Tuesday, December 26, 2017

No Honor For Aung San Suu Kyi !

the posting below is quoted from the Guardian newspaper

  The Myanmar leader should be cut from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, critics insist

It is one of the most popular children’s books of 2017, a collection of stories about female role models from Amelia Earhart and Marie Curie to Hillary Clinton and Serena Williams, inspiring girls to aim high and challenge the status quo.

"But Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, likely to be in many Christmas stockings, has run into controversy because of one of the 100 women included in its pages. When the book was written last year, Aung San Suu Kyi was deemed a worthy subject: winner of the Nobel peace prize and epitome of courage in the face of oppression. But her fall from grace over her response to violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, described by the UN as possible genocide, has triggered calls for her to be taken out of future editions. In response, the authors, Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, are considering removing her from reprints.
Labour MP and shadow justice minister Yasmin Qureshi, who has raised concerns in parliament about the Rohingya crisis, said: “I often wonder how it can be possible to go from being one of the most admired and respected civil rights champions, a symbol of courage, patience and principle, to someone who shows such lack of compassion.
“I have no doubt that history will remember her as the leader who watched on while mass killing, systematic rape and ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands who were forced to live in squalid refugee camps. I’d encourage the authors to consider that there is an entire generation of young Rohingya children who are stateless and hopeless, suffering a miserable existence. Aung San Suu Kyi’s refusal to condemn makes her complicit.”

I had included Aung San Suu Kyi in my "Women Who Changed the World" series, but now I realized who she really is. This painting is removed from my website and Saatchi gallery. I will scrape off her face and use the board for something more deserving.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Happy Holidays

This is an old oil painting that I did many years ago. It lives in San Francisco now   
And a  Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends.

I had been traveling for 10 days in the state of Veracruz and planned on posting many photos of my wonderful trip along with a story of my adventure. I used my iPhone camera to take these precious images, but when I tried to download them to the computer, I couldn't, so I will try again when Mercury Retrograde is over, but in the meantime I want to wish you all a happy, healthy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

I have been posting an image a day on Instagram and this one has been the most liked. It is very different from previous work, and I am wondering if I can create some more in this vein. It is cold wax and oil, 24" x 24" and I titled it "Waiting"

Monday, December 4, 2017

November Has Been a Good Month

 6 paintings and a print were sold in November.  I am completely recovered from the E-coli infection and parasites in the blood. I had been feeling listless, exhausted, with a daily headache and a queasy stomach. I didn't have the energy to create or plan future workshops. I felt as if some old person had taken over my body. I didn't know why until the lab tests.

Well, I am back, excited to make new paintings and to welcome students to my classes in encaustic; both beginning and advanced and oil and cold wax. I am even considering offering portrait painting in encasutic.

Tomorrow, I am off to Veracruz for 9 days. Life is good.
Encaustic Diptych

Oil and Encaustic on panel

Encaustic diptych

oil and encaustic on panel

6 paintings and a print were sold in November.  I am completely recovered from the E-coli infection and parasites in the blood. I had been feeling listless, exhausted, with a daily headache and a queasy stomach. I didn't know why until the lab tests.
A print of this painting was sold by Saatchi gallery

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I Didn't Stop In Time!

It has been spotty working in the studio. Since we moved into a large house with a large back yard and loads of plants to care for, I seem to find many other things to do rather than paint.  I could pretend that I do all this extra work, but actually I have a wonderful assistant and he can do everything and I mean everything; gardening, plumbing, electrical work and he is also my studio assistant. Of course the stumbling block could be that once again I screwed up a perfectly good painting by thinking I could improve it. Well, I certainly didn't.

Also I have been a bit under the weather and that became a real challenge 5 days ago. All will be well. I saw my dear doctor this morning and he assures me that I will be perfectly well for my planned trip to Veracruz Dec, 5.
I decided to attack a lovely encaustic diptych that had a few scratches. I painted oil and cold wax on the first layer
Next, I went back with black cwm and oil. I should have stopped at this point
This could have been a painting on its own.

Same painting. Getting worse and worse. if I had used encaustic, I could scrape it off and start again.                          

The saving grace was ordering 3 perfect boards that my assistant prepared; one for encaustic and the other 2 for cold wax and oil. Now the fun and challenge can begin.

I had a nice surprise. I opened a Face book post by one of the authors of the new Cold Wax book and found that one of my paintings was posted as an example.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE HOLIDAY SALE FROM NOW TO DECEMBER 22. 30% off plus free shipping from Mexico. The online workshops will be discounted also, BUT in order to participate you must sign up for my mailing list. If you already have subscribed, you are registered and can choose what you want. I can offer gift certificates if you want to choose something for a someone else.

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?

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:
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

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

His next email:
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.
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
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.



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