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.”

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

 

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 .

Childhood Memories of Colorful Buenos Aires

 

"The Beginning" Mixed Media, Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks ©Dora Ficher
“The Beginning”  Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks ©Dora Ficher

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 14, 1951 in Sanatorio (medical center) Otamendi . At the time my parents lived on Inocensio Arias street in Castelar the west part of Buenos Aires.

Sanatorio Otamendi, the hospital where I was born.
Sanatorio Otamendi, the hospital where I was born.
Here I am with my mom and my dad. I was 3 moths old.
Here I am with my mom and my dad. I was 3 moths old. My first trip to Mar del Plata (the shore we went to every summer. Check out those tiny shoes I’m wearing.

My father had his laboratory there. He did blood tests and everything else a lab does.

I remember that we had a wooden 2-person swing in the backyard. I am amazed that I remember this since we moved out of this house when I was 3 years old.

Screenshot 2015-03-06 13.32.43
The 2 person swing

I recall that my grandmother’s housekeeper, Paula, would come to pick me up, and take me on the train to my grandparents’ house. At that time, going to their house was the most wonderful thing in the world. They had a big house with a big glass and iron door. It was called a Petit hotel, I guess because it had many bedrooms, a big garden/patio and several rooms for the people who worked there (the cook and housekeepers).

My grandparents home
My grandparents home

When I visited my grandparents’ home, I slept in the room with my aunt, who was only 14 when I was born. I felt like a princess every time I was there.

My grandfather and me. His name was Jaime.
My grandfather and me. His name was Jaime. I was about 20 months.

My grandparents had a television set (I am talking about the 1950s). One of those big Zenith sets.

Screenshot 2015-03-06 16.04.54
The Zenith TV

 

Whenever I was there I loved to have breakfast in the “comedor diario” – the casual dining room. I could watch the TV while eating. TV’s were something very new at that time. We didn’t have a TV in our house so this was a treat.

My grandmother with my sister Claudia and me.
My grandmother with my sister Claudia (sitting) and me.
Working on my first painting of this series
Working on my first painting of this series
Starting to collage and write memories the this painting.
Starting to collage and write memories the this painting.
©Dora Ficher - work in progress. I added a photo of the door to my most memorable house. It's the door I have on my painting.
©Dora Ficher – work in progress. I added a photo of the door to my most memorable house. It’s the door I have on my painting.
The Street of my grandparent's house
The Street of my grandparent’s home. Antonino Ferrari, in Buenos Aires.
23593_449926003288_1604410_n (1)
The door to the entrance of my grandparent’s house.

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

To read about it, click here and here .

 

The Circle Game

“Circle-Game”, MIxed media, encaustic, oil stick, collage, ©Dora Ficher

When I’m in the studio I paint and listen to music or books. Lately I have been listening to music. I have different playlists which I make myself. This actual playlist I was listening while painting this piece has many of my favorite songs. Each piece I have been working on for the last few weeks represent one of the songs. This is one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs.

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town
And they tell him, “Take your time. It won’t be long now.
‘Til your drag your feet to slow the circles down”

And the seasons they go ’round and ’round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.

~ Joni Mitchell

paintingAweek 8

doraficher.com

 

Some needed flowers

Sharing my new and updated website / blog with all of you…along with some needed flowers…

3rd Street – watercolor

Stay tuned for a new series coming up on my blog soon. It’s all about famous Argentinean artists.

For now, take a look at my new site and let me know what you think. I am looking forward to your thoughts.

 

“R” is for Rainbow

“R” is for Rainbow ~ Ink Drawing – © 2012 Dora Ficher

 

R“ is for “Rainbow

I Love colors and I love “Rainbow“.

A “Rainbow” is an optical and meteorological phenomenon that causes a spectrum of light to appear in the sky when the Sun shines on to droplets of moisture in the Earth’s atmosphere. It takes the form of a multicoloured arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.

