Comment

MAUI ENCAUSTIC WORKSHOP

Rain downpour during our walk

Rain downpour during our walk

Blogging last fall from my Nantucket artist residency, today I'm on Maui exploring sunshine, rain, ocean and encaustic artwork.  Many of you familiar with Maui understand the weather conditions here.  Winter winds, rain and vog but also sunshine, warm days, and blue skies. Since we arrived three weeks ago, we've had a little of each condition mostly all endured in bare feet rather than the snow boot attire of this year's Mainland severe winter conditions. We are grateful!

Along with sunshine, I'm grateful to have experienced a workshop led by friend and colleague, Jeff Juhlin, of Salt Lake City, UT, along with 9 other artists working with encaustic on panels and paper.  Jeff's relaxed, informative and supportive style of teaching always fills his classes at the HUI.  The nature of workshopping, if that's a word, is the knowledge not only imparted from the professional artist leaders but also the inspiration of fellow classmates.  Each artist working at their own level, no matter what that is, can bring insight into another's own work and this event was no exception for me in that case.

Prior to Maui, I've been producing work for an upcoming One Woman Show in July at CAVU Cellars, Walla Walla, WA, During the workshop days  last weekend, I mostly completed, or at least started six new 12" x 12" panels that will be included in that exhibit.  I invite you to mark your calendars to attend the opening reception on July 7 and check out my touch of Maui encaustic work.. 

Comment

Artist Residency - it's over or just beginning?

1 Comment

Artist Residency - it's over or just beginning?

I wrote last that October was going to be a busy month for me as I had secured an artist residency with (NISDA) the Nantucket Island School of Design and the Arts, Nantucket, MA.  The residency included a large, personal working space with tables and supplementary lighting, simple kitchen, bedroom and bath.  I sent supplies in advance and although I drew up a list for what I hoped would be a satisfactory three weeks of self directed study, frankly I didn't know what to expect from myself from the unrestricted work limits and gift of time.

I worked chiefly in my favored medium of encaustics, initiating, manipulating, photographing, marketing, producing and reworking over 35 (some here - diannawoolley.com) new individual pieces. Albeit small sized – 6" x 6", 10" x 10", and 12" x 12" - a 35 piece set of anything seems sizable to me and I'm thoroughly pleased with the tangible outcome or should I say I'm thoroughly pleased "with the beginning of an unlimited outcome'.

Working 3 weeks with little interruption other than water, food, study breaks, etc. yielded physical labor, inquiry, information, resolution, change, reinforcement, self knowledge, worthwhile results.  Specifically,  I've returned to my studio with the foundation for a new body of larger sized work, a determined mindset in favor of my abilities as an artist, and the clear and present joy of creativity in yet another step higher toward the pinnacle of my creativity.

"Artist Residency definition — an incredible opportunity and force in the universe resulting in the action of pushing, shoving, kicking, coaxing, enticing, intoxicating, incentivizing, encouraging and blessing one's artist self through and into a new dimension of productivity, courage, selection, perspective, confidence and well-being — a blessing for which I'm ever so grateful!" —Dianna Woolley

 

 

1 Comment

Comment

Residency Update - Mind Clearing

What a mind clearing experience one gains from living without constant news and outside influences.....  I've learned a bit about my habits in general and habits regarding artwork specifically.  

I love working uninterrupted for long periods of time — and I've learned not TOO long is a good thing.  Frequent breaks, bathroom,  water or a little read, improve what's going on with the wax.  The FIRST half hour is great fun as is the LAST half hour when I'm pooped and decidedly disgusted with what's up on the panel.  Both those time periods often result in dramatic changes to a completed work.

Time to read a little art history, yesterday a bit about Jaspar Johns — living and one of contemporary history's first artists to use encaustic in a number of his works.  A lovely little video (Alice Sheridan's blogsite) with Helen Mirren at MoMA, speaking about her favorite artist, Vasily Kandinsky.

