Tag Archives: alternative art making

Approaching Winter

Approaching Winter

Mixed media encaustic on board.


Juggling Hats


It’s not easy juggling hats.  I enjoy all parts of my life but sometimes things just get messy!  Not only is there a need to select which things take priority, but sometimes a deep clean up is called for.  Generally speaking I have to do a major overhaul of my studio each time I put up a show, and Monday was set aside for this task.  There were a number of things I’d hoped to accomplish besides actually cleaning, which trust em needed to be done, but I have been wanting to find a new storage system for my work and move my working area to a spot with better lighting.  It took almost six hours but the result was satisfying.

The image you see above was completed as a finale to my day’s labor.  It is a mixed media piece on plywood that rests on a large easel against one of my walls. I titled it “Juggling Hats” because it captures a momentary glimpse of all the subtle complexity involved in any creative effort.   This  isn’t a fine piece of art by any means,  but it is an expression of my process, a mark so to speak of my existence in this world, and how I move in it.  It felt good.  When I was done, I rested:)

Poetic Collage

Standing Alone I
Mixed Media: For my latest show I added a layer of wax, shellac and wood glue to add a textural dimension to an existing ink and watercolor painting that I mounted on a 2″ gallery wrapped wooden board. I used a wet shellac burn to brown the wood glue to represent bark on the solitary trunk. The amber shellac added a lot to the piece, bringing out more of the autumnal colors.


Sometimes in my work, after a painting rests  awhile, it calls for something else and the result for me is a kind of visual poetry or collage.  There is a cadence to the work.  It feels otherworldly and seems to take on a life of it’s own.  Some people call this flow; some call it inspiration.  I’m not sure what I call it but it seems pregnant and full of possibility. I liked these paintings before; they felt fresh and alive.  Now they seem mature and full, as if they’ve the capacity to hold and embrace the weight of living.  Perhaps that’s what age does for some people.  It’s certainly something to think about.

More of Collaging Realities

“Meditating Realities”
Mixed Media Encaustic Collage on Clayboard

Mixed Media Encaustic Collage on Clayboard
10″ x 10″

10″ x 10″

I actually began these  pieces prior to the four of my last post but had the same idea in mind when composing them.  One thing I didn’t mention before but may be interesting to some of you is that the printed text for these works came from pages of a book that had been removed and placed together on a trading table at  Bluebird Arthouse.   This is a local art supply store, studio space, and artist hangout here in Wichita or more specifically, the Delano District.  If you are from Wichita you should check them out:)  One of the cool things they do is provide space for people to exchange materials that could be used to make art.  It’s a give one take one kind of thing.  I was there for an opening of a friend’s artwork and saw these pages, and now parts of them, snipped and pieced together have become a part of my work.  The pages of this book cut from their binding moved me to consider all the paths open to us in life, as well as the ways we look back and make sense of things.  Griefs, losses, accomplishments, joy, heartaches, etc. all pass before us embedded in layers of emotional reality.  How a person remembers their life is fascinating to me.  In my therapist life I often ask  couples  to show me via painting or using a sandtray and figurines, to tell the “The Story of Us”-meaning their story.  I am always amazed at how other’s people’s words are remembered, sometimes in striking details. Likewise, I am surprised too by the flexibility of memory as it is informed by an enlightened moment.   It’s like fog lifting off the sea.