2020 Art Calendar

MY 2020 ART CALENDAR IS ON SALE THRU BLACK FRIDAY : $15

BUY YOURS HERE  – FREE Shipping.

This year, my Art Calendar is dedicated to my mother. Her  favorite of the mediums I use has always been encaustic and so, in her memory,  I have used reproductions of some of my latest encaustic works.  

I hope you will stop in for a visit during POST to tour the many wonderful studios of Scotts Mills and to purchase your copy of the calendar! 

Every page of my calendar is a quality print ready to frame and hang after the year is over. They make a GREAT gift – perfect for the winter holidays! They are square format and measure 8″ x 8″

MY 2020 ART CALENDAR IS ON SALE THRU BLACK FRIDAY : $15

BUY YOURS HERE  – FREE Shipping.

A Sense of Burning

I am thrilled to share the news that my piece From the Boat was juried into a Mt. Airy Art Garage show called A Sense of Burning.

From the Boat – Mixed Media, encaustic, collage, oil stick on panel- 30 x 30

A Sense of Burning will be the first of three exhibits Mt. Airy Art Garage will mount at The Philadelphia Theatre Company this year, in conjunction with their production of A Small Fire.  The show queried artists to consider, “What burns in [them] or haunts [them]? Is it passion, pain, anger, joy, determination, loss? Is it a tingle or a searing, undeniable quest to continue to live fully while overcoming limitations?” 

From the Boat is a piece I painted as part of a series I created based on my intense personal feelings on immigration, both my own and the current experiences of today’s immigrants. I immigrated to the US from Argentina with my family when I was ten and fully felt the emotions of pain, anger, and loss as described in  A Sense of Burning.  I felt so much pain, loss, and anger leaving my country of birth. I left my family, my friends, my language, my customs, and everything familiar to me. While I am now truly happy here in my adopted country and have built a new life, family, culture and customs here, I have spent much emotional time and energy coming to terms with these intense emotions, repeatedly expressing them through my art.

I hope you will have time to see the exhibition at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre located at 480 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19146 from October 18th thru November 10th. The Opening Reception will be held on October 25th at 7 PM.

Encaustic Painting Class for Beginners-Plus with Dora Ficher

September 19-20

Learn why everyone is hooked on the warm, sensuous, and fragrant practice of encaustic painting.

Encaustic medium that was used by the ancient Egyptians. Jump a few thousand years and it is a medium used by Jasper Johns. 

It is a mixture of warm beeswax and pigment that creates a deep, luscious surface that is silky and smooth or richly textured, vibrant or muted. It can be embedded with photos, printed material, pieces of wood, fabric, or other organic items. 

In this 2-day intensive hands-on workshop, you will learn:

    • The fascinating history of encaustics, which will inspire your paintings
    • How to use encaustic tools and materials with confidence
    • Basic techniques that will give you a foundation to build on
    • Safety tips for manipulating the tools and hot wax
    • How to make a stronger composition with color, design, pattern, and texture

For those who have never tried encaustic and those who would like a little more experience with the medium.


“Dora was attentive, encouraging and so willing to share her decade of encaustic painting experience with me that I felt immediately comfortable and confident that I could come out of my day long workshop with something to show. And I did.”   ~ Frumi Cohen


During our two days together, you will:

      • Practice on boards before committing to your final piece.
      • Engage in lively group discussions about what we’re working on.
      • Work with as much or as little guidance as you like. I’m 100% available to all students for individual feedback.

You will go home with a finished painting that you are proud of!

After years of art experience using acrylics, oil, and watercolors, to my joy, I found encaustic. I have been perfecting my approach to the encaustic medium now for over 10 years. 

From the Boat, Mixed Media, encaustic, collage, oil stick on panel- 30 x 30

Encaustic is a fragrant, sensual, inspiring, and incredibly versatile medium, and I love sharing my enthusiasm with students in my private studio.

Please join me!

September 19th-20th
10am to 4pm each day
Scotts Mills, 3510 Scotts Lane, Philadelphia
$300

Fee includes

    • 10 hours of painting, instruction and discussion
    • 4 – 8”x8” boards
    • 6 Brushes
    • Encaustic medium
    • Basic encaustic paints

Sign up here:

After you sign up, you’ll be sent a confirmation and then instructions for securing your spot and preparing for the workshop.





