Everything that is old can be new again . . . that’s what I’m discovering as I fall deeper into the encaustic rabbit hole. I’m mining my photo files, revisiting favorite images, ink jet printing them on Sumi rice paper and finally incorporating them into collages. Collaging onto oversized baggage tags has been obsession. The size limitations (2.5 to 3 inches x 5 to 6 inches) are right in my comfort zone. I found these tags stashed in a drawer with collages on both the front and back of each one (don’t know why I did that). I enlarged and photocopied each one onto Sumi rice paper, torn it into several pieces, “re-assembled” it and finally collaged all the parts with encaustic medium (a mixture of beeswax and damar resin) onto gessoed encaustic boards. Each board is the size of an artist trading card, 2.5 x 3.5 inches. The original tags are multilayered collages, composed of handmade and commercial papers, iPhone photos, paper ephemera and trash calligraphy (from my friend LeeAnn Clark’s studio recycle bin). The collage was glued and sewn to the tag along with a layer of transparent inks. This encaustic piece shows both the front and back of one tag. The transparency of the Sumi paper, when saturated with the encaustic medium and attached to the white background, makes the collages glow from within.
How fitting that this piece contains a rabbit (iPhone photo of a little iron bunny that I discovered hidden in a grassy curb strip on a Valentine’s Day walk with my sweetheart)as I do feel a bit like Alice embarking on a wonderful art journey.
Foggy and gray are the words that best describe our weather these days . . . Portland in late January. Sometimes the sun breaks out late in the day and the light is amazing . . . It comes streaming through the back doors (which face west) and makes everything glow.Our Sunday morning walk was lovely. Fog enshrouded us: sounds were muffled (it’s like being in the snow), bejeweled plants and garden ornaments silently glistened and it felt like we were the only people alive.
I’m often asked what kind of camera I use and usually respond “iPhone.” It takes great snapshots and recording daily encounters of cool stuff, good friends, cats, delicious food or whatever is effortless (and inconspicuous). During our October trip to New Orleans I had my Olympus digital SLR as well. This morning I needed higher resolution images of some recent encaustic pieces and brought the SLR to the studio. After the computer download I was pleased to finally see the New Orleans pix (yes, I saw them on the camera’s digital screen, but on the MacBook Air they look so much better).Photographing with the SLR camera allows me to “focus in” and I tend to be more selective. Viewing these pictures took me back to my college photography classes – not for the process (WAY more involved with structured assignments, TriX and PlusX film, many hours in the dark room developing, printing and more) – but for the joy of seeing, looking at the world my way – and recording a moment.
So I think I’ll be putting the SLR in my bag, it’s not that heavy and when I want to slow down to look closer, I’ll be ready.
resting reindeer at Swanson’s in Seattle
I have a love/hate relationship with December. I love the lights and all the other trappings of the season: the gathering of family members, the baking, the eating, the drinking . . . I love/hate the last minute production of work for holiday shows, the late nights, the darkness that sets in at 4:30, the chowing down of forgotten meals. Bits and pieces of cashmere sweaters litter the studio floor as I finish up 20 more pairs of finger-less gloves.
However relief is in sight! Saturday, December 13 (12.13.14 – I love it) marks the end of my selling season. After a day of rest (Sunday) I’ll start creating our holiday cards and finishing up gifts for family and friends. Lucile (my trusty Bernina) will go to the shop for a software update and tuneup. Our sweet daughter will be coming home, family will arrive from hither and yon and all will be right in my world. January will come soon enough and I’ll begin again.
finger-less felted cashmere gloves
Saturday, December 13! (12.13.14) 10am to 5pm • 4915 NE 26th – Head on over to Portland’s Alberta neighborhood to join me and six fabulous artist pals at our one-day POP-UP Shop!
I’ll have felted potholders, cozy cashmere fingerless gloves, travel sewing kits, collage journals, pretty pincushions & more. Robin May will have her charming needle-felted animals, delicious cooking rubs and potted paper whites.
My studio mate, Naomi Abrams Reinstein’s calendars, clever paper collages and art necklaces will delight you. You’ll want to adorn yourself with Cheryl Cook’s unique jewelry made from precious and semi-precious gemstones. Abby Roth is creating delightful hand-stitched nature-themed mobiles.
We’ll have two Seattle artisans as well. Jeanette Deary’s handmade cold press soaps are made with natural healing soothing ingredients and smell so good! Tami Johnson’s pottery made by hand is sure to make you smile.
Bring your friends. You’ll be able to “shop local” by supporting artists AND sign up for some way-cool door prizes. What could be better?
PS – check out the new tab Recent Work at the top of the page. I’ve been busy.
I LOVE collage and have been cutting and tearing up magazines and paper since I was a little girl. Searching out interesting images, precisely cutting with sharp-pointed scissors, carefully arranging just so, sewing to attach the larger elements and then finally gluing everything together is just the best!
I recently scored 15 LIFE magazines, dated 1945-48, and needless-to-say they are amazing. The photos and advertisements are a treasure trove for sure. Additionally my studio pal Naomi gifted me with several National Geographics from the 1920’s. I’m presently residing in image heaven.
I’ve been creating journal covers. The collages are sewn onto felt and designed to fit a Moleskine® cahier (paper-back booklet). When full, the cover can be removed and a new journal inserted.
The double photos show the front (left) and back (right) of each medium-sized cover. There are several types of journal pages: blank, ruled or gridded. All will be for sale at the upcoming Soulumination Holiday show in Seattle.
So loving the cooler fall weather! The garden, while still calling to me, doesn’t need constant watering and I now have the luxury to spend six-to-seven hours working in the studio. Seems like I’ve been stitching (on and off) this piece forever (or at least a good part of the summer).
The animal fabric is by Julie Paschkis, who’s work always makes me smile. The feather fabric was the inspiration for my newest tattoo (I think it’s part of Kaffe Fassett’s recent range). Marcia Derse created the dot fabric – I met her recently at Quilt/Knit/Stitch – love her work! Searching the web for great quotations is an on-going obsession and I’m particularly fond of these words by Frederic Buechner. Such bright words called for sparkly beads, don’t cha’ think? Ironing and shadow box framing will come next and then this work will be for sale in the SHOP.
Henry was impressed with all my stitching until he saw a bird . . .
Lots of little stitches . . .
. . . and glass beads!
Needless-to-say, this is the ONLY time you’ll see the back!