NOLA Artist Retreat: A Historic Cemetery Exploration Through Mixed Media Encaustic

The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds – the cemeteries – and they’re a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay – ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who’ve died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn’t pass away so quickly here.
― Bob Dylan

When November 9-13, 2020

Limited to 12 participants!
Level: Beginner to Advanced
$900 includes workshop and most workshop materials (see supply list below)

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Payment Payment of 50% of the workshop fee + materials ($450) is due at the time of registration with the remaining 50% ($450) due approximately 6 weeks before the workshop date. Please contact Lorraine for payment details. For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Where  Paper Machine, NOLA (Approximately a 10 minute drive from the French Quarter)

Who  A collaborative teaching venture with Heather Veneziano & Lorraine Glessner (Scroll down for more about Heather and Lorraine.

Workshop Description
Rebecca Solnit writes, ‘A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know, and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.’
Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with mixed media collage, imagery and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the history, stories and craft associated with New Orleans’ unique ‘Cities of the Dead.’ Excursions to New Orleans ethereal cemeteries and field trips to lesser known venues throughout the city are led by historian and artist, Heather Veneziano. Photo recording, journaling, sketching and in situ lectures provide the inspiration from which to develop ideas and areas of focus toward developing your personal artistic voice. Optional individual critiques with both Lorraine and Heather are offered to all participants.
**Please note that participants should be prepared to spend time outside as well as in the studio. In the event that participants are unable to participate in the workshop walks, participants are welcome to opt out and alternative outdoor creative exercises will be provided.

New Orleans is one of the most magical cities in the world. There is something about this city that has a tendency to take hold of you and won’t let go….For many people who move away they are drawn back by something intangible. There is a spirit and deep sense of belonging that the city seems to invoke.
-Richard Bienvenu

All images by Heather Veneziano. Visit her Instagram for more.

Workshop Itinerary

Sunday 5-7pm Orientation
Informal Meet & Greet with Wine, Cheese and Beignets.

Monday 9:30-4:30 Workshop
Heather will lead us on an excursion to St. Louis Cemetery No. 2 in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans, next to the French Quarter. While there, Heather will discuss interesting and inspiring history, stories and lore associated with the cemetery itself and with those buried there. Lorraine will introduce writing and mark making exercises designed to inspire creative expression, participants are invited to respond in situ. Back at the studio in the afternoon, we will recap and expand on the writings and drawings generated from the morning excursion.

Tuesday 9:30-4:30 Workshop, 7:00-9:30pm Optional Field Trip TBA
Heather will lead us on a slightly longer excursion to visit cemeteries at the end of Canal Street and Holt Cemetery, which contains unique grave markers. Plan to stop for lunch, writing, sketching, mark making and stories and head back to the studio when everyone is ready. Back at the studio, both Lorraine and Heather will present slide talks designed to inspire the studio work for the following days.

Wednesday, 9:30-4:30 Workshop, 7:00-9:30pm Optional Field Trip TBA
Lorraine will present encaustic and mixed media demonstrations throughout the day. We will continue with uninterrupted work time for refining drawings and painting, working toward a series and individual discussions with Lorraine and Heather.

Thursday 9:30-4:30 Workshop, 7:00-9:30pm Optional Field Trip TBA
Lorraine will continue with collage, texture, surface manipulation and mark making demos and exercises, encouraging students to develop a personal artistic voice. Personalized individual mentoring sessions with Lorraine and Heather continue throughout the day.

Friday 9:30-4:30 Workshop
Morning work time to complete projects and individual mentoring with Lorraine and Heather. Afternoon project show and tell with the group, clean up and good-byes.

What Else?

  • Color relationships, composition, application, content, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  • Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  • Mark making exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal language.
  • The option of an Individual Consultation/Critique discussion with each instructor. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with Heather and Lorraine.
  • Guided meditation and planned excursions will relax and open your mind and body to the city’s spirit and essence, helping to support and nurture your unique creative voice.
  • A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration.
  • Lots of open studio time to explore and interpret the inspiration gained from the meditations and excursions.

All images by Heather Veneziano. Visit her Instagram for more.

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE images of student work and fun scenes from retreats, hosted and taught by Lorraine and Heather’s preservation, art work and workshops. For more images of past Artist Retreats co-taught by Lorraine visit here, here and here and Lorraine’s Workshop Web Site. Additional blog posts related to artist retreats co-taught by Lorraine are here, here and here.

