Friday, December 21, 2012

Year in Review

I'm so glad I started keeping a blog this year!  This was probably the first time I've ever made and kept a New Year's Resolution.  Now I can prove to myself and those nagging negative voices that progress was made and fun was had!   

On the photography side of the house, my subject matter has widened considerably.  I've made the transition from shooting people as objects to adding models to a comprehensive narrative and actually shooting them because they are people!  Silly as it sounds, this was a leap that was a long time coming...

On location - It looked like a props bomb went off!
Rene and Lora taking a break
On the encaustic side of the house, I have come from not knowing what encaustic was to having a show of encaustic photographic pieces in the works for early 2013.  More on that later... 

This was certainly the year of workshops!  They allowed me to grow my skills tremendously and I made so many new and wonderful friends.

Speaking of new friends - I'm delighted to tell you that I have a new gallery home!  In 2013 you can find me at the MS Rezny Studio/Gallery in downtown Lexington, KY.  It's going to be a crazy busy year!  In February, I will be part of a 2 person show with Rene Hales and my work will also be featured in a solo show in October 2013.   
MS Rezny Studio/Gallery
903 Manchester Street, Distillery District
Lexington, Kentucky
(859) 252-4647
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday

I will definitely remember that this was the year that I welcomed Dick Blick as my new master and overlord.  Seriously - can't I just direct deposit my paycheck there?  I showed Jerry's Artarama and the Fine Art Store some love too.

Before I forget, I need to thank one particular individual without whom most of my projects would never get finished.  My diningroom table.  Seriously!  It came into the family about the same time I did.  My parents are fond of reminiscing how they paid $35 dollars for this magnificent creature because it had a horrible finish on it which they quickly remedied.  When Wills and I got married, my father pulled him aside and gave him a stern talking to - not about keeping his only child in the manner to which she was accustomed, no!  It was to tell him that no matter what happened in our marriage that the diningroom table stayed in the family and that it was his job now to lemon oil it on a regular schedule!  This sturdy oak behemoth has seen the death of two sewing machines, been a surface for pounding clay, is the perfect width for full size mat board cutting, and is the setting for every major holiday meal.  What a humble, steady work horse!

In my most humble honesty, this past year would not have been possible without a huge cast of art & photo buddies, models, and a very patient family.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a peaceful New Year!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different...

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending an informal, deconstructed screen printing workshop/mini-Arrowmont reunion.  OK let me explain because this does have a link to encaustic... While at Arrowmont this past June, I oohed and aahed over the most gorgeous abstract paper and fabric one of my classmates (and wonderful fiber artist) Trish had brought.  Long story short, another classmate LeeAnn and I (being two crazy Southern chicks) talked Trish into having a reunion and giving us a workshop on her screen printing process.  Art friends are simply the best!  What transpired was a fantastic weekend at Trish and her husband Ray's house.  Not to already get me off track but you must know that Trish and Ray's house is surrounded by a beautiful wooded forest which on this first week in December was still displaying some awesome color.  More on this later...

Screen printing is a new topic for me so please excuse the lack of details in this simplified post.  Deconstructed screen printing seems to be in some ways the opposite of regular screen printing.  You take a screen, put it on something with texture, apply thickened dye to it, let the dye dry, and then use a goopy sodium alginate thickener to release the dye to make prints.  Being a huge fan of rust, I was immediately drawn to these colorful abstract prints plus this process is just good, messy fun!

Trish went through the process with us and then we were set free with squeegies, vibrant procion dyes, and screens. 

LeeAnn hanging a wet print on the clothes line.

Trish manipulating the wet dye on the print.

This was my favorite screen.  What's not to love about poka dots?

Well - as you have probably guessed, everything turns into a photoshoot with me right now since I'm gearing up for two shows next year.  The second day we woke up to rain and the screens we had inked and left drying the night before had all been washed clean by a cruel, vindictive Mother Nature!  LeeAnn graciously offered to model for me in the glorious woods once the rain had slowed to a slight misting.  With Trish as props master/photographer's assistant and Ray as location scout/briar bushwacker, we tromped off into the woods to make lemonade.

I only brought one prop - a rusty Santos crown with rhinestones.  I'm trying to get more comfortable working with what I find around me and rolling with the experience.
Trish devising an unobtrusive way to secure the crown to LeeAnn.
Ray helping LeeAnn navigate that slippery trunk

Trish stepping in to provide some motion in the scarf when we lost the breeze
Here's two of the images I got this weekend.  What an amazing, soul-feeding time.  I can't thank Trish, LeeAnn, and Ray enough for their generosity.