Friday, November 10, 2017

How Important Are the Arts?

I got that question this morning during a live interview at a gallery opening in Denmark. It was an honor to be part of the opening exhibition even though we are in different countries and different time zones.

How important are the arts? this reminds me of my father's comments as I pleaded with my parents to go to art school. He said. "What good is art? You can't eat it or wear it?

My answer to the question today was something like, "Without art, life is colorless"

Here are some other artists' quotes; "Art is art. Everything else is everything else." Ad Reinhardt

"Art is lies that tell the truth." Picasso

Perhaps my favorite quote, at least for today;   "A great artist...must be shaken by the naked truths that will not be comforted. This divine discontent, this disequilibrium, this state of inner tension is the source of artistic energy." Goethe

I am sure not only artists feel the divine discontent. It is what we do with that discontent, isn't it?

I was discontented with this painting several years ago and I destroyed it. The image popped up on  a post from Pinterest. Someone had saved it. I thought, "Wow, that was a good painting. Why did I not let it live?"
encaustic. I may try to re-create it.



Sunday, November 5, 2017

Paintings, Workshops, Books, All Will Be Reduced For Holiday Shopping



My studio is filling up again, although I have had a great year for sales.  I am planning very  special offers for everyone on my mailing list. If you are interested in being included in this promotion, you must sign up for the mailing list. You will receive a free video of 60 years of my work and a monthly newsletter and the special sale. Only the people on the mailing list will be included. I promise not to fill up your inbox. My usual newsletter is one time a month.

There will be gift certificates for commissions, workshops and art; 30% discounts on existing paintings and free shipping the the States and Canada. Never have I offered this much. See the sign up on the right of this blog.

Check out my website: www.ezshwan.com and choose which painting you want for yourself or as a gift. A gift certificate can be sent to you if don't know someone's taste. Also I am offering 30% off my workshops.ezshwan.blogspot.com

Here is just a sampling of paintings that will be available. Something for everyone and don't forget I will include commissions in this sale, but you must sign up.














Thursday, October 26, 2017

Intrepid. Really?

A friend posted a comment on my Instagram feed about my latest painting, "Roller Coaster" and said, "As always, you are nothing but intrepid." I smiled and thought I like that word, it  means; "fearless. adventurous" That is what I want as an artist.

My greatest love is figurative art and I can get emotional and teary eyed when I see brilliant figurative art. When I say figurative art, I mean people. I know that a still life is considered figurative, so don't try to correct me. It is faces, bodies, expression, bold brush strokes that evokes passion and gives me that falling in love feeling.

Now back to abstract - non objective painting. I like that too, and I know that it can be challenging to make a painting that does not look like colorful vomit. Yes, I am critical. After 63 years of working as a professional artist, ( My first job right out of art school was in the art department of a book publishing company), I give myself permission to be opinionated. In everything I paint now, I want to push my boundaries and make something I have never created before. That may not be commercially advantageous, but it keeps me excited.

Roller Coaster oil and cold wax

Yes, the same artist (me) painted all of these.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Is It Abstract or Non-Objective?

When I went to art school many years ago there was a distinction between abstract and non objective painting. An abstract was recognizable objects changed to make them more interesting. Think Braque, Picasso. Non objective was just as it sounds: no object. Now it seems that everything not realistic is called abstract. What do you think about the labeling?
Braque

Picasso    
Here is my first abstract done in 1953. Casein on illustration board

Non objective painting in progress, 2017, cold wax and cradled panel.
How would you classify this? encaustic, oil and cold wax and cradled boards.

Friday, October 13, 2017

When Is It Finished?

That's the big question for a lot of artists. "Am I finished?'

Months ago, I re-worked an encaustic painting , I don't remember what it had been, before, but obviously I wasn't happy with it. I worked and worked; day after day. There was so much wax on it that it was getting very heavy.

When we moved in June, I put this painting away, still not completely satisfied with it; put it in the stacks in my viewing room, and then pulled it out a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was NASTY! I asked my assistant to put it out in the sun and scrape all the encaustic wax off it.
The sun began its work. 
Before the melt down





Wednesday, October 4, 2017

I Wasn't Born With A Silver Spoon In My Mouth



There was no silver spoon in my mouth when I was born. My parents were immigrants from Hungary and I was taught that I had to work for everything. I am grateful for that training and I have never been afraid to work.

