Here are the rest of the encaustic horseshoe paintings. These are all the 5″ x 7″ ones. They are mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard painted masonite. I will be installing them at Syracuse Yoga sometime next week!
They were a lot of fun to make! It is a series of twelve. They were created on a product called Ampersand hardwood, which is available in a lot of different sizes. Since I prefer working in dozens, I will need to order them – Commercial Art Supply in town cannot keep them in stock. I had to drive to Rochester, New York to get enough to do the series.
I did not use the Monopoly money this time. Instead I experimented with text, adding a variety of letters including old typewriter keys and Scrabble pieces. The O in love is the top hat from the Monopoly set. It has now been completely harvested for its parts. I love a good game piece! <3
Here are the pictures of my first dozen horseshoe paintings. They are 8″ x 10″ encaustics on masonite. I mounted them onto 11″ x 14″ chalkboard painted masonite, but cropped that part out to concentrate on the detail.
They will be for sale at Syracuse Yoga next month. The horseshoe is a theme at the studio. It is part of Sophie Tashkovski’s logo for the business. Luck is sort of infused into the positive energy I felt while creating them. And if like attracts like, then I am certain the new owners of these paintings will have their shazaam moments with these gems. They will feel the power of the spirit in which the art was created.
I am soooo excited to share these with you. I had friends over while painting them, which is so unlike my former hermit-ey self who needed to create in secret in order to manifest a wow moment. I now love the feeling of camaraderie while in artist mode – the amazing vibe I got from my friends encouraging me to forge the path and complete the task of making art again. Art with a purpose this time and that felt supremely good.
Pictures really do not do them justice. You must experience encaustics in person. So much beauty in the texture. It has this quick momentum to it that justifies gesture. The drips, the rawness of the terrain from smooth to rough and back again. It speaks volumes. I remember the first time I experienced a Jasper Johns painting at the MOMA. It was love at first sight.
I did not learn how to do it until 2012 when I took a grad course at Syracuse University via hosting a student teacher at work. As I was learning, I struggled with the concept that I was/am a professional artist creating work for a class – did that make the work student grade, as I was learning or was I intuitively just good at encaustics?
I know the answer. We are always learning and growing as artists. I now have pure confidence in myself and in my ability to dismiss that silly query. I am in love with this body of work and that is not just good enough, it is everything. It is about my hand making choices that resonate with the energy of the moment; it is the look, feel/touch and the smell of it all. The fragrance of beeswax lingers in my house. I just love it all. It is, like, in a word, glorious. It just fits. <3
I did not use any silver paint this time, but I did turn my house into an art factory (Warhol reference) this past week. I went at it full speed, tackling masonite boards with a sort of crazy frenzy. I guess I should have put a drop cloth down on the floor and on my great-grandmother’s old kitchen table, but it was wax and ended up coming up pretty easily with a heat source and a crap load of elbow grease and an inordinate amount of time.
Seriously, now my kitchen does not look like like anything had happened in there at all and yet, I have three dozen completed encaustic paintings floating around my living room, dining room and back porch. It’s just nuts.
Futura was born. It is this series of angel paintings. They are 8″ x 10″ encaustics. They are mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard painted masonite but I cropped them here to show the detail.
I absolutely love the texture of the wax. It has the consistency of frosting. The house still smells of beeswax, so encaustic is this amazing phenomenological experience, affecting all senses. I am in love with this body of work.
I created a dozen angels. There are a dozen more on deck. I won’t get to them until the summer unless I spend another weekend yanking out the supplies and cordoning off that room from my cat. These paintings will eventually be available at Syracuse Yoga. I will let you know. It is opening sometime next month.
