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.



Abington Art Center (my very local art center) just created a new space within the art center that will be primarily devoted to fiber and fiber related happenings! Here is a little blurb from their web site…

By blurring the boundaries of analog and digital, art and science, traditional and experimental, new ideas have room to grow and develop. Inside our Makerspace, you’ll find 3D printers, laser cutters and computers side-by-side with sewing machines, hot glue guns and saws. Come find your inspiration and bring your ideas to life!

My sewn collages and encaustic paintings are now hanging in the space and as part of the opening, I will be giving a talk on Saturday, April 9, 10am-12pm about my work in fiber. Coffee and other refreshments will be served, so come out and see this exciting new addition to the textile world!

Workshop Highlight: Texture & Layers

May 9- May 13
Northeast Art Workshop Studio
Gloucester, MA

Get a jump on the tourists and enjoy the quiet seaside of Gloucester at the best time of year!

This is the first and only time this year that this workshop will be taught. Take advantage of this special offer now…

Student work from Tyler School of Art, where I teach classes similar in content to this workshop.

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.

Taught from an alternative, experimental approach with daily demos, critiques and discussions of ideas and progress. A lush, textured surface adds complexity, substance and reference to time passing. Because of the inherent properties of wax, the textural possibilities of encaustic far surpass that of any other painting medium.  We will explore the myriad methods in which to create, add, embed and manipulate surface texture as well as more experimental and lesser known methods. Methods and materials covered in this workshop include the use of incising, heat sensitive fabric and papers, plaster and paper clay.
The correct use and application of layers create timeless works which reference memory, change and time.  We will create personally designed fabrics and papers utilizing indigo, cochineal, rust and compost printing as well as silk paints, wax resist and bleach discharge.

Urban Transformations: An Exploration of Materials & Place


Every building, every storefront, seemed to open onto a different world, compressing all the variety of human life into a jumble of possibilities made all the richer by the conjunctions.
–Rebecca Solnit

Who: Jeff Hirst & Lorraine Glessner

Jeffrey Hirst, who has both a BFA and MFA in printmaking, has been exhibiting his work since 1987 and has shown extensively across the United States and Europe. Hirst’s work has been shown at The Minneapolis Institute of Art, the McKinney Contemporary in Dallas, Butters Gallery in Portland, Oregon and Arte Internazionale in Matera, Italy. Hirst has taught workshops since 2005 and teaches at venues across the U.S. In 2016, he will teach at Truro Center for the Arts in MA, Collowhee Mountain Arts in NC, Ah Haa School of Arts in CO, R & F Handmade Paints in NY, and Grand Marais Art Colony in MN and also teaches printmaking and encaustic workshops at his Chicago studio. Hirst is the owner of Hirst Printmaking, a printshop and teaching facility where research and exploration in experimental print ideas meld encaustic, printmaking and sculpture. Hirst Printmaking hosts visiting artists who come to Chicago and teach workshops that specialize in painting, printmaking and sculpture.

Lorraine Glessner’s love of surface, pattern, markmaking, image and landscape has led her to combine disparate materials and processes such as silk, wood, branding, rust, paper and more in her work. Lorraine is an 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 has been exhibited locally and nationally in galleries, 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.

Urban Transformations: An Exploration of Materials & Place
Limited to 10 participants! Sign up now!
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
$600 + $65 materials fee

Contact: Jeff Hirst, jeff@jeffreyhirst.com

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.

**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.

Where: Jeff Hirst’s amazing new studio in Chicago…Jeff Hirst’s new studio is in the Bridgeport Art Center in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. The new studio is 1300 sqft and includes a non-toxic printmaking studio specializing in screen printing, intaglio, and experimental printmaking and encaustic work. The Bridgeport Art Center has many artists working within the building and other locations in the neighborhood include the Zhou B Art Center just down the street. The Bridgeport Art Center is a 500,000 sqft building that was a former sewing machine factory and sits on the banks of the Chicago river. The Bridgeport Art Center hosts many events and recently hosted President Obama’s 50th birthday party.