I was a grown woman with 2 daughters when I found out that my parents were millionaires. They worked hard and invested well.

But I digress... I made the painting pictured above for a competition for a gallery in Denmark. (The work had to be either encaustic or cold wax). It is an antique spoon that my mother-in -law gave me. The college in it tells the history of the spoon; in Danish. Fortunately, an English translation accompanied this beautiful gift; it says, "This spoon was my great, great, great grandfathers. His name was: John Nicolay Winding. Born May 6, 1737, in Vestervig, Jutland, Denmark. He died June 10, 1818. He was minister in the town of Twed and he was called "The Pope Of Mols"
because of his great authority. He was married to Sophie Magdalene Falk. They had seven children. "I received the spoon from my mother' "  I am guessing that this was given to my husband's father.
In any case it is very old, beautiful and carries a lot of memories.

After working a few days on the painting above, I realized that it was flat and boring, so I made another one that I entered to the competition. The spoon is featured with an icy glass of Aquavit.
It has many layers of encaustic and the still life is paintied with oil and cold wax.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Scamers At Work. Artists Beware

Here is the painting that was selected for "purchase" I am surprised that a more expensive one wasn't chosen


Artists, particularly artists new to social media must be aware of an old scam that pops up every so often in our inbox.

Here is the first one I received this week:
Hello
i'm John Owen from North Carolina. You are doing a really great project in your artworks images. I actually observed my wife has been viewing your art piece online with my laptop,shes an art lover and can see she has interest in your piece.well I was also amazed after seeing your various works too. I would love to receive further information about your piece of work. I am interested in purchasing a piece to surprise my her,so kindly confirm me about the artwork available for sales. best regards
John.


I responded that all information is on my website:www.ezshwan.com

His next email:
 Hello:Ezshwan
Thanks for the message, however, I would
greatly appreciate if you could possibly recommend a few completed
original piece within my budget $450- $2000 ready for     immediate
sale... Just need something within that price   range for a surprise
to my wife (can tell she likes your   work). I would appreciate if you
can figure out a piece     of     work that would serve that purpose.
Kindly email   images and prices of any available works in that
range.   Thanks  and blessing John


Blessings !!!. I don't think so.
Next:
Thanks for the message,  I must tell you I intend to give my wife a
surprise with the immediate purchase of the piece. Also If you'd like
to know, I'm relocating to the Philippines soon and our wedding
anniversary is fast approaching. So I'm trying to gather some good
stuff to make this event a surprise one. I am buying the art work
Luscious Lips, oil and cold wax 16 " x 16" of $575


as a gifts to her.I'm okay with the price, I think it's worth
it
anyway, so I'll be sending a check.

As regarding shipping, you don't have to worry about that in order not
to leave any clue to my wife for the surprise. as soon as you receive
and cash the check, my shipping agent (who is also moving my personal
effect) will contact you to arrange pick-up.

I would have come to purchase the piece myself but, at the moment, am
on training voyage to the North Atlantic Ocean (I'm an ocean engineer)
with new hires who are fresh from graduate school and won't be back
for another couple of weeks.

Regards,

John

PS: In the meantime, kindly get back to me with your full name (you
want the check payable to) cell phone no. and contact address
(preferably for Usps ,fedEx not P.O box) where a check can be mailed
to, so I can get the check prepared and have it mailed out to you
right away.


Of course I  knew it was a scam and played along with it to see how far he would go. I wrote him that I only accept PayPal payments and after a couple more emails, he gave up. Since then I learned that fraudulent or stolen credit cards can be used on Pay Pal. What I should have done is contact the FBI and reported him.

Some unsuspecting artist do fall for these spamers and are usually sent a fradulent cashiers check for more than the price of the painting, are asked to send a check for the excess amount back to the "purchaser" and end up losing quite a bit of money money, and often a painting .
 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Life Gets In The Way

Hi all. I have been negligent in posting on this blog for a while. There just wasn't time.
The first of September, I went to San Francisco to see my oldest daughter, who is an art consultant for a gallery there.

My alchemist middle daughter flew from Phoenix to join us. And then to my astonishment, my three grandsons, whom I hadn't seen in years came from Seattle, Boston and Talent OR to surprise me.

