Lessons from Asheville, NC

As you may know, I traveled to Asheville, North Carolina last week to participate in Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Mastermind Workshop. As I begin to make a transition into being a full-time artist, it’s invaluable to me to take part in workshops that will help me clarify my goals and reflect on my past achievements. While I’d love to do nothing but paint, turning my art into a successful business will require me to invest in the “business” aspects of my art and impose some discipline into my best practices. Lucky for me Alyson’s workshop was exactly what I needed. It provided me with the opportunity to not only focus on my goals and the tasks needed to support them, but also to connect with others working through the same process. I learned so much from the group!

Asheville wasn’t all workshop time though! Heidi and I visited studios throughout the expansive River Arts District and I got together with a few local artists who work with mixed media and encaustic. I loved that all the studios are open to the public every day of the week and I am amazed by how supportive the artist community is in Asheville. I am inspired,too, by so many who have successfully turned their art into a career.

With many hours to reflect on the train ride home, I doodled and considered my goals going forward. I find that my greatest hope is that my art will bring forth feelings of happiness and positivity. Art can and does change the energy around us and I endeavor to be a part of generating a shift that promotes feelings of joy and cheerfulness. To that end, I want to create a variety of ways my art can be accessible to anyone who wants to collect it. Upon my return home, I have begun creating larger pieces while also taking time to compose collections of small pieces too. I will continue to work both digitally at home and with mixed media in my studio.

Last week was truly transformative for me. Thank you Alyson and all of the other artists who took part in the Asheville workshop. If you are an artist looking for this kind of guidance, consider Alyson’s Art Biz Mastermind Workshops. The next one is scheduled for February 5th – 6th in Atlanta, Georgia.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

xo

Dora

What’s Next?

I am excited to announce that, after 28 years of having so much Fun in the Sun with so many fabulous children, I have retired from my summer camp. I will now be a full time Artist, a life long goal, for the first time. I am so very excited and can’t wait to see what I can do in the studio with all of the extra time. As you probably know, I have been an artist my whole life. During the past 6-7 years I have found a passion for working with encaustic, an ancient art form that allows me to paint with molten wax. Though I will continue to create art using a diverse set of mediums, techniques, and tools, like collage, oil sticks, oil paints, pen and inks, and acrylics, I am excited for the extra time to really dive back into my encaustic paintings and encaustic monotypes.

I want to thank my business partner, Bonnie Templin, for 28 wonderful years watching hundreds of children grow up, year after year, during the summers at Fun in the Sun Camp – and, that includes our own children! At the conclusion of summer, we turned the camp over to Bonnie’s son, Rob Carter. Rob grew up at Fun in the Sun, first as a camper, then as a counselor, and for the past two years, as the camp’s director. He brings in-depth experience and limitless patience for children and their needs. He is an innovator always seeking more ways to create a fulfilling camp experience for all campers.

I will truly miss the campers, their families, and the staff, but I promise to visit.

As I shift gears and head into my studio full-time, I look forward to progressing a few unfinished pieces, experimenting with new techniques and mediums, and taking advantage of the extra time to lead workshops! In fact, I already have one planned for April 5-7 2019! I will be co-leading a workshop in my studio with my good friend and peer, Lorraine Glessner. I am also looking forward to opening my studio up to visitors again this year for Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) on October 7th. POST is a program of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists that gives tour goers the opportunity to visit studio spaces, experience artist demos, and talk face-to-face with artists from more than twenty Philadelphia neighborhoods. To learn more about this fabulous self-guided tour, visit POST.

More from me about what is next soon. I anticipate having lots of art news to share with you in the coming months, including my annual calendar sale announcement and details of upcoming art focused trips. In the meantime, drop me a note and let me know what you’d like to see coming out of my studio in the next year. I am eager to hear your thoughts!

How Do You Title Your Work?

