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

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Cinco de Mayo

Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.


Cinco de Mayo – Pen & India Inks on watercolor paper. 8×8
Cinco-de-Mayo-in-progress2©Dora Ficher
Cinco-de-Mayo-in-progress1©Dora Ficher
Cinco-de-Mayo-in-progress3©Dora Ficher


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A Gift

This week I am sharing a mixed media/encaustic piece that I made as a wedding gift for a special couple (Andi & Mark). Following is the finished painting but read below to hear the story behind this piece.

Andi-Mark, Mixed Media, Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks 16x16x1.5″ ©Dora Ficher
Andi-Mark, Mixed Media, Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks 16x16x1.5″ ©Dora Ficher

Andi & Mark got married on 11-11-11 so as you see I’m a bit past the date with this gift.

I have know Andi since before she was born, in fact her mom & I were pregnant at the same time. That’s why this is so special.

As you know, my paintings all have a story behind them and in my encaustic paintings the story is encased inside the waxy pigment.

I had asked Andi & Mark to give me images they would like encased in the wax. They have twin girls so most of the images were of the girls. This is what I did with the photos.

Reminder: Spring Open Studio ~ Saturday & Sunday, April 27 & 28, 2013 – 12 Noon to 6 PM
915 Spring Garden (between 9th and 10th – entrance is on Percy Street).Philadelphia, PA. 19123
Studio #403 on the 4th floor:

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La Montaña

La Montaña, India inks, Gouache on watercolor canvas board 16×20″ ©Dora Ficher

Following is the process of this painting called “La Montaña” (The mountain).

La Montaña-unfinished1, India inks, Gouache on watercolor canvas board 16×20″
La Montaña-unfinished2 , India inks, Gouache on watercolor canvas board 16×20″
Gouache Palette


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©Dora Ficher Art



Piano Tune

This week I am sharing my painting “Piano Tune”

Piano Tune Mixed Media, Collage, Encaustic, Oil Sticks 16×16 x2″

“Piano Tune”, the basic scale is made up of 7 notes, which are the white keys on the piano.
My painting reflects the rhythm and movement of the music you can make with the piano keys.

“Piano Tune” was selected for a Juried Show title “Seven”. When I heard the title which was the theme for the exhibit I came up with many ideas. My first idea was to work on the seven sided shape called a heptagon. I did many drawings with my ideas but it just wasn’t happening.

Finally I went back to my music theme which has been in my mind for a while now and came up with the idea of the 7 notes in a traditional scale (Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So (or Sol), La, Ti (or Si)) or (C, D, E, F, G, A, B). That made me think of a piano which I had played for many years as a child. From there I started making the keys of the piano and collaging them into the painting. And that’s how Piano Tunes was born.

Piano Tune-work in progress

The exhibit will be held at:

Castle Hill Gallery,Truro
Opening: Thursday, May 30, 4:00–6:00 p.m.
Closing: Thursday, June 6, 4:00–6:00 p.m.
Hours and directions:




As promised last week I will be posting a painting-A-week starting today.

There is a story behind this painting:

About 2 weeks ago I drove by our old house … the one we lived in while the kids where growing up…the one on “the best street in the city” according to a former neighbor and friend. But…I was a bit disappointed to see that the new owners painted it a red color and took down some of our beautiful plants that had grown so nicely. It was sad to see them gone…and to see the other changes like the color. We did move about 8 years ago…and the nerve of these people to change everything. It’s funny how much we don’t like change.

Last week for my 1st painting-A-week I decided to paint our beautiful Wellesley Road home.

Following is a photo I took of the house on that day:

It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.  ~Author Unknown



Time to commit

Hello friends,

I have made a big decision. I am committing!!! To what? To writing blog posts. My commitment is for once a week. But…I am allowing myself to post as much as I want.

I am in Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Coach Bootcamp…click on the link and read all about it. This, along with other classes I have taken from Alyson have changed the way I am approaching my art business….Yes, “Business” because that’s what it is.
I also belong to Alyson’s Art Biz Incubator. Last week I went to our member site and heard a wonderful talk between Alyson and artist Janet Vanderhoof .
Janet spoke about a big challenge she had set for herself for the year 2012. The challenge was to paint a painting a week. I was so inspired and motivated by what she did that it made me look at myself and think about a big project for me to do and write blog posts about.
In the year 2011 I was part of #draw365 on Twitter and successfully completed 365 ink drawings throughout that year.
This year I am going to copy/reproduce…Janet’s idea (which I’m sure she won’t mind) and do a painting a week. I also want to write posts about the process of my big challenge. In other words, I want to post images of my work in progress as well as finished.
You will see mixed media paintings done in my studio and ink drawings, watercolors or guache

Work in progress ~ Mixed media, collage, encaustic 9×12″ ©Dora Ficher

which I do at home.

Instead of just posting all this on facebook like I usually do, I will be posting here on my blog. My commitment  is for every Wednesday but don’t be surprised if you see me here more often.
Thank you Janet and Alyson for the wonderful talk.
One more thing, tell me what you think about my new website/blog.