Tag Archives: encaustic

Sensu Meets Natsu

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My encaustic paintings are currently on display at Kasai Ramen!  They are part of a group show curated by Jamie Santos.

The group show is titled Natsu.

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There will be an artist reception on Thursday, June 13, 2019 from 6 – 10 pm.  Hope to see you there!  Here is the link to the Facebook invite – facebook.com/events/66304848748843

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These twelve paintings are from my Sensu series of encaustics, created last month ($250 each).  They are 8″ x 8″ encaustic & collage pieces.  On the back of each painting, I have instructions on how to care for these paintings.  <3

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Care Instructions for Encaustic Pieces – 

Over time, dust and other particles in the air will collect on the surface of the painting and make a film that will look dull.  Regular buffing in the first three months will help to keep the surface shiny and will bring out translucency in layers that are not currently visible.  After three months, the surface of the encaustic painting will stabilize and won’t attract dust as readily.  Any time the painting starts to look dull, it can be buffed with a very soft rag to increase the transparency and shine of the surface.  Light dusting of the piece is all that is needed in the form of maintenance.

To make sure your piece lasts a long time, it should not be hung where it will experience below freezing temperatures or in direct sunlight coming through a window.  Be aware of placing your piece near a powerful light bulb or any kind of lighting that produces a lot of heat (Christmas lights).  Don’t leave your piece in a car on a hot day or near a fireplace.  As long as your piece is kept in your house at a comfortable temperature, it should stay in perfect condition.

Because the wax is soft, it could be damaged if dropped or if a sharp or hard object is scraped over the surface.  Fingerprints will also damage the surface over time, as the acid on our hands will etch itself into the wax.  A quick wipe of the surface after everyone touches it will prevent this from happening.

If you ever need to pack or move, or ship your encaustic painting, make sure you wrap it in a piece of paper with a smooth surface before wrapping it in bubble wrap or anything that has a texture that could damage the surface.

Encaustic painting is very archival, resistant to moisture, fading from light exposure or yellowing from acid.  In fact, encaustic painting is the most archival form of known painting.  Your painting has the potential to last for hundreds of years if well cared for.  I trust you will enjoy it!

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Thirteen paintings from my angel series “Futura” are currently on display at the Half Moon Bakery & Bistro in Jamesville, New York!  Bobbi Petrocci and I pulled the switch-a-roo – she took down the CBA Hope for the Bereaved exhibit and installed my show by lining up these encaustics to look like ethereal soldiers hovering from above to love and protect the foodie patrons at this wonderful café.

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The paintings are $111 each.  If you want one, just let proprietor Debbe Titus know.  She can contact me and I will meet you there.  You will get to take one (or more) home for Christmas!  They really do work best in multiples!  They are small:  8″ x 10″ paintings on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard.

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It is always such a thrill to exhibit here.  I have a fondness for a captive audience – people who do not ordinarily go to art shows, so we bring the art to them.  Making the invisible visible is what it’s about.  The show will be up during the month of December 2017.

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Futura and Eye

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Futura, my exhibit of twenty-four encaustic angel paintings, is on exhibit in the gallery space at Eye Studio, 712-14 West Manlius Street, East Syracuse, New York (13057).  They are open Monday through Saturday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm.  There will be a closing reception on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm with free food and drink (wine!)  Musical guest will be Jerry Cali.

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Please come if you can.  The goal is to sell all of the angels by the end of the party.  Patrons can leave with their purchase, which is why I like the idea of a closing reception rather than an opening.  They are priced at $111.

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FUTURA
angel encaustic paintings by Karen Tashkovski

Futura is the brainchild of my inner being, a series of twenty-four 8” x 10” encaustic angel paintings. They depict the pure, positive energy of the present moment while reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future.

They are meant to be whimsical creatures supporting me and those who view them with love, kindness and appreciation. Encaustic is heated beeswax infused with oil paint. Each brushstroke is a deliberate creation, a quick and conscious decision on my part to honor a distinct moment in time.

I am fasciated by a found object’s abundant meaning, and so I use keys, horseshoes, sea glass and ribbons to add dimension to these paintings – another source of love and luck that is a talisman to me as the artist that will, hopefully, resonate with the viewer and subsequent owner of the piece.

