From Denver to Golden, Colorado

From Denver to Golden, Colorado

Before leaving Denver we got together with one of our students from PMFS! Jessie Beer, who lives in Denver and works in Boulder, was also a counselor at our camp for several years until she moved 5 years ago. It was GREAT to see you Jessie!

From Denver we headed to Golden, Colorado for Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Breakthrough 2017.  Alyson B. Stanfield has been my Art Biz Coach for many years! Her online programs have been invaluable to me as I work toward becoming an “artist entrepreneur.”

I was eager to attend Alyson’s yearly Artist Breakthrough conference. This was my third time in attendance and this year was as inspirational and informative as I had hoped. It is always an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by so many artists and Alyson and her team are a dependable source of information, strategy, and motivation! They cover so many aspects of how to be an “artist entrepreneur,” and a businessperson, not only a self-employed artist.

We didn’t only learn, at Breakthrough, we also did a lot of dancing!!! We had fun, hung out with artists from all over the USA and beyond, like Mexico, Canada, and Malaysia. I even met several artists from other Latin American countries who live here in the USA like me!

I ended my week feeling inspired and couldn’t wait to get home to begin incorporating everything I have soaked up during this incredible trip into my art business. 

Thank you for traveling along with Heidi and me. We’ve enjoyed sharing our trip with you!

Dora

From New Mexico to Colorado

From New Mexico to Colorado

What an adventure we are having! This past week we have traveled from New Mexico to Colorado delighting in wonderful eateries, incredible sites (and sights), and cozy inns.

In Taos, New Mexico, we enjoyed a lovely meal in the cutest restaurant, The Love Apple.

“Once known as the Placitas Chapel, This little Catholic Church was built around int 1800’s and was in operation for 100 years,” but according to the hostess, “well, since this is New Mexico, you never know…”

We were also fortunate to visit the incredible Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people and the only living Native American community designated as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The adobe structures and land were breathtaking and truly inspiring.

After visiting Georgia O’Keeffe’s house and Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM, an absolutely awe inspiring experience, we checked into the warm and comfortable Abiquiu Inn where we enjoyed a delicious meal and even had beer brewed by the monks.

After leaving New Mexico, we drove to Manitou Springs, Colorado where we had a wonderful dinner and stay at The Cliff House at Pikes Peak – such a stunning place and nice entertainment by a guitarist!

From Manitou Springs we set off for Denver and stayed at the iconic and beautiful The ART Hotel. It was so clean and minimalist and there is artwork everywhere throughout the hotel! Simply gorgeous!!

From Denver we headed to Golden, Colorado where I am taking part in Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Breakthrough 2017. I am excited to be here and for the opportunity to take part in this conference and I look forward to telling you more about it next week.

This trip has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to get back to my studio and start painting. I took so much in that I’m thinking of doing a southwest series. We have been and seen so many places since we landed in Albuquerque… totally inspiring!!!

From Philly to New Mexico

From Philly to New Mexico

It’s been an amazing 10 days of travel, learning, beauty, and food! Last Tuesday Heidi and I flew into Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was excited and eager to participate in Paula Roland’s Intermediate Workshop on Encaustic Monotypes. The workshop was “designed to help you… refine skills; advance your techniques; find your voice, and connect style and content of monotypes with your studio practice.”

 

Paula is an incredible artist and teacher and it’s an honor to learn from her and work alongside so many engaged in developing their work. You can read more about Paula in this Vasari21 article by Ann Landi

I also had lots of time to explore Santa Fe before and after Paula’s workshop. Santa Fe is an incredible city full of vibrant color and amazing food! We started our trip off right celebrating Heidi’s birthday at Sazón, a fabulous authentic Mexican restaurant.

Our fave breakfast spot during our stay in Santa Fe was Café Pasqual’s, which beckoned us with an assortment of delicious breakfast options 3 mornings in a row including gluten free French toast! It’s a must if you are visiting.

On Monday, we left Santa Fe and drove to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa and what an amazing place it was.

Next stop, over the breathtaking (literally) Rio Grande Gorge and on to Taos, New Mexico! 

Stay tuned next week for our visit to Abiquiu and then on to Denver and Golden, CO to Alyson Stanfield’s Breakthrough Conference.

Encaustic “Minis” and Getting Back Into my Studio

Encaustic “Minis” and Getting Back Into my Studio

During the summer months my time in the studio is very limited. For the past 28 years, I have spent my summers surrounded by the campers who attend a summer camp I own and run with another teacher.  My paintings during these months are often done at home after busy days with pen, ink, and watercolors.

