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!



Dora Ficher Art
Sol Design Studios








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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.


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.”


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


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.




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.  

“Alternative Wax: Layers of Facts” an Upcoming Exhibition

Announcing an Upcoming, Inspiring Group Exhibition

I’m excited to share the news that one of my pieces, “It can not simply be reduced to black or white,” from my “It’s not just Black or White” series will be in a group exhibition at the Kolbalt Gallery in Provincetown in June! The show, “Alternative Wax: Layers of Facts,” is the first political show associated with the International Encaustic Conference. It offers artist like myself the opportunity to express their views on the current political state in our country through their artwork. Francine D’Olimpio, juror and Kobalt Gallery Director, and Cherie Mittenthal, the Encaustic Conference Director “feel this is the perfect time to seek artists’ perspectives on alternative facts through layers of wax!”

The show promises to be a wonderful and intriguing one. Every submission was accepted for exhibition as every, “single one of them is unique in its interpretation of the theme, with perspectives ranging from humor to horror!” according to the curator.  

If you are in Provincetown anytime between June 2nd and June 8th, plan a visit to the Kobalt Gallery!

Exhibit Details
  • 11th International Encaustic Conference
  • Exhibition Title: “Alternative Wax: Layers of Facts”
  • Juried by: Francine D’Olimpio, Gallery Owner and Curator
  • Exhibition Dates: June 2 to June 8, 2017
  • Exhibition Location: Kobalt Gallery
  • 366 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA
  • Opening Reception: Friday, June 2, 2017 7 PM – 9 PM


Exhibition REMINDER: “It’s not all Black or White”

Later this month, my entire “It’s not all Black or White” series will be on exhibit at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts. Inspired by my post-election feelings, “It’s not all Black or White,” is a series that explores the “complex convergence that defines and enhances the richness of the human experience.” Read more about it on my here. And catch a glimpse of the series in progress here.

The show runs from May 12th – May 26th and the Opening Reception is May 12th from 5:00 – 7:00pm. I hope to see you there!

Save the Date!

It’s not just Black or White

I am thrilled to announce my newest encaustic series; “It’s not just Black or White” on exhibit next month, May 12th – May 26th, at the Cheltenham Center for the Arts, 439 Ashbourne Road, Cheltenham, PA 19012.

About the Series

Like all truisms, this is not a black OR white world. Rather, we live in between those concrete lines. My series explores this “in between.” Within the black and white, the layers that define us are embedded in the work…. the colors of the spectrum converge and merge toward shades of grey, ironically the combination of black and white. We need to explore this complex convergence that defines and enhances the richness of the human experience.


I hope you will join me at the Opening Reception on May 12th from 5:00 – 7:00pm. I’m excited to share my new series with you. In the meantime, if you’d like a sneak peak of the collection in progress, take a look below.









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