* indicates required

Cerulean Arts Associate Collective Members Exhibition – A Thank You

From the Boat – encaustic, collage and oil stick on panel – 30″ x 30″

“Dora Ficher works in encaustic and in styles as varied as geometric abstraction (as in Journey), Impressionistic representation (as in Poppy World), and Expressionistic script (as in Birds in Flight).  This leads to a sense that I am seeing samplings of different oeuvres.  In all, her colors are luscious and for the most part her surfaces are thick and smooth or roughened to create pattern.  Encaustic used in this way often leads to a sense of encasement like a bug trapped in resin or a cloudy cover-up.  But not here.  The color feels solid and dense. And as with encaustic work, it is difficult not to touch it.  This is especially true in her Layers 1 – 4 which include a horizontal bar and the previously cited Journey. In Ficher’s largest piece, From the Boat, a work that shows her expertise in using her medium as conveyance you can see the careful geometry of the circular, orange sun against the modulating blue sky, the layered and worked surface of yellow, red, and green fashioning the land, and the translucent blue water that covers an underpainting of orange shapes.”

A HUGE thank you to Carol Taylor-Kearney for her generous review of the Cerulean Arts Associate Collective Members Exhibition.

The exhibition has come down, but it was truly wonderful to be included. I am appreciative of the opportunity to be apart of this fabulous exhibition and a member of an incredible collective.

And thank you to everyone who came by the opening reception. I didn’t get too many photos but here are a few…

If you are interested in seeing and/or purchasing any of the work that was up during the exhibition, stop by or contact Cerulean Arts Gallery and Studio

Journey – encaustic, collage and oil stick on panel – 24″ x 18″
Poppy World – encaustic monotype on paper mounted on panel – 24″ x 18″
Layers 1 – encaustic, collage and oil stick on panel – 8″ x 8″

 

 

13th International Encaustic Conference

Coastal View – Mixed Media, encaustic, collage, oil stick, 8×8 ©Dora Ficher $250

What do I love about the International Encaustic Conference

There is so much… and that’s why I keep going back. This was my 8th time in attendance. The conference is held every year in Provincetown , MA., the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday after Memorial Day.

  • The artists who attend. I have made so many amazing friends by attending the conference. I can say that some of my closest friends today I met at the conference.
  • The talks, the demos, the keynote speakers. Every year I learn something new. This year we had an amazing keynote speaker. It was Judy Pfaff. 
  • The juried exhibitions at the Castle Hill Gallery that opens on the Thursday right before the conference begins. This year I was very happy to have a piece there.
  • The exhibitions around town which officially open on the Friday of the conference.
  • The vendor room. I do my yearly shopping in the vendor room. The vendors are amazing!
  • The dinners with friends. Usually a minimum of 6-8 friends go out together to the different restaurants in Provincetown. Of course we have some favorite restaurants that we keep going back to.
  • The hotel fair. On the Sunday of the conference many of the artists set up their hotel rooms and have their work for sale. It’s so wonderful to go around and see everyone’s work and to share mine.
  • The walks around Ptown. One of my favorite places…
  • The pre and post conference workshops. So many wonderful ones to choose from.

I was absolutely thrilled to return and to have been selected to exhibit at this year’s juried show. The challenge presented to artists for this year’s show was to create a work that reflected the theme, “Anything But Flat.” Juried by Founder and director emerita of the International Encaustic Conference, Joanne Mattera, my piece “Journey” was selected. This work is especially meaningful to me as it represents a piece of my personal immigration journey. Read more about “Journey” in my blog post “My Immigration Journey.”

The exhibition opening at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill was wonderful and I was honored to have my work hanging along side so many other incredible pieces by amazing artists.

Why My Blog Post is One Week Late

Four paintings from my Seascapes Series. Each one is 8×8 Mixed media on panel

An excerpt from my ½ full journal for my “The Devoted Writer” class with Cynthia Morris.

I am truly an expert – an expert in procrastination. I am so good at it that I can spend hours doing stuff I don’t need to be doing. Like this morning, I was getting ready to write and decided that the notebook I was using wasn’t good enough. It was too hard and too uncomfortable and I really didn’t like it. So, I went down a rabbit hole on Amazon looking for Moleskin journals that I would like better. Well, actually, before that, I started looking through my old notebooks I have here at home. Then, of course, I had to start looking through the notebooks themselves because I wanted to know when they were from. I looked at them page-by-page because I loved looking at all of my doodles and all of the notes I had taken.

Doodle
doodle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afterwards, having found the perfect Moleskin among my notebooks,  I went back to Amazon to order it because I only have half of my current one left to use. Even though I know that is plenty of space for my upcoming Encaustic Conference, I needed a new one. Then, I checked out Amazon to see if they had delivered the pencils and pencil sharpener I had 

ordered because I had heard someone talking about how awesome the pencils were and that the pencil sharpener is the best in the world. I had ordered them but hadn’t picked them up downstairs yet because Amazon didn’t post that the order was delivered. So I decided to find another notebook to write in and to write with a pencil I found.

I wonder what will happen when I start writing in pencil. Will the words get a little fuzzy after a while? Will the pencil smear? Guess I’ll have to see. What if all my writing starts to disappear because it was done in pencil? So many things go through my head? So, like I said, I should have a degree in PROCRASTINATING. I am so good at it – I give myself a 100%. I hope the pencil stays.