It feels beyond amazing to have given life to these pieces. Sooooo incredibly satisfying! I will upload pics of the finished horseshoes soon. I must go back to work tomorrow and this Saturday from 1:00-3:00 pm is my closing party at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro. Hope to see you there! There will be cupcakes! <3
I spent the weekend creating encaustic paintings of horseshoes to exhibit in my sister’s new yoga studio. Sophie Tashkovski will be opening the doors to Syracuse Yoga sometime in May. This is such an exciting time for our family! We are so proud of Sophie. She is an amazing yoga instructor and business woman.
Sophie’s logo is a quatrefoil of horseshoes. It is a combination of relaxed elegance, abundant positive energy and a pinch of luck.
The artist in me had been dormant of late – the facelift I gave the Honor Thy Master series kickstarted an eruption in me. The red hot magma (love saying that) is the passion/blood/desire flowing from me to paint again. On Friday, I purchased some supplies then spent all day and well into the evening on Saturday in production. I felt the electricity of luck flowing through me as I worked. Today I mounted the dozen piece collection onto chalkboard-painted masonite. Tomorrow I will do touch-ups and pick up some hooks to attach to the backs so they will be ready to hang.
I also plan to purchase a few more things from the art supply store. I have momentum now and I don’t want to lose it. I will continue to make progress. There’s a smaller series of horseshoes on deck and I hope to create angel paintings and maybe more hearts – they are my bread and butter. I love when I not only have an idea in the creating of work but in addition, a place to put them once they are done. Yessss!
Janine came over as I was painting and I gave her a lesson in encaustics. That was fun – she took these great photographs to document the process. (And, OMG – no make-up and junky paint sweats, lol!)
As much as I love teaching, I really wish this could be my life all the time. It is so much fun! I would need more than a kickstart of motivation though, in order to turn it into a real 24/7 business. I would need to be passionate about the business end and that is more dormant/inactive (really closer to extinct) volcano in me all the time. When Sophie and our friend Gina were talking spreadsheets over drinks at Kitty Hoynes last month, I kind of zoned out, as if they both sounded like the teacher on Peanuts. Blah-blah-woh-waah….
Gina operates Saunacuse, a sauna studio using infra-red technology. (At Christmas, I bought my sisters gift certificates to go there – it is amazing!) I wish I could be as business savvy as they are, and like our friend Michelle DaRin is.
She is the business woman’s business woman role model – artist, educator, wife, mother, jewelry designer, and…kickstarter.
Michelle and her husband are looking to expand their business, which has gotten a lot of press/national attention recently. I am in awe of her raw talent. Her work is infused with so much positivity. Wearing the copper-based enameled bracelets, rings, earrings and necklaces, you can actually feel the energy radiating from the collection and affecting you harmoniously as you dance your way about the day. And by you, I most definitely mean me. I LOVE wearing her jewelry!
Michelle DaRin Jewelry has started a Kickstarter campaign. They are looking to fund a project in which Michelle has more studio space and in addition, a place to teach metal-smithing classes (She has an Art Education degree from Syracuse University).
Check out the link to the funding page at the bottom of this blog post – you aren’t just handing her money for the heck of it. It is a business transaction. You will receive jewelry – and basically get it for a lot less than the retail value. The more you give the more you get of her hand-made one-of-a-kind pieces. The money will also go towards the hiring of staff trained in the manufacturing of the goods, as there is a strong need to meet the demands of the increased interest in her work. Win-win!
I am so honored to know these beautiful, talented young business women! They are truly kickin’ it!
Click the link below to see how you can participate in manifesting this new and improved vision for Michelle DaRin Jewelry! I promise you will love it! <3
The art reception for Honor Thy Master at Dolce Vita World Bistro was last night. This was the perfect opportunity to break in my blue BCBG Max Azria dress. I bought it a year ago to wear to a wedding in Florida. I decided to wear something else that day instead – you must know me by now to know that I had three possibilities at the ready (I went with the Jill JIll Stuart black jersey gown). In addition to the never worn dress, my new BR cardigan was freshly delivered from www.bananarepublic.com, and so, coupled with sandals and gold hoop earrings, I was ready to be ready to have a great time at my party.