 
By September I am more than eager to return to my studio. I often feel a bit lost and not sure where to start. This year was no exception, so I just began drawing and painting.

I did not know where I was going with this body of work, but I knew I had to create! For me, this approach was a big leap because I prefer to plan before starting something new, especially a new series.

I surrendered, wanting to work more intuitively and it felt really good! I challenged myself to loosen up and focused more on just letting go.

I have not yet named this series of work, but I noticed a theme emerging as I developed and layered each piece. It seems my series depicts the characteristic spirals and swirls of hurricanes, clearly an expression of my concerns and anxieties for so many in the destructive path of this season’s hurricanes.

As well, this body of work speaks to the state of “hurricane” our country is experiencing politically. Creating intuitively has allowed me to express and process my feelings through my work. My last series also related to the state of our political situation as well.

Thank You for Joining Me During POST

Dear Friends,
I loved welcoming so many of you into my Studio this past Saturday!

I am always thrilled to have visitors in my studio and I especially love showing folks around, introducing some to encaustic painting, showcasing my most recent work, and catching up with others.

Mixed Media, encaustic, collage, wax stick, 4×4 ©Dora Ficher. Available $75 

This year, 20 of us here at Scotts Mills participated in POST and I am left feeling grateful to be apart of such a vibrant artist community! 

Thank you for your support and for stopping by.

Cheers,

Dora 

 

2016 Calendar

Sample of January page

Looking for an “ART” Hanukkah / Christmas gift.  My new 2016 calendar is here.

High quality square 8×8 calendar. Every page has one of my paintings followed by a month page with a quote.

After the year is over each individual painting can be framed as a print.

Calendars are $20. Free Shipping.





Images of 2016 Calendar pages

2016 calendar-12 images for blog

Wedding bells are ringing for me and my gal

"Luquillo" watercolors on paper. ©Dora Ficher
“Luquillo” watercolor on paper. ©Dora Ficher

I’m getting married next weekend and was very fortunate to get a call from the Chesnut Hill local asking if they could do an article about my art and my wedding.

If you click on the image below you can get the whole story at their website.

Chestnut Hill local
Chestnut Hill local

Heidi & I are going on an amazing honeymoon to Europe.

We are taking the Viking River Cruise, you know, the one you see the ads for on PBS’s Downton Abby.

We begin in Paris where we will spend 4 days.
We are then on to Luxembourg where we tour a bit and then board our ship.
Our first boat stop is Trier, Germany. We then cruise along the Moselle River and dock in Bernkastel for the evening. The next day we sail to Cochem for a morning tour then sail on to visits in Koblenz, Braubach, Rudeseim. Heidelberg, Wurzurg, and finally Bamberg. After eight days on the river, the cruise part of the trip ends in Nuremberg. We then travel to our final destination of Prague, Czech Republic where we will spend four days. The trip will take us to UNESCO sites, castles, and ancient villages.

I will be posting photos and sketches during our trip.

As I mentioned on my newsletter, I am part of on instagram: “The 100 Day project”, which I will be sharing about before I leave.

Coming up:

Save the dates:

POST, Philadelphia Open Studios – October 3rd & 4th, 2015

The Gold Standard Cafe – 4800 Baltimore Ave in West Philadelphia.

My work will hang there again this year, during December, 2015 and January, 2016.

I will update you on other happenings that are in the works.

Warm regards,

Dora

Doraficher.com

soldesignstudios.com

Los Reyes Magos

©Dora Ficher-Los Reyes Magos; Watercolor, pen and ink on watercolor paper. 8x8
©Dora Ficher-Los Reyes Magos; Watercolor, pen and ink on watercolor paper. 8×8

On January 6, most of the Hispanic world celebrates “El Dia De Reyes”, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts for the Baby Jesus.

Even though it’s a Religious event, in Argentina, everyone celebrates it as more of a fun, gift giving holiday.

On the night, of January 5, before going to bed we used to put our shoes outside our bedroom door. We would also leave hay and water for the camels, and some cookies for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. We would leave the hay and the water near a door or a window left open so Los Reyes Magos can enter.

The next morning, we would wake up and had gifts next to our shoes. For us kids it was one of the most fun days of our summer vacation in Mar del Plata.

My cousins, my sisters and I would sleep up on the 3rd floor and try to stay awake waiting for the Reyes Magos. We would take turns looking out the window. Of course we would all fall asleep while waiting.

