Solstice at the Equinox

Last night I attended the Annual Open House event at the Equinox Studios  located in the south Seattle industrial area known as Georgetown. Even the torrential rains did not keep art enthusiasts away and the place was packed. The studios here are filled with some very talented folks in a wide range of creative disciplines. One of my favorite aspects of the evening was the poetry readings. The first took place on an improvised platform appropriately called the Fork Lift Stage 
Poet, Greg Bem, climbs high on the Fork Lift Stage.

Poetry was blasted throughout the warehouse setting and a small crowd gathered to listen.
FORKLIFT POETRY included poems read by: Kim Ionesco, Deborah Henry, Richard Lemmert, Greg Bem, M. Anne Sweet, emcee - NIGHTSHIFT POETRY included poems read by Sasha Goodwin, Alex O. Bleecker, Paul Nelson, Jack Remick, M. Anne Sweet, emcee

Painter, Melinda Hannigan, in her Equinox studio.

Artist, Gail Howard, discusses her work with artist Maxine Mattson.
Because the Equinox building is located in a heavy industrial area it's studios are well suited to artisans working in more rugged art forms such as blacksmiths, sculptors and custom fabricators.  One metal worker caught my eye because who could resist picking up a little chainmail? Especially when it's made by an artist who goes by the name Tobasco.

Love this! My score of the evening...a new hand-forged chainmail cuff!

Meanwhile...back in my studio...slow but steady progress is being made as I paint my way up the path to my next solo show opening in February 2011. Still working on an exhibition title but today I settled on “Remote Regions”.

Two 30"x 30" encaustic panels work together or on their own.
Works in progress in the studio.
A majority of the work is unfolding as abstracted landscapes but I will have a few experimental pieces in this show as well.  

Experimenting with ethereal drips and layers.

Still a long way to go on this one but I am intrigued by the vertical format and what's happening below the surface.



A flash caught my eye as I was getting out of my car a few days ago. Something stood out against the grays of the urban landscape and as I bent down to inspect it I discovered this amazing red leaf. The spotting and discoloration reminds me of a ribcage or spinal column. “Such beautiful decay.” I thought to myself as I scooped it up and brought it into the studio. This leaf has stirred something but I am not sure what the results will be yet. Right now it’s just a feeling, that flutter of inspiration mixed with intuition that comes before the act of creating. The next step is to translate all of that into an image. Perhaps it will just manifest as a color pallet in reds, golds, tobacco…or as a simple composition. It’s quite possible that by the time the work is completed the leaf's influence will be so far removed that it will be imperceptible. Still, it represents a wonderful jumping off point and I am feeling the pull of this tiny red leaf as it waits for me in the studio.

A very special guest.
Maybe it’s my state of mind but it seems like miraculous events keep unfolding this week. Besides the discovery of the red leaf and the freak winter storm that paralyzed the region…yesterday as I went to the mailbox I bundled up against the cold with my favorite bright green scarf and tiptoed my way across the snow and ice to collect the mail. I stood for a moment glancing over the assortment of envelopes and as I looked up I was face to face with a humming bird. It was only inches away from me and I could hear it's busy wings as it hovered there trying to determine what I was. It must have been attracted to the intense spring green of my scarf. I was stunned and delighted and all the more surprised because the temperature was in the mid 20s. There are several hummingbird species that live in western Washington year round and I believe my little visitor was an Anna’s Hummingbird. These are such enchanting little birds that you can’t help but feel singled out as special when you are visited by one of them. I found the photo above from Bird-Friends.com

NOTE: Workshops are now full. Thank you to those who signed up and I am looking forward to welcoming you into my studio. I will be offering additional workshops in March and April and have started a wait list for the current schedule. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about encaustic painting and the classes I am offering.

Rainier Club gallery installation
I've been getting a lot of new interest in my work that continues to be on display at the Rainier Club. In the coming weeks my website will be updated with a list of upcoming exhibitions slated for 2011 and additional information about my encaustic workshops. 

Rainier Club installation


Intense Encaustic

Knowledge is Power!
Encaustic Workshops are starting soon and I have structured a special program specifically for the passionate beginner. Classes are held in my working studio with full access to all of my equipment and materials. This also means the number of students per session is limited. Smaller class size will result in lots of individualized attention for each participant. The classes are set up as  2-day immersive workshops designed to get you started and build your confidence or simply regain your enthusiasm for working with wax.

Day-1 We will cover all the basics and get you familiar with using the materials. This includes safe studio practices, demonstrations and supplier resources.

Day- 2 The second day will feature demos of specialized techniques and some of my secrets for creating unusual effects.