It was magnificent! I am soooooo grateful to have support from wonderful friends and family. We filled the restaurant. It was an incredible thing – surreal might be a better word – to see people from work, fellow artists, students, my parents and my besties all dining together, all coming together to view my art and to enjoy a three-course meal, which included some amazing cheesecakes for dessert – OMG!
I didn’t actually eat – I table-hopped, chatted and laughed, and took all of these fun pics! It was definitely one of the best art parties I have ever had, really and truly. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for coming and sharing your Tuesday evening with me. <3
This was a successful experiment. Magical, more like. Bringing people together and offering them a special menu created for the event. Making an art show more of a happening in a way that benefits the venue and its patrons, as well as the artist. There was actually interest in my work – potential sales. Yes! My dream of finding homes for these paintings is coming true.
So it was and is a win-win. I loved sharing my art message with those who asked. It is a funny thing to verbalize one’s visual language. Mine is a personal vision and it requires a certain amount of vulnerability for me to do so. As I reflect on this series of paintings, its meaning has shifted. It happened gradually at first, with the changes I made two weeks ago and now I discover something new every time I look at them, as if they are still in flux, changing and growing emotionally as I am. It’s almost as if I can feel myself moving even while sitting here writing this. I can feel the momentum of the planet and it is like when you watch those films that fast forward the life-cycle of a tulip in bloom. Evolving exponentially.
I heard that an artist’s energy resides in their work and people of like energy are the ones who are attracted to it. Therefore, an artist in despair will find their patron in someone of a similar disposition. My paintings speak of the need to seek solace in love, and are in the spirit of taking that leap of faith in order to find it.
That used to feel sad to me, but it doesn’t anymore. There is no fear of despair in that journey. Only a sense that the best is yet to come.
Last night was very special. I will treasure that feeling of friendship and camaraderie for a very long time.
Honor Thy Master will remain on display until the end of April 2017.
It means the world to me to share my artwork with all of you. To find the perfect venue, Dolce Vita World Bistro, for the Honor Thy Master series. To take a group of paintings that had been stored under my bed, re-work them to give them new life, and get them out into this world. And to just see them again, breathing new life on the walls of this wonderful restaurant – it just feels magnificent. This is an artist’s bliss.
Today I installed my art exhibition at Dolce Vita World Bistro. It took two-and-a-half hours to figure out the placement and hang them all. I brought the paintings into the space and began by just leaning them against the wall where I thought I wanted them to go – the way I do when assisting the artists who show at the school library gallery. I rearranged a little bit but it pretty much looked like my vision very quickly. Then it was only a matter of climbing on a barstool, measuring with my favorite yardstick borrowed from school, and figuring out how to operate the clasps on the plastic cords that make up the display system on the walls. That, and finding the right bit for my power screwdriver, lol (I brought flat head rather than phillips head screws – how weird).
I love the way the artwork looks in the space. The colors work well with the terracotta walls, and I love the contrast of abstract work in this old-world classic style bistro. It just works.
Here is the menu for the special one-night only art reception on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
There may be a wine special – proprietor Antonietta Vigliotti is working on that, as well as selecting some great music via the sound system. I requested ’70s rock, preferably 1977 stuff, which is my definitive moment musically. I think you pick the music of your life when you are fourteen, am I right?
All are welcome. Make your reservations early if you care to join. Antonietta said she has already received a few reservations! Yessss! I am sooooo excited. It will be a fun party.
The paintings are only $200. The larger one – 24″ x 48″ is only $500 (regularly $800) and the three 11″ x 14″ paintings are only $75. They are priced low to sell. I want them to find good homes. That would mean everything.
