Tuesday, February 28, 2017

All That Jazz

For 12 years I sketched and painted only jazz musicians. I was privileged to be able to travel with my late husband, Kai Winding,( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kai_Winding) to clubs, festivals, recording sessions and jigs; both in the States and internationally. I carried my sketchbook at all times and even was given a press pass at the Nice, France annual festival. I was free to go back stage, sit on the steps of the stage, or be out front, as long as I did not get in the way of the cameras.

Kai died in 1983 and I moved back to Arizona from our home in Spain in 1986. There I continued to go to clubs and rapidly sketch the local musicians. I regularly exhibited my work in galleries and most of it was sold.

It took me a few years to recognize the jazz part of my life was over. I no longer was a participant of that scene and began to concentrate on painting women. ( There were few women in the jazz picture in those days) I was asked if I didn't like men. Of course I like men, but after all the years of painting almost only men, I was ready of a change.

Here are some memories of that time and well as the quick sketches and some paintings of many jazz greats.
Dizzy and me

A Tribute To A Great Musician

Kai Winding, encaustic on paper

Stan Getz, encaustic on paper

"If It Don't Swing, It Don't Mean A Thing" Mixed media on canvas, property of a museum

Bill Evans ink on paper

Red Mitchel, ink on paper

Grand Parade de Jazz, Nice, France

Louie, mixed media on canvas

Red Mitchel, transfer on encaustic

last time I saw Kai play, Japan 1982

Book I wrote when I was a yoga teacher

Friday, February 24, 2017

Process of a Painting

When I was working on my 50 Faces series, I found that followers on Face Book reacted almost more positively to the process photos of the portraits to the finished painting.

I work loosely and do not draw before I start painting. Through the last 13 years I have been trying to get away from absolute realism to a more painterly approach.

Here is the process of a recently finished painting from my series, "Transformations"

Oil over black gesso

The oil painting has been covered with clear encaustic. The butterflies are painted with a hot stylus and the jar is a transfer.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Women In A Role of Nurturer and Conqueror

I attempted to register for an online completion featuring nude paintings, called, "Flesh." After about 40 minutes of trying to load the images to the site, I gave up.

It was interesting to go back through my photos to find images that I made before I moved to San Miguel de Allende in 2004. All these painting sold years ago and I was pleased to find that I still had some images stored on my computer.

This series was named "Nudes and Food" All painted in oil. My idea was the associaion of women with beauty and nurturing: often through providing comfort, love and of course food.

Along with my search for the original statement, I found a statement from the University of Oregon, about other paintings that I had in their "ART OF THE EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN" show ; Ezshwan's work is very personal and powerful. It places women in a role of nurturer and conqueror."
 Wow! I love that review!

A Loaf of Bread, A Jug of Wine and....

Whipped Crea,

The Banana Peel

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Build It And They Will Come

Fix the road, I should say.

We live in a lovely house about a 15 minute drive from town, San Miguel de Allende; however, when students or clients finally get here, they usually comment, "Oh my god, that road is terrible" I did agree; there were gaping holes filled with jagged rocks that could cut car tires and destroy shocks.

A while back we put some money in a community fund towards repairing the road, but nothing happened. Although we are the only renters in our neighborhood, I decided I had to do something about the abominable road. My all-around handy man and studio assistant ordered a 1/2 truck load of gravel and he spent a good part of the day filling in the most treacherous, dangerous hole. Later, that evening, I received thank you notices from 8 of our neighbors.

I also put a map with directions to the house on my website.

Yesterday, I received some delightful people for a studio visit, and sold 2 paintings. They did come! Two paintings sold. I now have a fascinating commission that I look forward to and a suggestion that I show my art in Paris.

Next, perhaps I can convince Google Maps to include our address.
Sold, Transitions #2

Sold: Cold wax on paper

Saturday, February 11, 2017

There Is No Such Thing As Cold Encaustic!

encaustic on board
Encaustic on board
cold wax and oil on panel

cold wax and oil on paper
You may think that I am extreme in my insistence about the difference between encaustic and cold wax painting. but it is like saying that watercolor and acrylic is the same; both wonderful techniques, but not the same.

When I first arrived in San Miguel de Allende, MX, over 12 years ago, I faced Mexican artists who learned wax painting in school and their teachers called it encaustic.  They also heated it!! I was horrified to learn that was what they were teaching at the local art school. "What's the big deal?" you may say. HEATING COLD WAX is very dangerous to your health. It contains solvents. Wearing a thin paper mask is doing nothing; the fumes are still being breathed.

I saw a posting from a local artist about a recent class she took, saying she was working in cold encaustic. There is no such thing.  Below is the explanation from The Encaustic Art Institute in San Fe, New Mexico

detail of encaustic texturing
"What Is Encaustic?
Encaustic is a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn in” (enkaustikos). Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the beeswax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax. Encaustic consists of natural bees wax and dammar resin (crystallized tree sap). The medium can be used alone for its transparency or adhesive qualities or used pigmented. Pigments may be added to the medium, or purchased colored with traditional artist pigments. The medium is melted and applied with a brush or any tool the artist wishes to create from. Each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the previous layer.
History of Encaustic
Encaustic painting is an ancient technique, dating back to the Greeks, who used wax to caulk ship hulls. Pigmenting the wax gave rise to the decorating of warships. The use of encaustic on panels rivaled the use of tempera in what are the earliest known portable easel paintings. Tempera was a faster, cheaper process. Encaustic was a slow, difficult technique, but the paint could be built up in relief, and the wax gave a rich optical effect to the pigment. These characteristics made the finished work startlingly life-like. Moreover, encaustic had far greater durability than tempera, which was vulnerable to moisture. Perhaps the best known of all encaustic work are the Fayum funeral portraits painted in the 1st through 3rd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt. A portrait of the deceased painted either in the prime of life or after death, was placed over the person’s mummy as a memorial. These are the only surviving encaustic works from ancient times. It is notable how fresh the color has remained due to the protection of the wax.

Fayum burial portrait
The 20th century has seen a rebirth of encaustic on a major scale. It is an irony of our modern age, with its emphases on advanced technology, that a painting technique as ancient and involved as encaustic should receive such widespread interest.
Earlier attempts to revive encaustic failed to solve the one problem that had made painting in encaustic so laborious – the melting of the wax. The availability of portable electric heating implements and the variety of tools made the use of encaustic more accessible. Today it is gaining popularity with artists around the world.
Care of Encaustic Art
These paintings are extremely archival, but as with any fine art, care should be given to them. There should be no fear of the work melting in normal household conditions. The wax and resin will not melt unless exposed to temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaving a painting in a car on a hot day would not be advisable or hanging a painting in front of a window with direct desert-like sun. They are also sensitive to freezing cold temperatures.
Some encaustic colors tend to “bloom” or become cloudy over time. If your painting appears indistinct, simply rub the surface with a soft cloth or nylon stocking. Over time the surface retains its gloss as the wax medium continues to cure and harden for up to 1-3 years."
cold wax and oil on panel