I have some great news, one of my pieces was selected for an exhibition at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art in California. The exhibition, titled "Another Way of Keeping a Diary" is sponsored by the International Encaustic Artists and runs from November 20, 2015 - January 31, 2016. The juror was David Limrite. He released a statement giving us a glimpse into his selection process that I thought was very insightful. Here is the letter:

I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be your juror for 'Another Way of Keeping A Diary.' I would like to thank you for the honor you placed in my hands of selecting the work to be included in this important exhibition. Congratulations to all of you for entering this exhibit and especially to those of you who were juried into this show. I want you all to know that I did not take this responsibility lightly. Please remember that this is one person's opinion. As an artist myself, I tried to make my choices from a place of respect for the creative journey.

I based my selections on a select set of criteria. I would like to briefly discuss these with you now. I hope that by understanding my thought process, you will be able to make sense of the show when you actually see it. Which I hope you all will make an effort to do.

I chose work that best represented, for me, mature and accomplished expressions of art making, as well as, those that exhibited a mastery of encaustic. I also looked for work that appeared to push encaustic to its limits.

Most important to me was,'Did the artist allow themselves to release their creativity?'

The work chosen had to have made a sincere effort to honor and explore the theme of this exhibit. Also, the work had to evoke something such as mood, emotion, drama, story or memory.

I chose work:

- That felt very personal in nature.
- That constructed a story through layers and then freed that story from under the surface.
- Whose surfaces and layers appeared to have been excavated to reveal secrets, or were seeded with objects, images and writings with personal meaning. Much like a diary.
- In which a mysterious surface was created, which allowed the artist to suspend their private thoughts.

I was not looking for just a landscape or a portrait or a cityscape or a still life. I was looking for something more. I was looking for work that transported me. Somewhere. Anywhere. I was looking for work that made my heart respond. That woke up my soul. That peaked my interest. I was looking for work that was interesting to look at, to ponder and to tryunderstand.

Do I respond to this piece?
Does it make me smile?
Would I like to live with it?
Does it cause me to be amazed, delighted, surprised or moved?
Do I feel a connection with the artist who created it?

I also looked for strength in the foundations of picture making. Specifically: design, composition, shape, color, value, line, texture and edge.

Lastly, I looked for work that was brimming with the joy of process.

I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with all of your beautiful work. It has been my distinct pleasure and honor to be your juror for 'Another Way Of Keeping A Diary.'

I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. See you soon.

David Limrite

Thank You, 24" x 18" x 1.5", encaustic, oil, ink, and collage on cradled wood panel

Thank You, 24" x 18" x 1.5", encaustic, oil, ink, and collage on cradled wood panel

Where I Make Stuff

I love to look at images of artist studios on Pinterest. The space is often a reflection of their creative work, it just looks like them. We moved into a new house in January and I gained the luxury of having an entire room as my studio space. In our last house, I had a teeny space in a former screen porch. When we moved I thought my new space was huge in comparison but then the movers started putting boxes in the room, and they just kept coming and coming. I didn't realize until that moment just how much art stuff I had - I think I had at least four giant boxes of collage papers alone. It's jam-packed, and it may look like a mess, but I know where everything is and it's totally me. In a few years, when my son is in school full-time, I may move into our backyard guest-house. That's my dream anyway, because right now it's kind of an uninhabitable mess and needs a lot of work. But, who am I kidding, I would probably just fill that space up with art-junk in a week! Here's some photos of my art space, and here's a link to the studio inspiration board on Pinterest I just started.

EncaustiCamp 2015

For the past few years, I've wanted to attend EncaustiCamp and this July I finally made it happen! It was a wonderful experience to spend a week in a beautiful setting amongst other creative people. I chose the Track 2 route, which was intended to be an open studio of sorts for experienced encaustic painters, with the benefit of having instructors there if guidance was needed. I learned a lot from instructors Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, Sue Stover, Michelle Belto, and Crystal Neubauer. I also learned from my fellow attendees as many of them were also experienced artists. I returned home with a list of new ideas I want to explore. On our "off day," I was lucky enough to visit the studios of three successful encaustic artists in the Seattle area. It was an inspiring experience to see the work and creative spaces of artists Willow Bader, Larry Calkins, and Stephanie Hargrave, they were all very generous with their time and expertise.

What is Encaustic?

I’ve gotten several questions from friends and family about what exactly is encaustic painting.

The word encaustic originates from the Greek word enkaustikos  which means to burn in. It’s been around a long time. It was used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300 AD. You might also be familiar with Jasper Johns’ flag paintings.

The process involves using heated beeswax usually combined with damar resin (but not always) to which pigments are added.  The melted wax mixture is then applied to a surface.  A heat gun, blow torch, or metal tools can be used to shape the paint before it cools and to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Applying heat allows you to extend the amount of time you have to work with the material. You can build up many, many layers. It can be smooth or heavily textured. It can be carved into or sculpted and you can embed stuff in it. It’s an incredibly versatile medium which is why I love it!

Jasper Johns, Flag above White with Collage, 1955. Encaustic and collage on canvas.

Jasper Johns, Flag above White with Collage, 1955. Encaustic and collage on canvas.

Fayum Mummy Portrait

Fayum Mummy Portrait


I started this blog to share my process and journey as an artist. It's a space to share the things that inspire me and catch my eye. Just like my art, I’m sure this blog will evolve over time. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

I have some good news to share with you right off the bat, two of my pieces can currently be seen at the Southwest School of Art’s annual juried All School Exhibition. I’m honored that both of my entries were chosen.

The exhibition has been on view since July 18th and will be up until August 30th. It’s at the Russell Hill Rogers Galleries and it’s free and open to the public.

Update: Both pieces sold. Hooray!