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

About Heather & Lorraine

About Heather Veneziano
www.instagram.com/thirdclassrelic
Heather Veneziano is an architectural historian and cultural heritage advisor with the preservation-consulting firm of Gambrel & Peak, a role she has held since June of 2014, as well as the Director of Public Engagement and Development for New Orleans Catholic Cemeteries. In addition, she is also an award winning author and an accomplished editor and contributor to a number of published works focused on cemetery studies and the architecture of the Gulf South. She is also the owner and operator of Arcadia Weaving, a luxury textile company that produces handwoven and environmentally responsible home goods. She has taught studio-based textile courses at the collegiate level, and has exhibited and lectured nationally as well as internationally on her studio practice.
Heather’s expertise is in cultural heritage sites, vernacular architecture, deathscapes, and cemetery studies with a focus on historic preservation and placemaking. She is well versed and experienced in hands-on masonry conservation, digital archiving, project management, and a wide variety of craft-based processes. 
She holds an advanced degree in studio-based craft from the University of the Arts, a Master of Fine Art from the University of Edinburgh, in addition to a Master of Preservation Studies from Tulane University. In 2017, she co-founded the state chapter of the Association of Gravestone Studies and currently serves as co-chair.

Visit Heather’s Instagram for more images of New Orleans and Heather’s art and preservation work.

Yes, it’s the customs, traditions, the music, the food, the architecture, the history, all the different ethnic groups who’ve put their indelible mark on [New Orleans]. And it’s something more. It’s this something that is in the air, that bubbles up from the streets, that silently sings to you in a sultry evening. It’s this indescribable otherness that some have tried to put into words over the decades but somehow manages to escape description.
-Richard Bienvenu

About Lorraine Glessner
lorraineglessner.net
Lorraine Glessner’s love of surface, pattern, markmaking, image and landscape has led her to combine disparate materials and processes such as silk, wood, wax, pyrography, rust, paper and more in her work. Lorraine is a former Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a workshop instructor and an award-winning artist. She holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a BS from Philadelphia University, and an AAS in Computer Graphics from Moore College of Art & Design. She has a diverse art background with skills that include painting, sculpture, graphic design, interior design, textile design, photography, digital imaging and much more. Among her most recent professional achievements is a Second Place award in Sculpture from Art of the State at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA, a recently completed artist residency at Jentel Foundation and an acquisition by Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Lorraine’s work is included in the recently released Encaustic Art in the 21st Century by Ashley Rooney and Nuance, a curated book by artist, Michelle Stuart. Lorraine frequently lectures and participates on academic panels at various Conferences including The International Encaustic Conference, SECAC and The College Art Association Annual Conference. Her work is exhibited locally and nationally in galleries, museums, craft centers, schools, libraries, universities, and more. Like her work, Lorraine brings to her teaching a strong interdisciplinary approach, mixed with a balance of concept, process, history, experimentation, problem solving and discovery.

Visit Lorraine’s Web Site for more images of her mixed media encaustic work.

Materials Included: the following list of materials is provided for the student

  • All encaustic paints, encaustic medium, tools and equipment
  • A variety of pigment sticks
  • Sumi ink & other misc. drawing media
  • Misc. drawing papers
  • Paper towels/rags
  • Extra encaustic brushes
  • Stencils and other textures
  • Misc. collage materials

What to bring: the following is a list of materials for the student to bring to the workshop

  • Sketchbook/notebook, pencil or pen for note taking
  • 1-2 drawing media of your choice (pencil, pastel, conte charcoal, oil pastel, Crayon, graphite, felt pen, etc.)
  • Closed toe shoes for safety in the studio and excursions
  • 6-8 wooden painting panels (your preference of 8×8 or 10×10, but no larger or smaller, please) Other suggested substrates are: masonite (coated with encaustic gesso), Ampersand Encausticbord, MultiMedia Art Board. If you decide to bring something other than what is suggested here, it must be rigid and not coated in acrylic or acrylic gesso!!
  • 2-4 actual OR images of your work, digital prints or phone/iPad sharing is fine
  • 5-7 hake or hog’s bristle natural hair brushes in 1-2 inch sizes for encaustic painting (1 brush will be designated your medium brush, so it must be free of color if you are bringing used brushes)
  • Materials for collage (fabric, papers, magazine images, photos, etc.)
  • Digital Camera or smart phone or point and shoot camera or DSLR

Optional Materials Smock, any encaustic paint color or pigment stick color you favor, Iwatani torch with extra butane, any tool or material for any technique that you normally employ while working with encaustic, textured objects and/or sharp ended tool for pressing into/incising/writing/drawing into wax, 1-2 inspiring books to share with the class.

Excursion Equipment Recommendations

  • Comfortable closed toe shoes
  • Butt pack or small backpack
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Light rainwear or disposable ponchos
  • Hat
  • Large water bottle
  • Bug repellant
  • Sun block
  • For portable art supply ideas, visit Lorraine’s Amazon Store

Accommodations
The French Quarter/Marigny/Bywater are the closest neighborhoods to the studio. The following is a list of recommended accommodations in those areas.

