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!


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.  

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

Wedding bells are ringing for me and my gal

"Luquillo" watercolors on paper. ©Dora Ficher
“Luquillo” watercolor on paper. ©Dora Ficher

I’m getting married next weekend and was very fortunate to get a call from the Chesnut Hill local asking if they could do an article about my art and my wedding.

If you click on the image below you can get the whole story at their website.

Chestnut Hill local
Chestnut Hill local

Heidi & I are going on an amazing honeymoon to Europe.

We are taking the Viking River Cruise, you know, the one you see the ads for on PBS’s Downton Abby.

We begin in Paris where we will spend 4 days.
We are then on to Luxembourg where we tour a bit and then board our ship.
Our first boat stop is Trier, Germany. We then cruise along the Moselle River and dock in Bernkastel for the evening. The next day we sail to Cochem for a morning tour then sail on to visits in Koblenz, Braubach, Rudeseim. Heidelberg, Wurzurg, and finally Bamberg. After eight days on the river, the cruise part of the trip ends in Nuremberg. We then travel to our final destination of Prague, Czech Republic where we will spend four days. The trip will take us to UNESCO sites, castles, and ancient villages.

I will be posting photos and sketches during our trip.

As I mentioned on my newsletter, I am part of on instagram: “The 100 Day project”, which I will be sharing about before I leave.

Coming up:

Save the dates:

POST, Philadelphia Open Studios – October 3rd & 4th, 2015

The Gold Standard Cafe – 4800 Baltimore Ave in West Philadelphia.

My work will hang there again this year, during December, 2015 and January, 2016.

I will update you on other happenings that are in the works.

Warm regards,




From the Train

Hello friends,

As many of you know, I am the co-owner of a summer day camp. This is our 25th summer!

Due to my long summer camp days, I am finding that lately I have neither the time nor the energy to get to my studio. This will be the case until my camp ends at the end of August. Saying this does not mean, however, that I am abandoning my art. That would be impossible, unthinkable. I live in the beautiful city of Philadelphia and ride a train to and from camp where I am inspired daily by the beauty that surrounds me. Equipped with my handy-dandy iPhone camera, I can’t stop taking pictures. I will continue to share these, my summer art, on my facebook art page and here on my blog. I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I enjoy taking them.

Happy Summer!



18th Street

I have been painting homes and buildings. My latest pieces are homes I find while walking around center city Philadelphia. This house has an interesting story. When I was 16, I had my 4 wisdom teeth out at one time. In those days, the late 60’s you had to stay in the hospital for this. It wasn’t out-patient how it is these days.

While in the hospital I had a room-mate, someone who was married and older than me. We did become friendly and she invited me to her home on 18th street around the corner from Rittenhouse Square. I remember falling in love with the house and with them. I thought it was so cool to have older friends (early 30’s) and that they paid attention to me. Both she and her husband were artists. I was fascinated with their studios and their art.  I kept in touch with them until I left to go back to Argentina to Art School.

Walking around the other day I passed by the house. This was the house where my room-mate lived. I took some pictures and painted this piece from the photo. I am planning to use it as one of my paintings on my 2015 calendar.