Sunday, August 30, 2015

Eleanor Roosevelt, A WomanWho Changed the World

I am happy with what is happening in the studio with this new series. This painting of Eleanor Roosevelt is finally working the way I want it to. These portraits are painted over abstract encaustic paintings that don't please me anymore. I have to fuse at least the first layer of oil into the encasutic to assume a permanent bond. I do wear a heavy mask while fusing, since the fumes can be toxic. I then can scrape though the oil to the encasutic base.
Here is the process:

Finished painting

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Different Time

A friend once asked me if I had had therapy. No, I haven't, but that question prompted thoughts about how my art has expressed what was happening in my life at the time.

About 1989, when I was living in Phoenix, Arizona, co-owning a huge art gallery (10,500 sq. ft.) I created a series; "Her Journey; Every woman's journey to self-realization. Below is a painting from that time.
You Must Lift Yourself From Hell Alone

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hedy Lamarr, A Woman who Changed the World

I finished the first painting of the series of Women Who changed the World. I started with what I thought might be the most challenging, because she is so beautiful. Young, gorgeous women are not as much fun to paint, but I do like challenges.

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr

Athough better known for her Silver Screen exploits, Austrian actress Hedy Lamarr (born Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler) also became a pioneer in the field of wireless communications following her emigration to the United States. The international beauty icon, along with co-inventor George Anthiel, developed a "Secret Communications System" to help combat the Nazis in World War II. By manipulating radio frequencies at irregular intervals between transmission and reception, the invention formed an unbreakable code to prevent classified messages from being intercepted by enemy personnel.

Lamarr and Anthiel received a patent in 1941, but the enormous significance of their invention was not realized until decades later. It was first implemented on naval ships during the Cuban Missile Crisis and subsequently emerged in numerous military applications. But most importantly, the "spread spectrum" technology that Lamarr helped to invent would galvanize the digital communications boom, forming the technical backbone that makes cellular phones, fax machines and other wireless operations possible.

As is the case with many of the famous women inventors, Lamarr received very little recognition of her innovative talent at the time, but recently she has been showered with praise for her groundbreaking invention. In 1997, she and George Anthiel were honored with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award. And later in the same year, Lamarr became the first female recipient of the BULBIE™ Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award, a prestigious lifetime accomplishment prize for inventors that is dubbed "The Oscar™ of Inventing."

Proving she was much more than just another pretty face, Lamarr shattered stereotypes and earned a place among the 20th century's most important women inventors. She truly was a visionary whose technological acumen was far ahead of its time.

When I posted this painting on FaceBook, several people thought it was Ava Gardner. That is understandable, since the publicity shots were retouced by hand, long before photo shop, and the flat makeup and strong black eyebrows, heavy false eyelashes and red lips looked pretty much the same. Ava's eyes were brown and Hedy's were green, but the makeup looked similar.

Ava Gardner

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Feeding the Hungry

I have been volunteering for the organization, Feed the Hungry for almost 11 years - I took too much time off when we moved to the country, but I am back now to help get the new school year started.  This organization does change the lives of children. Donations keep it going. It costs $50,000 a month to provide the meals. For $20 you can feed a child for a month. For $200, you can feed a child for a year.

I first heard of Feed the Hungry when I arrived in San Miguel and heard the story of how it began: children in the campo were sick. Doctors were taken for occasions visits, but people realized that the children were starving. Several volunteers began taking food out to the poor outside of town. The inhabitants were suspicious. What did these Gringos want now? It took a while for them to understand that the gifts of food had no strings attached.

One of the first volunteers told me this story. He saw a little boy who looked emaciated and asked him if he had eaten today. He said, "No. It wasn't my turn" This broke my heart and I joined the volunteers who pack the dry food every Saturday morning during the school year. Schools are built by donations and the children must attend school to in order to receive the nutritious meal that is carefully planned by a dietitian.

When I started, we were feeding 1000 children a week. Now it is 4000. Between 65,000 to 85,000 meals are served every month to children who otherwise would not eat or have very little to eat. I could go on and on about Feed The Hungry, but if you are interested, you can check out their website:

This morning, I thought, I can choose what I want to eat for breakfast; many others are not so fortunate.

Volunteers packing the dry food early every Saturday morning

Double checking the list of supplies for every school

Sugar is always a big order (unfortunately - in my opinion) It is only used in their fresh fruit waters

The big warehouse. On Tuesdays driver can circle through to pick up the produce and dry food that we pack on Saturdays

After work, I go to a local Saturday market to buy all the fresh produce I can carry to the car

Where ever there is a Mexican market, there are food stands .

Deep frying meat. Nothing that would interest me, since I am a vegetarian

My bag was very heavy with fruit and vegetables. The cost was about $8 U.S.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A New Direction, Women Who Changed the World

I had been thinking that I would return to painting abstracts, but no art nothing really touches me like well painted figurative work. I started drawing people when I was a child and faces still are fascinating to me.