French Quarter: There are dozens of hotels and bed and breakfasts within the French Quarter and so we recommend searching through Trip Advisor or a similar website for a property that best suits your taste and budget. A few of our favorites across various price points are:
Hotel Monteleone https://hotelmonteleone.com
Place d’Armes Hotel  https://www.placedarmes.com
Hotel Provincial https://www.hotelprovincial.com

Marigny Neighborhood:
Royal Frenchmen Hotel and Bar
http://www.royalfrenchmenhotel.com/
Lamonthe House Hotel https://www.frenchquarterguesthouses.com

Bywater Neighborhood:
Macarty House https://macartyhouse.com
The Mazant https://www.mazant.com

Cancellation In the event that you need to cancel your workshop, please notify Lorraine at least 30 days prior to the start of the workshop and your deposit will be refunded. No refunds will be available for cancellations occurring less than 30 days from the start of the workshop.

Food There will be water and coffee available in the studio, however, you may want to bring other preferred beverages. Other than granola bars, there will be no food served during the workshop, you will have to bring lunch and other preferred snacks. There is a kitchen at the studio, equipped with a mini fridge for food storage.

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

There are certain cities and certain areas of certain cities
where the official language is dreams.
Venice is one. And Paris.
And New Orleans, the city that dreams stories.

Andrei Codrescu

Images of student work and fun scenes from retreats, hosted and taught by Lorraine and Heather’s preservation, art work and workshops. For more images of past Artist Retreats co-taught by Lorraine visit here, here and here and Lorraine’s Workshop Web Site. Additional blog posts related to artist retreats co-taught by Lorraine are here, here and here.

Exploring Landscape Through Photography, The Figure & Encaustic: An Artist Retreat

A collaborative teaching venture with artists, Leah MacDonald & Lorraine Glessner. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with photographic imagery, collage and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land during this Artist Workshop Retreat in rural Vermont.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

-Robert Frost

What
Exploring Landscape Through Photography, The Figure & Encaustic: An Artist Retreat

Limited to 12 participants!
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
$1300 includes accommodations** (See the list of available rooms below), breakfast and lunch and most workshop materials (see supply list below)

Not Interested in Lareau Inn Accommodations, breakfast or lunch?
$750 includes workshop fee and most materials (see supply list below)

Registration Instructions if staying at Lareau Inn:
1. Visit the Lareau Inn web site and choose your room. See the list below of available rooms. DO NOT book the room from the web site!!!
2. Contact Lorraine via email lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com with the name of the room you’d like to book and for payment details.

Available Rooms at the Inn as of 10/9/19
• Love
• Hope
• Remembrance
• Forgiveness
• Peace
• Kindness
• Patience
• Beauty
• Gratefulness
• Compassion

Payment Payment of 50% of the workshop fee + materials + accommodations ($650) is due at the time of registration with the remaining 50% ($650) due approximately 6 weeks before the workshop date. Please contact Lorraine lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com for payment details.

**Additional Accommodations Although the workshop continues through Friday, you must check out of Lareau Inn on Friday morning. If you would like to stay in the area Friday evening or beyond, there are many places in the town of Waitsfield and in nearby Stowe.

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

When August 17-21, 2020
(Scroll down for detailed daily itinerary)
Monday 7-9pm Orientation
Tuesday-Friday, 9am-4:30pm Workshop Hours
Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30-10pm optional night studio hours

Where  Lareau Farm Inn, Waitsfield, Vermont

Who A collaborative teaching venture with Leah MacDonald & Lorraine Glessner (Scroll down for more about Lorraine and Leah.

Workshop Description
The mark of nature combined with encaustic painting creates timeless works which reference memory, change and time. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic, participants will experiment with photographic imagery, collage and marks to depict the spirit and essence of the land. Easy to moderate hike(s) exploring the rugged natural beauty of Vermont are led by Lorraine and Leah, during which students will explore the photographic possibilities of a live model within a landscape environment. Along with daily journaling, meditation, readings and expressive mark-making exercises, these immersive hikes and photo shoots will provide the inspiration for which to develop ideas and provide areas of focus for series based work while also developing your personal artistic voice. Considerations of our body’s connection and it’s direct relationship to landscape will also be discussed. Optional individual critiques with both instructors will be offered to all participants.

Detailed Workshop Itinerary

Monday 7-9pm Orientation
Meet & Greet Wine and Smores by the Lareau Farm Fire Pit

Tuesday 9-4:30 Workshop, 7:30-10pm Optional Night Studio
The first day of the workshop will be a two-part photo shoot — students will photograph a model in the studio (our “main character”) and then we will go out on an easy hike to photograph on location in the landscape environment. Leah will teach you techniques and tips for working with a model, arranging props, and creating interesting compositions.

Wednesday 9-4:30 Workshop, 7:30-10pm Optional Night Studio
Students will review their images and have a personalized editing session with Leah and Lorraine to discuss ideas for a visual narrative and select images that will work best in a composition. Leah will discuss and give students tips on the best types of ink jet papers for printing photographs on your home printer. 
Lorraine and Leah will introduce photo transfer, collage, texture, surface manipulation and mark-making exercises, encouraging students to think creatively, symbolically and intuitively throughout the creative process.