Total indulgence to view others' creative efforts and share their feelings about their own developing artwork and to view their amazing work! I've read and visited scores of artist blogposts  i.e. Susan Stover and websites Karen Nielsen Fried. Need a little mind clearing of your own - click on the links.  Thanks for reading.  

Comment

Travel and time away —

Comment

Travel and time away —

The Nantucket Island School for Art and Design folks have been wonderful with my cottage/work space arrangement and had my 5 box shipment of supplies already inside my space upon arrival. Two big work tables, extra lighting, and a heavy duty extension cord run from the laundry area after I blew the first fuse..........electric palette, wax skillet, fans, spotlights — I truly expected that fuse to go quickly and it did!  

Nantucket town, shopping, and wonderful harbor views are right outside my front door.  Photos, sketching, shopping, and of course, encaustic wax works have been keeping me plenty busy!  My focus is to experiment with encaustics on panels, flat boards, and paper.  I'll have to wait and see when or if the "results" turn out for viewing.  Curious about what the results will be? Me too......

Now leaving my new WiFi home, The Handlebar Cafe.............see you soon and thanks for all of the encouragement you've sent me regarding this three week Artist Residency on Nantucket!!!

Comment

Comment

IT IS WITH REGRET — I WON'T BE THERE...

It is with extreme regret that I won't be in attendance for the EAST END ARTS GALLERY 5th ANNUAL NATIONAL  SHOW in RIVERHEAD, NY — IT OPENS FRIDAY EVENING, August 5, with a reception 5:00 - 7:00 p.m .  It is, however, with some exhilaration to have a piece of my work selected as part of the show by internationally known jurist Peter Marcelle.  If any of you are close by consider yourself invited on my behalf to attend the reception or to see the show prior to its closing September 21.  

Comment

Comment

Thank you bees!!!!

A space in my creative heart yearns and works toward connections with other artists.  This week I'm off to enlarge that "heart" space as well as my "artist mind" space.  I'll be in Provincetown, MA at the 10th Annual Encaustic Conference rubbing elbows with artists that influence important work today executed with the encaustic medium.  

Can't wait to see beautiful work and to learn more about the world of art as rendered in warm and cold wax - thank you bees!!!

Comment

Comment

South America Reflections

IMG_5698.JPG

Early this year in preparation for a cruise from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile, I studied the rich history of land exploration/development and sea conditions surrounding South America.  A sampling of my bibliography texts were these: Nathaniel Philbrick "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex", Alfred Lansing  "Endurance: "Shackleton's Incredible Voyage,"  Laurence Bergreen, I was fascinated with stories at sea and coastal lands of The Beagle and Charles Darwin's myriad discoveries in that particular portion of the globe.  

Even though the aforementioned are only a portion of the reading material I devoured, these explorers, adventurers, men of destiny (or insanity) caught my attention in a big way.  I didn't realize in what a big way these travels had influenced me until this painting I've entitled, EXPLORATIONS was born at my hand shortly after returning from the cruise.  Rich in layering and hidden, slightly exposed, seen and unseen elements, this encaustic piece speaks to the world of exploration in life and on panel.  During my reading and even on the cruise and land tours that I was lucky enough to enjoy in South America, I had no idea that much of that thinking would surface in my paintings.

A special note regarding the  "black holes" in this painting– I believe my subconscious was/is not only honoring explorers of the past but still the modern day exploration into interstellar space.

EXPLORATIONS - 30" x 30" x 2" - Encaustic Medium, $2700.00 - currently available online at diannawoolley.com or through The Telander Gallery, Walla Walla, WA.

 

Comment

Comment

Remembering - South America in Progress

COLORS OF BUENOS AIRES - 10" x 10" x 2" - Encaustic/Mixed Media

COLORS OF BUENOS AIRES - 10" x 10" x 2" - Encaustic/Mixed Media

In early March my husband and I had the privilege of cruising from Buenos Aires, Argentina, around Cape Horn, up the coast of Chile and finally touring Valparaiso and Santiago.  Just prior to the cruise I had attended a week's art workshop on Molokai with Nicholas Wilton, an esteemed artist from the San Francisco area, plus three weeks following on Maui enjoying just everything wonderful that Maui can be.  All of this is to say, that I was out of my art studio for a long time.

