Monday, December 28, 2015

Birth, Death and Resurrection - of a Painting

I claimed and thought I was finished with the  series, Women Who Changed the World, but I was convined by another artist that the last painting I made when I was in pain, just didn't hold up to the rest of the series. I had to admit that it really didn't.

Now that I am feeling well, I decided not only to paint another Rosa Parks, but included a Mexican women in the series. That painting will shared in another bog posting.

Here is the first Rosa Parks

Next step; I asked my studio assistant to scrape off the oil paint, down to the encasutic.

Now, the new Rosa Parks is finished:

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Eve at the Garbage Dumps

This is the second year that my daughter Cynthia and I have participated in Joseph's and Elli's project of distributing  food, clothes, water, toys, candy, cookies, sanitary products, dog food, baby products and more to the poorest of the poor who live in and around the garbage dumps in Dolores Hidalgo and San Miguel. All donated.

Hundreds of people line up to fill their bags with things that they need for survival. In the Dolores dump there is no water available, so that is a priority. The plastic tarps we use to spread out the goods are a prize to the few that get them.

Yesterday there were 15 cars, loaded to over flowing that formed a caravan to the 2 dumps. Cynthia and I were handling clothes. Hundreds of socks, coats, sweaters had been donated and were scooped up. There was nothing left when we finished.

I believe the photos speak for themselves.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My First Mexican Posada

Our Joseph and Mary
For years, I have watched children go to door to door reenacting  the scene of Mary and Joseph looking for shelter and being turned away.

Last night my daughter and I were included in an authentic posada with ponche (a hot drink made with dried fruit and sugar cane - and this one had a hefty dose of brandy.) We sang the songs, while the chosen couple played the part of Mary and Joseph. We held the candles, threw the lit sparkles ( to bring lots of light into the next year) and took turns at attempting to smash the piñta ( the devil)

A dinner followed and of course tequila and Mescal, not to be mixed. One or the other.


The beautiful table setting
The piñata before the attack
My first ponce
Rally for dessert and the tequilla

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Recogition is nice

 Click below to see the short article about my my work in a local online magazine. It is nice to be recognized for all the years of showing my work in Mexico  

Here are some more images from that series: all oil and encaustic on cradled board.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

private encaustic classes in San Miguel de Allende

I particularly enjoy having private students in my encaustic workshops. I can focus on each person's individual needs and desires. I work shoulder to shoulder with each one to produce an encaustic painting that is unique to them. I show them as many techniques as possible, depending on how many days we have together.

Here are some demo paintings that I created for the last 3 workshops. If you are interested in taking a class from me click this link:
oil glaze over layers of encaustic enhanced with gold encaustic, using the hot pen

Many layers of color with blurred transfer in top

scraped transfer over colored encaustic

incised lines over many layers of colors

Sunday, December 6, 2015

75 Paintings Made in 2015

 It's been a busy year. Even with suffering for 3 months with shingles, I managed to create a lot of work in 2015. Much of which is figurative., and one commissioned portrait. I thought the Women Who Changed the World series was finished, but I realized a couple of the images of the women I painted, were weak, and need to be destroyed and re-painted and I want to add one more woman.

I am happy with the 50 Faces, some of which I still have up in my home gallery. Sometimes, I look at them and wonder, "How did I do that?" I know that I get in a zone when I am working on a series and it is almost as if it becomes automatic painting.

Then there was The Messenger Series; Woman artists. All of these can be seen on my website,

Now it is time to enjoy the holidays. I wish you all a happy and healthy season.

 Below is a link for a short article in an online event magazine for San Miguel.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving, 2015, I am grateful.

In San Miguel de Allende, where I live, I am spending my 12th Thanksgiving out of the U.S.

Many times, I have joined friends in restaurants, once or twice I made a traditional Thanksgiving meals, including the turkey, just for the smell, and my carnivore friends. I have have been a vegetarian for over 30 years, but on this day, I miss the aroma of turkey.

This year, it will be simple and small, my wonderful neighbors will come here for a feast for just 3 people. I can't imagine better company on this day. I am grateful for this couple everyday of the year.

To get into spirit of the day, I have been listening to NPR with tales and reports of Thanksgiving in the United States.

I am grateful for the people I am privileged to meet through my encaustic workshops. I have been teaching this technique for about 10 years and have shared it with almost every artist who had an interest in San Miguel. The last year, I have had mostly students from the States and Canada who are visiting this beautiful town. My classes have been predominately private. I enjoy  these especially  because I can focus on just what techniques the artist wants to experience and get to know the student personally. These interesting people, mostly women, are people I would never have met without the Internet and teaching.

I am grateful for my returning health and energy. And so much more.

Lucy was here Tuesday

Carol had her day, Wednesday

Monday, November 23, 2015

How I Make a Painting, Video

Here is the video of the process of one of the portraits in the Women Who Changed the World.
Don't bother telling me that I left the "s" off the word "come" in "here comes the oil" I didn't want to do the whole thing over again. I have made many movies in iMovie, but it seems as if as soon as I decide to make another one the format is changed andI have to learn the whole thing over again. I am getting too old for this.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How to End A Series?