Thursday 9-4:30 Workshop, 7:30-10pm Optional Night Studio
Lorraine and Leah will continue with photo transfer, collage, texture, surface manipulation and mark-making demos and exercises, encouraging students to develop a personal artistic voice. Leah and Lorraine will be conducting personalized individual mentoring sessions.

Friday 9-4:30 Workshop
Morning work time to complete projects and individual mentoring with Lorraine and Leah. Afternoon project show and tell with the group, clean up and good-byes.

What Else?

  • Color relationships, composition, application, content, proportion, scale as an effective foundation for other painterly information.
  • Learn how to use encaustic’s strengths (layering, transparency, luminosity) to tell your story.
  • Mark-making exercises geared toward making simple or complex marks to generate a personal language.
  • The option of an Individual Consultation/Critique discussion with each instructor. Bring a piece of work, a question, a concern, a problem and discuss it with Leah and Lorraine.
  • Some guided meditation time and planned hikes will relax and open your mind and spirit to the land, helping to support and nurture your unique creative voice.
  • A slide talk with examples of contemporary artists whose work applies the ideas and concepts discussed in the workshop is offered for inspiration.
  • Lots of open studio time to explore and interpret the inspiration gained from the meditations and hikes.

SCROLL DOWN TO THE END OF THIS POST TO SEE images of student work and fun scenes from artist workshop retreats hosted and taught by Lorraine and workshops taught by Leah. For more images of past Artist Retreats co-taught by Lorraine visit here, here and here and Lorraine’s Workshop Web Site. Additional blog posts related to artist retreats co-taught by Lorraine are here, here and here..

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

About Lareau Farm Inn & Barn
Nestled on 25 acres of natural beauty, with the Mad River just steps away as well as trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking, Lareau Farm Inn and Barn is the perfect place to spark and inspire your artist vision. Our workshop studio is in the Historic Dairy Barn on the Lareau property, featuring rough-hewn beams, centuries-old hardwood floors and tons of space in which to create. The rooms at Lareau Inn feature antique furnishings, comfortable beds, and charming baths in a Vermont farmhouse setting with delicious farm to table dining. There is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the view in the common areas including a charming dining room, back porch and backyard fire pit. Visit Lareau Farm Inn Web Site for more images and information.

About Leah and Lorraine

About Leah MacDonald
http://www.leah-macdonald.com
My work is a dialogue between my imagination, my curiosity, my imperfections and my desires. I express the tales of womanhood, sharing stories through form, color and texture.
I am a portrait artist. I primarily photograph women and embellish the photographs with layers of beeswax, colored wax, painting and drawing. Adding wax for texture and color for mood changes the black and white photographs. Wax embellishes and veils my subjects and I draw to decorate and control the image. The ability to layer mediums and constantly change appearance and texture allows me to stray from reality and reach the playground of imagination. I am interested in images from nature and designs that have floral and intricate forms.
I have enjoyed a varied career path within the arts. I shoot digital commercial photography and I owned a small company that designed handmade art books and wedding albums. I taught photography for 7 years at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. I am currently the Education Curriculum Director at the Manayunk-Roxborough Art Center. In 2017 I was selected as the recipient of the NewCourtland Fellowship by The Center for Emerging Visual Artists. Now, over twenty years into my career as an artist and art educator, I have taught and exhibited all over the world — from being invited to do a live encaustic painting demonstration on the Martha Stewart show to working in the theater as the scenic director of In My Body: The Musical.
My passion is sharing my art and creativity with others. I have taught workshops as large as thirty-five students and as small as one-on-one private sessions — from private workshop retreats in France to teaching groups of elementary students in my backyard studio. I have grown to appreciate teaching all age groups for their unique needs and perspectives.

About Lorraine Glessner

lorraineglessner.net
Lorraine Glessner’s love of surface, pattern, markmaking, image and landscape has led her to combine disparate materials and processes such as silk, wood, wax, pyrography, rust, paper and more in her work. Lorraine is a former Assistant Professor at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a workshop instructor and an award-winning artist. She holds an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, a BS from Philadelphia University, and an AAS in Computer Graphics from Moore College of Art & Design. She has a diverse art background with skills that include painting, sculpture, graphic design, interior design, textile design, photography, digital imaging and much more. Among her most recent professional achievements is a Second Place award in Sculpture from Art of the State at the State Museum in Harrisburg, PA, a recently completed artist residency at Jentel Foundation and an acquisition by Kelsey-Seybold Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Lorraine’s work is included in the recently released Encaustic Art in the 21st Century by Ashley Rooney and Nuance, a curated book by artist, Michelle Stuart. Lorraine frequently lectures and participates on academic panels at various Conferences including The International Encaustic Conference, SECAC and The College Art Association Annual Conference. Her work is exhibited locally and nationally in galleries, museums, craft centers, schools, libraries, universities, and more. Like her work, Lorraine brings to her teaching a strong interdisciplinary approach, mixed with a balance of concept, process, history, experimentation, problem solving and discovery.