In a “primary rainbow“, the arc shows red on the outer part, and violet on the inner side. This rainbow is caused by light being refracted while entering a droplet of water, then reflected inside on the back of the droplet and refracted again when leaving it.

In a double rainbow, a second arc is seen outside the primary arc, and has the order of its colours reversed, red facing toward the other one, in both rainbows. This second rainbow is caused by light reflecting twice inside water droplets.

You can read more about Rainbows here.

“Q” is for Queen

“Q” is for Queen ~ Ink Drawing – © 2012 Dora Ficher

 

Queen is a good word for “Q“:

“All I Ask Is That You Treat Me No Differently Than You Would The Queen” ~Anonymous

“There is no use trying, said Alice; one can’t believe impossible things. I dare say you haven’t had much practice, said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~Lewis Carroll

I also like a Band called Queen. They sing some of my favorite songs!

What are your favorite “Q” words?

Wow! 2011, what a year!!!

Wow! 2011, what a year!!!   It was very productive with many new things happening.  It was
very sad year for me as well  as I lost my father on November 3rd. So, it is with mixed emotions that I am writing this newsletter.
I would like to thank Alyson Stanfield for sending the “Artist Conspiracy” email (which included a worksheet about our accomplishments in 2011) at exactly the right moment.  That got me motivated to actually start writing this newsletter.  Before I saw that, I was sitting at my computer with a blank document in front of me. So, thank you Alyson!

Looking back at the year I have to say that it was productive one.
I would like to share what my year was like via words and photographs…so here we go:

At my studio ©Jonathan Meter Photography   Studio  ©Jonathan Meter Photography

In February I moved to my new Studio. At first, I shared space with another artist. The I moved into my own single studio. I totally love it!
I am in the 4th floor of a wonderful Artist’s Studio building. There are about 100 studios in the bldg.

At my studio ©Jonathan Meter Photography

Except for the summer months when I am busy running my Summer camp business, or taking vacations, I would say I spent about 3 days a week in the studio on average.  When not in the studio, I am usually at my home office painting my watercolor/India Ink paintings or doing computer work.

My artwork is now represented by 2 galleries in Philadephia. Bluestone Fine Art Gallery and  Nichols Berg Gallery .

In March I was the Featured Artist at Artista Gallery which unfortunately closed last summer.In November I was part of an Encaustic exhibit at Nichols Berg Gallery.


You can see my work on the right. The Red one.
I attended numerous gallery and museum exhibits. I try to go to 1st Friday as often as possible.I finished up the year with 680 fans on my facebook Art page. That means I gained 243 in 2011.
On twitter I am up to 1435 followers, up probably about 1000 in 2011.

I started a google+ profile but have haven’t really done anything with it. Not sure if I will keep it.
I opened up a Pinterest account and at the moment I am having a ball with it…and… trying to get better at using it.

I joined Alyson Stanfield’s Artist Conspiracy.  It is a great place to get support and feel part of a community.
I Joined InLiquid  a nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists while serving as a free, online public hub for arts information in the Philadelphia area.
I joined The Encaustic Art Institute in Cerrillos, New Mexico and was fortunate to be able to visit during the summer. Click on the Harmony Photo and read about this project.
Encaustic Art Institute    Encaustic Art Institute
I also joined The International Encaustic Artists a non-profit, professional artists’ organization that seeks to raise the level of excellence in fine art encaustic work by providing a global information exchange and by raising interest about encaustics in the art world and with the general public.

 
I did not post on my blog very often and that is something I want to change in 2012. I did start out the year posting every day so far. (Link).

One of my BIG Highlights of 2011 was going to The Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, MA. I was there for almost a week learning sooo much and meeting some wonderful friends. The conference was 3 days but I stayed another 3 days to do workshops. The Conference is produced by Founder/Director Joanne Mattera with Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill and its Executive Director, Cherie Mittenthal.