It was a energy filled time trying to catch up with everyone. I felt loved, honored and blessed.
grandson #3

grandson #1


grandson #2


daughters #2 & 3

Nana and Ahanu

Valarie at Spirit Rock
And I have been working on more of the White Glove series. I seem to be running out of steam on this series. The last two ( not posted) have been a challenge and are now facing the wall while I wait for inspiration.




We had a wonderful event last weekend for my youngest daughter's sale of one or of kind, up-cycled, hand made decorator pillows. We had great refreshments, met new friends and I did an encaustic demo before we were entertained by a fabulous duo signing some of their special Argentine music.

Tomorrow, two artists are joining me in my studio for a 2 day cold wax workshop. I look forward to fun filled days.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Creating in Stressful Times


I will help others that are suffering in what ever limited ways I can. I am not wealthy, but I have a comfortable life and can't ignore the misery of others. I can contribute some money and time. Donations are easy to send through the Internet.

 I have volunteered to pack food every Saturday morning for Feed The Hungry. This is an organization that feeds over 4000 Mexican children every school day. These children are the poorest of the poor and wouldn't be able to eat otherwise. Here is the link http://feedthehungrysma.org/

Still when I enter the studio, I would like to create beautiful, peaceful and uplifting work.

I finished the painting I posted in the last blog. It is oil and cold wax on cradled panel. Can you help me with a name? I have temporarily named it "Waiting"
I made this painting about 17 years ago. I brought it to San Miguel when I moved here and eventually loaned it to a friend. unbeknownst to me, she gave it away. Finally, the new owner tracked me down to tell me how much he loved the painting.  I was shocked. At least I still have the image.          
Lost in Thought
A Sprinkling of Rose Petals

These last two images are from my "Pensive" series. If you would like to see me check on the link to the series on my website. http://www.ezshwan.com/pensive.html

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"Never Stop Painting"

 "Never Stop Painting" I received this beautiful message from an other artist on Face Book. He is participating in a page that shares many artists' images, including mine.

This came at a time when I had been doing much soul searching. It seems almost frivolous to be making art that is not protesting the hateful human energy that has taken over the news and social media; but I know better. I have been a member of Self Realization Fellowship for 46 years. This could be considered a church of all religions. It is based on the principles of yoga and it is all about changing oneself, not expecting anyone one else to change. My guru, Paramahansa Yogananda reminded us, “Greater than the destructive force of hate is the compassionate power of love.  Whatever you say or do to others, let it be with love.  Harm no one.  Judge no other.  Hate none, love all; ...  Whatever blessings you have, desire that all should have.”  

So, I have spent time in the studio trying to create beauty, uniqueness, and peaceful paintings. I am proceeding with the White Glove Series. 

When I was a young woman in the middle 50's, a "lady" would never go to the city (Chicago) without wearing gloves and a hat. I still think that was an elegant look and certainly set a tone and attitude of something special.

In this new series I am focusing on sophisticated women wearing gloves,
I am wanting to keep the paintings  loose and the figure abstracted to give the feeling a a time that is gone.

 I don't know how many more I will make. Time will tell. I have been using mostly cold wax and oil and I haven't fallen in love with the medium, at least for figurative work. It is great for abstracts and I may go back to those soon.
Rita
Here is what I have so far.
Waiting


In the viewing room
In process. Probably a couple more days of work on this one.
16" x 16" cold wax and oil.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Not Too Pretty Anymore

If you saw my last post, you know I was not satisfied with the latest White Glove series. ( I am going to have to change the name, since I want to include black gloves also.)
I took a week's break from painting; 2 days for private  encaustic students, see  ezshwan.blogspot.com.
Then I took a few days off to nurse a sore throat. Today I got back in the studio and "unprettyed" several paintings.
beginning


Today- more work on this one tomorrow

working on 4. It's best that way so I don't over work,

from this...

to this.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

It's Too Pretty!

Last post, I showed the lovely blank panel. I worked on this new painting all week. It seemed the more I worked, the more dissatisfied I became. I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong with the painting. After yesterday's studio session, I realized it was just too darn pretty.

I photographed the process. I will look at the last effort for a couple of days before I paint over it.
I know I won't work on it because I have encaustic class to teach for the next couple of days.

Here is the process; cold wax and oil on 60 x 100 cm panel.