Friday, August 13, 2010

what i'm working on

yellow flower bridge (and two details), 2010, found fabric, found papers, plastic, faux fur, encaustic, gouache and graphite on mylar, wire, thread, machine sewn, 45x27x1.5, little landscapes (and detail), 2010, encaustic monoprints, paper, sewn, 30x24, profound lucidity (and detail), 2010, encaustic, horse and human hair, mixed media on composted and branded silk on wood, 36x36x1.5

after a crazy june of traveling, teaching and conferencing, i had a july without obligations that i spent gardening, reading, writing and of course, making work. i wasn't in the studio as much as i had would have liked simply because it's been extraordinarily blazing hot here in philly and having a third floor, non-air conditioned attic space studio doesn't help things. but i got used to it and made work anyway.

the first piece at the top is a continuation of those smaller sewn drawings i had posted a few months ago (see this post). i've done a few more of these, but have yet to photograph them. these pieces are now much larger than the first ones and i'm thinking of them more and more as maps--translations of urban landscape in the way that everything relates to the grid and how the rows of boxes that make up the grid relate to one another one after the next and how this begins to form a narrative of sorts. these pieces are fun for me and in no way are they resolved, but i feel i'm heading somewhere with them.

the next piece is a collaborative effort between me and my encaustic workshop students from the two introductory sessions i taught at the society for contemporary craft in june (see this and this post about these workshops). along with most of us, art centers are struggling financially these days and because of this i like to give back a little help to those who have hired me to teach. i asked each of the students if they would donate an encaustic monoprint on paper toward this project and they were so generous to do so!! i didn't know what i was going to make, but i knew it was going to be sewn in a quilt form. i cut the monoprints into little rectangular pieces, laid them on top of some decorative translucent paper i had, then covered them with more of the same paper. i then carefully ironed the pieces to the paper to keep them in place and sewed around each of them. it was so easy and it came out pretty good! i titled it "little landscapes" (because that's what the monoprints look like to me) and it will be auctioned off in december at the scc in pittsburgh. the participating artists in this collaboration were: charlotte toal, john skrabalak, linda dieringer, monica zettler-segal, michelle maroni, elaine morris, joyce ross, christine fondi, martha skarlinski, rhoda taylor and robert villamagna.

the last piece is part of my new encaustic series called rows, which stems from the same ideas i'm playing with in the sewn pieces (see this and this post for some work from this series and the rows portfolio on my web site here). while the sewn pieces are inspired from the idea of the grid, maps and the graphic nature of these things, the rows pieces are inspired by the facades of the row homes which i've intensely photographed over the past year and a half. (see this, this and this post for some of these photographs). my encaustic work in the rows series is more textured, more painterly, but still extremely layered. i've employed a build up technique where the wax is dry brushed onto a texture so that it clings to that texture. i'm also using more transfer paper drawing, incising and scraping, less color and meticulous-ness. i like this new approach and i like this new piece. the rows series is part of my solo show in november at watchung arts center.


  1. these are absolutely fascinating! and the sense of depth in "profound lucidity" is mesmerizing.

  2. thank you, stephanie. i've been working hard in the last few months!

  3. I love the top two, especially the top right.