Workshop Supplies & Materials

Materials Included: The following list of materials is provided for the student

  • All encaustic paints, encaustic medium, tools and equipment
  • a variety of pigment sticks
  • Sumi ink & other misc. drawing media
  • Misc. drawing papers
  • Paper towels/rags
  • Extra encaustic brushes
  • Stencils and other textures
  • Misc. collage materials
  • Hahnemuhle photo papers
  • Printer

What to bring: the following is a list of materials for the student to bring to the workshop

  • Sketchbook/notebook, pencil or pen for note taking
  • 1-2 drawing media of your choice (pencil, pastel, conte charcoal, oil pastel, Crayon, graphite, felt pen, etc.)
  • Closed toe shoes for safety in the studio
  • 6-8 wooden painting panels (your preference of 8×8 or 10×10, but no larger or smaller, please) Other suggested substrates are: masonite (coated with encaustic gesso), Ampersand Encausticbord, MultiMedia Art Board. If you decide to bring something other than what is suggested here, it must be rigid and not coated in acrylic or acrylic gesso!!
  • 2-4 actual OR images of your work, digital prints or phone/iPad sharing is fine
  • 5-7 hake or hog’s bristle natural hair brushes in 1-2 inch sizes for encaustic painting (1 brush will be designated your medium brush, so it must be free of color if you are bringing used brushes)
  • materials for collage (fabric, papers, magazine images, photos, etc.)
  • Digital Camera or smart phone or point and shoot camera or DSLR
  • Laptop with photoshop or another photo editing program (There will be a laptop in the studio if you don’t have your own laptop.)
  • Scissors
  • Pva glue
  • Optional Materials Smock, any encaustic paint color or pigment stick color you favor, Iwatani torch with extra butane, any tool or material for any technique that you normally employ while working with encaustic, textured objects and/or sharp ended tool for pressing into/incising/writing/drawing into wax, 1-2 inspiring books to share with the class.

Hiking Equipment Recommendations

  • Sturdy hiking shoes/boots
  • Butt pack or small backpack
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Light rainwear
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Bag for collecting found materials
  • For art supply/portable art supply/hiking or travel ideas, visit Lorraine’s Amazon Store

Cancellation
In the event that you need to cancel your workshop, please notify Lorraine at least 30 days prior to the start of the workshop and your deposit will be refunded. No refunds will be available for cancellations occurring less than 30 days from the start of the workshop.

Food
Breakfast and lunch are included at the Inn Tuesday-Friday. There are many places to eat dinner in Waitsfield and in the surrounding towns. There is a restaurant on the Lareau Inn premises, American Flatbread, which is open Thursday-Sunday evenings and is absolutely delicious!

For Registration, Please Contact: Lorraine Glessner, lorraineglessnerstudio@gmail.com

Workshop Image Gallery
Images of student work and fun scenes from artist workshop retreats hosted and taught by Lorraine and workshops taught by Leah. For more images of past Artist Retreats co-taught by Lorraine visit here, here and here and Lorraine’s Workshop Web Site. Additional blog posts related to artist retreats co-taught by Lorraine are here, here and here..

Palette Paintings, Process, Progress

Continuing my series on the work I made during my Florida Residency, this post covers what is likely the most important work I made while there-my palette paintings.

Welcome to fall!! And welcome back to Art Bite Blog after a brief, yet restful, unplanned hiatus. Continuing my series on the work I made during my Florida Residency, this post covers what is likely the most important work I made while there-my palette paintings. These paintings are important to my studio practice in so many ways, but are important to my teaching as they illustrate so profoundly an aspect of art making that I feel is an absolute necessity: Process.

I came to make the palette paintings because my literal watercolor renditions of the Florida landscape were dismal and frankly, uninspired. It’s important to start somewhere and for me, beginning with a literal copy of the subject and then breaking down from there is how I’ve arrived at almost everything I’ve done that is remotely successful. Color is my go to for a lot of things, so I thought I’d start from there. The very first palette I made had no form, no rhyme or reason. I’ve long been inspired by Ellen Heck’s Color Wheels and love her design, but I wanted something simpler. When one is on a residency in remote Northern Florida, one uses what one has on hand…so I used the top of a moisture eater I purchased for my cabin and a Dasani cap as my templates. Circles and ovals are my faves, these templates fit nicely in my backpack with no weight added and I could change the design at will-it all works!

