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Lotus B

JPollock-Lotus B-2012-30x36  encaustic-$2400

Lotus B is on its way to FL. Clients who had bought a tree painting after seeing my show at Exeter Academy three years ago chose this piece as well as a poppy one with the cast bronze poppy pod. This was the first successful encaustic painting, in my mind anyway, that I completed a couple of years ago after I took up the medium. I had taken a private, one day workshop with Fawn Potash. She introduced me to the technique of drawing more with the  wax than painting with the blocks of color. To this day I still approach encaustic this way. Lotus B is 30 x 36 inches on heavy plywood.
This weekend I am on a statewide tour which is rather tedious but half over. Some people have shown up and so far I have sold two prints. Old emulsion transfer prints. I did not expect to sell much. I was hoping more for exposure. Just one right person needs to walk through. Alas, I do not think that is going to happen. What I now need to do is start work for my show at Lawrence Academy which starts in January. Only two months away. I thought I  might include some small gouache studies but they have not been too successful. I am often impatient when I want to t learn something new. I have 3 in the studio now. And I mean small. 4 x 6 inches. It was relaxing working with a water based medium after the huge commitment of hot wax. But encaustic is my medium.

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POPPY panel for Massoni

 Claremont Opera House in the John Bennett Atrium Gallery. Opening November 18th, 4:30-6:30

This 24 x 72 inch triptych is to go to the Carla Massoni Gallery in Chestertown but not until November. I thought it would be a good anchor piece for my show in Claremont. The rest of the show will comprise of Vanishing Landscape works as well as Sensitive Chaos. It will be good to have all this work out of the studio so I have the space to focus on the next three panels. I find these large pieces so satisfying to work on. Of course they are difficult to ship which is why I did this one as a triptych but I think the one piece panel is stronger looking. More of an impact. Will also try a vertical piece for the next show. 

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End of Summer

For the first time ever, I took two months off from the studio. I had my granddaughter here for three weeks and then other family and friends for two months. It was a wonderful olde time summertime. I swam, read books caught up on paper work and contemplated life. The last two years were a marathon with Russell’s diagnosis, a year with hospice until he died meanwhile putting two solo shows together two years in a row. It was truly time to change the pace and so I did. Last week I returned to the studio and greeted it like a long lost friend. I feared I would have a terrible time getting going again. But I was pleased to jump right in. Started a triptych 72 inches long and a single piece 8 feet long. My summer show in Stowe VT was off to a very slow start but ended with the two 8 foot pieces selling. One went to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington and the other to a private client in Bermuda. Just imagine that shipping cost! Sales were very slow for lots of artists this  past summer.
My overview of selling work the past two years, is that the larger pieces are selling. So that is what I am sticking with as I start my new work for two fall shows. The first show is in the Claremont Opera House, Claremont, NH and will be mostly a retrospective. I promised to do it last yearr but the space is all run by voluteers and sometimes diffiucult to know ‘who’s on first’. The second show is at Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA. Nice gallery space in the arts building. One enters the theater through the gallery with large bright white walls.

One other rather encouraging sale after the VT show came down was a triptych to the widow of JD Salinger. It started out as three seperate pieces but while visting her, we put the three together. They were all of the Vanishing Landscape series. Since she restored her enormous barn on the property, she could really relate to my subject matter and the abstraction of the work.

DSCN0566

Interestingly, she owned the sculpture made with square cut nails from an old barn. It all came together beautifully. Some of the mark making in the wax is done with the rust on silk and old wiring, both elements of old barns. The work fit so well it was astonishing that it was not commissioned for the space.

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Sensitive Chaos REdux

Summer show at West Branch, Stowe VT. Since I returned home from FL I have virtually been living in my studio preparing for the upcoming show in VT. I feel a great responsibility as it is a solo show and a rather large space. It also is different from last year’s show at St Gaudens. St G’s was a museum setting. No need to worry about sales. This show is a commercial gallery so there is the added pressure to sell. West Branch has been my best venue the past year. Sold two of my eight foot paintings and one of them twice. Well, that could not happen because it had sold one hour before a second client came and wanted to purchase the same piece. The gallery has a wonderful clientele who appreciate high end art and are willing to pay for it. My subject matter is the same as last year’s. I use my local pond as a Muse. Many walks peering into the waters inspire my imagery in wax. The long panels are different from last year’s. I put areas of quiet on both ends. These abstract areas are pigments encased in shellac and fired up with a torch. I had a friend come over to help. She is also working with encaustic. I felt with help, we had a better chance of getting consistency on the ends. These areas look like stone and moss. As I walk, I would wonder how one would ever replicate moss and stone. It’s a nice contrast to all that’s going on within the larger part of the panel. It’s a bit uncontrollable but so is nature as portrayed in my body of work, Sensitive Chaos. Taking a couple of days off to recharge my batteries. Then on to fulfilling obligations for other galleries. Will have a show in MD in the summer and also in the fall. ‘Sensitive Chaos’ has been well received…..