What are the barriers that keep you from progressing your projects? I found this writing exercise helpful. It allowed me to not only reveal something important about myself, but also to laugh at myself a bit! Leave me a comment, let’s share all of the things that get in our way.

Warmly,
Dora

My Immigration Journey

Since I returned from my vacation in Mexico, I’ve been busy in my studio creating artwork for my Immigration Series. Digging into my project just after spending a few weeks outside of the U.S. and in a country overflowing with vibrant color and culture feels fitting.

“Journey” – details

As a starting point, I’ve elected to create several pieces representing my personal immigration journey. Expressing my own remembrances through my art has been both challenging and wonderful as my own immigration story is one of both loss and opportunity.

My maternal grandfather with some of my cousins, sisters and I before we left. I’m the one with the little blue arrow

I was 10 years old the first time I came to the U.S. with my family. My parents decided to move to the U.S. because the economic and political situation in Argentina was in upheaval. But leaving meant saying goodbye to my extended family; grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and many friends in Argentina. I also left behind my school, my classmates, everything known to me until that time… foods, customs, my native language… everything I had ever known.

A big part of my family from both sides gathered for some special occasion as they often did.
My parents, sisters and me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My maternal grandmother, my middle sister & me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My maternal grandfather with me. I love this photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a child, I recall it felt hardest to leave our close-knit family. Growing up, I cherished the summer months when my extended family would gather at my grandparent’s home in Mar del Plata for the summers.

My maternal grandparent’s home in Mar del Plata…so many summers there.
My parents, sisters and I at the beach in Mar del Plata
With friends and sisters at the beach. I’m the 5th one from any direction, right in the middle.
My paternal grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins, mom, one sister and me on the boat the day we left Buenos Aires.

My recollections of the actual journey and arrival in the U.S. come to me in isolated images. I recall the boat we took – the “Delta Line” – a passenger-cargo ship connecting South America to New Orleans. The trip took about 25  days, but we got to stop and visit many new places. I think that my favorite at that time was Barbados. I had never seen water so clear and blue/ turquoise. Rio & Santos in Brazil was also amazing. So many things to see.

The blue line is the route from Buenos Aires to New Orleans

 

This is the pool where we spent most of our days while on the boat

I recall the fun my sisters and I had on the boat, the party crossing the Equator and just hanging out all day. We met so many wonderful people, all on a new journey just like us.

All we saw all day was the water below.

I do remember seeing the buildings upon our arrival in New Orleans though I think we were there for only a few hours before we went on another trip, this time on a greyhound bus in the pouring rain through the night to St. Louis. MO. where my dad was waiting for us.

“Journey” Encaustic, collage, oil pigments on panel. ©Dora Ficher

The first pieces I have created for my series depict a few of these first memories, including my very first complete piece called “Journey”.

“Journey” – details
“Journey” – details

“Journey” has also been selected to be included in a juried exhibition called “Anything But Flat.” The challenge for this year’s show was “to create a work that has a tangible, physical presence.” The exhibition, at the Castle Hill Main Gallery in MA, will occur during the 13th International Conference – May 30th – June 6th.  I am honored to have been chosen as an exhibitor. 

I hope you have enjoyed this first installation of this series. I look forward to continuing to share it with you as it unfolds and I’d love to hear from others who have immigration stories to share too. If you have one, leave a comment or email me: dora@doraficher.com. My dream is to make this series a diverse and expansive one.

Happy holidays! 

 

 

I’d Like to Tell You About My New Immigration Series

The Mirror, Mixed Media: Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks 10×10 ©Dora Ficher $350

I am so excited about this new series/project I’m working on.

Creating one of my paintings

As some of you may already know, I have begun working on an immigration art series/project. As an immigrant myself, I’ve chosen to explore this topic through my art because creating provides me with the outlet I need to cope with all that’s going on in our country at the moment. I want to channel my feelings and emotions into doing something positive.

Through this project my intention is to create art depicting the experiences of those immigrating to the United States and, further,
 
Working in my studio

to uncover the hopefulness in each story. We all have so much to learn from the stories of immigrants and I am excited for the opportunity to express their remembrances, experiences, hopes, joys, and sorrows through my art. 

 
This project is just beginning to take shape. I look forward to using my blog to not only share my progress, but the stories of the individuals behind each of my paintings as well. Watch this space for more to come.
 

 

 

Art on the Move

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I have been excited to bring my work out of my studio and into the greater Philadelphia community. Currently, my work is hanging in three local cafes; High Point Café at Allens Lane Train Station, Good Karma Café III at 2319 Walnut St., and the Trolley Car Café.

Coastal View – Mixed Media, encaustic, collage, oil stick, 8×8. Click image to purchase $250

Last month I held an Artist Reception at High Point and was overjoyed to see so many of you. Thank you all for coming out, filling the café with your updates and laughter, and for supporting my work!!