The next part of the process was to paint the colors I saw before me without getting overwhelmed by all of them. I decided to focus on one small section of the landscape and paint every nuance I saw within it-how the light changes with time, how the wind affects the color, how clouds, sun, storms, etc. also affect the color. In most cases, I jotted notes on the date, time of day, weather conditions and where I was. I suddenly had many variables with which to dissect and study this very large, very dense jungle of a landscape and I was having fun doing it. Even though I consider myself a fairly decent colorist, I was learning so much about really seeing and mixing color, as well as developing a color palette I could call my own, which was one of my loose goals for the residency. With one of my major goals achieved, the palette painting definitely brought everything full circle-no pun intended

I now make a palette painting or two on every hike, honing in on anything from leaves, flowers, rocks, water, lichen, etc. My next venture is to combine the palettes with the drawings I wrote about in this post. Also, I’ve just started to get a bit more complex with the design of the palettes themselves. It’s so fun and freeing to work within parameters, I’m discovering so much and making new work at the same time.

Please peruse the paintings below. I always take care to photograph the source of the palette and the source images are either next to or in the same photo as the palette itself. Also, FYI, almost all of the palettes are painted on my Hahnemuhle Watercolor Book using my Portable Watercolor Set, both of which are available in my Amazon Store. Visit my Hiking, Travel and Portable Art Supplies Idea List on Amazon for more great portable ideas and visit my recent post, 5 More Essential Portable Art Materials for my favorite products.

My Residency Work: Found Objects, Line Drawings & Process

As we ease into the long summer days, I thought I’d keep it light and share with you some of the work I made during my Self Made Artist Residency in January. This post focuses on a new drawings series, mark-making and the use of process in art.

As we ease into the long summer days, I thought I’d keep it light and share with you some of the work I made during my Self Made Artist Residency in January. (Visit this post if you’d like to read about where I went and how I organized the residency itself.) I anticipated writing this as one big article, but I realized as I was organizing my images that although its all related, there are three distinct bodies of work that I developed, each of which deserves its own explanation.

My work has gone through several transitions over the years and each time it transitioned, it was because I was going through a major transition/transformation as a human. During these transformative times, I felt I could no longer rely on former processes and found it best to derive my next steps by creating new processes. Relying on process prevents us from getting in our own way by overthinking and overworking the work. Whenever I have a question about where to go next, I just go back to the process and my question is blissfully and easily answered. As humans, we feel safer when there are certain boundaries constructed-this pertains to all parts of our lives and begins in the security of the womb. Think of an infant overwhelmed by sitting in the middle of an empty room vs an infant playing happily in a playpen surrounded by toys. As artists, we are often overwhelmed by choice and creating limits on those choices allows us to move freely within that framework. I have presented several lectures about process and you can view snippets of the lecture and links to the artists here.

When I arrive at a new place, both locationally and conceptually, I always turn to mark-making to figure out my next steps. For the first couple of weeks in Florida, I went on long hikes to explore the locale and collected botanicals that grew abundantly in each particular area, so that I could ‘describe’ the area through the marks. I started this hiking/collecting/mark-making process during my Jentel Residency in 2014 and later expanded on it in Utah in 2016. The process is simple: Using my collected botanicals as drawing tools, I dip them in ink and trace the contour of the landscape from left to right on paper. Then, utilizing these initial marks as a structure, I go back and ‘fill in’ using fine tipped pens. Magically, these drawings take on the overall rhythm and look of the terrain. This is the same process I used in Utah, the only difference between that series and this one is that I used a large, landscape oriented, Moleskine Watercolor Sketchbook instead of a mini sketchbook. I wanted to see if this process retained its magic when translated on a larger scale and it did(!) as you can see in the finished images below. I also included images of some of the collecting hikes I did, so you can get an idea of the growth and terrain. For more, please visit my Instagram Stories Highlights labeled Florida.

Unfortunately, since I returned home in mid-February, my life has been a whirlwind of traveling and teaching and I have yet to work on these drawings again. As it often goes with us artists, I now find myself needing another residency to finish the work I started in my last residency!

Initial Markmaking Experiments

Tracing the Contour of the Landscape with Markmaking Tools

Finished, ‘Filled In’ Drawings

Various Image/Collecting Hikes Showing Terrain & Growth

5 More Essential Portable Art Materials

Because of my busy workshop schedule and love of hiking, I’m totally into the portability and versatility of my art materials. In this article, I share with you 5 of my favorites.

Summer is upon us, vacation plans have been laid and new memories to be journaled, drafted, sketched and painted are all in the near future. Because of my busy workshop schedule and love of hiking, I’m totally into the portability and versatility of my favorite art materials. I also like to keep things very simple while traveling so as to not add a lot of weight to my pack as well as limit myself to only a few art materials- I’m a firm believer that restrictions breed creativity.

