Thursday, November 15, 2018

Recap From SOFA Expo Chicago 2018

I wrote the following post last weekend as a post on Facebook and Instagram, where I received an overwhelming amount of feedback and encouragement, a great majority of which was from other artists who could relate to what I shared. It is a raw and honest look at where I landed after the experience at SOFA and how it impacted me. I thought my blog readers might appreciate reading about it too, so I am reposting it here:

"I’m still processing my experience at SOFA Expo Chicago last weekend. On the one hand, it was an experience of a lifetime to be there after a decade of attending the show as a spectator/dreamer. On the other hand, I did not have any sales, nor did the majority of the artists in the area around me. Many of them with years of experience at this particular show with outstanding sales in the years past
There were a number of contributing factors; the show was under new management, the floor plan was not as open, traffic did not flow well on the end of the hall I was on. Our gallery was given individual small booth stalls rather then the single large gallery space they’ve had in the past- which proved most difficult for people to comfortably view the work, and the buzz in the air that tension over the impending election was causing uncertainty in the buying crowd- overall sales across the entire show were down.
All of the above, and more, were factors outside of my control. It’s impossible to plan for all the variables and all had nothing to do with the art. And yet. And yet....
I’ve never participated in a show before where I didn’t at least make my investment back. And usually that investment would afford me a profit plus a career benefit of future opportunities making the risk highly worthwhile.
Many of you have followed my journey preparing for this show, but you may not have realized just how much an artist has to invest of their own resources. Yes, the show is oriented to galleries and being repped by one is the only way to get in, but many of these galleries are unable to foot the 80-100k bill alone, so the artist contributes financially to the space their art will cover. Like most of what we do as career artists, and not unlike any other small business owner or entrepreneur, we invest a great deal up front and work very hard to generate enough income from that investment to keep going.
We not only have to sell our work, but we sell our image, we sell our stories, we sell our love and passion. We polish and refine and practice our statement, and we happily share what we do with you, the interested viewer and potential collector.
Making the art is only a small fraction of what it takes to be an artist.
People are often surprised to hear that our studio time is not where we expend most of our efforts. And somehow never quite grasp the risk involved in doing this job. It all seems so glamorous from the outside.
Much of that risk really is outside of my control. And yet...
In my logical brain, the side that was meant to analyze, and decipher, and process information, I can take a step back and still feel good about what I created and the fact that I was given such a tremendous opportunity to begin with. It knows the variables it can change, and those it had nothing to do with. In my logical brain, it is a business, it’s not personal. But that logical brain is at war with the vulnerable creative brain- The one that poured its whole self into these canvases and feels raw and achy, as if hanging its very soul on the wall for you to judge.
As much as we artists do create because we just need to create. We also need to eat and pay our bills and keep the lights on like everyone else. It can be damned exhausting to do this work. The energy and time and money it takes.
This experience was a little like being drafted into the NFL and then spending the first season sitting on the bench. Okay, I hate sports and have no idea if that’s an appropriate analogy, but it’s what keeps coming to mind. Will there be a next season for me?
Honestly I’m still in recovery mode and right now I feel more than a little discouraged. For the first time in many years, I’ve entertained the idea of going back to a traditional job. And I’m not at all sure my health would sustain it. Not the most encouraging post I’ve shared in a while, but it’s the reality in my life right now.
That picture of the cape wearing baby in the mix? That’s my granddaughter whom I was babysitting during the weekend of the show. I committed to watching her for her momma and daddy before I knew there would be a scheduling conflict. So I even sacrificed my time with her to be at SOFA, spending overnights as Grammy in charge and tag teaming by day with her Yia-yia and Aunties.

As an artist I am always weighing the cost of any particular endeavor compared to the potential benefit. There is always a risk, a gamble involved. Multiple streams of revenue would be my answer to how I manage if you were to ask. But multiple streams of energy and time don’t always match. And multiple streams can have dry spells all at the same time as well.
I’m grateful for all that I’ve experienced and achieved. Grateful for all the love and encouragement I’ve received. And grateful, even, to have a bit of a legacy to leave for my grands, even if it’s just a bit.
But today I have to admit, I am tired.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Send Me A Sign

It is an astonishingly gorgeous day at the harbor today. As I walked the dog and watched the Seagulls soaring overhead, I found myself thinking how strange it seemed that I've never found a pure white feather at the park in all the time I've lived up here. I find beautiful white ones with sharp black stripes, or charcoal grey ones with white at the tips, mottled and matted ones that look like something put up a good fight, but not a single all white feather in the past three years.
And then, as if it were a scene from a movie, I looked down and saw it tucked among the blades of grass at my feet. I almost missed it.
I am a sign kind of girl. And this surely fit the bill. The morning started with a fleeting prayer - I just need to see your presence today Lord.

