a few of my favorite things


tools cup


The house begins to smell like the pollen of thousands of flowers.

As an artist, I have recently been working with encaustic.  Over the holidays I was  lovingly gifted an enormous amount of beeswax.  Needless to say I swooned as I opened the box containing 15 pounds of this magical stuff.  Prices have been going up with the sad plight of the bees.  So this gift was incredible.  I couldn’t help but all to often stoop down to marvel, sniff and pet this huge block of magic.  But yesterday…the time had come to begin the process of re-working it so I could start painting.  It has been too long.

This is stage one — melting it down and putting it into more easily dealt with bricks.  The next step will be adding the necessary ingredients…. damar varnish crystals and of course, pigments.  Encaustic is no fast art.  It’s quite like meditation.  Everything slows down.  The house begins to smell like the pollen of thousands of flowers.  There is nothing like it in the world.  I am convinced of this.

To see some of my recent encaustic work go here

There is drawing and then there is ….. drawing. This is the latter.

I recently subscribed to a Mongolian blog.  I like to say that.   This Mongolian blog is called hi.lite.head.  And thanks to this blog I discovered this Toronto artist….Amanda Nedham. In today’s world of  everybody-and-their-uncle-is-an-illustrator-illustration saturation, this work brings about a deep sigh of relief.  (I’m sure I produced some major grammatical error back there……forgive me).

Taking a peak at her curriculum vitae you realize this is a no joke artist.  One year in Florence studying drawing and a year internship at the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice with a hefty number of exhibitions under her belt…she’s well on her way.  But wouldn’t you realize that from seeing her incredible skills with mere paper and pencil?  Not only is her work extremely detailed but it is also large, at times gigantic.   The time and patience it must take in order to create a single piece is impressive.

There is drawing and then there is ….. drawing.  This is the latter.

This has heart and blood and skin and bones.  Fur flies from the page.  Snarls can be heard.   Horses give up the struggle.  Puppies sooth dying pandas.  The victory of man’s domestication over animals is witnessed.  Her drawings are of a painful hovering reality and revealing dreams.  They are perfect.

Here are some images from her 2010 series Like Milk and Blood.  

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead mean naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas

I did a bit more scouring around on the web for more information and found an interview from 2008 which also links to more images.  Take a look at this Toronto blog here —-> blogto

her site —> amanda nedham

I sometimes think I should have gone to school to study biology.  As I grow older it seems to take more and more to impress me.   Technology is impressive as is art…..yet nothing impresses me more than what can be seen from the view of a microscope, a magnifying lens, or botanical drawings….nature still wins….and so do these botanical drawings by Ernst Haeckel.

When I have a house of my own, I’m inviting them over

I spent a lot of time traveling.  I’m not going to spend hours bragging about this.  While traveling I had the opportunity to stumble across some amazing street art.  But I never stumbled on anything quite like the work of John Grider.  And now, I’m even more pleased to find out that he is collaborating with Mike Fitzsimmons as a collaboration called BROKENCROW.    I discovered Grider’s work online when I was stumbling around Asia…..when I had the chance to see his work live and in person in MNPLS  it was brilliant.  Now he is a they and oh GOLLY they make the street art around here look like a pile of crap. Yup…a pile of crap.   I’m not gonna color it any different.  Take a look.

You can see for yourself —-> brokencrow

You can read for yourself —-> brokencrowblog