I always work in series of at least 12 paintings. I made 14 paintings in Women Who Changed The World. I have lists of more incredible women, but my gut told me, 14 was enough. I have worked for months. It was not fun anymore. Of course struggling thorough weeks of the pain Shingles didn't help. I am feeling much better now and am thinking about my next series. In the meantime, I am welcoming 2 artists this week who are coming for one day private encaustic classes. That is a good way to move on to something else.

Here is the short video of all 14 paintings:

Let me know what you think and about a good venue for exhibiting them.

I am exhaling today.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rosa Parks,finished

I know I shouldn't  work when it feels like a struggle. What happens is that I just start moving paint without really seeing the direction I need to go.

When I carefully analized the portrait of Rosa Parks with a fresh eye, I saw that not only was the mouth wrong, but somehow during the painting process, her eyes had moved and were out of line.
Here is the completed and corrected painting.

Is She Finished? Rosa Parks

I worked another day on this painting and I am feeling burned out. That is a sure sign to stop. I will check out Rosa Parks this morning and see if I am satisfied, if so, I am thinking that she will be the end of this series. I could go on for months painting women who changed the world, but it has to end sometime.  A benefit of doing series like these is that I learn so much from the investigation.

I have made many faces in 2015 and only a cuple of abstract paintings, and I am getting a pull to work more abstractly. I have some ideas where to go next - back to encaustic. I have to get the studio set up with encaustic for students next week, so that seems like a logical time.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Women Who Changed the World, Ruth Bader Ginsberg

Ginsburg became the second woman to join the Supreme Court when President Bill Clinton nominated her in 1993. She had served for thirteen years as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Prior to her career as a judge, she was a law professor and, as her colleague Antonin Scalia described her in Time Magazine’s 2015 “The 100 Most Influential People,” she was a “leading (and very successful) litigator on behalf of women’s rights—the Thurgood Marshall of that cause.” With the departure of John Paul Stevens in 2010, Ginsburg now enjoys the most senior position on the liberal wing of the Court.

Done, except for the earrings.

Under painting - encaustic

laying out the face


Monday, November 9, 2015

My Highway Hero

Yesterday, I felt well enough to return to my Sunday morning meditation group, after being absent for many weeks. It was a joy to share time and space with other devotees.

Afterwards, I went to a supermarket to pick up a few things. It was a lovely Sunday morning with little traffic. I was driving on the highway, headed home, when my car stopped. I didn't know what to do. I glided to the side of the road. Knowing that my regular mechanic is not available on Sundays, I tried calling my daughter and my neighbors. No one answered the phone.

What to do? I stepped out of my car onto the meridian, thinking that if the car were to be rear ended, it would be best to not be inside.

There I was; a little old lady standing by the car with a cell phone in hand, undoubtedly looking bewildered, when a rather beat out old van pulled in front of my disabled car and a Mexican man in a leather jacket got out and offered to help. He answered my attempt in Spanish to explain the situation in English. He said his name was Choo Choo and he had been working in California and was now back in San Miguel.

He first thought I was out of gas.  I never drive with a close to empty gas tank, but he got back in his car and pushed my car to a side street and said he would go for gas.
a few dents and scratches are the reminders of my adventure.

He said, "Don't worry. I will come back."

He returned with the gas, and I showed him the gas gauge, proving that I still had 1/3 of a tank.
He said, "Don't worry. I have lots of friends. I will call a mechanic" Within 5 minutes, the mechanic showed up, looked under the hood and diagnosed the problem as a broken belt.

Then, the adventure began. Choo Choo, using his van pushed my car across the highway to the other side, crossed the road again, and got up a hill to the mechanic's shop that he just opened for me.

After Juan Diego, the mechanic, said he could fix my car in 2 or 3 hours, Choo Choo said he had to go.

I thanked him profusely; asked how I could ever repay him. He  said, " People need to help others, and just keep me in your prayers."

I still get teary eyed thinking about my highway hero, who is also one of my angels.

My dear neighbors came to pick me up, standing at the side of the road; took me home, and back back down to the mechanic when the car was ready.

I think of how blessed I am that the car broke down at that time and place, and there are angels are everywhere.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Featured artist on Artsy Shark

I am pleased to have to have my work chosen to be the featured artist on the International Art Site, Arty Shark.
Here is the link to see the site. Please click on it to see the posting

It is wonderful to be recognized .

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Day of the Dead in San Miguel

The Day of the Dead is a big celebration in San Miguel or any place in Mexico. It is a touching and colorful tradition honoring loved ones who have passed to another plane.

The altar at the library

another library altar

Face painting in el Jardin

Sunday morning before the altars are set up around the town square

Flowers everywhere

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Life Drawings

 Here are some sketches from more than a year ago when I was able to work from a model once a week. There is nothing like working from life, and an important exercise if one wants to work figuratively.

Conté crayon on tinted paper

Conté on tortilla paper.

Click on the link below to see more drawings.