Save the Date!

MONTGOMERY COUNTY STUDIO TOURS
Saturday, June 10, 2018
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, June 11, 2018
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I am excited to be among a group of artists selected to showcase my work at this year’s Montgomery County Studio Tour! The tour features 51 artists and 20 studios. For more details, click here

For information about the Glessner Studio, where my work will be exhibited, click here.

And, to learn about the other wonderful artists I am exhibiting with at the Glessner Studio, use the links below!

Lorraine Glessner: https://www.montgomerycountystudiotour.com/glessner

Karen Freedman: https://www.montgomerycountystudiotour.com/freedman

Julie Miller: https://www.montgomerycountystudiotour.com/miller

The Making of My Digital Collages

Recently, a few of my followers have asked me, “What is a digital collage?” In today’s blog post, I am going to show you how I create digital collages by walking you through a step-by-step making of two of my most recent pieces, “The Sounds of the Trumpet” and “I Hear a Drum”.

As you may know, on the first of the year, I re-committed to creating art each and every day. I love working in my studio best, but sometimes life (and weather!) get in the way and I need alternatives. A robust collection of painting supplies keep me painting and exploring my mediums and style in my home. However, at the beginning of the year I decided to add a new medium to my repertoire and made the decision to learn a digital program for artists called, Procreate.

Procreate is an iPad app made for professional creatives for sketching, drawing, and painting. It utilizes the Apple Pencil for detailed work and to use with its impressive brush library of more than 130 brushes! Procreate allows me to mix and match brushes, manipulate and layer my illustrations, and add unlimited background, texture and detail layers. The layering system gives me complete control over each and every element of my digital collages as you can see in this selection of layers from the piece, “The Sounds of the Trumpet”.

Procreate also allows me to create very large, high-resolution collages. This means that any print or product reproductions I offer enjoy the same vibrant and crisp qualities as my original collage.

It took me a few weeks and lots of trial and error to begin developing my style and palette within the app and I am so glad I persevered! I love how my musical series is developing through this new medium and I have enjoyed stretching myself as an artist too. Adding Procreate to my artist toolbox has also given me the opportunity to bring my art on the go with me when I can’t be in the studio or at home. With a new grandbaby in New York, I know this tool will serve me well!!

Check out this cool time-lapse video of my piece, “I Hear a Drum” and enjoy!

Watch this space for my next blog post. I plan to get more in depth to show how brushes are used and how you can create your own digital collages!

And the featured artist today is…Lorraine Glessner

Happy spring, my friends! If you can call this “spring.” 

“Philly from my window” First day of spring.

It seems more like Christmas time these last few weeks. This is our 4th Nor-easter in Philly this March. 

I’m not giving up though, Spring will be here any day now, right?

Every few blog posts I have been featuring an artist who inspires, motivates, and guides me. The last two were Argentinian artists.

Today I am excited to tell you about my friend, artist Lorraine Glessner.  

Meadow of the Low Sage, encaustic, collage, pyrography on wood, 36x48x1.5

I met Lorraine or Lori, as I call her, about 9 years ago when I became curious about and interested in learning more about encaustic painting.  I was looking for an artist to teach me encaustic techniques and, after much searching, I found Lori.  I took a private 2 day workshop with her back then; learned from her and fell in love with bees wax and everything related to encaustic painting! Since then, we have become very good friends and I have taken many more group classes with her throughout the years. She has taught me so much about painting with encaustic and I absolutely love her work! That is why I wanted to share it with you.

Participants Within the vast Imagination, encaustic, collage, pyrography on wood, 48x60x1.5

What I love about Lori’s paintings is well said by Art Historian, Andrea Kirsh, “Lorraine Glessner’s paintings are composed of multiple layers of images, the paintings resolving into subtly-flickering worlds of extremely seductive richness. Some of them resemble images seen through a microscope; others hint at the world seen from far above.”

That Strange Space, encaustic, collage, pyrography on wood, 48x48x1.5

I hope you have enjoyed this small taste of Lori’s work. I encourage you to visit her website to explore her and her art more fully, you won’t regret it! Check out her blog as well. I never miss her posts, they are always insightful and thought provoking. You can also read an older blog post of mine where I interview Lori.

I am also delighted to announce that I will be exhibiting my work along side Lori’s and 2 other artists at her studio for the Montgomery County Studio Tours on June 9th and 10th. “Montgomery County Studio Tour’s mission is to promote regional artists and contribute to the economic and cultural vitality of the area by presenting original artwork.”

