Thursday, November 11, 2010

upcoming events

Autumn vignette, encaustic & digital, 4" x 4", framed 5.5" x 5.5"

Here are a group of new paintings, all destined for my featured artist show at Artistica Gallery in Dexter. The opening will be Dec 3 from 6-8pm. This work features a number of very tiny paintings as well as some larger work.

Zion - cliff clinging tree, encaustic & digital, 6" x 6", framed 9" x 9"

Storm/shore, encaustic & digital, 6" x 6", framed 9" x 9"

coastal abstract, encaustic & digital, 4" x 4", framed 5.5" x 5.5"

Prairie sky, encaustic & digital, 7" x 23", framed 12" x 28"

Fisherman's Island Dusk, encaustic & digital, 7" x 23", framed 12" x 28"

New Mexico Skyline, encaustic & digital, 4" x 4", framed 5.5" x 5.5"

Some of these pieces came out of the summer's trip out west, some are Michigan based. All reflect an emotional connection to the landscape and to particular times of day - generally late afternoon when the light is at its most lyrical.

One other upcoming event of interest - the Milan Art Center is having a holiday extravaganza on December 4thWhat is that? We'll have an exhibition of gift friendly art by local artists including Kim Trail Rhoney, Marne Evans, and myself. We'll have a craft project fundraiser that will produce a cool gift and we'll have hot chocolate after the annual Milan Holiday Parade. More information on our Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sustainable Centerpieces project

I've been working with the Ecology Center on their upcoming 40th Anniversary Fundraiser. They invited me to coordinate a different sort of art fundraiser than the usual "donate your work and write off just the materials because you like our cause." Instead, we're doing something much more interesting: artists were invited to create Sustainable Centerpieces - small sculptures which reference one of the themes the Ecology Center focuses on like wind power, recycling, water use, etc. The pieces will be sold by silent auction at the upcoming Nov 17th dinner featuring Van Jones and dinner at the Michigan League- you can buy tickets here. What's unique about this? The artists will take home most of the proceeds of the sale of their work, sharing a cut with the Ecology Center. We're excited about this as a more collaborative way of raising funds and supporting both a terrific organization and the artists working with them. There are 21 artists contributing a total of 35 pieces to the project - below is a small sampling - I'll post more in the coming days.

Barbara Melnik Carson Recycling Outside a Small Circle of Friends

Sobel - resevoir
Sobel - coil tree
Sobel - cable tree

Rick Lieder Capturing the Last Joyride

Mike Sivak Reliquary

Laila Kujala

Rick De Troyer

Barbara Brown

Jill Love & Mary Bowe - Earth

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A week of ideas and events

My life is generally way too busy these days and this week took that to a whole new level of crazy. On Tuesday I went up to Grand Rapids to see ArtPrize with three friends. We missed more than we got to unsurprisingly - the event included more than 1700 artists this year and I didn't manage to see multiple friends' work so will have to try to make another trip if humanly possible.

We were particularly blown away by the works shown at GRAM - Grand Rapids Art Museum and UICA. At GRAM I was very impressed by the work of Young Kim's moving and evocative installation, Steven Sorman's beautiful and immense print,drawing and mixed media on paper, Al Wildey's digital on aluminum piece , Janice Arnold's amazing felt installation. Heechan Kim's sculpture was fascinating - wood and copper hanging in space. Perhaps the most interesting piece there was David Sprigg's. Installed in a large vitrine and comprised of multiple paintings on mylar suspended, making a dimensional image that changed with the viewer's angle, evoking the cosmos, it was thought provoking and fascinating. I'm skipping over plenty of other strong work in the interests of brevity.

UICA has work that is edgier, more political in content and more varied in how well it worked for me. Two particular standouts were Chris Jordan, whose work addresses the horrifying amount of consumer waste we generate. UICA has a number of his large digital prints which graphically demonstrate very large numbers of things like the number of plastic water bottles dumped every day. I was familiar with his work but had never seen it in person and the large scale adds plenty of impact to strong work.

Wayne Belger's Untouchable Camera series are a set of beautiful photographic prints of people who are HIV positive - shot through a filter and with a camera elaborately machined by the artist and using HIV positive blood as the red filter. The method is important and involved and my conversation with the artist made it clear how important his process is to the content of his work.

I didn't get to see the work of several friends so will need to make a follow-up trip to see installed work I've seen in progress by Brenda Oelbaum, Margaret Parker and Oliver Aguilar

So that was Tuesday. phew!

