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Torrey Textures

I love to teach and I love to travel, so what better way to make a living than teaching workshops all over the country! Teaching and interacting with so many amazing people informs my work in countless positive ways. But for me, the true inspiration comes from many cross country drives to amazing destinations, and the breathtaking landscape, weather, skies and sunsets I encounter along the way.

One of the most inspiring workshops I taught this summer was with artist pal, Jeff Juhlin at his home and studio in Torrey, Utah. After a few hikes with our class, a crazy strenuous hike with Jeff through a canyon (mostly through water) after our workshop as well as some hikes on my own through Capital Reef and Arches National Parks, my inspiration was overflowing. The landscape is otherworldly surreal to say the least-with every turn is something awe-inspiring that can only be fully appreciated by actually being there. I took thousands of pictures, I just couldn’t get enough! I wanted to capture and hold every magnificent thing that I witnessed. This place is overwhelming (in a good way) and I couldn’t wait to share what I experienced.

For this first of two posts about my trip to Torrey, I’m focusing on the sculptural qualities of the landscape. The monumental forms and precariously balanced boulders with their carved and etched markings brought to life the fragility, violence and vulnerability in nature that I investigate in my work. I could almost hear the glaciers grinding and scraping against the rocks to create these amazing surfaces. Through a process of wind, water, weather and time, those marks are transformed into gravity defying sculptural forms and surfaces. Besides inspiring a new series of drawings (to be posted January, 2017 on this blog) this landscape reignited a longtime desire to carve into plaster, clay or wood and combine these things with encaustic. Along with my photographic inspirations, I have included some other artists whose work references these amazing sights. Names and links to the artist’s web sites as follows: Conrad Jon Godly, Leslie Wayne, Piero Manzoni, Richard Tuttle, Arthur Pena, Laura Moriarty, Bram Bogart, Elisabeth Vary, Marlies Hoevers, Hilary Harnischfe.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Torrey inspiration, which is focused on layers and color in the landscape and will be posted by mid-December. If this post has inspired you, you are in luck because Jeff Juhlin and I will be teaching in Torrey together again in August, 2017. Visit the updated blog post for details about this exciting workshop.

 

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Inspired by…Lovely Lines

From May to August, I taught eight different workshops in eight different states, from big cites to remote locations where I barely got a cell signal. My favorite thing to do at the end of each teaching day is to treat myself to a walk around the town where I’m teaching and I almost always find something to inspire me. I take pictures of anything that attracts me during these walks and then organize them into folders, which I look at later for inspiration. Always attracted to line in everything I see, I put together this small, but strong, collection from my walks.

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Perfect Palettes

While my advanced encaustic class at Arrowmont was outside doing their morning drawing exercises, I noticed these amazing colorations on the kiln just outside of my classroom. I became totally obsessed with capturing the subtle changes, exciting contrasts and marks on and between the bricks as well as the placement of the gridded pattern and some of the interesting sculptural moments. I see something different in each image.

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WORKSHOP HIGHLIGHT: URBAN TRANSFORMATIONS: AN EXPLORATION OF MATERIALS & PLACE

ONLY A SHORT TIME AND A FEW SPOTS LEFT TO SIGN UP!!

September 29-October 2
@ Jeff Hirst’s Studio in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago
$600 + $65 materials fee
WORKSHOP WEB SITE

Contact: Jeff Hirst, jeff@jeffreyhirst.com

Student work from Tyler School of Art and various encaustic workshops similar in content to this one.

Rebecca Solnit writes, ‘Cities have always offered anonymity, variety and conjunction, qualities best basked in by walking… A city always contains more than inhabitant can know, and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.’ This workshop begins with a walking tour of Chicago’s Bridgeport section and the area around the Bridgeport Art Center, in which participants will mine the streets through listening, mapping, touching and collecting raw and image based materials from which to work. Working with fabric, wood and paper, participants will experiment with innovative materials, drawing and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the urban environment while also developing a personal artistic voice. Layers of screen printing under and on top of encaustic, rust/copper printing, branding and considerations of the use of the grid as a conceptual as well as compositional tool will also be discussed. Optional individual critiques with both instructors will be offered to all participants.

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Workshop Highlight: Exploring Mixed Media Narratives in Photography & Encaustic

I’m so excited to teach this class for the first time at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah!

This workshop combines all of my favorite things: encaustic, photography, landscape and narrative. We will first spend some time photographing the fabulous eclectic town of Park City and lovely surrounding mountain landscape. Then, back at the studio, we will translate these images into narratives using markmaking, collage and encaustic. We will also discuss different types of conceptual vs. journalistic narrative, composition and painting considerations. For the full workshop description and registration details, please visit the workshop web site. To see some of my photographic explorations and narrative encaustic paintings, please follow me on instagram.

There are still a few spots left in this workshop and only a few weeks left to sign up!

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Workshop Work

Enjoy some student work highlights from my Encaustic Conference Workshop, Encaustic Pattern & Repetition and my workshop at Society for Contemporary Craft, Encaustic Pattern & Line.