I had the title of the exhibition in mind for several years before embarking on this collection. It was as if these images revealed themselves when they were ready to do so, and I was just the facilitator of the experience, like a fixed point in the future that I could not see until it became evident that I was finally ready and then that future became the now. I am delighted to finally share this new series of paintings with you – an audience of art aficionados, family, friends, artists and art students of all ages.

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Encaustic American Pastime

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Karen Tashkovski, Blood & Sweat, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48

Last month I created these baseball paintings.  I finally got around to mounting them onto the chalkboard painted masonite today.

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Karen Tashkovski, Vintage, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Mint, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48

They are very experimental.  I did not set out to do a baseball theme – in fact, I bought the hardboards with the intent to do more horseshoes paintings.  So, these just happened.  They kind of came out of nowhere.

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Karen Tashkovski, Golden Strike, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Spin, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ masonite, &48

I love the texture of encaustic.  The smooth areas juxtaposed with thick globby drips, the creamy wax and the gorgeous smell…  It is an intoxicating medium.  I added paper money to these, both real and imaginary.  I also had this wonderful feather-infused rice paper that I loved incorporating. So cool!

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Karen Tashkovski, Axis, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Dusted, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48

No plans yet regarding what to do with them.  I guess find a place to store them until an opportunity presents itself.  The serendipitous approach.

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Karen Tashkovski, Cherry Bomb, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Fly, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Prime, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Patina, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Quicky, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48

Luck, Love & Yoga

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Karen Tashkovski, Love, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Go, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Yoga, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on chalkboard, $48

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!

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Karen Tashkovski, Cuse, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Maha, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Be, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Shreem, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Do It, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48

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

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Karen Tashkovski, Aum, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Syracuse, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Life, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48
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Karen Tashkovski, Yes, 2017, encaustic, 5″ x 7″ on masonite mounted on 9″ x 12″ chalkboard, $48

The Shoe Fits

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Karen Tashkovski, Chance, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95
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Karen Tashkovski, Stepping Stone, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95
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Karen Tashkovski, Super, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Hundreds, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95
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Karen Tashkovski, Premiere, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Play, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95
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Karen Tashkovski, Opportunity Knocks, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Lady Luck, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95
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Karen Tashkovski, Half a Mil, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Genius, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95
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Karen Tashkovski, Gusto, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95

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?

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Karen Tashkovski, Bananas, 2017, encaustic, 8″ x 10″ on masonite mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $95

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

Genesis

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Karen Tashkovski, Presence, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard), $111
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Karen Tashkovski. Magi, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard) $111

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Source, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″), $111

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Abundance, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard) $111
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Karen Tashkovski, Purpose, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard), $111

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Princess, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on chalkboard), $111
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Karen Tashkovski, Aphrodisiac, 2017, encaustic on chalkboard, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard, $111

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Tapestry, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard), $111
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Karen Tashkovski, Lucky Duck, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard), $111
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Karen Tashkovski, Futura, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on chalkboard) $111

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.

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Karen Tashkovski, Camaraderie, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on chalkboard), $111

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

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Karen Tashkovski, Path, 2017, encaustic on masonite, 8″ x 10″ (mounted on 11″ x 14″ chalkboard), $111

Triple Whammy

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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?

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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?

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Crowning Glory, 18″ x 15″, 2012, encaustic, $125
LIFE. LIBERTY. HAPPINESS., 18X36, 1997 (300x156)
Karen Tashkovski, Life. Liberty. Happiness., 1997, oil & collage, $675

And finally,  my 1997 oil & collage series of paintings Messages (From the Other Voice) is up in the Chittenango Middle School library, Chittenango, New York, for the next two months!

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Karen Tashkovski, Strength, 18″ x 36″, 1997, oil & collage, $675

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.

Waterbear

 

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Davana Robedee just starts drawing.  She is inspired by natural forms – strands of hair, the motion of ocean waves….  The drawings take on a life of their own.  They become otherworldly, as though they are life-forms that can withstand space and time, much like the water bear, a microscopic species that can do just that!