Even if you aren’t a traveler, but perhaps an artist short on time, having portable, lightweight, inexpensive and versatile art materials on hand will offer you more opportunities to make art, even if it’s just while in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. Also, be sure to read 7 Essential Portable Art Materials, for additional add-ons to your travel bag.

To purchase these materials, click on the title link, which will take you directly to the product in my Portable Art Supplies Amazon shop. I have also included some pics of things I’ve made using each material. Most are sketches on the road or on the trail- they’re not masterpieces, but give you a good idea of what each product can do. Also, because of the portability and convenience factor, I focus on water media only in this article.

  • MISULOVE Watercolor Paint Set This folding, fairly lightweight paint set is made to be portable and does not disappoint. I have many portable watercolor sets that were expensive and run out of color too quickly. I’ve been using this one heavily for about 6 months and I’m nowhere near running out of color. With those expensive sets, I was limited on color and always seemed to be wanting a color not included in the set. As you can see, this set offers many colors to choose from and they paint very bright and very rich with an excellent range of translucency depending on how much water is used. The folding aspect of the set allows me to hold it in one hand while painting in the other for those times where there is just no room to spread out. Last, my water brush fits snugly in the slot so that I’m never scrambling to find it in the black hole of my back pack. I have the 42 set of colors, but it also comes in 18, 25 and 33 color sets, which are available through sellers other than Amazon. The mini paintings pictured below were all made en plein air with this set.
  • Meeden Watercolor Tin I love working with gouache-especially the white, which I add to everything. The tubes can be heavy to carry around, so I squirt a little color into the half pans in this tin and away I go. The paint does eventually dry, but gouache can be revived with a little water so it’s ok. These tin boxes are lightweight, include a mixing tray and the half pans are removable for easy cleaning. The paintings below were all made with dried gouache in my portable tin on watercolor block.

Hahnemühle Watercolor Book Anyone who has worked with Hahnemühle papers knows they are quality. I had always worked on a watercolor block, which I still do, but the A6 size of this book and the landscape orientation of it is just perfection for me. The paper is smooth and just lovingly accepts any water or drawing media I put in contact with it. While hiking, I often paint and then quickly run off to the next painting spot with damp pages. The band closure keeps the book closed and allows the pages to dry flat. This book also comes in an A5 landscape size, which is just slightly too large and heavy for me, but may be a more suitable size for others.

Tombow Dual Brush Pen in Black A recent workshop student of mine introduced me to these pens and I’m totally hooked! Its watercolor in a pen with a fine and broad sized brush and water-based ink that will dilute and blend with water. I love this pen for its versatility and if I’m really limited for space in my pack, it’s all I really need. These pens come in many colors and I’ve ordered a few and found that the blacks and darker colors tend to blend a bit better than the lighter ones. Also good to note is I’ve been told that the inks will eventually fade, which is just heartbreaking. Drawings made with these pens should be kept locked away in your sketchbook away from light.

  • Therm-a-Rest Z Seat Cushion It’s not an art material, but it’s definitely an essential, especially for aging bodies. I’m still in ok shape, but I can no longer sit on a rock for an hour and paint without feeling a bit cramped. This cushion folds to a neat bundle and is so lightweight you barely feel it in your pack. It’s also thermal and will protect your bottom from cold and moisture. I love it so much, I also got one for my car!

The Self-Made Artist Residency: Part 3 Packing & A Plan

In this third and last article on organizing your own Self-Made Artist Residency, I discuss how I carved out a studio space, what I brought with me, what I wish I brought with me and some of what I did while I was there.

Welcome to Part 3 of 3 of The Self-Made Residency Series of articles. Part 1 lists the good, bad and ugly parts of embarking on this adventure. Part 2 outlines decisions you need to make regarding the where, when and how to organize and plan your residency. In this last article, I discuss how I carved out a studio space, what I brought with me, what I wish I brought with me and some of what I did while I was there.

At this point, you’ve put down a deposit on accommodations, you’re a few weeks away from departure and you’re thinking about what to do while you’re there. It’s best to have a loose plan for a few things you might want to work on and allow for some surprises once you get there. I packed mostly portable, water-based art materials and I gave myself the restriction that all I pack for studio must fit in one small box, lest I go berserk and take everything I own. I also restricted my color palette to black, white, red and brown-I may have thrown yellow ochre in as well, but didn’t use it much. I brought my big set of Caran d’ache crayons in case I wanted access to any other colors, but I pretty much stayed within my chosen palette. As I mentioned many times on this blog, hiking is a big part of my travel studio practice, so of course I packed my back pack art materials. (Read this article to see what I take with me in my pack-I’ll be updating this article with fun new portable materials in my next post!) I took a fold out card table in case I needed extra space, but I didn’t end up using it. As it turned out, my cabin came furnished with a kitchen table, a long coffee table and a table out in the sun room, all of which I designated my ‘studio’. I even employed the second bedroom daybed as my drying rack! I also took with me a roll of plastic and covered every table surface, the wall and the floor at my painting table so as not to make a mess with my art making activities. I wished I had taken a few clip on lights-an artist can never have enough light-and I will remember this for next time.