Returning to the studio I found more than enough to keep me busy and was totally surprised at how vulnerable I'd been to the sites, colors, surfaces, and history of the South America I was fortunate enough to visit.  Enthusiastically I took to covering seven panels with encaustic wax and mixed media. Impressions of travel filled the panels and I now have a small assortment of these pieces hanging in the beautiful TELANDER GALLERY, Walla Walla, WA, under the title of "Remembering - South America in Progress."

During the artist opening reception I had the pleasure of discussing my work and impressions with many people who attended.  Enjoying the colors and textures they still admitted to me that the "meaning" of the abstractions in front of them were not apparent.  I'll be discussing those impressions in the next few blog posts.  Hope you'll stay tuned.

Comment

Comment

Acrylics - how I've missed you.....

No, I'm NOT abandoning the encaustics medium.  I can't wait to return to my studio (in March) and smell the molten wax heating.  Yet, traveling with works of encaustic are definitely a problem, while traveling with liquid based acrylics makes so much sense and has proven to be such great fun.  As some of you may remember (or not) I mentioned a wonderful Nicholas Wilton Art2Life workshop I attended two weeks ago on Moloka'i.  That's where my work with acrylics was rekindled and I've had a wonderful time painting, repainting, and posting my 12" x 12"  practice boards.  You can see them a few of them on Pinterest or on Instagram and obviously, even here! Fun!

Comment

1 Comment

Still Celebrating Happy New Year

Beginnings of something new...........acrylics on panel

My new year is off to a grand start with a mind-bending Nicholas Wilton artist workshop on Moloka'i  Nick is a masterful artist and educator skillfully imparting principles of color, design, value and texture to the dozen or so eager participants attending.  Our group was comprised of artists vastly experienced and day one students.  Nick managed work with us all as a group and to offer individual instruction at a person's level of understanding.  Abilities were stretched beyond what many felt possible and some felt perhaps not so possible.  I was enormously pleased with the outcome of my practice boards. I come away with renewed vigor for this year's coming artwork!  

Second in line to Moloka'i this happy new year is my old island favorite Maui. Steve and I have visited for decades and never tire of the relaxed welcoming aloha of this place.  New sunrises, sunsets, places to dine, sand to scrunch, new friends and artists, and a comfortable place to worship in Holy Innocents Episcopal Church, Lahaina.

The third portion of continuing the New Year celebration will be yet another amazing adventure beginning next week.  More on that later! 

1 Comment

Comment

Website - moving target?

IMG_5308.JPG

Establishing and maintaining a website can be a challenging, invigorating, frustrating activity and with the New Year here I've been making adjustments to mine....perhaps even nitpicking or over-managing it. 

Having visited many artists' websites, I've often found them to be inspirational, motivational, exciting, and mainly visual.  I find the visual aspect very important and that's mostly what you'll find at mine.  Portfolio, artist statement and biographical info, but again, most importantly images.  The paintings are the message.  Color, image, technique - all artists hopefully have their own style, pleasing themselves first of all and second of all, pleasing at least some of their viewers.  Take a look - I hope you'll have an opinion if you do.......and no, it's not required that you pass that opinion on to me. 

Currently, as yet unphotographed, I have a new series on my worktables that may possibly be entitled - Exploration, The Explorers, The Navigators? Paths, Trails, Rivers undiscovered?...........yes, in preparation for a workshop coming up and an active holiday trip very soon, I've been reading a number of adventure and exploration novels - subliminally or not so, the heroes seem to be making their marks in the new work.

Comment

Comment

How well do you read?

Limitations of blogsites aside, you might check out the 4 small images I've posted on FaceBook in regard to "how well do you read?"  Often when beginning a painting, I know - sort of, kind of, have a general idea - where it might be going.  However, as the work progresses I find that somewhere along the way it begins to metaphorically speak to me and that's when I have to stop and READ the painting.  What is it saying, where does the image and surface want to display a message, where does the color just want to blend in and say leave me along, I'm happy here?