The week has been a busy one, catching up with work at home and working hard in the studio on some very good things. But it has also been a melancholy one, as I process a fading friendship that has stirred memories of other faded relationships from the past. And a cousin, who is also a dear friend, phoned to say her health issues have entered a new stage, so she was heading to the hospital where she'll stay and receive aggressive treatment. 

It's not the first time that God has responded to my need for a visible sign by reminding me that He holds me close under His wing. I've been around the block enough times to have had that question answered for me- He is as close as the very breath I breathe. I carry Him in my head and in my heart. But, sometimes we need to hear "I love you" more than once, sometimes we just need a visible reminder. Yes, I am with you. Yes, I am here. Yes, you matter to me. 

More than head knowledge or heart knowledge. More than sending a person to be "God with skin on". He gave me this pure white feather at a moment it was sure to catch my attention. I will hold it tight today, imagining it came from the very wing of God himself, and not a simple seagull soaring through the clouds. 

"See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared.” Exodus 23:20

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Maybe It's Not So Bad To Be Like Delilah

Last week so many of you wrote to say that my message about not giving up on a goal too soon (aka - Don't Be Like Delilah) resonated with you, that I decided to post it on my blog. If you didn't get a chance to read last week, you can check it out here.

Today my walk with Delilah taught me a very different lesson. At a steamy 90 degrees outside, we set off for our walk already dragging our tails. Now I had it in my mind to get out and do our business quick so we could get back home to a tall drink of water and the air conditioned living room, but not Delilah. No, with the temperature turned up, she was in no mood to rush at all. As a matter of fact, she deliberately stopped at every single patch of grass that was covered with shade, throwing herself on her back each time to cool off. Our twenty minute walk was nearly doubled by the time we got home, but Delilah didn't care.

Yesterday, I spent the entire time in my studio shoving papers round and round the work table in an effort to complete the collage pictured above. By the time I went home I was under no small amount of stress; Not quite satisfied with what I had on the table and knowing I'd have to keep working on the design when I returned. I felt like the day had been a colossal waste of time. My image list is due for the SOFA Chicago Exhibit at the beginning of September and I've committed this month to getting the fronts of at least 8 of these 30" x 30" works done. The proverbial heat is on and my inclination is to rush.

So often this is what happens when I have a deadline. I get in the studio and let my inner critic take charge. She's such a bully. No time to sit and gather wool, or look at a magazine for inspiration. Every move I make must result in a display of brilliance or she's quick to jump in and tell me just how lacking my efforts are and how much I am blowing it.

Yup, the inner critic is a real tough cookie to work for. Is it any wonder I felt so stressed out when I left? 

That's why I needed today's lesson from Delilah. With the heat turned up, Delilah knew the only way to get through the walk, was to take it nice and slow.

I won't get to my destination with the quality of work I want to produce if I let my inner critic stay in control. I need to follow the other voice- the one I often call my intuition. My intuitive voice is the one that tells me to slow down and be curious. She knows that the time I spend sorting and sifting and trying new papers isn't wasted. When I follow my intuitive voice, it often looks like I'm just gathering wool-or rolling on my back in a patch of shade. But my intuitive voice is kind and encouraging. She doesn't get mad if I need extra time to work on one piece. As a matter of fact, she knows that this is how the best work will actually get made.

I know I'm not alone with these two opposing voices accompanying me in the studio. That's why when I teach, I don't like to focus on technique alone. It is just as important that we learn how to tune in to the right voice- the one called your intuition, and let it lead teach you how to trust your time on the artistic journey, especially when the heat is up in the studio.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Big and Little: An Intuitive Collage Workshop

Big and Little: An Intuitive Collage Workshop  

Where: My Studio- Racine, Wisconsin
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday March 1-3
Time: 10:00am - 4:30pm
Register now using the coupon code SOFA2018 at checkout and save $100 for a limited time at this link! *