For those of you who missed my reception, there is still time. My art will be hanging at High Point Café – Allens Lane Train Station – 7210 Cresheim Road, Philadelphia, PA 19119 – until the end of the month.

As Mt. Airy coffee lovers know, High Point Café offers amazing coffee and the yummiest pastries – gluten free pastries too!!

Enjoy,
Dora

 

new undies for the new year?

 

Dear friends,

As I reflect on 2018 and look forward to 2019, I can’t help but feel enormous happiness and excitement. 2018 was a year to be remembered and I want to share some of my very favorite things from this year with you.

The highlight of 2018 was Michaela’s birth! Our newest granddaughter, and the first child of my son Jonathan and his wife Jessica, is full of joy and laughter. Her smile and laugh melt my heart. In fact, she, along with my other grandchildren are my greatest inspiration.

  

Heidi and I have loved every minute with our three grandchildren this year. We have enjoyed trips to the park, baby music class, holiday celebrations, and a family beach vacation in September. We truly cherished 2018 with them.

 
“Water Blue”, 10×10 , “Dawn”, 8×8 “,  and Coastal View” , 8×8 , Encaustic, collage and oil stick ©Dora Ficher

Some of my other 2018 highlights include discovering new books, art and office supplies, and artists. Perhaps my list will lead you to new discoveries too.

Books:

Supplies: office and tools

  • Levenger  Switch, swap, and rearrange pages as you please with the Levenger Circa Notebook System. One of the artists at the Asheville Mastermind Workshop had this notebook and I fell in love with it. She gave me all the info and as soon as I got back I ordered mine in my favorite color, turquoise, or aqua as they call it. I LOVE it. Papers go in so easily. You have to read about it to know how it works. Mine is all ready for 2019 and will help keep me organized during what is shaping up to be a very busy new year. 
 
  • Kemper Tools: Mini Ribbon Sculpting Tool Set, 5” long. I found these little tools while walking around in Asheville, NC. We happened upon a wonderful arts and craft store that had everything you could possibly need even if you didn’t know you needed it, or that it even existed.. It was a privately owned store run by a pair of aging hippies who still retained their flower power. They carried marvelous things, from carpenter tools to knitting tools. From sculpting tools to gardening tools. From yarn to paint. Spinning wheels to clay.  Weaving frames to easels. In a little corner I found these mini sculpting tools which I love to work with on my encaustic paintings. Great for scraping and building up the wax. Wish I could remember the name of this awesome store.
    
  • Yearlong Calendar: This is one of my very favorite new things that I began in 2018. I hung up a year long calendar on my pantry door.  It is very cool to see your whole year in front of your eyes. I color coded mine. It was definitely helpful. The 2019 one is erasable, a feature that I like. 
    
 

Donna:

  • Donna Uettwiller  To put it simply, I am eternally in her debt.  She is my assistant, my sounding board, my moral support, my lifeline to the “e world,”  my editor, and my friend.  That said, Donna has been my friend for almost twenty years and has now become an integral member of Doraficherart.  She assists me by photographing my art and helps me to write my blog by weeding through my scattered thoughts to find a coherent thread of what I am trying to communicate to you.  In just a few hours a week, she is able to work her magic, an alchemist at creating a finished product out of my scattered thoughts. Donna is an amazing photographer. Check out her photos here—>website.  Thank you, Donna!

Artists

  • I saw quite a few art exhibitions this year here in Philly and during my travels to Asheville and Lancaster. The one that mostly stands out is one I just saw at the Guggenheim museum this past week: Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future. I had  not heard of her until a few weeks ago reading friend’s posts on facebook. I was fascinated with her work. You can read all about her and see her paintings in the links above. It felt like her work was meant to be displayed at the Guggenheim. 

Six strings, Duet, and Allegro, mixed media – Acrylic, wax, collage on canvas. ©Dora Ficher each piece is 20×20″

And, because this time of year is full of favorite traditions, I’ll close by sharing my family’s New Year’s Eve tradition!  On New Years Eve, all members my family wear a brand new pair of underwear. Some of them even say the color you select should match your wishes for the coming year. It may sound silly or superstitious, but, for our family, wearing new undies ensures we welcome the new year ready for a fresh start. I have always done it and, so…we will be wearing new undies to welcome 2019! I’m not sure if this is just an Argentinian custom but I have done my best to encourage its growth in the USA.  So now I’m wondering about other family customs. Do you have any special traditions in your family, holiday related or not ?  I would love to hear about them so I hope you leave me a comment here.

I want to thank all of you for supporting my passion of creating and my art business.

Happy New Year, my Friends!  May 2019 bring you much Happiness, good health, prosperity and PEACE. 

Hugs to all,
Dora

***Stay tune for details about my two upcoming exhibitions opening in January. More about it next week.