Why Do I Use Bright Colors?

Hi everybody,

Happy Friday! A wet one here in Philly.

Have you ever wondered why I choose the colors I do? 

I love bright and vivid colors! I get energized by my favorite colors… turquoise, oranges, reds. The color of the ocean when I travel, that transparent deep bluish green. The colors of the doors and windowsills in Santa Fe. The colors of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, a place where I have been going to for the last 20 years.

I have tried many times to paint with a different color palette but I always end up returning to my usual colors.

I even created an entire series in black and white but had to add a little bit of “my colors” to each painting.

Which had me reflecting a lot about my choice of a bright, bold, vivid palette when I paint… I believe that it has a lot to do with my upbringing and where I come from. As I have mentioned in past posts and in my bio, I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a very colorful city in every aspect. I also come from a very vibrant, energetic family just as colorful as my hometown.

I have so many colorful feelings about my childhood memories in Buenos Aires. One example is the color of the sky. It is deep blue. I remember clear blue days with not a cloud in the sky. It’s a different kind of blue than the sky here in Philly.  I’m not sure why, but I still see it every time I go for a visit. You can also see every color possible when you go to their markets. Everything is fresh, never frozen and it comes through in their colors.

I think you can see what I mean by looking at my most recent encaustic monotypes, Poppy Field and Poppy Garden.

Poppy Field – Encaustic Monotype on paper, 24 x 36.
details of “Poppy Garden”

At some point I will have to challenge myself to paint a series in more subtle colors. Think I can do it? It will definitely take me out of my comfort zone.

What are your favorite colors? 

Have a great weekend!

love,

Dora

Dora Ficher Art
Sol Design Studios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click—> Subscribe to our mailing list
to get regular updates and to receive a
complimentary download of this month’s
calendar artwork.

 

 

 

 

The Making of an Encaustic Monotype

Happy Friday! Since my return from the Southwest and Paula Roland’s Encaustic Monotypes Workshop this fall, I have been experimenting with my encaustic monotype process and have really been loving it. I thought it would be fun to give you peek into what I have been doing and show you the making of my newest piece, “Into the Woods.”

Encaustic monotypes require me to surrender, use tools that often result in unpredictable outcomes, and force me to stretch and grow as an artist. This past week has been cold in Philadelphia, but I have used my hotboxes to keep me warm in the studio as I work.

A bit about the process… Encaustic monotypes are prints made from wax paintings transferred onto paper.

 The painting is created using solid pigmented wax sticks, brushes, sponges, and other tools on the surface of a heated metal plate, a hotbox.

The heat from the hotbox allows the artist to manipulate the paint with her tools and refine her painting before transferring it to paper.

The use of pigmented wax paint allows the artist to build layers of texture into her painting.

And repeating the process merges multiple layers of rich color and texture creating a complex, one-of-a-kind painting.

I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into my studio! I look forward to sharing more of my monotypes in the coming weeks and months.

 

Antonio Berni

Hello friends, 

Happy weekend! Looks like it will be a little warmer these next couple of days. I’m happy that it will be nice for the Women’s March here in Philly tomorrow!

During this 1st month of the year, I have been busy working on my 2018 daily art project, exploring the theme of music through mixed media paintings on canvas, paper and digital collages. Watch this space for my progress and read more about my project here!! I have been working mostly at home because my studio has been very cold. Hopefully by next week I can get back to it and continue to also work on my encaustic paintings and monotypes. 

 

 

 

 

You can find all these paintings on my website here and here.

I have also exhibited three of my encaustic pieces in a juried group exhibition at the 3rd Street Gallery (details here) and, today, published a blog post on a wonderful Argentinean artist and personal family friend, Delesio Antonio Berni (below.)
 
Enjoy!
Dora

Returning to my blog series on artists this week, I am excited to share a bit about a man who was a personal friend of my family as well as an influential Argentine figurative artist.

Antonio Berni, born in Argentina and educated in Paris was considered a child painter prodigy. As a teenager, “seventeen of his oil paintings were exhibited at the Salon Mari. On November 4, 1923 [at age 18] his impressionist landscapes were praised by critics in the daily newspapers La Nación and La Prensa.” His talent earned him scholarships to study in Europe where he became simultaneously interested in surrealism and revolutionary politics. “His late 1920s and early 1930s surrealist works include La Torre Eiffel en la Pampa (The Eiffel Tower in Pampa), La siesta y su sueño (The Nap and its Dream), and La muerte acecha en cada esquina (Death Lurks Around Every Corner).”