"The intuitive artist is the artist who trusts what her eye tells her is good. She allows for the fact that she has a story to tell through art, but lets go of the notion that the story will be known before she starts working. It is not so much about learning a technique, as it is learning to trust that you know what you know. It is letting go of a plan, letting go of expectations, and creating in spite of your fear. If you have been formally trained in art it may mean learning to trust your eye rather than the rules. If you have never so much as taken an art workshop it may mean giving yourself permission to play with the tools and materials you once thought were only for professionals. Either way, to work intuitively allows for the finished work to be more than what the artist is capable of producing on his artistic merits alone. It allows for the voice within to translate to the canvas without the need to have to spell out the message and make it obvious to the viewer. "
Except from "The Art of Expressive Collage" by Crystal Neubauer
Join me in my Wisconsin studio where we will delve in to the art of paper and glue, developing a working knowledge of collage, while connecting to the design and composition knowledge you already carry within, to create satisfying works of art in your own authentic style. 

Whether you are an experienced artist or a novice, this workshop will dare you to let go of expectations and ignore the rules, beginning with a series of collage exercises designed to infuse freedom into your creativity and help you tap in to that intuitive voice as your personal guide. 

Using these little works as small studies, we will turn our focus to a more intentional placement of elements, coming from that place of freedom and trusting what our eye and intuition knows is good, while learning tips, tricks, and techniques from a professional point of view, to translate what we see into a series of completed works on paper incrementally increasing the scale as we go. 

Students will leave the workshop with a series of small 4" studies and multiple big works of art ranging from 6" up to 30" in size. Discussion will include a variety of ways to display your completed collage work. 

Register now using the coupon code SOFA2018 at checkout and save $100 for a limited time! Follow this link to register. 

Students Supply List:
Personal collection of ephemera and found/collected papers
1 junk mail catalog or old magazine - (will not be used as collage material)
Baby Wipes
9" x 12" or larger- spiral bound pad of 140# Cold Press Watercolor paper 

I will provide:
paper for small studies and largest works
all other tools and supplies necessary

*Registration fees are not refundable however in certain instances, may be transferable to another person, or credit provided for another workshop taught by me in my studio - within six months of the original class. There are no exceptions to this policy! In the event your plans change, please contact me to inquire about a waiting list for the workshop, I may be able to help you find someone to take your seat. Transfer fees will apply.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Don"t Be Like Delilah!

So many of my newsletter readers resonated with last week's issue, I decided to post it here on the blog as well. You can get all the latest news on workshops, shows, and other events by signing up to receive my newsletter on my contact page at this link.

Hello dear friends!
I'm fresh on the heels of my annual teaching trip to Encausticamp in Federal Way, Washington, where I taught three mini workshops this year. Each one of the classes turned out to be an outstanding experience in its own way and I was left with that familiar feeling of gratitude for it all.

Back home, I took the dog out for an early afternoon walk yesterday, along the same path and the same routine that we walk each day- about 10 blocks and a mere 20 minute trek in all. Though our temperatures didn't even reach 80, the humidity made it feel much hotter, and Delilah is no fan of the heat.

So here she is, laying on the sidewalk, with only two short blocks left to get home. She was done, threw in the towel, finito! She had reached a patch of shade and saw no reason to go on. It must have seemed like a good solution to her at the time, the walk was hard, but she had no idea how close she actually was to the finish line - where air conditioning and fresh cold water awaited her return.

Can you relate?

I can't tell you how many times over the course of my career, and especially in the past month- dealing with unexpected health issues and financial obligations, that I've been tempted to do the same thing. Throw in the towel and accept that it is just too hard to keep going. It makes me wonder how many times in the past I've quit working towards a goal, when I was only a short distance from achieving it.

It is seldom a straight path to success when you are an entrepreneur (aka - an artist trying to earn a full time living from your art). We are in a constant state of flux between determining our next goal and the steps it will take to achieve it, while simultaneously working on the every day tasks that help us pay the bills, and all the myriad of things it takes to thrive, not just survive, as a creative being. We frequently have to make decisions that look irrational or far too risky to anyone but us, and it can be lonely and isolating to be surrounded by family and friends who, though they love us, might lack the same vision.

In other words, when something difficult happens, it can be really easy to just throw in the proverbial towel - wave the flag of surrender and go back to something deemed more safe and secure.

But don't be like Delilah.

Rest if you need to, and then keep going. Your dream may only be a few short blocks away.

