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