Honor Thy Master will be on display through the month of April 2017, so if you cannot make the reception I trust that you will find the time in your world to visit the restaurant some time during the month! <3
I knew I would install my art exhibition at Half Moon Bakery & Bistro today, but the details of the how and the when, and the other stuff of it all were not planned. The artwork had been piled into a big blue bin on my back porch with two other similar bins resting on top of it (very difficult to access without making a huge mess) – so instead of wrapping my head around figuring it all out, I just had breakfast and sat in front of my laptop scrolling Facebook, mindlessly loving everyone’s posts.
I was thinking about my friend Bobbi because she and I helped each other with our last events at the bakery. My mind kind of wandered into – wouldn’t it be nice if she was available to help me? And then, out of the blue, she texted me.
I turned myself into a Tasmanian devil and within twenty minutes I had loaded the car with the art and all of the necessary install junk. I have no recollection of how that happened mind you; it just DID. We ended up meeting at Clark Reservation State Park in Jamesville, New York, which is down the street from the bakery, and hiking one of the many breathtaking trails there concluding with an awesome butt-blasting stair climb. Then we headed over to Half Moon and had lunch – spinach quiche and a goat cheese side salad with maple syrup balsamic dressing.
We hung the show together – thirteen watercolor paintings. Honestly, if it wasn’t for her, I would not have been able to do this alone! It really took two sets of hands to map out a plan with one holding the artwork while the other eye-balled the positioning.
It really didn’t take long with my good friend by my side (thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I <3 you, Bobbi Petrocci!) and the result is a very different exhibition than the one I had last time in October 2016. These are my baseball titled watercolors. They are priced to sell at $125 each.
Proprietor Debbe Titus and I planned the artist party as a closing reception. It is set for Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. We will have adorable and tasty mini cupcakes (planning three dozen) with frosting to resemble baseballs.
It is going to be so cute and fun! Please come if you are in the neighborhood! In addition, I will have unframed watercolors there to peruse and everything will be a cash and carry sale. You can leave with a happy tummy and a watercolor under your arm.
The Half Moon Bakery and Bistro is open Monday through Saturdays. Monday 10:00 am-3:00 pm, Tuesday 8:00 am-3:00 pm, and Wednesday-Saturday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Call (315) 492-0110 for more information or visit their web-site, www.thehalfmoonbakery.com. I trust I will see you there!
I took a lesson out of my friend Penny’s playbook and re-worked eight paintings for my exhibition at Dolce Vita World Bistro that starts next week. Spent the last two days in intense artist mode, which I haven’t done in quite a while. It was a long time coming…and now I get it. I get what Penny feels. I get the lecture Anne gave me the last time we spoke – about making a commitment to painting because that is who you are. A painter. An artist. Much of what I told her about who and what I wanted to be seems inauthentic now.
Nobody knows the real me. Some of you know some of my secrets – but not all of them. It is strange to re-visit these paintings because I know what they are about, what they are still about and seeing them now as my future self, it is like I already knew the journey. I’m still on it, but, OMG, I am so much closer, if that makes any sense at all. It doesn’t have to. I know what I am talking about, lol, and so, I feel a profound sense of love for my old self. It’s weird and exhilarating, and just overwhelmingly emotional. I finally know where I am going and, of course, now that I know that, I can finally just enjoy the inspired action I will take to get there.
I added varnish to these paintings and chalkboard paint to the borders. Some were tweaked with twine knots and other mixed-media, a visual language insert to augment the journey, so to speak. These improvements are like the bridge that hurdles the gap between who I was and who I am now. Maybe I am not much different to the naked eye, but to me I’m vastly better, new and improved in mind and spirit. I am exposed and yet, still within the confines of my dreams where reality is soooo amazing. I love life as an artist. There’s truly no better way to live.
The series – did it have a name before? Because I don’t remember it. Regardless, I’m calling it Honor Thy Master. The original concept was the idea of the mandala as the first mark-making a human being creates. The circle and cross or X iconography on a white field is juxtaposed with torn postcards/notecards of artwork by Modigliani, Johns, Rauschenberg, Van Gogh, Michaelangelo…. I am honoring those master artists by adding their work to mine in combination with authentic mark-making. The addition of the chalkboard element, as always, is for the purpose of a third artist – the future owner of the work. My chalk marks will eventually erase and so, that person could add or subtract marks to the border with chalk themselves. In this way, we all join hands and make art together.