♥ Crystal

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

On The Spirit of Immigration and Independence

The few blocks of 55th street where our townhouse is located is a grassy public walkway rather than paved road, which leads to the section of the Harbor Park known as The Point.
It is here on the grassy street, what we refer to as our front yard, that we’ll take our blankets and chairs and set up the vintage beanbag game as picnic headquarters, where family and friends can come and go throughout the day to take a break from the festivities happening at the park across the road. It is from this vantage that we’ll sit under the stars to watch the celebration of our country’s independence by way of fireworks tonight.
The grassy walkway leads directly down to the center of the point, passing between the Civil War Museum on the left and Public Museum on the right, to a fountain monument of Christopher Columbus standing atop a globe, looking very much the proud conqueror.
One freezing day a few months ago, I set off to walk the dog down our regular route on 55th to her favorite place to go, just past the museum parking lots on either side of the sidewalk in the grass. As I glanced ahead I caught sight of that monument and was startled to see it crumpled forward, as if a crowbar had capped it at its knees- a few people were standing around looking at it.
My initial reaction was swift- no matter what my opinion of erecting a statue to honor the “discovery of America” in that overly glorified way we were taught in grade school, I could not feel anything but disgust at the thought of vandalism. But closing the distance from our block to the point, I was relieved to find that no such act had taken place. It must have been some sort of strange mirage. Not a single person was at the point that day, having been too cold to visit the lake.
Curious now, and a little shaken, I walked the dog all the way to the statue to have a look. I’d never bothered to stop and read the plaque paying tribute there before, and I was pleasantly surprised to read these words:
“The spirit of the Immigrant Statue of Christopher Columbus is dedicated to immigrants from countries around the world who have traveled under difficult circumstances to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and America with the hope of building a better life for themselves and their families. Columbus was chosen to depict this select group of people because of the vision and courage that he displayed in 1492. He proved his theory that by sailing west, he could circumnavigate the world, thus he prevailed over the conventional wisdom that this feat could not be accomplished. Many of the immigrants of times past and today have demonstrated courageousness by leaving their homelands under difficult circumstances…”
My breath caught in my throat as I connected the words to the destruction in my vision and I knew what it was telling me; The spirit of immigration has been broken. The shining beacon of freedom and opportunity for the poor, tired, and huddled masses, has become a subject of division.
As the events of the past few months unfolded, I hear those words on repeat inside my head. “The spirit of immigration has been broken...the spirit of immigration has been broken…”
Last week I heard an interview on NPR- something about agriculture, that I only half listened to, but one factoid caught my attention; that America’s agricultural system was in danger for the lack of diversifying crops and the selective breeding of certain varieties over the years. The commenter used apples as his example, astonishingly in the 1800s, there were thousands and thousands of varieties grown in the US. Now, something like a mere 200 remain. He went on to explain about how this selective growing of a targeted few varieties resulted in the extinction of thousands, without which all are in jeopardy of failing. I’m not much studied on the nuances of biodiversity, but it made me think of how purebred dogs are in such high demand, yet often these pure breeds have a higher incidence of health issues and disease.
Biodiversity, as explained by the google dictionary, is the variety of life in the world, the very thing we rely on to eat, breathe, and drink. Without such diversity of animals and crops, humanity can not survive. How then, can we ignore the selective exaltation of certain groups of people in this country and not understand the precarious position this leaves us in as a whole?
If variety is the spice of life, the lack of it must be pretty bland and extremely dangerous. As an artist, I shudder to think of a world where everyone looks just like me.
Yesterday I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said “This land is my land” in very large bold letters. She was accompanied by a man who had the look of someone that used to be referred to as a skinhead. These days the popular term is white nationalist. As someone who is very familiar with creating worst case scenarios in my head, I know the fear that can drive this kind of thinking.
There is a disease eating at the root, the very heart of America. It has to do with the fear of losing our identity. As we close ranks and shore up out of self-preservation, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. The more exclusive we become, the more we lose the true sense of who we really are. God created us in his image, male and female- his image isn’t one man over another, his encompasses us all as a whole.
Today we come out en masse to celebrate, not as opposing teams of red or blue. Today we are all on team red, white, and blue. As the song goes, yes this land is my land, but this land is also your land. It belongs to you and me.
Happy Independence Day to one and all.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Just The Wax - Nothing But The Wax

Just The Wax and Nothing But The Wax

Join me in studio for an Encaustic Wax Intensive workshop weekend, featuring tips and techniques designed to ignite your creativity through the use of hot encaustic wax medium.