Joanne Mattera and Cherie Mittenhall
First night in P-Town with wonderful company… among them Elena De La VilleChristine Aaron
Lorraine Glessner, Karen FreedmanDiana Gonzalez Gandolfi

The Vendor’s room was totally awesome

 

 
I took two wonderful post-conference workshops, one with Gregory Wright  and one with Lynette Haggard.

Another one of my big highlights during 2011 was a trip to Colorado and New Mexico. My partner Heidi & I took this trip together. We flew to Denver and from there we drove to Boulder to join Cynthia Morris to participate in her Curious Boulder workshop. We spent 3 wonderful days in Boulder with Cynthia and 10 other lovely women. The following Photos will show you how much fun we had.


From Boulder we drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico where we spent 3 days mostly visiting galleries on Canyon Road and walking around the town.
 
 
I loved the colors in Santa Fe. Turquoise has always been my favorite color so I was thrilled when walking into the New Mexico Museum of Art and finding this awesome turquoise hat in the gift shop.
We drove back from Santa Fe to Denver to spend a few days there. Denver was awesome. All these places were new to me and I enjoyed them tremendously. I love to spend time in new places.
 
The night before we flew back to Philadelphia, Alyson Stanfield had a wonderful party at her home in our honor. Alyson is an amazing host! The food was wonderful, the drinks were superb and the company was terrific. We met many of Colorado’s finest artists, many of whom I had met earlier on facebook or twitter. It was great to meet all these people in person. The drive to Alyson’s house was breathtaking. She lives in the middle of the mountains. Wow…what a view!

Heidi, Alyson & me                                    The view from Alyson’s deck

 

In October I participated in POST Philadelphia Open Studios and had a great turn out. Several of my paintings moved on to new homes. Succesful day.

Another big happening last year was that I turned “60” in September. To celebrate, I had a “High Tea” with the woman in my family and some of my closest friends. It was a great celebration. I even had everyone wear a “hat and Gloves”…after all it was an afternoon “Tea.”
 
 

Here are some photos of the celebration: Heidi and I above left, My mom, sisters and me on the right. Jonathan (my son) who was the photographer that day. And then My mom, dad and me. My dad came towards the end because he never wanted to miss any occasion, especially if it celebrated a member of his family!!!

A few weeks after my birthday tea my father passed away on November 3rd. This next painting I did the other day: “My Dad and his Violin.”

January 2012 Daily #Draw365

 1/365 “New Years in the City” India Ink on Watercolor paper 4×4  © 2012 Dora Ficher

Since January 2011, I have been participating in the #draw365 hashtag group on twitter. By December of 2011 I was hoping to have completed 365 pieces total… I didn’t make it to 365 but…I made it to about 220 which I’m very happy about.

The way I have been doing it is drawing a new piece every night and coloring it with India Inks. Then I scan it and finish it up on photoshop.

This new Year I will be doing the same thing but also include some of my encaustic paintings on some days. My purpose in all this is to “Create” some piece of art every day and I know that is the motivation of the group as well.

I will post one up everyday on my blog as well as on my Facebook fan page and on my Twitter page. You are welcome to share these with your friends. On your left you can see the 1st one for 2012.

All my #draw365 pieces are available for sale as prints or originals and you can contact me here for all the information. The prints are mounted on wood panels and covered with a few layers of encaustic which lets me combine both of my art mediums.

You can also find some of my Ink Drawings on Zazzle where you can purchase them as Tiles and Note cards.

My Encaustic paintings are also available for sale either through the website, my studio or through the galleries that carry my work. At this time I have work at Bluestone Fine Art Gallery and at Nichols Berg Gallery.

I am working on pricing all my pieces on my website Portfolio page. That will be done in the next couple of days. My Portfolio has my India Ink drawings in a separate page.

Stay tuned for my YearEnd Newsletter which will go out in the next few days.  If you would like to get the Newsletter please subscribe on the right where it says email updates.

Happy New Year my friends!