After returning home in 1931, Berni discovered a struggling Argentina, which ultimately uncovered the limits of surrealism for him as he felt it didn’t fully convey the frustration or hopelessness of the Argentine people. “Instead he began painting realistic images that depicted the struggles and tensions of the Argentine people. His popular Nuevo Realismo paintings include Desocupados (The Unemployed) and Manifestación (Manifestation). Both were based on photographs Berni had gathered to document, as graphically as possible, the “abysmal conditions of his subjects.”

Later in his life, Berni’s work was described as a synthesis of Pop Art and Social Realism, and also included engraving, collage, “several decorative panels, scenographic sketches, illustrations, and collaborations for books.” However, he remained best known for his Nuevo Realism. This style is easily seen in the incredible works of art he gifted to and painted for my family.

Berni was a personal friend of my grandfather, my dad’s dad. And later also became friends with my maternal grandfather. My mom’s dad was an art collector who commissioned Berni to create this incredible painting of my grandmother, mom and aunt.

This painting is huge, approximately 4×6 feet! My aunt is on the left, my grandmother in the middle, and my mom on the right. My mom told me that they had to sit while Berni painted this and it took him many sittings.

Before painting this piece, Berni created a number of drawings and gave my mom this drawing of her as a gift because she connected him with my grandparents who were art collectors.

Another connection between my family of origin and Berni predates the commissioned painting , back to my parent’s wedding. Since Berni was friends with my paternal grandparents, he attended the wedding and gave my parents this beautiful painting for their wedding gift.

To this day, a number of works of Berni’s art hangs on the walls of my mother’s home, including this piece, a part of my grandfather’s collection that was divided up between my mom and her 3 siblings after his passing.

I am grateful for this incredible artist’s contribution to my family’s art collection and for his artistic impact on and representation of Argentinean life and society. To end, I leave you with this quote from an interview with Berni shortly before his death in 1981, “Art is a response to life. To be an artist is to undertake a risky way to live, to adopt one of the greatest forms of liberty, to make no compromise. Painting is a form of love, of transmitting the years in art.”

To read more about Delesio Antonio Berni, check out his Wikipedia page, the primary source of information detailed in this blog post.

 

Wonderful Opening Reception for A Winter Juried Collection!

It was so wonderful to see everyone’s work at the Opening Reception for the 3rd Street Gallery’s Winter Juried Collection on Sunday, January 7th! 

I am honored to be exhibiting among so many talented artists including:Sarah Gutwirth, Jack Knight, Lois Schlachter, Shawn Murphy-Holland, Keith Sharp, Kathryn Harr, Kristopher Benedict, Eduardo Verdecia, Mat Tomezsko, Rosalind Bloom, Shaina Craft, Dennis Ambrogi, Nancy Kress, Khanh H. Le, Pia De Girolamo, Katie Knoeringer, Lee Muslin, Jean Burdick, Rebecca Schultz, Ben Weaver, Jeff Carpenter, Jacqueline Unanue, Robyn Miller, Scot J. Wittman, Charles J. Adams, Andrew Werth, Jessica Eldredge, Teresa Shields, Robert Reinhardt, Jennifer S. Rodgers, Ann Breinig, Renee Chase, Lori Renee Evensen, Constance Culpepper, Lauren Vargas, Demetra Tassiou, Nicole Patrice Dul, Willard Johnson, Eli Smith, Mo Gerngross,Tania Qurashi, Jacob Foster Sandra Koberlein, Sandra Benhaim, Deborah Leavy, Kristin Myers, Jeff Carpenter, Scott O’ Neil, and Kimberly Stemler.

Check out 3rd Street Gallery’s facebook photo album for a glimpse of the exhibit!

The collection will be on exhibit from January 5th through January 28th.

A Winter Juried Collection
Friday, January 5 through Sunday, January 28, 2018
First Friday: January 5, 5:00- 9:00 pm
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00- 5:00 pm

3rd Street Gallery
45 North 2nd Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19106

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

Hoping you all had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family.

We celebrated here in Philly with our daughter and family and our wonderful grandchildren. Christmas morning we headed to Brooklyn to celebrate Christmas and a belated Hanukkah with our son and daughter in law.

New Years was a blast at the World Cafe Live! We enjoyed the amazing music of PhlillyBloco and Open Hand. 