Day 1 will be demo heavy, with plenty of studio time for you to practice. The basics of setup, safe practices, and simple techniques will be covered early so even the novice to the craft will feel comfortable as we launch into the exciting possibilities that the medium presents in both a traditional and non-traditional application.

Day 2 will find us expanding the scope and potential of the waxy medium with more demos and plenty of studio time to practice what you've learned and the freedom to interpret to your own style and preferences.

Registrants can sign up for a Saturday or Sunday only option, but the full weekend is recommended to gain an understanding of the depth of the encaustic medium's potential. Demos will include layering, incising, accretion, embedding paper elements and objects, applying surface design, underlayers, texture, color, fabric, 2D and 3D application and more!

Embed paper or objects

Incise lines and details

Discuss and explore alternative substrates and foundations

Each one day class will be jam packed with tips, ideas, and techniques that are sure to inspire, while leaving you with plenty of hands on working time. Projects can be customized and break out demos may be given for requested techniques as time allows.

See details and registration information below:

Explore accretion and layers

Where: My studio in Racine, WI
When: Saturday August 25, Sunday August 26th 2018 
Time: 10:00 - 4:30 

Supply List:
 2" deep (or more) 4" or 6" canvases
Several flat and/or cradled panels - up to 12" on either side
Personal collection of collage elements, fabric, and alternative materials such as cardboard, tea bags, and found objects
small cardboard or chipboard box
toner based photocopies for image transfer (reverse image if text is included)
2" hake or encaustic paint brush 
disposable gloves
baby wipes
supplies or material you are interested in combining with your wax

Just The Wax Encaustic WS

Thursday, May 31, 2018

SOLD OUT—-Ephemera Pack Presale!


Please read the description thoroughly if you are uncertain what an Ephemera/Paper pack for collage and mixed media art would contain.

Due to the length of time it takes to gather the material, separate it, sort it into piles, prepare it and collate, pack it into individual packs, etc., I typically only offer these packs for sale once a year and have a limited quantity to share. 

The items you will receive will be similar to what you see in these photos and description, but these photos were taken during a previous purge.

This listing is for one pack of ephemera and collage material for you to use in your own mixed media work.

Each pack contains all unique, original items culled from my own studio, items that I use in my own work every day - which represent over a decade of hunting and scavenging for material. 

No reproductions. Thus, each pack may be similar in nature but will contain unique items. The majority of the material is 40-100 years old. A few pieces are new or newer vintages. Packs are 125+ individual pieces of material in a range of sizes, from scrap to full page to multiple page spreads.

Please read the description carefully to understand what the pack you are purchasing contains. I am unable to do special request or customized packs.

Each pack includes a ton of book pages salvaged from at least 60 different sources including or similar to: 

Vintage Fiction
Antique School Books - Grammar and Secondary School
Foreign Language
Old Legal, Government, and History
Typing Manual
Cook Book
Health Books
Science and Geography
Children's Books
Patent Applications
Year Book
First Aid

These pages will include:
Many images and/or engravings - each pack contains unique original images and will be different then what is shown in photos, but of the same quality. 
Sheet music and pages
Sections of large maps, or full page maps from books.
Some items in the pack may have the previous owners handwriting or doodling
Several are from the mid to late 1800s

The pack will also include items such as: 
Tissue paper or sewing patterns
Vintage Lined notebook, graph, or stationary papers
Pieces of handmade or mass produced paper that I purchased for it's compatibility with vintage papers
Signmakers letters or numbers 
Scraps of Book Covers or spines 
Greeting Cards
Magazine pages
Photographs- may be color or b&w, portrait and snapshots, people, scenery, animals, or inanimate objects, Polaroid or antique, school photos or wedding, etc. 

The pack will include a bag of small items such as:
Negatives or Slides
Antique Playing Cards
Miscellaneous scraps and collage bits too yummy not to include

All of the material in the packs are original. Most is 40 - 100 years old and as such may be worn, torn, aged with patina, stained, spotted, wrinkled, crinkled, written on, taped, cut into pieces, or just generally perfect for collage. These are the very imperfections that I seek out when I shop for new material to use in my work and I hope you will enjoy and embrace them too!