Space is limited so contact me if you wish to participate. First workshop takes place Dec 4 & 5 , 2010. The next workshop will be held on Feb 12 & 13 with additional classes slated for Spring and Summer 2011. Click here to inquire!

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at Gage Academy of Art. Instructor, Hamid Zavareei, invited me into his classroom to talk with his students and demonstrate some of my techniques for working with wax. It was such an honor and delight to share my passion for encaustic painting with the class and they were all so eager to learn. Thank you for the warm welcome. Below are some images of Zavareei’s work.

Hamid Zavareei - Smithy

Hamid Zavareei - Solitude II


INScape Highlights

I don’t know where to begin… Last weekend’s opening event at the INScape Arts Building was an overwhelming success. Nearly 3000 visitors walked through the art studios, installations and corridors of the historic INS building. The Seattle Times featured a front page article highlighting the event and public radio station KPLU interviewed many of the participants (including me). This project has attracted some amazing and talented artists and performers who are making their own history and breathing new life into this 80 year old landmark. Too many to list them all but here are just a few worth mentioning:

The image above features dancers from Manifold Motion. The dancers are moving in a room filled with fresh soil. They occupy three spaces on the main floor where they will be performing until the end of November. For performance times and ticket information check out manifoldmotion.com. Scroll down to see more of the art and installations on display.

Artist Jen Mills filled an empty office space with beautiful crystalline vessels made from salt.

Mills' elegant bowl forms occupy the space where my Canadian friend once interviewed for his Green Card application when this was still a functioning INS office.

Up on the second floor artist, Helen Gamble, created an echo of the triple bunk beds that once stood here and accommodated immigrants in the former Chinese Men’s Dormitory.

Gamble installed rows of gauzy fabric that appear to float in the footprints of the old beds and transform the space into beautiful but ghostly barracks.

Across the hall Gail Howard created this powerful piece that spills out of the former infirmary. The overflowing sheets have been carefully knotted and represent the agonizing passage of time and the overwhelming desire to escape into a new life waiting just outside.

The ominous sound of water slowly dripping plays loudly in the background of Howard's installation aptly titled, Patience. The plunking sounds punctuate the idea of the long and tedious wait experienced by many immigrants.

What was once a caged courtyard has been turned into a temporary installation in a sort of "Urban Andy Goldsworthy" piece created by Sam Farrazaino. The bars and cage panels once surrounded the courtyard area to keep the inmates locked in. Farrazaino also happens to be the project manager for INScape.

Here's a  peek into my new studio where I have already begun to work.
Many artists who came through over the weekend have lined up to apply for studio spaces that are still available. I am confident that this will soon be a destination for arts and culture in Seattle. If you missed the Open House I urge you to come by at the next opportunity. Something really special is emerging here. Thank you to everyone who stopped by to say hello - it was wonderful to see so many longtime friends.

Click here for more images from the Seattle Times

South view from my new INSCape studio.

I will do a more in depth Studio Tour posting once I am firmly settled into my space. For more information about the building, available studio space and upcoming events email Sam Farrazaino at farrazaino@yahoo.com or call 206-890-3283.


Open Studio

OPENING EVENT  - this weekend!

Sat OCT 16TH - & Sun OCT 17TH , 2010

Art in the former INS building: sculpture, painting, dance, installation, video, sound, light, apocalyptic golf, live music

Saturday: Noon - Midnight

Sunday: Noon - 6pm

Free Admission

815 Airport Way S. www.InscapeArts.org

For the first time since its opening in 1930, you can tour the entire building, exploring the Passages installations as well as visiting the studios of more than 30 artists working in the building and breathing new life into these spaces.

Amineh Ayyad, Barbara Robertson, Chris Buening, Christian French, Danse Perdue, Demi Raven, Evan Shauss, Gail Howard, Helen Gamble, Jacob Fennell, Ju-Pong Lin, Katy Krantz, Ladan Yalzadeh, Manifold Motion, Meg Hartwig, Meghan Trainor, Michael Lyons, Nickolus Meisel, Romson Bustillo, Sidney Ji, Smash Putt, Sol Hashemi, Tim Marsden and more...

Alicia Tormey, Anthony Weathers, Bonnie Foster, Caroline Kapp, David Robinson, Dept. of Culture, Evan Shauss, George Graham, Jake Zukowski, Jason Pace, Jen Mills, Jennifer Williams, Julie Haack, Katy Krantz, Keeara Rhoades, Lisa Rickey, Lynn Schirmer, Tena Wright, Third Space, Thomas Kolb, Tres Henry, Velo Transit

Live music @ 8pm Saturday
BANDS:The Gargle Blasters, Ashcomb, Phase 3, Prints of China

I hope to see you there - Look for me in studio #108!