Wednesday: Tedx Detroit Bigger, better organized and more inspiring that last year's conference, this year's event was held at the DIA. It was terrific. I was really moved bySteve Kahn's presentation on Math Corps which is doing incredibly important work with inner city Detroit kids. If Detroit is going to be a sustainably functional city in the long term its schools have got to be fixed. Math Corps is not a solution but it's certainly an important part and I know I'm going to contribute to what they do.

It's hard to pick out specific presentations that really resonated because they were all really good. Poets David Blair and Jessica Care Moore, artist and educator Jocelyn Rainey really grabbed me. Rainey takes her inner city Detroit students all over the world, expanding their horizons remarkably. It's worth watching the online videos of the event, especially of the performances. In the interests of keeping this post to a remotely sane length I'll stop here other than to say that the energy in the room was palpable and the connections made are likely to endure and grow into more good things for the region.

If you've read this far don't forget - tonight is the fundraiser for the Milan Art Center at Original Gravity Brewing Company in Milan.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

technology, recycling and repair and gratuitious images

clouds & sky

I found, via
Metafilter, an interview with Kyle Wiens of iFixit talking about repairability, the impact on the environment of our consumer culture and the importance of extending device lifespans to reduce the amount of waste we're dumping. He has been working in Africa exploring the horrific conditions in which people are extracting valuable materials from our consumer waste - video here. I've been a huge fan of iFixit for years, using their manuals and parts to repair computers with my kids. I had no idea of the scope of their ambitions until I saw this and I'm very impressed. I've said for years that I'd happily pay more for computers designed with repair and upgradability designed in rather than planned obsolescence. We can't afford the environmental cost of continuing to build stuff to just toss it and replace it. It's immoral to dump stuff, full of heavy metals and toxic substances in third world nations where people will get horribly exposed to bad stuff while re-cycling what they can - just so we can keep buying the newest, latest gadget. Wiens isn't a Luddite and neither am I - I don't think we should go back to a non-technological society but we need to be smarter and more environmentally focused about how we use technology.

golden field, grey sky

And a couple images of current work in progess just as a chaser for the serious stuff.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall workshops

I'm teaching a series of 4 workshops at the Milan Art Center this fall. You can take as many as you'd like - one or more. Each workshop is 4 hours long and self contained, taught at the brand new Milan Art Center in downtown Milan on a Sunday afternoon from noon to 4pm. You can register at the link above.

The classes are:

Encaustic monotype - working with encaustic on paper. Sunday September 19 Working on paper and a heated surface we'll create beautiful one of a kind prints.

Encaustic and collage - Sunday October 10. Encaustic is the ideal collage medium and we'll explore it with multiple permutations and other media.

Encaustic - incorporating digital elements - Sunday November 14. Want to combine your photos or digital paintings with encaustic? This class will be focused on how to - participants will get information in advance allowing them to bring prints to incorporate into their encaustic works.

Encaustic and 3D - Sunday December 12. Bring your encaustic work into the third dimension in this workshop.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

new work, new venues

delta/rooted/growth, digital and mixed

green fields

These are all new pieces, seen here in their digital only versions. In final form they will be modified with encaustic and other media - come back to see how they end up.

It's been a productive summer and I have work out at a lot of places. If you're in Michigan you can see me at WSG where I'm a guest artist. I've also got small new work at the Ann Arbor Art Center. In Cerrillos NM I'm at the Encaustic Art Institute. The new show there is 3D work and they have a couple of pieces. And starting in September I will have work at the Terra Gallery in Columbus OH as part of their upcoming Contemporary Landscapes and Cityscapes exhibition.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

update - invader/invaded

Come to the Townie Street Party and make your mark on this piece. I'm inviting everyone to come and mark the piece with where you live, where you've seen the results of invasive plants and animals in the county - wild hogs rooting in your garden? Ash borer killing your trees? Bring notes about your experience or pictures of your garden and we'll add the to the piece as well. This is a community based project and most of the images in it come from community members. We're hoping to spark dialogue about what are invasives, how long they've been an issue (hint - hundreds of years!) and what are some of the ways communities are handling the challenges presented by invasives.

