Monday, May 18, 2015

Coming Soon: Another Encaustic Conference Hotel Fair

The International Encaustic Conference, founded and directed by Joanne Mattera, is held annually at the beginning of June in Provincetown, Mass. with pre- and post-conference workshops at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in Truro, Mass.  This year will be the ninth annual conference, and there are a few diehards, myself included, who have attended the conference every year since its inception.

After moving to the Provincetown Inn in 2011 in its fifth year, the conference has featured a hotel fair on Sunday morning, open only to conferees. What better way to look forward than to loIok back at some scenes from the 2014 hotel fair in the aptly-named (by us) "Three Queens Suite" of Susan Lasch Krevitt, Binnie Birstein, and myself.

Our Art News cover on the door to the Three Queens Suite

For the first time, three artists were featured on the cover of Art News and, imagine that(!}, it was us. This year, I heard that Art in America was sending a photographer.

Here are some images from our suite. First up, Susan Lasch Krevitt who installed her work on the kitchen cabinets. (We are generally not able to hang work on the walls because we don't want to damage them.)

Susan's Installation on kitchen cabinets

Since neither Susan nor I took more installation images, here are some closeups of the work.

Susan Lasch Krevitt, FT6 (open), 2014, 18 x 6 inches
Canvas, rubber, silk, twine, encaustic

Susan Lasch Krevitt, FT4, 2014, 9 x 6 inches
Canvas, rubber, silk, twine, batting, encaustic

Susan Lasch Krevitt, FT1 (closed), 2014, 18 x 4 inches
Canvas, rubber, silk, twine, encaustic

Susan and I shared the living room/kitchen for our work. Here are some images of my pieces.

Nancy Natale - mall pieces on the wall.
Through the doorway is the bedroom with Binnie's work.

Some other pieces of mine laid out on the coffee table.

A closeup of four works from the hotel fair

And finally, Binnie Birstein displayed her work in the bedroom. (Note that the sheets and pillowcases were covering the hotel's artwork which was left in place.)

An open portfolio on the bed showed encaustic monotypes and collagraphs

Binnie's matted collagraph and small paintings

Binnie herself speaking to a visitor about her work

Again this year we will all be showing our dynamic artwork and welcoming fellow conferees to our 3Q Suite. Hope to see you there!

We found this crown in a Provincetown shop. Too much?

P.S. If you want to look at some hotel fair shots from 2013, here's the link to my Art in the Studio blog.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Painting in Fayum Style With Encaustic and Cold Tools

This is the fifth year I have hosted students from Smith College Museum's "Historic Methods & Materials" class in my studio. I teach them a little about encaustic with a Power Point about encaustic's history and then they experiment with encaustic painting. This year we spent one afternoon painting in the Fayum style using a four- color palette of encaustic paint based on four mineral colors: red ochre, yellow ochre, white (powdered gypsum or calcium carbonate) and black (ash).  (For more detail, see my 2010 blog post about the Homage to Fayum workshop taught by Francisco Benitez.)

Students worked from color copies of a Fayum portrait owned by Smith College Museum. They painted their portraits on small plywood panels that I had prepared with a greenish-black encaustic gesso. Using small brushes and fusing with small tools and palette knives that they heated by holding them on electric palettes, they each made their interpretation of the portrait. You could have heard a pin drop in the studio as they intently worked.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas (Windows) in New York City

Ever since watching "Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf's," I've wanted to see the celebrated B-G Christmas windows firsthand. Shopping at Bergdorf Goodman is totally out of my realm, but looking is something I can afford. This year I had to bring some art south for an upcoming show in New York (info at the bottom of this post), so a rendezvous with my dear friend Binnie was in order - just in time to see all the bright lights and magic of Manhattan at this special season of Selling.

Inspired by the Arts
The window theme this year is "Inspired" and each window is dedicated to a particular art that inspires. More than 100 artists and display artisans contributed to the windows.

Here is the Bergdorf Goodman statement about the windows:

We decided to base each window on a major art form, drawing equally from the fine arts, performing arts and applied arts. For our main windows, we settled on literature, architecture, theater, painting, music, dance, sculpture and film. Each window would be designed independently from the others. Each would be made from its own set of materials. But the entire set of windows would constitute a sort of eight-lesson course in art appreciation.

Windows Curated by Moi
Although all the windows were fabulous, I thought the first two were outstanding, so those are the two I am featuring.

This is the official photograph of the Literature window, photographed by Ricky Zehavi,
from the Bergdorf Goodman blog. Please click to enlarge.

This wonderful red window, dedicated to Literature, was made entirely from "fabric, soft sculpture, and needlepoint." I was blown away by all the detail. Here are a few of my iPhone pix. Please click on them to can see them enlarged because they are so rich.

My second most favorite was Architecture, done up mainly in blues. This window was composed from paper and old blueprints.

The official photograph by Ricky Zehavi from the B-G blog.

Here are some of my detail shots.

Looking Through Another Window
Seeing these wonderful compositions was really a treat. Then as we wandered around, we passed by a building, looked in, and were surprised to see a work by El Anatsui hanging on a wall above a lobby reception desk. Of course we marched right in and prepared to shoot a photo, but we were told that no photos were allowed. "Why is this work hanging here?" we asked, and the guards said that it belonged to Mr. Bloomberg. At that we noticed that the building was apparently the Bloomberg Tower. Who knew? So we shot the Anatsui from outside, needing no permission and not being chased away. We did walk the length - inside - of the very large installation of works by Ursula von Rydingsvard without any prohibition.

A lovely work by El Anatsui behind heavy glass doors

To All a Good Night and Ho, Ho, Ho!
And so, after a brief glimpse of The Tree, the giant nutcracker soldiers, the flags, the unending throng of celebrants, and amid the raucous blare of "holiday music," we took our selfie and departed for Grand Central.

(Onward to the New York show - Opening January 23rd: A Few Conversations About Color, curated by Joanne Mattera,  at dm contemporary)