Art In Motion


My artwork makes a surprise cameo appearance in the latest promotional video from the Sun Valley / Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau. Scroll down to watch the video and look for images of my work about 25 seconds into the commercial.  I hope it entices you to visit this amazing and magical valley in the Northern Rockies.

My new neighbor in Chinatown!
More big studio announcements...I am moving into a new art studio space in Seattle’s International District. My studio is being renovated right now but I hope to be settled in and working there in a few more days.The building will be hosting an open house and community outreach event on October 16th & 17th so mark your calenders. There will be art installations, performance art and studio tours. I will post all the details next week.

Video featuring my artwork!


Cool Pool

In the lobby of the Henry Art Gallery sits an inflatable plastic pool filled with water that’s being circulated by an electric pump. Floating on the water’s surface are dozens of porcelain bowls in varying sizes. As the bowls are caught up in the swirling current generated by the pump, they gently collide into one another creating random chimes as they clank their way around the pool. The effect is like being in a Tibetan monastery during some kind of sacred bell ritual. This temporary yet ingenious installation is the work of French sound artist, Céleste Boursier- Mougenot. If you hurry you can still experience this for yourself. The pool will be on display until September 26th and you can find more information at henryart.org. Below is a video clip of a similar installation created in 2009.

Another big stand out for me from this month's gallery walk is the John Grade installation at Davidson Galleries. He first caught my attention at a Bumbershoot exhibition a few years ago. The artist will be discussing his work in two separate talks this month. The first will be at the Downtown Seattle Library on September 10th followed by a second talk at the Davidson on September 18th at noon.

John Grade. Jetty, 2010. Wood and resin. 8 x 16 x 9 inches.

John Grade. Circuit (Main), 2010. Glazed ceramic bonded with gypsum polymer to corn-based resin embedded with marine netting. 9 x 24 x 24 feet.

I am finishing up some commissions this month and will post a studio update soon.


August Art

August Arts:If you have an  opportunity I recommend stopping by the TK arts building and walking through the warren of art studios there. One that stands out this month is the Shift Studio where you’ll find the quiet yet compelling ceramic work of Yun Hong Chang as part of a two-person exhibition with photographer, Kim Sciarrone. Using strands of her own hair, Chang weaves delicate crisscrossing webs and hand stitched seams onto her slumping ceramic vessels and forms. (see detail above)

While we’re on the subject of ceramics… the continuing show at Pacini Lubel features an eclectic and compelling group of ceramic artists and sculptors. The ethereal and narrative work of Debra Fritts always catches my eye. I like how she incorporates gauzy materials into her ceramic works. Her figurative pieces look as though they are waiting to share some tragic and beautiful story.

A few works by Adelaide Paul are also on display at Pacini Lubel. Her sculptural pieces are a  form of "faux" taxidermy. She uses leathers and fabric to create “skins” that are then stretched over animal forms. I find them strangely compelling and exquisite.

As I sat down to compose this blog entry it was not my intention to focus on female artists, it just so happened that the works that stood out to me this month were all created by women. A lovely and encouraging coincidence. It also reminds me to mention that the Kiki Smith exhibit at the Henry will close in a few days on August 15th. So... I hope you will join me in celebrating some great works and the amazing women who are making their marks in the art world.

Images from top to bottom:
Yun Hong Chang: Broken, Debora Fritts: Holding Her Weight, Adelaide Paul: Big Sky  and Adelaide Paul: Untitled (red dog)


July Jade

A sampling of summer jade... 
Jade Thicket Detail

Jade Thicket on display this month at the Gilman

Jadite Streams detail 1

Jadite Streams detail 2

Jadite Streams  - Triptych - 24" x 64"


Sun Valley Summer

Opening Night - July 2, 2010

Just returned from ten magical days in Sun Valley and the opening of my Forces of Nature show. Opening night was a huge success complete with celebrity sightings and some possible commissions in the works. My gratitude goes out to all my dear friends and family for making this such a special and memorable evening. A heartfelt thank you also goes out to L'Anne and Casey of the Gilman Contemporary for providing such a beautiful gallery and the opportunity to exhibit my work in such a stunning space. I am still processing the many wonderful moments and will post more details later.

Gallery Installation - Gilman Contemporary

Gallery owner, L'Anne Gilman and gallery director, Casey Hanrahan
(that's me in the middle)

East gallery wall installation.

Jadeite Streams - I'll post some detail images of this piece later.

Me standing in front of Carnelian Vista.

West gallery installation view.

A special collector with her favorite piece.

Gallery entry wall.

Forces of Nature - July 1 - Aug 1, 2010
Gilman Contemporary, 661 sun Valley Road, Ketchum, Idaho 83340