When: Monday July 19th from 5:00pm to 9:30pm
Where: Ingalls Mall between Burton Tower and the League - I'll be in the Art Zone Tent

Working on this project has led me to some interesting sites - here are a few:
Michigan DNR - Habitat threats
Huron River Watershed Council
Ecology Center
Legacy Land Trust

Saturday, July 10, 2010

more on invader/invasive

I'm looking for your help. For this project I'm putting together images, maps and words about how people have changed the environment here in Washtenaw County. Is your backyard full of garlic mustard? Place you like to paddle on the Huron now devoid of beneficial mussels? Banks full of purple loosestrife? I'm looking for your images and your words and I need them soon.
I'm also looking for mapping of invasive plants and animals in the county - if you have maps that you're willing to let me use please contact me!

This project will be assembled the night of the Townie Street Party - Monday July 19th at Ingalls Mall.

You can email me your images and words - to

You can also bring them to the Townie Street Party from 5:00pm - 9:30pm

And please help me spread the word - time is running short and I'm looking for more material!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Wow - can't believe I haven't posted in more than a month. Gives you a sense for what my life has been like since I got back from Loomis Chafee. Since then a lot has been going on. I spent a wonderful week in Minneapolis with Sue Hensel. She's blogged about it here.

New project
This year I am happy to once again be working with the Street Art Fair on a community art project which will happen at the Townie Street Party on July 19. This year's project is Invader/Invasive - a community art/mapping/journaling project about the effect of invasive species on our local ecosystem. The piece will include mapping with some GIS layers, drawings, and people written expressions about the invaders - those can be poetic, lists, journals - whatever seems to work. I need your help to make this happen. Specifically I'm soliciting your images of invasive species in your yards or in public spaces you feel connected to. Please send these images and your coordinates - that is, the address where the photo was taken to:

jpegs are fine. Please put "invader" in the subject line of your email. I'm looking for images of the obvious - purple loosestrife, emerald ash borer, garlic mustard, zebra mussels etc - and the non-obvious. Please do include a little information in your emails about what/where and anything else that seems pertinent. and thanks!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

the trip home

When I set out towards home I knew I wanted to make a detour on the way to Storm King. Storm King is an art center and a nature preserve near the Hudson River. It's a staggering place - 500 acres littered with sculptures ranging in size from human scale to astonishingly huge. They limit photography out of copyright concerns but these photos, taken with my crappy cell phone camera will give you a feel for the scope and the beauty of the place. I spent a happy 3 hours wandering and could easily have spent days if it weren't for my need to cover 600 more miles between there and home.

It was about 90 degrees and I was nervous about a car full of encaustic paintings even though it was parked in the shadiest corner I could find. The paintings survived the heat though.
The vistas here are just lovely. Living in a very flat part of Michigan I particularly appreciate the ups and downs of the terrain here!

Andy Goldsworthy undulating wall - it's more than 2000 feet long and is built of traditional dry-laid stone following the curve of a hill down to a pond, curving in and out among trees.

Goldsworthy has designed a second wall which is being installed in honor of Storm King's 50th anniversary. I saw the crew working on it - one small digging machine and 4 men working by hand - and a long line of piles of stone through a line of trees. I want to go back to see the finished work!
This vista looks like it goes an incredibly long way. I was surprised by how quickly I covered a lot of distance walking - the views really exaggerate the distances here.

other end of same vista

This area - the south field - is dominated by a set of really huge Mark di Suvero sculptures. They are amazing and having them set out in the open rather than in front of a building gives them a strong and resonant presence.

Lousy shot of Maya Lin Wave Field - this is a new piece - built in 2007-8 and still being tweaked by the artist. It's more than 4 acres across (one guard told me more than 11) - from above, shooting down from the hilltop it's impossible to get the scale.

I didn't shoot much more - so much of the work needs to be experienced in person. I'm very glad I went - I want to go back when I have more time to spend a day drawing there. It's a wonderful place.
The rest of the drive home was uneventful but long. Chunks of lovely views mixed in with miles and miles and miles of roadwork on I80 across Pennsylvania, particularly on Monday. Driving on a weekday in construction season is unavoidably tedious. Good to be home, assimilating the past couple of weeks.

I will post more images of Loomis Chaffee and the work I did there in the next few entries.

Meanwhile my show Earth & Air is up at the Susan Hensel Gallery. She has posted a lot of installation views at the gallery site here. I will be at the reception at the gallery on May 21 from 7-9pm so if you're in or near Minneapolis do stop by!

