It is Halloween and I spent the morning listening to Kyle complain about how uncomfortable thong underwear is. wow. They really do grow up so fast.

So, to try and erase the images of him and his teammates at last night’s costumed volleyball practice – sports bra and thongs oh my – I have been clicking through my computer files looking for cute and innocent pics of Halloween past.

I wasn’t finding what I was looking for, but ran across this series of images from our Florida trip in 2012.

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Sure, it has nothing to do with Halloween, but it made me smile. I mean really, who hasn’t wanted to chase Kyle around with a big stick!

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Someone long ago had painted “ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW” on a sidewalk at the University of Michigan. I don’t know if it was something I walked over once or everyday while I was there, but it was forever etched into my memory.

Struggle against the flow. Go with the flow. Fight. Surrender. I don’t have the answers. Some days it’s one. Some days the other. 

Making art is a struggle. Sometime you find that flow and go with it. The painting comes easy. Some days not.

But I understand the game. “Don’t fall in love with the background!” The “ugly teenager” phase. It’s temporary! The “click” when it starts to come together. And  I know the materials. I feel competent that I can make them do my bidding. No big surprises. And then I started painting with encaustics, and the unknown is as vast as an ocean. I am a beginner here. Any sense of control that I may feel is false. With heat the wax becomes fluid and unpredictable. The lines move. Too much heat and you melt through to the wood panel underneath all those layers. You blow a hole into the painting. And you have to remember what you learned in printmaking – “you can’t go back, you just have to roll with it”. Go with the flow. damn.

I really struggle when I work on an abstract piece. I need the painting to “be” something. I like a narrative. Even if no one else sees it. I started this painting 4 months ago. People who saw it said it was great, but I knew it wasn’t finished. And I was stuck. Didn’t know where to take it next. So I would walk by and doodle on it out of frustration. Carve into it, or draw more lines on it as I explained encaustic painting to visitors. It sat on the workbench and I would glare at it. And then a couple weeks ago I started working on it again, found the story and was able to finish it. finally!

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Ophelia” 18″x18″

Of course I have started another encaustic painting. Another struggle. I am letting it sit. Giving it the stink-eye as I pass. In the meantime I’ve been making encaustic monotypes. A printmaking technique that allow me to make quick and easy prints with wax on paper. I had been using thick printmaking paper, but picked up some rice paper after attending the last Sierra Wax Artist meeting and seeing a monotype demo by Barbara Nilsson.  I must say I am really loving the results I get with this thinner paper! These are all 6″x9″ encaustic and graphite.

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An Official Happy Dance

May 25, 2014

Wow. The Big Names, Small Art event at the Crocker Art Museum last Thursday night was a blast! Saw a bunch of friends, was out-bid on all the pieces I tried to win, and met people who were actively trying to win my piece! It sold for $185. sweet. But the best part of the night? […]

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Mayday Mayday Mayday

May 19, 2014

crap. We still have 2 more weeks of May. Each month I hope our stress levels are gonna drop back down to “normal”. It hasn’t happened yet. My fear is that this is the new normal; a crisis a day. And that would suck. My adrenal glands need a freaking break here! Kyle sprained his […]

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And *POOF* we bought a house!

May 1, 2014

If *POOF* equals 2 months of stress, trauma, and great uncertainty. But yes, after the absolute hell we have gone through, we actually “recorded” yesterday. The house is ours. At the end of the month we will move from Cardinal to Soaring Hawk. Bigger, better, bird – bigger, better house. Our current house (which is […]

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Ok April, let’s do this thing!

April 11, 2014

As long as “this thing” continues to be good news  like I received in today’s mail. I just found out that one of my prints was selected for the Crocker Museum’s annual Art Auction! I will have a piece of art hanging in a museum. That is all kinds of kick ass! And I needed […]

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