When I got there, it took me a week or so to acclimate and create a daily schedule for myself. I mapped out the parks I wanted to hike, art museums/galleries I wanted to visit and came up with a loose plan for the next 5 weeks. Basically, I hiked, did yoga, wrote and painted en plein air during the early part of the day, then read, meditated and painted in my house studio during the late afternoon and night. (A more detailed article on the work I made during my residency is coming up soon! In the meantime, check out the gallery below for a sneak peek.)

It may sound boring, but I accomplished so much, hiked many miles, painted many landscapes, rested, worked hard, wrote reams, saw some art, started 3 new drawings series, met my first alligator and manatee, chatted with locals, took a tour of secret trails with a park ranger, found many random hearts while hiking, got a natural tan in the middle of winter, fell in love with swamps all over again, ate cookies every night and can’t wait to do it all again next year.

I hope you found this series of articles helpful. If you’re planning your own self made residency or have completed one, please share in the comments where you went—comments are located in the top left side bar by the title of the article. Please enjoy the photos below of my ‘studio’ space and some of the work I made. If you’re interested in seeing more images of my residency, scroll my Instagram feed and check out my story highlights entitled ‘Florida‘. Stay tuned for my next blog post in which I’ll share with you new portable art supplies for your summer travels.

Workshop Highlight: Encaustic Collagraph & Line

This is an experimental, fun, why-not-try-it workshop exploring printmaking, line and encaustic.

When

August 1-3, 2019, 10am-4pm each day

Where

Elise Wagner’s Studio in Portland, OR

WHERE CAN I SIGN UP!

Please visit this link to sign up for the workshop. I look forward to working with you!

Basic Description

This is an experimental, fun, why-not-try-it workshop exploring printmaking, line and encaustic. Utilizing the natural luminosity, textural and layering possibilities of encaustic in combination with creating collagraphs utilizing found linear materials on fabric, Encaustiflex and paper, participants will experiment with a wide variety of innovative materials and exercises to inspire expressive marks while also developing a personal artistic voice. The application of thin layers of encaustic for collage, covering a board with fabric, drawing with horse hair, branding (creating marks with heated metal and wood burning tools), the use of stitch as a mark as well as the conceptual use of transparency and layers is also discussed. A bonus in this workshop is the opportunity to create your own grids, laces and lace like forms using free motion sewing machine embroidery on water soluble stabilizer-these sewn grids may also be basis for creating a collagraph. Optional individual critiques with Lorraine will be offered to all participants.

Who should take this workshop?

  • You are a semi-beginner to advanced painter (encaustic or other) who loves experimenting with materials, mixed media, alternative processes and line.
  • You are interested in what the grid can do for your work, but don’t want to make gridded paintings. NOTE: You won’t make a gridded painting in this workshop unless you want to do so, but understanding the concept of the grid as a foundational structure will make your paintings stronger. Guaranteed.
  • You want to express yourself in a more meaningful way with your work.
  • You want to create consistency, a personal voice, your own mark, in your paintings and body of work as a whole.
  • Your creative process is stagnating and you need to learn a new process, idea or technique.
  • You love materials and innovative ways to use them.
  • You dislike drawing and/or you’re afraid of it.

What happens in this workshop? What will I learn?

  • Marking, drawing, making marks with fun exercises involving music, text, folding/cutting paper, collage, fire, found materials are sure to relax you so that you don’t even know you’re drawing and are designed for you to generate ideas, content and a personal mark.
  • Experimenting with the new, fun material, Encaustiflex.
  • Utilizing a printing press to experiment with the magic of the collagraph utilizing found and alternative materials, etc.
  • Experiment with line ideas using innovative techniques and materials such as horsehair, pyrography (making marks with heated metal and tools), stitching by hand or machine, Solvy (water soluble embroidery stabilizer) in combination with encaustic.
  • In depth discussion, brainstorming and slide talk about line and the grid-what it means in art, what it does, how to generate it, how to use it.
  • What the concepts of good design are and how to apply these ideas to fine art.
  • Effective and productive doodling.
  • Experiment with encaustic tools such as a tjanting, incising into the wax, creating grids and lines using masks, paintsticks and encaustic friendly drawing media.
  • How you can create your own process to make a cohesive body of work and how that process can relate to and enhance content in that work.
  • Learn what found drawings are and how you can use them as a tool for inspiration and content generation.

What kind of work will I make?

Please enjoy the work example pics below from participants who have previously taken this workshop as well as images from Elise’s fabulous studio. Please visit additional blog posts here and here and here and here for more information related to this workshop.

WHERE CAN I SIGN UP!

Please visit this link to sign up for the workshop. I look forward to working with you!