As we got older this is what we found in our shoes…

This is what was in our shoes when we got older.
This is what was in our shoes when we got older.
My sister Claudia and me in Mar del Plata. We were 6 and 8 yrs. old
My sister Claudia and me in Mar del Plata. We were 6 and 8 yrs. old
With my grandfather, sisters and cousins.
My grandfather on my mom’s side with my cousin’s, sisters and me. We would all wait for Los Reys Magos. I’m the oldest of 12 cousins. There were only 7 of us here, the other 5 were not born yet.

 

This work is part of my Hiraeth (meaning “homesickness”) series.

To read about it, click here and here .

 

The Barquillero in Mar del Plata

 

Draft of an oil painting I did of the house in Mar del Plata. ©Dora Ficher
Draft of an oil painting I did of the house in Mar del Plata. ©Dora Ficher

There was one thing that all of us kids looked forward to every day at the beach, the  barquillero. A barquillero  is a person who sells a special kind of wafers. But it wasn’t just the wafers we wanted, it was the whole process of getting the wafers.

This is a container with the barquillos with the roulette wheel on the top.
This is the container with the barquillos with the roulette wheel on the top.

The barquillero wallked all along the beach, stopping when he was called like an ice cream man does at the beaches around here, at least at the NJ beaches. The children would spin the roulette wheel that pointed to different numbers from 1 to 4. Depending on the number it landed on, that  was the number of wafers you would get. It was a game we all liked to play every day.

The wafers are made of a sweet baked wheat dough without yeast and sweetened with sugar and honey . The wafers are corrugated but flat and thin profile with a shape similar to a boat, hence its name,”barquillos,” which means little boats.

The Waffers
The Wafers

While we looked forward to the Barquillero, in the same way, the adults waited for the coffee man on the beach every day. He would go around kind of singing…”cafe…cafe…”

Cafetero
This is a typical coffee vendor on the beech.

 

On the beach with cousins and friends.
On the beach with cousins and friends.
Starting to collage memories into my painting.
Starting to collage memories into my painting.

 

This work is part of my Hiraeth (meaning “homesickness”) series.

To read about it, click here and here .

 

 

Summers in Mar del Plata

"Beautiful Memories"  watercolor, pen & ink on watercolor paper 12x16. ©Dora Ficher
“Beautiful Memories” watercolor, pen & ink on watercolor paper 12×16. ©Dora Ficher

During the summers we went to the shore. My grandparents had a wonderful house in Mar del Plata.

My grandparent's home in Mar del Plata
Photograph of my grandparent’s home in Mar del Plata

After school was done in December (Dec. 21st, 1st day of summer), the baúles (trunks) would get all packed and we would get ready to go for the summer. A company called Rabbione would pick them all up.

I remember being at my grandparents house while everything was getting packed as well. They had lots of trunks. They would take everything since we were there for the whole summer.

Screenshot 2015-03-16 17.33.56
The baúl
The baúl
The baúl

 

 

 

 

 

 

They would also take everyone who worked at their house, the cook, the housekeeper and the housemaids. It sounds like Downton Abbey, I said to my mom today. She said “Yes, that’s how it was”. I’m sure it was, but in a much smaller scale. The houses were definitely not as big.

My aunts and uncles would also come. My grandfather, my dad and my uncles  had to go to work so they would leave on Mondays and come back on Fridays. They didn’t stay for the whole 3 months like the women did.

I remember that my grandparents bought me a little chair that they always kept there. It was my princess chair. That’s the 1st thing I always looked for as soon as we arrived.

We spend the holidays there and stayed until right before school started in March.

We would all go by train. I recall the name of the train was “Marplatense”. “The Marplatense”. was all silver and had stainless steel wagons. It had air conditioning and an elegant restaurant. It would take us about five hours to get to Mar del Plata. The most fun on the train was the restaurant.

El Marplatense
El Marplatense

Their house was wonderful. It had beautiful gardens very nicely manicured by the gardener. There were lots of flowers all around and great big trees that we could climb.

mami, claudia, yo-mardel
My mom, my sister Claudia and me. 1954-55

I do remember that the kitchen was big and they had a large commercial refrigerator that looked like the photo. The house was always full of people.

Refrigerator
Commercial refrigerator in the kitchen
"Mardel" Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks ©Dora Ficher
“Mardel” Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks 18 x 24 ©Dora Ficher
The beach with the cabanas.
The beach with the cabanas.
My dad and me at the beach.
My dad and me at the beach.
My mom and me at the beach.
My mom and me at the beach.
EPSON MFP image
My mom, my sister Claudia and me. 1954-55
La rambla - The boardwalk
La rambla – The boardwalk

 

This work is part of my Hiraeth (meaning “homesickness”) series.

To read about it, click here and here .