Off to the lovely land of Cullowhee Mountain Arts in North Carolina next week to teach Encaustic Pattern & Line. There are some spots left and still some time to sign up!

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Inspired by….Herring Cove, Cape Cod, Part 2

Part 2 of my dune hike inspiration is also focused on Herring Cove Beach where the parking lot is slowly sinking into the sea. I have no idea what happened here, but it was probably the result of protective dunes being washed away by a storm. It was a cloudy day with strong wind and currents, which made the sea look even angrier and the asphalt appear malleable and as black as lava. The contrast of the lead gray sky, dark water, white foam and black asphalt is truly brilliant, not to mention the painted white parking outline and the bright yellow barriers which added a touch of reality to a seriously surreal scene. It’s devastating to look at, but there is true beauty in this vulnerability and in the intense power of nature.

See Part 1 images here.

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Inspired by…Herring Cove, Cape Cod, Part 1

Last week I was in gorgeous Provincetown, Cape Cod for the 10th International Encaustic Conference. I had three whole days to kill between the conference festivities and the post conference workshop I was teaching, so I went on a 6 mile hike adventure in the dunes by Herring Cove Beach.

When I hike, I take pictures with my phone of anything that strikes me, usually landscape-y kinds of things. But on this trip, there were two areas that stuck with me that I couldn’t stop photographing.

The first were these little found drawings of rose petals (roses grow wild on Cape Cod) and other natural detritus. As I walked, I was struck by how interestingly balanced were the compositions and materials in these little vignettes and all of them naturally shaped by the wind. All of the images shown here are exactly how I found them, I didn’t change them in any way. They will likely somehow find their way into paintings.

Stay tuned for next week’s post for the second group of images.

 

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Materials, Method & Process Encaustic Conference Lecture Links to Artists

Below are links to the artists work and videos which were included or referenced in my talk, Materials, Methods & Process, presented at the Tenth International Encaustic Conference this weekend in beautiful Provincetown, MA.
Many thanks to the wonderful people who attended the lecture and participated in the lively discussion afterward. I am grateful for all of you.

Introduction
To understand what is meant by the word process is simply to define it and and then apply this definition to the making of art.

Process is simply defined as a series of actions and artists who use process in their work seem to posses a strong sense of connection to their materials. Despite this connection, there always remains a struggle over control between the maker and the material. It is within this struggle and acquiescence, that, In some cases may serve as a catalyst for new discoveries. One reason is that process eliminates the burden of decision making and over thinking the work, therefore allowing the artist to move freely within simple confines to explore the inherent properties of their materials in new and exciting ways.

Part I: Process & The Single Act

Jackson Pollack
Liz Sargent
Pip Culbert
Todd McClellen
Elana Herzog
Elizabeth Simonson
John Franzen
John Franzen Video
Elisa D’Arrigo
Il Lee

Part II: Process & Rules: A Blend of Art & Science

Matthew Barney
Tony Orrico
Tony Orrico 8 Circles video
Tony Orrico Penwald Series Video
Elizabeth Hoak Doering
Niall Mcclelland
Alexis Harding
James Siena
Jaq Chartier

Part III: Process & Collection

Candy Jernigan
Leonardo Drew
Portia Munson
Simon Evans

Conclusion

When you repeat an action again and again, you produce an effect of certainty or security in the viewers mind. You are not trying discover something or convince yourself. You’re dealing with certainty then as a formal concern and that soothes the viewer.
~Jackie Winsor

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WORKSHOP HIGHLIGHT: PATTERN & LINE

ENCAUSTIC MIXED MEDIA: PATTERN & LINE
July 3- 8
Cullowhee Mountain Arts
Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, NC
WORKSHOP WEB SITE

This was such a fun workshop last year with excellent facilities and a dynamic environment with additional painting and writing workshops going on simultaneously, there is so much to do and learn in one week. I’m so looking forward to returning to this beautiful campus again this year.

Work from last year’s Pattern & Line workshops.

Five days allows intensive time for critique, learning, applying and expanding on your current work to not only learn valuable techniques, but to grow exponentially as an artist.

The repeated use of a shape, color or design element unifies composition, creates pattern, rhythm and movement as well as reinforces content. Lines lead the eye and communicate information through variation in width, direction, density, length and character. T his workshop focuses on the creation of intricate patterns, expressive personal surfaces and complex, multi-layered pieces utilizing and in combination with encaustic painting techniques. With an emphasis on mixed media, methods and materials covered in this workshop include the use of organic and geometric form, realistic and abstract imagery, patterned collage, stencils, drawing with horse hair, branding (creating marks with heated metal and wood burning tools) as well as creating your own grids, laces and lacelike forms using free motion sewing machine embroidery on water soluble stabilizer . Considerations such as using pattern and repetition as content itself, to tell a story, support and/or strengthen the content message will also be discussed. Most encaustic supplies/equipment and a sewing machine will be included for class use.