With the work in progress photos on FB, I display a work in progress being turned into 4 separate views of the same painting.  Do you think you'll recognize the 30" x 30" x 2" piece when it's completed?  Does one of the images stand out as your favorite read? 

While you decide upon your favorite read right now, please mark December 4, 5:00-7:00, Woodward Canyon Winery Reception (Walla Walla, WA) on your calendar right now.  You're invited to visit, sip a delicious wine or two and to perhaps do your own reading of all my new work that will be exhibited that evening.

Comment

Comment

"Time is very important with art"......Ellsworth Kelly quote

DSC_0004.jpg

 

https://www.sfmoma.org/watch/ellsworth-kelly-explains-abstraction/

Tonight viewing FB and a post from my friend/instructor/great encaustic painter, Jeff Juhlin, I found a great quote from the video Jeff posted from the abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly - "time is very important with art" - I so relate in my own way as an artist to that statement, although I can only speculate exactly what it means to EK.

As you might remember, my favorite word, connections - I believe when "we" create abstract pieces, we have those moments of inspiration, search, imagination, frustration, initial reward.........but the reflection of ourselves on our own work and reflection of others regarding work is not necessarily immediate - duh, obviously it's reflection - but really, time away from a piece is as important as time with a piece.

Often, I've sought to sell a piece of work and found no takers and then ultimately am so happy that piece still "lives" with me.  That is not to say that I don't want you clients to miss the experience of "living" with one of my pieces but I just remind you that the initial love of a piece hopefully grows as you reflect on the connection that empowered you to purchase it, the connection that allows the piece to become of a part of your life.  "Time is very important to art"............EK

Comment

Comment

Artist Statement

The "why do I create" question/answer sequence becomes clearer each time I examine it.  My answer ultimately lies in my need for connection with others.  I seek to waken a curiosity about what my work stands for, where the color comes from, the marks, the medium, the surface.  I create work because I yearn for the engagement of others in my personal creativity.  I do not see myself as a singular being on this planet.  I see myself as a tiny part that desires attachment through this creative means - that which I personally find provocative, likeable, disagreeable, disruptive, mysterious - whatever the descriptor - I want my work to lead to engagement with you.

Comment

1 Comment

Hip Replacement Surgery - Too Much Time On One's Hands...............

So this is what happens when one is recovering from hip replacement surgery - too much time - not much to say...... 

Enjoy the prescription drugs - momentarily.....I'm pleased to say addiction doesn't seem to be my nature of choice.  Anything stronger than Extra Strength Tylenol makes me nauseous, headachy, and sluggish.  Going to bed at will any time of day is fun a few times but not so exciting on a regular basis.

Enjoy the attention - well, that's not a bad thing.  Beautiful cards, emails, flowers, magazines.  I seem to be managing this part of recovery quite well.  I have wonderful friends!!!

Enjoy the magazines - tear out the recipes, save the articles online, recyle.

Enjoy the books - books I'd never have bought for myself are turning out to be delightful - "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hossein, "Aimless Love" selected poems from Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, "Just Mercy" by Bryan Stevenson. Copious articles and reviews about Elizabeth Gilbert's new book, "Big Magic", "Learning to Walk in the Dark" by Barbara Brown Taylor - they're on my Audible library.  I'm plowing through the books:)

Enjoy the how to videos - how to spend more time in the studio (first I have to learn to negotiate the staircase - a few days off) how to turn off from all social media, how to market your artwork, how to put up a new website template, etc. - I decided to do the website thing today.

Enjoy Netflix - "Spy", "Philomena", "Love and Other Drugs" - trailers for "The Intern", Acorn TV, PBS-"Indian Summer" and endless other stuff that I've watched for 10 minutes and declared awful!

O.k., o.k, you get it.  It's two weeks tomorrow that the surgery took place, mending nicely, still using the walker, of course.  All praise for surgeon, hospital, nurses, caregiver, friends and family!!!!! But, yes, I'm a little bored and eager to get back upstairs in my studio. 

1 Comment