The Bees & me

Following you can see some of the work I have been doing these last couple of days. It’s been such a fun and creative process. And I LOVE the smell of beeswax…

You can also see some photos of me at my encaustics workshop with Leah McDonald and Athena Petra

Working at Leah McDonald’s studio

Working at Leah McDonald’s studio. Photographer  Toni Robertson on the left and me on the right

Dora Ficher “Untitled” Mixed media, encaustic paints, oil sticks. 12×12

As with most of my work, be it oils, watercolors or encaustics like this one, I imagine in my head how I would like it to look or what I think I am doing but it never works that way. It usually ends up looking totally or somewhat different, which is how I want it to look now and it might end up being something totally different than when I started out. That for me is the fun of creating. I love to experiment and try new things out. I love to work with shapes and that’s usually how I start, but you never know where it will take me.

I need a title for this painting. Could you help me out and give me some ideas. You can leave your ideas in the comment section.

"Fusing" with a hot air blower
“Fusing” with a hot air blower
Dora Ficher “Water & Sky” Mixed media, encaustic paints, oil sticks. 8×10

This piece I started to do at the workshop but then kept playing around with it and ended up looking totally different.

Dora Ficher “Poppywax” Mixed media, encaustic paints, oil sticks. 12×12

For those of you who don’t know me, I love Poppies and all kinds of flowers so I had to try “My poppies” out with wax. I even stuck little mirror (that Heidi, my partner took off her jacket) in the middle of each poppy. See, we don’t throw anything away, we recycle everything and Heidi takes it to the school where she teaches for the kids to create with them. Now that I’m using more recycables myself with my encaustic work, I need to go through the bag before it goes to school and pick up goodies for me.

Dora Ficher “no-title” Mixed media, encaustic paints, oil sticks. 6×6

Dora Ficher “Oh” Mixed media, encaustic paints, oil sticks. 6×6

Dora Ficher “Glass” Mixed media Collage, Photos, encaustic paints, oil sticks and oil paints. 8×10

This piece was done at the workshop. It has several steps. Everything that you can see are photographs that I took and then cut up. They were glued on to the substrate along with other collage papers that I found in Leah’s big box of magic collage “stuff”. Then it sat overnight to dry and was continued the next morning. I painted it with some faded encaustic paint and then used mostly clear bees wax. Afterwards, I used tools to scratch around in order to be able to see some of the photos in the background, I filled in the scratches with black gesso, cleaned it all up and then highlighted the images with oil sticks and oil paints. I even stamped it with a flower stamp. Next time I will photograph the whole process.

The birds and the bees

Encaustic Workshop

What a great week-end!  Two whole days of just creating. The workshop was given by Artists / Photographers   Leah McDonald and Athena Petra. I got to be part of it along with a few other artists most of them photographers. I learned not only about painting with encaustics but also about encaustics and photography. Following is a visual journey of my week-end.

The “Bees Wax”
The paint melting
Leah McDonald

Leah showing us different things you can do with the bee’s wax once it’s applied to the substrate.

Leah & Toni

Toni Robertson, photographer

Leah McDonald and Athena Petra

Athena sharing one of her photographs


Rita Bernstein, photographer

Oil Sticks
Oil Paints

The painting room in Leah’s studio.

Encaustic Photograph

One of my “Hat” photographs glued to the substrate, covered with Bees Wax and painted with oil paints.

My paintings with encaustics will be up tomorrow.

This is my 2nd workshop in the last few months. I took another one back in December with encaustic artist Lorraine Glessner

I think I’m falling in Love

I spent a wonderful day on Saturday (4/10) learning new things which is one of my favorite things to do. Especially when it’s hands on and we get to play and try everything. I have to tell you, It was so much fun. It was five of us doing our thing and learning in this wonderful

studio setting.

I really think I am falling in love with this new medium called encaustics. It all started in December when I took my 1st Encaustics workshop. You would love this medium. It’s so soft, warm, and so forgiving. I am going back there today and will tell you all about it on my next post.

I will tell you about the artist teaching this class and about the artist wh works with her. You will get to see some video as well. Have to run to keep playing with my new love.

Blogging Adventure-part 2

I am rewriting this post as part of my Blog Triage class with Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris.

Who are the people I want to visit and read my blog:

Of course I want you who is reading this right now to follow my blog. You are probably interested in all aspects of the art world, maybe in art education, art/artists from different countries.

Would you be interested in hearing about older artists/non artists who are starting over and doing what they love? I’m sure that just like me there are a lot of you out there who are enjoying this time of your life when you can be who you are, have fun doing what you love with out much regard to what other people think.

What is it about getting to be of a “mature” age and deciding or just finally letting ourselves be who we are? Isn’t this fun? I guess we don’t need to impress anyone as much as we did when we were younger.

One exception though, I’m sure that you as much as I want to impress art websites, galleries, art collectors or designers, correct?  If you are one of these readers, I am very happy to share my art and blog with you.

Wonder what our next assignment will be? Stay tuned!

A Blogging Adventure

As I mentioned yesterday, today is the first day of my 4 week Blog Triage class with Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris.

I am so excited to be taking this class. My blog definitely needs a facelift.

I have made a commitment to build a more exciting blog that will have a constant audience and many followers.

In order for all this to happen I need to write and post on the blog. I need to accept that this is an ongoing process and not a one time deal.

Thanks to Alyson & Cynthia I will learn how this process works in a more effective and efficient way.

We have homework and today’s assignment has 2 parts. The 1st one is to describe the people I want to visit and read my blog.

I have been thinking about this all morning (maybe this is why I don’t blog too often, I think about it too much???).

I want people to read my blog,  but specifically which people I want my audience to be? My blog is about art so it would be fun to have other artists read it.

It is always very inspiring to hear what other artists have to say about your work.

I would like my readers to be interested in all aspects of the art world, maybe in art education (or the lack of), art/artists from different countries. How about older artists/non artists who are starting over and doing what they love which is what I’m doing.

“3rd Street” watercolor on paper 2009

I definitely want my friends and family to read it and share it with their contacts. Probably my former students would love to see my artwork and read my blog.

I can also get greedy and say that I would like art websites, galleries, art collectors and designers to stop by and read it. I don’t think age, background or region where my future audience will be from is something that I thought about.

The 2nd assignment is to write about what it is that I want to get out of blogging, what are my goals.

One of the things I want to get is to be able to connect  to readers and at the same time connect them with my art. To have them read about who I am, be able to see my art work, hopefully decide to invest in my art work.

I want to feel more comfortable about writing and sharing what I write. I am not a writer. I love to tell stories and could go on and on. I need to learn to write what needs to be said and then stop.

The main thing is that I want to feel comfortable with the whole process of blogging and getting readers to visit my blog. I want to have a ‘Healthy” blog that is fun to read, interesting, in fact so good…that you can’t wait to read my next post. Then I get lots of comments, meet some

wonderful people who enjoy my art work and share it with their friends.