Last year I started a daily art project on Instagram. I used the hashtag #365dayscreatingart. It was great that many of you joined me and now we have a large body of work posted with that hashtag!

My word for 2018 is “Determined”. 

I am again committing myself to another year of #365dayscreatingart. It’s a daily art project on Instagram. I kinda fell off the wagon for a bit in 2017, but no falling off in 2018!! To help, I am going to number my work with the day – 1/365… and post it using the following hashtags: #365dayscreatingart #draw365 #365project #dailypainting #dailyart.

Who will join me? At the end of 2018, I envision a gallery with a collection of all of our work.

To start my series off, I am revisiting a theme that continually inspires me, music. And, of course, my dad, Miguel Ficher, a violinist and lover of music, will occasionally be included in this developing body of work. I hope you enjoy it and will join me.

Unfortunately, it has been too cold to work in my studio during this first week of January, but I have been using the many tools I have at home to begin creating. Here is my growing daily collection so far!

1/365

“Music Above” Mixed media, collage, acrylics, gouache. 15×20

2/365

“I hear the sound” Mixed media, collage, watercolors, acrylics, pen on watercolor paper. 5×5

3/365

“Samba” Mixed media, collage, watercolors, acrylics, pen on watercolor paper. 5×5

4/365

Mixed media, collage, pen, sketch on paper.

5/365

Digital sketch on iPad Pro.

All of my work from my #365dayscreatingart posted on Instagram and my website will be available for purchase.

Enjoy!
Dora

Upcoming Exhibition

3rd Street Gallery – A Winter Juried Collection

I am excited to be among many talented artists selected to be included in the 3rd Street Gallery’s Winter Juried Collection this month! Juror, Luella Tripp, a gallerist, curator, and art consultant since 2001 has selected three pieces from my “It’s Not Just Black or White” series to be included in the exhibition. The collection will be on exhibit from January 5th through January 28th. You can read more about my entire series here and more about the 3rd Street Gallery here.

3rd Street Gallery
45 North 2nd Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19106

A Winter Juried Collection
Friday, January 5 through Sunday, January 28, 2018
First Friday: January 5, 5:00- 9:00 pm
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 7, 1:00- 4:00 pm**
Gallery Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12:00- 5:00 pm

**I am planning on attending the Opening Reception on Sunday, January 7th and look forward to seeing everyone’s work!

 

Benito Quinquela Martín – His Impact on La Boca and Me!

My painting called “Tango” of La Boca.

As an artist, I often find my inspiration from the intricate connections between colors and patterns. I notice these aspects in the world around me; in architecture, the variety within landscapes, and the tones and quality of light. Too, I see a little piece of my native Argentina in the elements of my work. When I reflect on my development as an artist, I can clearly see how others have also left an indelible mark on me and contributed to my evolution over time. Over the next few months, I plan to highlight other artists who have inspired me or helped mold me. I hope you will enjoy learning about these wonderful artists.

To start, I will begin with an artist who made an impression on me way back when I was in art school in Buenos Aires. Benito Quinquela Martín, “a man who is a synonym for the neighborhood of La Boca” is known for his colorful depictions of ports, ships, and port life in his beloved neighborhood.

www.welcomeargentina.com/personas-y-personajes/benito-quinquela-martin/benito-quinquela-martin-c.jpg

Benito Quinquela Martín was so devoted to his neighborhood that, in the 30’s, he used the success he acquired there to begin giving back. In 1933, he donated land for a public school and later money to build a theatre – the Teatro de la Ribera – “a kindergarten and a breast milk center and, finally, a Pediatric Dentistry Hospital.” In the 50’s when La Boca began to decline, Martín infused his neighborhood with his artistic color and “created an outdoor art exhibition space devoted to artists and craftsmen. He recreated an old street filled with colorful conventillos on a stretch of a disused railway line. [T]his path was named Caminito after a popular tango written by Juan de Dios Filiberto.”

www.welcomeargentina.com/personas-y-personajes/benito-quinquela-martin/benito-quinquela-martin-d.jpg

My friends and I used to go to La Boca and sit in the street or in a park to take it all in and paint. We were in awe of the color!

Benito Quinquela Martín’s presence is still visible throughout the neighborhood of La Boca today – a vibrant place full of energy, music and street performances. And Martín’s bold palette surely impacted me!

La Caminito, La Boca © ilkerender/ Flickr