I am so proud of the way it all connects. The twine is the rope that binds us in both love and angst; we are free to choose. It is powerful and yet so simple, so perfectly cast that it gives me such a thrill to put these puzzle pieces together – like, literally…really!?! So much joy in the perfection of it.
I will install the show next weekend. There will be a reception on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at 6:00pm at Dolce Vita World Bistro. A unique dining experience! Antonietta Vigliotti has prepared a special menu for the evening. I will create a public Facebook event page for it and invite all of my friends and acquaintences, and they will be able to invite friends too – the more the merrier, although it is not a huge space. I think the dining room serves up to forty people at a time. Reservations are in order for the dinner, but you can come and hang out at the bar too! It will be amazing to see everyone! I can’t wait! <3
Dolce Vita World Bistro is located at 907 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York (13210). You can either call for reservations (315) 475-4700 or fill out the form on their web-site.
So, here’s something crazy weird and great – I will be exhibiting artwork in three locations during the month of April 2017. Showing watercolors – the ones with the baseball themed titles – at the Half Moon Bakery and Bistro in Jamesville, New York. No date as of yet for the reception, but I am hoping they will do a baseball cake or cupcakes for it. That will be fun for spring, right?
I’m installing an exhibit at Dolce Vita World Bistro in Syracuse, New York on April 2, 2017. It would be nice to keep them up longer than a month, but no deets on this yet. I would love to have a gathering one evening, maybe fill the dining room with friends and have music too, but I haven’t planned that far ahead. Art shows are a great excuse for a party! I will either exhibit the encaustic crown series from 2012 or something more retro – oil & collage paintings from 1998. I don’t remember what I called this series. I made them in the 2nd bedroom of my apartment on Woodbine Ave. during winter break that year. Does anyone remember anything pre-new millennium?
And finally, my 1997 oil & collage series of paintings Messages (From the Other Voice) isup in the Chittenango Middle School library, Chittenango, New York, for the next two months!
So happy to be able to share my artwork in public spaces (you know, to captive audiences). New work is actually coming soon. My sister is opening a yoga studio around the corner from my house. I will be making encaustic paintings to exhibit and sell there. I’m going to be turning my kitchen into an art studio during spring break next month to get those (horseshoe paintings and maybe hearts too) ready for Syracuse Yoga’s opening in May 2017.
The reception I planned for my art exhibition at the Half Moon Bakery & Bistro in Jamesville, New York on Thursday, October 20, 2016 was more a birthday party for my mother and a chance for my friends and acquaintances to come and experience this quaint business on the corner of East Seneca Turnpike and Apulia Road. It is a tiny place and quite honestly, I did not expect such an amazing turnout for the hours of 3:00 to 5:00 pm. Thank you so much!
I am grateful for all of the wonderful people who came to celebrate and to support me and my artwork, and to eat delicious cake made by proprietor Debbe Titus. I gave her full reign on the design of the cake and she created something spectacular for my mom and for us to share with the thirty + people who attended the event.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you, Debbe, for all of your hard work and for the opportunity to exhibit in this space. I don’t actively seek out art exhibition opportunities – they tend to fall into my lap serendipity-like. I seem to spend more time these days with my fashion interests, as well as supporting other artists, and so it meant the world to me that so many people took the time to spend an afternoon chatting with me about my artwork.
The Talisman series is about seeking love, the desire to be loved. I created the paintings in 2008. I’m finally breaking free of my lifetime of limiting beliefs regarding love in relationships, realizing that it is in fact, all around me and living inside of me. I love my life and spending time with friends and family. Love my world – that I can create magic – see magic all around me every single day. And that is just really fun. I am truly blessed. Thank you! <3