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I went to the opening reception for The Millennia of the Waterbear last night at Apostrophe’s Art Gallery, 1100 Oak Street, Syracuse, New York.  Proprietors Holly Wilson and Allison Kirsch opened the venue to establish exhibition opportunities for college students and emerging artists.  They have currently booked art exhibits through this summer.

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The gallery is open Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 pm, Thursdays noon-2:00 pm, and by appointment – call (614) 209-7503 to schedule your visit!  This show ends on April 10, 2016.

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Davana is a recent graduate of Syracuse University.  She was my Encaustic professor at SU when I took the course in 2012.  Her work with the medium is superb.  At the gallery, she is displaying several functional lamps made of wire and wax.  LED light does not heat up and so the union is a successful one!  These lights looked more impressive as the sun went down.  They are soooo beautiful.  More so in person.  You must experience them!

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In addition, she has created a giant sculpture using plastic sheeting, as well as large panels of wax on plastic.  These pieces contain the same lyrical line quality as her drawings but with the addition of the textural surface.  Everything begs to be touched.  I found myself reaching out even though I know how fragile wax is (it needs, like, a thousand years to gain strength, unless there is enough damar resin in the mix). The whole show has a brilliant cohesiveness.

Davana is the real deal.  I love listening to her speak about her work.  There is a clear vision to her visual thoughts.  She really illuminates  just like her sculptures – she reveals an extraordinary depth of character.  The narrative provides understanding in a way that transcends the simple materials and abstraction.  I am really in awe of what she has accomplished here.

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Davana has another show scheduled for October 2016 in Old Forge, New York.  She starts creating new pieces soon including some wax items that will melt before our eyes.  Can’t wait to see where her mind takes us.  Wherever it is – I am loving the journey!

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The Destruction of Devices

The famous story goes that Jasper Johns destroyed all the pieces he’d made prior to 1955 to start over, creating his new works as encaustics – the target and flag paintings that Leo Castelli put in his gallery subsequently selling them to major NYC art museums…and an art god was born.

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Recently I read that Jean Michel Basquiat drawings had surfaced and were going on the auction block.  I think they were sketchbook thing-a-ma-bobs, not intended to be shown as potential masterpieces or anything but I guess once you are dead your immortal soul can command millions.

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So what’s the right thing to do?  Keep every single thing you’ve ever made – did Picasso do that?  (I think so.)  Or chuck the stuff you think is junk and not representative of your work?

I do this with my clothes all the time.  I give most of my stuff to the Salvation Army.  Sometimes it isn’t even a year old.  I live in a small space and I don’t keep things that I don’t wear.  Like if I don’t think it will ever be my go to for an event, it doesn’t matter how nice it is; it needs to move on.  I regret some of those chucks.  I’d gained some weight a few years ago and thought I’d never get my twenty-five inch waist back so I said good-bye to some pieces that would have transcended time if I would have allowed it.  Oh well.  There are always new clothes out there.  New ideas in shape and fabric that make a person feel current.

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If I were immortal, I think I could hack the changes, at least in fashion and art.  In technology, not so much.  So I guess that’s why I choose edit/delete.  The three paintings illustrating this blog post are long gone.

I gessoed over their surfaces because I just didn’t feel good about them.  They were 24″ x 48″ paintings, all framed in maple wood gallery style frames that cost a small fortune once upon a time in the ’90s.

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I came across the pictures while hunting for the one of Evangeline Peters.  These three were part of that exhibition I had at the May Memorial Unitarian Church in Dewitt, NY circa I don’t remember.  I want to say 1999.

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I kind of miss them, but that might just be the silliness of all of this retrospective melancholy.  This series was born from taking devices from all of the other works of art I had created up until then and placing them into segments puzzle pieced together.  The idea is much like my own life.  It is compartmentalized in such a way that you’d really have to get to know me pretty well to really know me.  And I can’t say that there is a single anyone in the world who truly does know me.

Do we all think that of ourselves?  Do we all wear masks as Billy Joel sings in The Stranger or are some people truly transparent?  I’m not sure.  At any rate, these pieces just didn’t make the cut.  There are portions of them that I feel a connection to and other areas that fall flat.  I have the pictures at least, and if I want to incorporate them somehow into the newbie Futura series this summer then maybe they will in a small way be resurrected.

I plan to reuse the frames so I will replicate these dimensions – and puzzle it out.