When: September 30-October 2, 2016, 10am-4pm each day

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

  • All encaustic paints, extra medium, tools and equipment
  • Extra encaustic brushes
  • Graphite paper & other misc. drawing media
  • drawing papers
  • Salt
  • Extra rusty objects for printing
  • Brushes for water media
  • Rubber bands/string for shibori
  • Rags/paper towels
  • palettes,
  • branding tools
  • sewing maching/sewing thread
  • solvy
  • Silkscreen frames and mesh
  • All screenprinting equipment
  • Gesso
  • R & F Pigment Sticks
  • Screenprinting inks
  • Encaustic Gesso
  • Unbraced Baltic birch ¼” 8” x 8” panels
  • There will be 10 Iwantani torch heads available in the studio with butane canisters available for purchase for those who are traveling.

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
  • Smock (optional)
  • Closed toe shoes for safety in the studio
  • Comfortable walking shoes and light jacket for outdoors
  • Lunch and beverage each day
  • 4-6 wooden painting panels (your preference of 8×8 or 10×10, but no larger or smaller, please) Experimentation is great! You must bring the wooden painting panels, but other suggested substrates are: stiff card, paper, masonite, board, plexiglass, etc. (nothing coated in acrylic or acrylic gesso!!) wooden panels will also be available for sale in the studio during the workshop.
  • 2-4 actual or images of your work
  • 5-10 natural hair brushes in various 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)
  • a variety of basic encaustic colors will be provided, however, if you prefer certain colors, please bring them. (containers provided)
  • a variety of pigment sticks will be provided, however, if you prefer certain colors, please bring them.
  • sketchbook or drawing paper (again, think experimentation! Bring a variety of papers if possible)
  • drawing media of your choice (pencil, pastel, conte charcoal, oil pastel, Crayon, graphite, felt pen, etc.)
  • 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 lb encaustic medium (containers provided)
  • package of razor blades (holder optional)
  • decorative stencils, mesh, doilies, etc-anything flat with open areas that can be used as a stencil.
  • rusty metal objects or objects that will rust
  • ½-1 yard, even-weave, white or light colored natural fabric for rust/compost printing and painting. RTD or PFD fabrics are preferred and are available from com. Alternatives are old sheets and/or tshirts that have been frequently washed.
  • Portable sewing machine (optional) (a sewing machine will be available for class use, however, if you can bring one, this would be very helpful) (if you do bring a machine, please bring either black or white sewing thread.)
  • Digital Camera or smart phone or point and shoot camera or DSLR
  • Participants are asked to send 1 jpeg prior to class and once registered, will receive an email about this.

Payment Payment of 50% of the workshop fee + materials ($332.50) is due at the time of registration with the remaining 50% ($332.50) due on the first day of the workshop. Please contact Jeff for payment details.

Cancellation In the event that you need to cancel your workshop, please notify Jeff 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.

Accommodations Hotel recommendations coming soon!

Food There will be no food or beverages served during the workshop, you must bring lunch, snacks and beverages each day. Restaurant recommendations coming soon!

Fabric Pattern & Image 1 Course Final Projects

Alternative Materials Course Final Projects

re: residencies-the artist kind

A lot of artist residency application deadlines have either recently passed or will soon pass. I’ve been getting frequent emails from friends asking how I narrowed down my application choices for the residency I completed in July, 2014 at Jentel Artists Residency (a few of my favorite pics above). when viewing the lists of available artist residencies, the overwhelming choice can seem daunting if you have no idea what you want. For me, the top four most important criteria were money, time, location and expectations and the list continues from there. I’ll explain how i figured out which residencies would be best for me to apply to based on my list and it may be helpful for others to use my list as a barometer.