I am delighted that I see many, young figurative painters on the Internet.  Their work is exciting and inspirational. These are artists who actually can draw, paint, and SEE. For years, figurative painting has been dismissed by galleries, art schools,  and museums, but there seems to be a renewed interest in large, very loosely painting portraiture.

I would love to be able to loosen up even more than the 50 Faces I recently finished. I seem to be procrastinating about starting because I know the first few paintings are going to be disappointing, until I can get into the magical zone, that sometimes happens.

This series will be, "Women Who Changed the World" I have a list of about 48 women, most of them American. I would love to hear from you with your thoughts and suggestions. These women are not necessarily all Mother Teresa-like. They can be villains in some eyes as well as benefactors. They do not have to have lived in this century.

Below are paintings that are older and some recent ones. This is not what I want to next accomplish. I hope I can stretch my abilities to push into the now world of painting. At my age, I know I don't have 10 or 15 years to keep working. Let's see what I can do.

Not This, oil on canvas 2003

Not This, encasutic on board, 2013

Not This, oil on board, 2015

Not this, oil on board, 2014

Not This either., oil, encaustic, transfers, on board, 2014

Monday, August 17, 2015

It Just Wan't Right!

The re-worked painting that I shared in the last post sat on the floor in my studio for a few days and every time I walked by, it was almost like a blow to my solar plexus. It was too busy; the face was too small; and the red was too bright, so yesterday I scraped most of the surface off and I will start over.

I want to loosen up more. I see fabulous, young artists working figuratively that are working almost magically loose and the results are incredible. First of all, I am thrilled that figurative art is once again in the forefront of the art scene, and that many young artists have the ability to draw. Drawing had been considered almost a crime several years ago. God Forbid that you had meaning and story to your work. I was told by a gallery director that if I wanted to be noticed in Mexico I had to make ANGRY art. That I wouldn't do.

Here I am at this advanced age being inspired by the brilliance of much younger artists. I am passionate about improving my painting in my last years.

after the first scraping...



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Back to Encasutic

After months of painting in oil, I set up my encaustic palette. It is very different than my regular encaustic palette, since I mix and blend colors right on the hot surface. I lay it out with the same colors as the palette I use in oil.

cooled down and wax hardened

The painting that I was not satisfied with.

Same panting, after a days re-work

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wear one of my paintings and create literacy

Several weeks ago I received an email from VIDA asking me to send some images of my paintings. They had chosen my work from the Internet. You just never know who is seeing my posts. That was a happy surprise.

 VIDA is a global partnership of creators, pairing designers from around the world with makers in Pakistan in accordance with high ethical standards, to create original, beautiful products.  And the best part is that using part of proceeds from the sales of the products, VIDA creates literacy programs for the makers, so that they have opportunities to learn reading, writing and basic math that they would not otherwise have.

So now you have an opportunity to own a piece of my art on clothing and help create literacy.. My last name is spelled wrong on the order page, but the paintings are mine.

There is 1 day remaining to pre-order one of my paintings on blouses or scarfs.Please click this link to view and order.

Each piece is uniquely designed and custom-printed, and may vary slightly upon receipt. If pre-order goal(s) are met, item(s) will be shipped 30 days after the pre-order window closes, which may vary by product.  Your credit card will be refunded the full amount for any product(s) that do not meet the pre-order goal.

 VIDA’s story is that of the rich, interconnected world we live in -- the story of contemporary life and mindful, global citizenship.
"We are a global partnership of co-creators, from a designer in Paris, to a producer in Karachi, and a consumer in San Francisco."

Click here for more about VIDA:
list=UUVGCwEY5S0SOCN01R8vmASg or the image above.
From the painting The Necklace

From the painting Monarch Butterflies
From the painting, Mexican Sunset

From the painting, Open Arms

From the painting, With Arms Wide Open

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Featured Artist/ Art In San Miguel/ discounted online classes

Check out this week's Art in San Miguel. I am the featured artist.

Also, August is my birthday month and to help celebrate, I am offering 20% off my online Advanced Encaustic Techniques to the first 25 people who buy the 11 classes.You can stream or download them. This offer is good until Aug. 17th.

Below are a couple of my jazz painting I made in the 80"s. I spent 12 years only painting jazz musicians, until I realized that wasn't a part of my life anymore. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

A commission

I had the pleasure of making a portrait of a friend to celebrate her release from the intensity and pain of her past to her recent happiness and emotional freedom. Her story will be told in detail in her upcoming memoir. When I studied her pose and the photos I took,  I sensed gold all around her; so, that is why I used gold leaf in the background. It was later was later softened with an oil paint glaze and a resist. I am only showing her head, shoulders and hands, since it is a nude painting and for private viewing.

early stages of painting with bright gold in the background, before the glazes

more refining on the face
finished portrait (partial)