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.
 

 

 

Thank You

Thank you to all who stopped by my studio for Philadelphia Open Studio Tours last Sunday.

I love inviting people in to see my creative space and showing them my art. This piece, “Still More Poppies” even found its new home! Thank you for supporting my art Sue.

 

This weekend I am packing up some of my newest work to hang in the Academy House Entrance Gallery – 1420 Locust St, Philadelphia, PA. 

I am so excited to bring my work home – Heidi and I live at Academy House! In the coming weeks, I also plan to add a selection of 6″ x 6″ pieces – so more to come.

And, after Thanksgiving, I will be hanging my work at my “second home,” the Trolley Car Cafe -3269 S Ferry Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19129. Watch this space for details.

Remember my 2019 Wall Calendar is currently on SALE for $15 plus FREE shipping until Thanksgiving. It makes a perfect holiday gift. Order yours here!

2019 Wall Calendar Images

I hope you enjoy this crisp, fall weekend.

Warmly,

Dora

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours – October 7th

I am thrilled to be opening my studio up to the public again for this year’s Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST). Curious about what the inside of an artist’s studio looks like? Want to see my newest work in person? Come visit me in my studio and take a look around on Sunday, October 7th.

  • Sunday, October 7th
  • 12 Noon – 6 pm
  • Scotts Mills: 3510 Scotts Lane, Building 32, Studio #118, Philadelphia, PA

My studio at Scotts Mills is also home to a number of diverse artists, many of whom will be participating in POST this year! There are two floors of studios for you to explore, come spend the afternoon with us. 

**On-street parking is limited and there is free parking in the large lot in the back of the Scotts Mills campus – enter via the driveway, just past Building 32.  

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!

 

Experimenting With Encaustic Monotypes

I am back in my studio and full of ideas and inspiration from my southwest trip and workshop with Paula Roland, a pioneer of the encaustic monotype!!

The encaustic monotype is made by laying paper on melted wax. This process is achieved by using a heated palette – a hotbox – and results in a one-of-a-kind painting. The exciting thing about it is that I can lay stencils on the hotbox, make a collage, and I have infinite other possibilities of things to do before the finished painting. 

Since my return, I have begun experimenting using two hotboxes together.

It’s fun to have 2 hotboxes together – so much bigger! 

I am loving being back in my studio, creating and exploring my process.

Warmly, Dora

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 

 

Join Me – Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) – October 14th

Ever wonder what happens in a day in the life of an artist? Come visit my studio, take a look around, and get a sneak peek at some of my newest work during this year’s Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST).

  • Saturday, October 14th
  • 12 Noon – 6 pm
  • Scotts Mills: 3510 Scotts Lane, Building 32, Studio #118, Philadelphia, PA

My studio at Scotts Mills is home to a small community of diverse artists situated on a quaint street in the beautiful East Falls section of Philadelphia. There are two floors filled with artists for you to explore. 


**On-street parking is limited and there is free parking in the large lot in the back of the Scotts Mills campus – enter via the driveway, just past Building 32.