiterate as I had previously dubbed myself. With serious trepidation, I registered for Precalc.

So that my studying wouldn't interfere with my family responsibilities, I woke up at 4:30 AM to study, 5 days a week. When we went on a family vacation in the Fall, I trudged to the hotel computer every morning in my jammies (so I wouldn't wake up the sleeping crowd in the room) and endlessly did problems. It was nearly impossible. At one point, I decided it wasn't for me and I wanted to quit. Todd convinced me to finish the course.

Every time I opened my book to start a new chapter, dread would smack me in the face. Twist my stomach into knots. Fill my brow with sweat. I would ask myself if this was going to be the concept that I wouldn't grasp. I waited for the brick of complete and utter confusion to fall on my head. Surprisingly, it never did. And each time I mastered a concept that seemed so difficult at the onset, my confidence grew. I ended up excelling in the course and without hesitation, I signed up for Calculus I.

Somewhere, during the endless working and reworking (swears and tears) of derivatives, integrals, limits and unit circle problems, I found something that I didn't know I had. Call it what you will...self-confidence, clarity, my groove, chutzpah...I found it. And that part of me that lay dormant in the soil of my mind, given just a sliver of sunlight, began growing and growing.

Suddenly, I was able to pick up my brushes again and paint. In a fit, I took pieces that had never quite reached my expectations, plastered and gessoed over them and prepped them for new ideas. I was brutal and unforgiving. Nothing was safe from my raid. I painted over pieces that had received awards, pieces that my kids loved (but I hated) and pieces that I had previously thought were my very best work. And I don't regret it. In fact, I would call it liberating.

I bought new big brushes. I began painting big and bold. And I developed an idea for a series: Pears, A Study in Shape. The ideas started flowering again.

Here is the first piece in my very first attempts at substantive art....Pear Possibilities. 

Pear Possibilities measures 16x20 inches.

The highly texturized nature of this piece lends to a depth of color that unfortunately cannot be captured adequately in my photography. However, if you live in the Phoenix area, you can see this piece at the Laveen Festival of Fine Art on May 17th from 6-9PM at South Mountain Community College Laveen Center (51st Ave and Dobbins, Laveen).

And to conclude my story of How Calculus Helped Me Define My Artistic Voice, I will end in the manner that my father, one of the greatest storytellers of all time, always ended his bedtime narratives, no matter how far fetched the tale may have been......

......and that is a true story.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Tentative Hello

I'm a little bit embarrassed. It has been so very long since my last post that I feel a tad shy. Like when you see a friend from long ago and you want to approach her, but you hesitate because what if she doesn't remember you? In your head, a struggle ensues....what to do?

Then you take a deep breath. Take a couple of steps toward her. And she sees you. She looks a bit puzzled.  Her head cocks to the side. Her eyebrows furrow. Her brain searches the forgotten corners of memory. Then you see the recognition sweep over her face as she smiles. And you smile and release a nervous laugh.

You start to talk and time washes away. Its like you were never separated. It is exhilarating and liberating. And you are ready to begin again.

From a new place.

With new perspective.

So...hello again...I've missed you...

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Groove

What happened to October? I'm not exactly sure. 

I'm trying to find time to create and post, but haven't been successful.

Thank you for checking in. I hope to be back soon.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Video: Encaustic For Beginners

I recently created this video for Purple Cows and I thought that you might enjoy it too. It is a very quick overview on getting started in the art of beeswax painting. This video doesn't contain any techniques, but it does go over setting up an encaustic studio, safety and compatible/incompatible products.

I created this video for the artist who would like to dabble in encaustics, but doesn't know exactly where to start. I hope that you find it helpful. If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below. I've disabled comments on YouTube because people get really nasty there. (I'm sorry for the inconvenience.)

Have a great week!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Encaustic Fruits

Hello again!

I apologize for the spottiness of my blog of late. I've been quite occupied with various pursuits. I'm trying my hand at a few new activities like coaching girls softball and little boys soccer. I'm also trying to organize an Art Masterpiece program at the kids' elementary school. Finally, I've become quite active in my local art league as the Director of Family Activities. (Boy, do I have some incredible stuff planned!) I find all of these pursuits to be incredibly fulfilling and my brain seems to be utterly occupied. However, my blog is sadly neglected.

Unfortunately, this random-posting schedule will continue a bit longer, but not forever. I'm currently planning a few technique videos for you. I've decided that videos are one of my favorite things so I'll be focusing more on them in the future. Please, hang in there as I try to organize my life again! (FYI: Softball and soccer season end mid-November...) (I do have a Beginner's Guide to Encaustic video in the works. Check back again in a few weeks.)

In the meantime, I've been fiddling about with my wax. (All of the projects pictured in this post were created with beeswax.) I'm becoming hopelessly addicted to this amazing medium, as you have probably deduced. (You've seen the following fruits before, but they look really fabulous framed. So you get to see them again.)

As you will see, I'm still stuck on little fruits and such, but I have a serious series brewing in the back of my brain. I'm just not quite ready to attempt it. Still focusing on my technique.

Some exciting news on the encaustic front is that I won first place in a local art competition with my Green Pear Study.

and my Apple Still Life won third place!

I'm signed up for a few workshops in October. I'll be taking a papermaking workshop with the amazing Michael Dicken and an encaustic workshop with CJ Rider. Every time I take a class, I'm incredibly artistically stimulated. I'm hoping to meld the two classes by applying wax over my beautiful papers. I'll post pics sometime in November.

Finally, here is a picture of a few cards and a candle that I decorated with left-over wax.

The cards were a special surprise. I hadn't expected them to turn out so well. They were created with wax on top of watercolored paper. (Paper is pictured below.) I used the basic Crayola watercolors and had a lovely few minutes swirling and painting with utter abandon.

Luckily, I filmed the entire process so I'll be creating a short video for you as soon as I can breathe again. The cards are incredibly quick to create. (The motorcycle is a rub-on.) So you are sure to find the process totally do-able.

It has been nice to catch up a bit again!

Have a great day!