The top most important thing on my list was that I didn’t have to pay to participate in the residency. Believe it or not, there are many prestigious residencies that ask artists to pay a hefty price to be there. It may very well be worth it for some to pay for a residency, there are certainly some wonderful ‘pay for’ programs out there. Some do offer fellowships or other alternative ways to offset the cost and if i came across a to-die-for program that offered those opportunities, I did consider applying-but they were relegated to the bottom of my list. Besides, I knew there were plenty of other fabulous residencies available that were not only free, but that may also offer a stipend to the artist and those were first on my list.

Also, extremely important is time, both how long do you want to be there and is the residency available when you are. For those of us who teach, there is a very limited window of time as to when we can commit to a residency. I also wanted one that was at least two weeks up to six weeks in length. I know that I need time to acclimate to a new place and I know I need time to do my work, so a week long residency wasn’t going to cut it for me. I also knew i couldn’t commit to a lengthy residency of more than 6 weeks (although it would be awesome if I could!)

The next thing was location. For my first residency experience, I wanted to keep in simple and stay in the USA. Next, I’m inspired by landscape-especially the landscapes of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and the Pacific Northwestern states, so I looked for opportunities in those areas. I live in the northeast and wanted to be inspired by something different than what i normally see, so heading westward was my first choice. Considering the amazing landscape in upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine and that it is so different from Southeastern Pennsylvania, I added those states to my list of considerations. It was also important that the location was rural and away from distractions. I know I need quiet, but I still like being fairly close to commerce, so I made sure a town of some sort was within driving distance.

The fourth very important criteria was the expectation of the residency program-what did they want from me as a participant. Some of them like the artist to be open to the community 24/7 and this was of no interest to me. Some want just a lecture, others want a workshop or both, others want a finished piece for their collection, etc. So what they expected from me was important as i wanted to limit the distractions that could possibly get in the way of my studio practice. I didn’t want the community coming into my studio unless it was only once or twice on a scheduled day and I didn’t want to be available even weekly to anyone. I also didn’t want to work collaboratively or on any set project, I just wanted time and space to focus on my work.

Once i narrowed the list down to location, money, time and residency expectations, my other questions were–did they actually offer me a stipend–which is always a plus. What were the studio spaces like? Did i have to share a space? Is there special equipment available to me to try? How many others will be there at the time of my residency? Will the others there also be visual artists? Or writers? Musicians? Dancers? What are the living quarters like? Do i have to share a room, bathroom? Do they offer meals? Transportation? Are there interesting places to hike within walking distance? I may stand out as being particularly particular and i know this, which is why i really thought things out before applying. I wanted something that would work for me on many levels so that i could be the most productive artist i could be.

There are two great web sites that offer comprehensive listings of artist residencies of all kinds, Alliance of Artist Communities and Resartis. a third listing to consider is the National Park Residencies, which I have heard are wonderful opportunities.

Other than writing your list of important criteria, i will leave you with a few more tips. One, is to read the mission statement of the residency and is it consistent with what you want. Two, is to know who you are and what you really want. Be honest with yourself-imagine yourself there and can you truly produce in that environment. Third, is to create a spread sheet with all of your top residencies listed, along with check boxes under your most important criteria. Highlight the ones you are most interested in applying for, along with their application deadlines. This is so helpful in order to keep them all straight as this process can get overwhelming! Fourth, is to be prepared to be rejected. As an artist (of any kind), most of us are quite used to rejection, but it never gets easier. Especially difficult is when you think you’ve found the perfect residency program, filled out the perfect application and you are still rejected. If you are a teaching artist and only have that very limited amount of time available, you can bet that there are hundreds seeking that same window. But don’t dismay! There are many, many opportunities out there and if i can find one, anyone can!

good luck to you!

Fabric Pattern & Image 1 & 2 final projects

save the date!!

2014 calendar, vintage calendar template for April. Vector illus

ART BITE will officially launch on april 1, 2014!!!

be sure to follow ART BITE so you can stay tuned!!! just press the super convenient follow button on the right sidebar….