SOLD OUT! Thanks for checking!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Date and Format Change for Brush-making and the Art of The Mark

Brush Making and The Art Of The Mark Workshop and Open Studio Event

Saturday and Sunday Dec. 1-2
10am - 4:30pm

Come on out to the 16th Street Studio Open House on Saturday December 1st for a 10am to noon self guided tour through the building during the holiday open house. Meet all the artists and check out the studios. Stop at Chez Bob's on the second floor for lunch, (or bring your own and eat in my studio). Then gather in my studio on the 3rd floor at 1pm to spend the afternoon learning two different techniques for crafting brushes from found materials. *Supplies are included. Focus will be on both the aesthetic beauty of the brush and of the beautiful marks it may contain. 

Sunday morning instruction begins at 10am on the art of mark-making - complete and use the brushes from Saturday if you choose. A variety of other mark-making tools and supplies will also be available to use in the class. Through a series of mark-making exercises, learn to let go of the inhibitions that block your creative freedom and turn your intuitive energy into a visual language. These marked papers can be used in your own art practices in a variety of ways, which we will discuss throughout the class.

Follow This Link For Registration 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

On SOFA 2018 and Acting On Your Dreams

Hello dear friends!

If you didn't catch it in the last newsletter, or over on Facebook, I have some exciting news to share with you! I have been invited to participate in SOFA Chicago Expo (stands for Sculptural Objects and Functional Art and Design) held at Navy Pier in November each year.

To participate in this show has been one of my long term big career dreams. I’ve been attending as a spectator for the past ten years and every year I take note of specific galleries that I believe my art would fit, dreaming of one day maybe being repped by one and then maybe I would get to see my own art in such an outstanding show. But it was not even on my radar to expect such an opportunity to land in my lap this year!

An international gallery who has exhibited at SOFA since 2000 sent me an email inviting me to show my work with them for this years exhibit- and as a fun little extra, when I looked at my past catalogs to see who they’ve brought before, I found that I had bookmarked their page in the 2010 catalog. Maybe I had a premonition. Maybe it was a prayer I said and long since forgot about, but there it was, a little paper flag waiting to remind me.

Though I am receiving the invitation as a high compliment and affirmation of the work that I’ve done to achieve a level of professionalism in my art, it does require a monetary commitment for the booth fees from me.

I reached out to some of the past artists who have been hosted by this gallery in previous shows and received positive feedback, so I feel comfortable with the terms, but as an artist/entrepreneur every bit of extra has to be earned. There are no funds in the coffer right now for the unexpected, even though the unexpected is this thrilling.

I thought about it long and hard and realized I can’t let myself down by not trying. I have worked hard through so many challenges to get to this point. My heart yearns to see this dream come true.

So I’m going to do everything I know I’m capable of doing to try. I’ve discounted some of my work, and will continue to push registration for my studio events, and find other creative ways to raise the funds, because that’s what us creative types do. When push comes to shove, we buckle down and do the work and give each other a little cheer along the way!

Will you help me? I’m offering a discount on the art in my shop at this link to the tune of 25% off. There are currently multiple pieces from two different series available there. The discount will be calculated on checkout when you enter the discount code: SOFA2018

If you aren’t in the position to buy art, but want to help, can you share the link and discount code and maybe give me a little shout out?

With so much gratitude and love~Thank you 

Open Studio/Mini Residency Dates In My Racine Studio

Open Studio/Mini Residency Dates In My Racine Studio
Join me in my studio for a two day mini residency. Open Studio/Mini residency is not a workshop, but an opportunity to work in a community environment on your own project. Each participant gets an entire table to spread out on and has use of my tools and many supplies while in studio, including encaustic wax. No formal workshop instruction is given, but I will be working alongside you on my own projects and am here to answer questions, do spontaneous demos, guide you in completing past workshop projects, and simply enjoy your company and conversation. 

**As a fun bonus, some dates will include mini projects with pertinent supplies, which you are welcome to participate in during your residency at no additional cost. 

Choose one or two day options. 

For questions specific to the setup you need or any tools or supplies you would like access to, please email me at

Upcoming Dates:

Monday and Tuesday September 3rd and 4th

In celebration of the back to school season, I'll have an ATC project with all supplies needed during this Open Studio/mini residency. The wax will also be on and available for participants to use.

Select Dates

Monday and Tuesday November 12th and 13th
Immediately following Guest Artist, Karen Sako's Mixed Media Cold Wax Workshop, participants of this Open Studio/mini residency are invited to continue the cold wax play. Cold Wax and some supplies will be available to use for all Open Studio participants. 