Friday, April 30, 2010


So my residency is ending - tomorrow in fact. What have I done here? A lot of painting, a two plate etching, some drawing, a lot of talking about encaustic, curated a show, met a lot of interesting and creative people. It's been an intense couple weeks spending 10-ish hours a day in the studio. Some stuff about the residency here on the Loomis Chaffee site.

I took advantage of being out of my normal routine of have-to's to spend some time exploring ideas and approaches to painting and as a result have thoughts about the direction I want to take my work in. Not a significant departure but a building upon what I've been doing, taking it in a more painterly and more integrative direction. I'm pleased about that and looking forward to where I think it will take me.

And I'm looking forward to being home and back to my normal routine even given its mix of chaos, too much to do and not enough time to do it in! Thanks to all at Loomis Chaffee who have helped and supported me through this residency, especially Jen McCandless and Mark Zunino.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What have I been doing during my residency?

12 x 12" encaustic & mixed media on panel

Don't know that any of these are done but you get a sense of what I'm playing with. Some - most - are from drawings referencing satellite images - a few are over manipulated prints. Probably obvious which are which.

18 x 18" encaustic & mixed media on panel

4 x4" encaustic & mixed media on panel

18 x 18"" encaustic & mixed media on panel

12 x 12" encaustic & mixed media on panel

12 x 12" encaustic & mixed media on panel

Friday, April 23, 2010

Waxing Lyrical images

entry into Mercy Gallery - Ceccio
Here are images of the Waxing Lyrical exhibition installed. I'm pleased with how the show came together and it has received many positive comments. The opening will be Tuesday April 27 from 6:45-8:45pm. [post updated with titles and media information]

Glessner , It Entered, Encaustic, horse hair, mixed media on rusted and branded silk on wood and Scars II, encaustic, mixed media on rusted and branded silk on wood
Here, at last are the installation pix of the Waxing Lyrical exhibition at the Mercy Gallery. above - Lorraine Glessner - two multi-panel pieces.

Lorraine's diptych Come Early Morning, encaustic, human hair, mixed media on rusted and branded silk on wood

Lorraine Glessner Down Sixth Street, encaustic, horse and human hair, mixed media on rusted and branded silk on wood

Sobel -satellite& encaustic monotype - Cambridge Gulf - Australia

Sobel - Desert Coast - encaustic, digital & mixed media on panel

Sobel - encaustic, digital & mixed media on panel

Sobel - - fjordscape - satellite& encaustic monotype

Sobel - Sea,sky, stone- encaustic, digital & mixed media on panel

Sobel - salt evaporation lake - satellite & encaustic monoprint

Sobel - Crary Ice Rise- encaustic, digital & mixed media on paper (my husband's uncle Albert Crary was an Arctic and Antarctic explorer. The Crary Ice Rise is one of a number of places named for him.

Sobel, Convergence -encaustic, digital and mixed media on panel

detail, Shadow Language, encaustic and mixed media on paper, Daniella Woolf

detail, Shadow Language, encaustic and mixed media on paper, Daniella Woolf

Shadow Language, encaustic and mixed media on paper, Daniella Woolf This installation is well over 200 individual elements and took two of us quite a few hours to install. The individual pieces are fascinating and the shadows it casts draw many eyes.

Sunny Day, encaustic and mixed media on paper. Elements are sewn and encausticated. Daniella Woolf

Promise, encaustic and mixed media on paper, Daniella Woolf

Collaboration, encaustic and mixed media on paper, Daniella Woolf

City of Kathleen, encaustic and mixed media on paper, Daniella Woolf

Big Blue, encaustic and mixed media on paper, Daniella Woolf

installation view, Sobel

installation view, Forest and California Mist, encaustic Martha Ceccio

First Light, encaustic, Martha Ceccio

Dusk and Daybreak, encaustic, Ceccio

Above, below & in the details, diptych, encaustic, pigment, tar, on reclaimed wood siding
Cari Hernandez

Study of flow #2, encaustic & fiber, Hernandez

Reminders of flow, encaustic & fiber, Hernandez

Hernandez, installation view including Reminders of flow,both Study of flow, Above, below & in the details,

Lynda Cole - installation view, Sumi Pond, Black Ink ;encaustic over Sumi ink
and untitled, encaustic on panel

Cole and Sobel

Cole, Rocking Cradle, encaustic over sumi ink on panel

Woolf, installation view