Like many artists, naming my artwork can sometimes feel like a daunting task. There is so much to consider. Names should illuminate a defining element of the piece while also being original. They should assist the viewer to make a connection, but also embrace diverse interpretations. A title could mean the difference between a buyer connecting with the work or being turned off by it. No wonder the task feels like one of the hardest things to do as an artist!

Keys Keep Dancing

Over the years I have approached naming in a variety of ways. Often, and especially with my musical body of work, I relate my titles back to my life with my father. During my childhood we often would lay on the rug together and listened to music. Words from those days come to my mind as I view my work. For example, my most recent encaustic piece, “Allegro” was named in this manner. “Allegro” is a lively, cheerful musical tempo and an element I see in this piece.

Allegro

Another recent piece I named using this convention is called, “Overture.” Like an orchestral overture, for me, the motion in this encaustic painting evokes the feeling of something about to begin.

Overture

I use other approaches to naming too. Sometimes an element jumps out at me like in my encaustic monotype titled “Silverlining.”

Silverlining

Other times I may use bits and pieces from songs or phrases to title my work like in this piece, “Into the Woods.”

Into the Woods

My varied naming techniques ultimately assist me, yet I find myself wanting to find an easier approach to coming up with good titles. What is your approach? How is it working for you?

Investing in Myself

As some of you know, I started June off  by attending a 2-day Art Biz Mastermind Workshop in Lancaster, PA with one of my favorite people, Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield. Alyson’s workshops provide me with the opportunity to invest in myself.

We were matching Alyson (far right)…very colorful.

The Art Biz Mastermind Workshop is intended to help artists focus on and plan the “business” of our art. Alyson’s wisdom and feedback are invaluable as we examine what we do to support the business aspects of being artists. Collectively, we share our experiences and support one another to contemplate and explore new possibilities for ourselves. We also share our own best practices and, in the end, finalize a plan for ourselves. The guidance I receive from other artists and Alyson is invaluable to me as I work to grow as an artist. And we enjoy one another too!

A peek into the the workshop…

The whole group!
I met so many awesome artists in person.
I always doodle during workshops. It keeps me focused.
Music always emerges in my doodles.
Dinner with friends.

Creating art is intuitive for me. 

Engaging in the business of art is something I need support and guidance to accomplish. I am grateful for these re-focusing and planning opportunities!

And, it is always wonderful to spend time with Alyson Stanfield.

Warmly, Dora

 

 

Montgomery County Studio Tour – Sneak Peak

Enjoy this sneak peak of just a few of my encaustic monotypes planned for the Montgomery County Studio Tour this weekend.

 

Event Details:

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 52 artists and 21 studios. For more details, click here

My work will be exhibited at the Glessner Studio – 24 Robbins Avenue, Rockledge, PA 19046. 

And, to learn about the other wonderful artists I am exhibiting with at Lorraine Glessner’s 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

Exhibition Preparations Underway!

This artist’s life isn’t always about wax, hot boxes, and bold colors!! Many days in the studio are, but the days and weeks leading up to exhibitions are about getting all of those art works ready to be seen and sold.

As you know, the Montgomery County Studio Tour is coming up on June 9th and 10th and, so, Heidi and I have been busily mounting, framing, naming, and labeling my body of encaustic monotypes for the exhibition. 

The adhesive mediums and blow torches are in overdrive!

While it is certainly a change of pace in the studio, it feels great to see everything come together. It is positively thrilling to experience the impact mounting, for example, has on my monotypes!

The Montgomery County Studio Tour features 52 artists and 21 studios. I will be exhibiting at Lorraine Glessner’s Studio with Lorraine and two other wonderful artists. To learn more about us, click on our names: Dora Ficher
Lorraine GlessnerKaren Freedman, and Julie Miller.

I have so much new art to share with you. Everything from monotypes raging in size from 24″ x 36″ to 5″ x 5″ to a selection of my original “doodles.” I hope you will stop by and/or plan to take the entire tour! 

Warmly,
Dora

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

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