*This is an excellent opportunity to continue working in studio for participants of Karen's cold wax workshop, however, Karen will not be present and there will be no additional cold wax instruction during the Open Studio dates.  

Select Dates

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

One Seat Opens For Boxing Encaustic!

Boxing Encaustic -  1 Seat Now Available!

June 2-3rd
Racine, WI 

This is a very special opportunity to take a workshop in my studio in a small group setting. Limited to 6 participants

With room to spread out, participants in this class will focus on the creating collage with encuastic wax on cradled panels with the introduction to incorporating assemblage elements into your work. Whether you choose to use salvaged wood or other materials to frame your artwork, add an assemblage element as a focal point, or create an assemblage mostly with salvaged materials with encaustic or collage as an accent, this workshop will help you make design decisions, become familiar with attaching large objects, building or enhancing frameworks, and of course teach you the the basics of encaustic and collage. 

Some assemblage and collage materials will be available for students to use. 
All encaustic medium and supplies, adhesives, power tools, hardware, etc. are included. Other supplies and mediums will be available in the studio.

Students should bring:

Cradled panels - you choose size up to 24" on any one side
personal collection of found papers and ephemera
assemblage materials, found objects, interesting bits of salvaged wood, bits, bobbles, fragments, knick-knacks, etc. 
Anything else you may want to experiment with or include in your finished artwork

Friday, April 13, 2018

More Than 40 Days - But Who's Counting Anyway?

We are finally getting a few days of Spring, tucked in between later than usual-even for Wisconsin- days of snow. I've just returned from walking the dog by the harbor and climbing the rocks along Lake Michigan. It feels like winter has been hanging around for a really really long time this year. 

I've just finished up with my 40 Days series of collage works. A series that began as a step back from the larger works I had been focussing on, to allow myself the opportunity to slow down, sit at the table in a contemplative manner, and work on a more intimate scale. Each day I listed one piece from the series on Instagram and titled them each in order, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, etc. but in the midst of it all, I had to stop and prepare for a workshop, and then there was Easter, and family, and a bridal shower for my stepdaughter, and I found that it was not possible to keep up with posting every single day. 

I confess it caused me more than a little stress at first, thinking I had set myself up to fail. But then I remembered, these works weren't ever about making a new collage every day. They were about reflecting on the spiritual meaning of the number 40.

40 Days...40 years... The number 40 typically represents a period of testing, trial, or probation. It may be quite literal, 40 days can mean just that- 40 days. But back in the day, the term 40 years was also an expression that meant "a really really long time". Kind of like when we say "it took forever to find a parking spot", but you know, probably something much more trying than having to lug all your groceries half a mile to the car. 

Having had my fair share of ups and downs over the past few years, and even considering the current political climate here in the great US of A, I can relate to that feeling that something difficult is never going to end. But the thing about these testing periods, is the purpose is never just to inflict pain. On the contrary, it is during such a time as this, that we are able to look deep within and see exactly what it is that we are made of. And exactly where it is that we need to place our hope. 

40 Days Series

To Celebrate the completion of the 40 Days Series, I am offering 25% offeverything listed in my shop, including all 40 works from the series.

40 collage works representing 40 days of exploration of the spiritual significance of the number 40, generally a reference to a period of testing, trial, or probation. An accompanying verse, poem, or quote is posted with each work to help direct my thoughts as I create, ponder, and reflect.

Be sure to use the following coupon code at checkout for your 25% off discount: 40DAYS
Click here to see all listed works.

Outside the US? No problem - please reply to this email or contact me at to make payment and shipping arrangements. 

Upcoming Workshop and Event Schedule and News

Through May 1st - The Art Of The Eye, Creative Space opening in Kenosha, WI was a huge success and one of my works received an award!

Mon-Tue April 23-24- Open Studio/Mini Residency with Supplies Available; Racine, WI

Sat/Sun June 2-3 - Boxing Encaustic Workshop - Only 1 seat left! - Racine, WI

Mon-Sun July 23-29 - EncaustiCamp - Seattle, Washington

September - workshop and Open Studio, Dates and info to come

Mon-Wed Oct. 1-3 - Wax, Paper, Scissors - Sedona, AZ

Thursday October 4 - Featured Artist, Xanadu Gallery - Scottsdale, AZ

November (tentative month) - Guest Artist Karen Sako, Cold Wax Workshop - Racine, WI (info to come)

February 21-24, 2019 -  Return to Way Art Yonder, Save The Date info to come - Jamul, CA