010 - Copy    silver panel on right side - Copy

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I’m settled into my shabby, chic bungalow in Naples FL. The weather has been divine. It’s always an adjustment when leaving the frozen north to the tropics. And I always worry I might not be able to work here on the porch without all the equipment I have at home in my larger studio. I just have to make do with what I brought in the car. Maybe less in better, as they say. So far, the work has gone quite well. I usually start early, just like home, but that is in part due to the fact that the porch warms up in the afternoon and the wax becomes too tacky to work properly. Besides, mornings have always been my creative time…..before the world enters my mind crowding it with stuff. I went to Boca Grande to visit several friends. It’s lovely up there but it really felt like an adult playground. So I joined in and played all day! Not always that easy for me to do but I seized the moment! Came back to the bungalow and back to work today. While I was away, I had a flurry of calls from WB Gallery about one sale and a possible second sale. Both 8 foot panels. My last two from the St. G’s show last summer. I felt like Donald Trump wheeling and dealing while on vacation. It gave all my friends some laughs. I suppose I should do some more 8 foot panels for my solo show this summer at WB Gallery in Stowe, VT. So far, while I am here, work is going well. I keep simplifying, simplifying. And some of the dry pigments in shellac burned up pretty well. This I can do here because I can do it outside on the driveway and not burn the studio down nor this house. I usually go out to the cement driveway ….same at home but it cannot be done in sub zero weather. No pictures. Hopefully some in a few days when this new work is finished. Letting go of imagery seems to be so hard for me. Like a crutch. But mark making is very satisfying when done right.

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New works for Vanishing Landscape show 2013


ten x ten vl 2          ten x ten VL
I finished a stimulating workshop with Lorraine Glessner who came up from Philadelphia to teach at Corina Alverezdelugo’s studio where I took a previous workshop. Lorraine specializes in mark making. I told her I was trying to break out of my mold of imagery and trying to be more expressionistic. She held my feet to the fire when I attempted to place a large tree image on my panel. Now that I am home I am attempting to take the elements of the landscape, the barns, the pieces of nature and use them to make a composition rather than painting another picture or using image transfers.These two are the first completed. I am working small so as not to get to daunted by the process. I also need to bring drawing back into my process. Maybe even drawing upside down or backwards in order to lose some control.. Some of the exciting new techniques I learned  were branding where one burns hot items into the panel before wax is applied and the use of horse hair. Having spent years riding in my childhood. this resonated with me. I think all these elements of the “Vanishing Landscape’ are starting to tell a story in their own unique way.

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‘Poppy Panel’ 2012

Poppy Field, 24 x 96 inches, 2012

Gracefully, summer is coming to an end with shorter days, cooler nights and longer shadows. I am redoing the vegetable gardens by putting raised beds in. And a carpenter will help me erect an arbor/pergola I designed for the walkway through the flower beds. Hopefully, this will all be done in time for my little celebration of Russell’s life planned for the end of September. I feel his presence the most when I am working outside in the gardens which he loved and improved so much. Sold the ‘Poppy Panel’ to a couple in NYC. I never thought these 8 foot panels would sell but so far two of them have. And another couple are considering my ‘Orchid Dress’ which is also quite large. It was in my ‘Black Dress’ series from the Exeter show. In two weeks I am taking a workshop in CT. I enjoy workshops for the simple reason that I am instructed what to do and usually learn a great deal. Also, nice to be working with others rather than always working alone. Designing a new website and will ‘archive’ the old one. My colors and subject matter have changed so much that this step was advised.

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St. Gaudens Show, Cornish NH

The show is up and running. There were times when the show seemed to have a curse over it. The wrong date was set for the opening. The gallery organizer died suddenly. Now I know why she was not answering emails. I loaded the truck to take the work to be photographed and while I went in to have lunch, the sun moved so when I came out I was bout to lose 12 inches of one of the paintings. Encaustic does not last long in the hot sun. Anyway, I rented a truck and drove the 12 paintings up. Stayed over night in order to get the show hung. When I arrived at my friend John’s house, he had a chilled bottle of champagne waiting for me. We later went to someone else opening and met lots of interested people.

pics of st g's show L pond wiht 1 lotus pics of st g's show hallway 72 dpi pics of st g's show Lotus 3 & 4 72 dpi pics of st g's show milkweed 72 dpi
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Panaramic paintings for St. Gaudens Memorial

Just one month until my opening at St. Gaudens Memorial in Cornish NH. My studio is jammed with paintings I did while in FL and now with two 8 foot long panels I have been working on since I got home. I will start only two more. The two I have now are both panaramas of lotus/lily ponds. The next will be milkweeds and the final one, poppies. The large scale gives one the sense of looking at a field or a pond. I learn more and more as I work away in the encaustic medium. Today I will add bits of poetry and music scores.

lotus for juried oct. show 2 005

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Sensitive Chaos

I recently had my new work professionally photographed. I have not done this for a long time because of the expense. But the surface of encaustics plays a major role in the finished piece whether it be smooth or rough as mine is. Jim did a superb job. Since St Gaudens Memorial pays for all of the publicity, I thought I should spend the money for really good photos. Starting to pack everything up for FL. Need to take all the studio materials with me. I tried to work with the burning shellac method last week but the fumes were going to kill me or the fumes would blow up the studio being ignited by the gas heater pilot light. I will continue that method out of doors when I get to FL!

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