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.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2012

You are invited to visit my studio during the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours

1974 ~ Mixed Media – Collage / Encaustic / Oil Sticks on panel 12x12 © 2012 Dora Ficher
1974 ~ Mixed Media – Collage / Encaustic / Oil Sticks on panel 12×12 © 2012 Dora Ficher

Dora’s Studio will be open during Philadelphia Open Studios on

October 20 & 21 from 12:00 noon to 6pm

Dora Ficher Art
915 Spring Garden St.
Studio #403 (4th floor)

Reflection ~ Mixed Media – Collage / Encaustic / Oil Sticks on panel 15×27 © 2012 Dora Ficher

The 2012 Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) will take place this month and, once again, the Studios at 915 Spring Garden will participate on October 20th and 21st from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. This free, city-wide art exhibit showcases the work of painters, photographers, printmakers, clay artists, jewelers, sculptors and more! It’s an informal, intimate way to view the work and meet the artists.

I will be showing my Encaustic paintings as well as my oils, acrylics and ink drawing.

Do you know what encaustic painting is?

Stop by and see it in person.

You can also grab a drink, eat some, and just hang out.

The studio is located at 915 Spring Garden (between 9th and 10th – entrance is on Percy Street).

I’m in studio #403 on the 4th floor.

Additional information, maps and directions can be found at the following sites:

Hope to see you there. Bring your friends!

Dora

Dora Ficher Art

915 Spring Garden St.
Studio #403
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215-680-0922

Website:    http://doraficher.com

Blog:    http://doraficherartblog.com/blog

Twitter:    http://twitter.com/doraficher

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/doraficher/

Facebook fan page: http://facebook.com/doraficherart

Spring Open Studio

I would like to invite you to come to my studio this coming weekend

Come and see my new work

Visit other studios in the building.

Sat. 4/28 and Sun. 4/29
from 12pm to 6pm

915 Spring Garden St. Philadelphia, PA 19123
(Entrance is on Percy St., Between 9th and 10th)

“1974” ~ Mixed Media – Collage / Encaustic / Oil Sticks on panel 12×12 © 2012 Dora Ficher

915 Spring Garden Artists’ studios open to the public—

visit your favorite artists and discover new ones! Unique shopping opportunity!

Sandra Milner
Janell Wysock
Michele C. Kishita
Laura Adams
Linda Mehnert
Wendy Wolf

915 Arts at 915 Spring Garden
presents

Spring Open Studios

Sat. 4/28 and Sun. 4/29
from 12pm to 6pm
http://915studios.com/

915 Spring Garden St. Philadelphia, PA 19123
(Entrance is on Percy St., Between 9th and 10th)Over 30 artists will have their studios open to the public. Come out and support your local artists! Paintings of all styles and mediums, photography, prints, drawings, ceramics, fiber arts, handmade clothing, jewelry, cards, books and much more!Open studio events are a fantastic way to see a wide variety of artworks from artists from every career level and style in one stop.  It’s an extraordinary experience to be able to see where the work is created, speak with an artist about their work, and to be able to support an artist directly through making a purchase at their studio.Just a few of our participating artists are featured in this email, come on in to meet them all. We have many new residents who will have their studios open!
Katya Held
Dora Ficher
Liz Afif in her studio (502) photo by Linda Mehnert
Rita  Siemienski Smith

The Power of One ~ Part 1

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

I Love Spring ~ Ink Drawing – © 2012 Dora Ficher

Spring is my favorite of all seasons. I get that feeling of energy all around me.

Talking about energy…I have the pleasure of working with my good friend Frumi Cohen this year on her yearly musical she does with the 6th grade at Plymouth Meeting Friends School. I have been helping out with the sound, the program, the sets etc…for many years. This year I have been with Frumi since the beginning, with the auditions back in January.

This year Frumi is documenting the whole process in a series of videos. I am filming the videos while she is directing the kids. I just film, not edit. Frumi herself is doing the editing. Following is the 1st video of this year’s play: “The Power of One” Here you can get an idea of what the Musical is about.

The Making of a Middle School Musical ~ Part 1

At the same time I decided to do an art project that would be related to this musical. That’s when I started doing My “Doors Series”.  I will be talking more in depth about this in future posts.

The 6th graders did an art project as well. They came to my studio 4 at a time with one of their teachers and they each did an encaustic piece related to the play.

Following are some photos of the 1st group at the studio. I was impressed at their enthusiasm of working with the encaustic medium.

More to follow next week

Email:    dora@doraficher.com
Phone:    215-680-0922
 
Studio:
915 Spring Garden St.
Studio #403
Philadelphia, PA. 19123

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.”

POST 2011

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST)

Dora’s Studio will be open during Philadelphia Open Studios next weekend on

October 15 & 16 from 12:00 noon to 6pm

Dora Ficher Art
915 Spring Garden St.
Studio #403 (4th floor)

Untitled ~ Mixed Media Collage, encaustic, oil sticks on panel 16×16 ©Dora Ficher Art 2011

 

The 2011 Philadelphia Open Studio Tour (POST) will take place next weekend and, once again, the Studios at 915 Spring Garden will participate on October 15th and 16th from 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm. This free, city-wide art exhibit showcases the work of painters, photographers, printmakers, clay artists, jewelers, sculptors and more! It’s an informal, intimate way to view the work and meet the artists.

I will be showing my Encaustic paintings as well as my oils, acrylics and ink drawing (my doodles which I share on Facebook every day)

Do you know what encaustic painting is?

Definitely stop by and see it in person.

I will be doing demonstrations of the encaustic process.

You can also grab a drink, eat some, and just hang out.

The studio is located at 915 Spring Garden (between 9th and 10th – entrance is on Percy Street).

I’m in studio #403 on the 4th floor.

Additional information, maps and directions can be found at the following sites:

Hope to see you there. Bring your friends!

Dora

Dora Ficher Art

915 Spring Garden St.
Studio #403
Philadelphia, PA 19123
215-680-0922

Website:    http://doraficher.com

Blog:    http://doraficherartblog.com/blog

Twitter:    http://twitter.com/doraficher

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/doraficher

Facebook fan page: http://facebook.com/doraficherart

Welcome to my New Studio

“Melody”.  Mixed media – encaustic paints, collage, oil sticks on wood 2.5 x 3.5.      ©Dora Ficher 2011

I have moved to a “Studio Building”. 915 Spring Garden Street houses 5 floors of artist studios.

The building has a very interesting history: In 1909 the Reading Railroad completed construction of the 915 Spring Garden Street train station. During this prosperous era of heavy industrial construction, trains were the primary means of long distant travel, making 915 Spring Garden Street a focal point of commerce for Philadelphia.

And so it is today, only artists have replaced RR workers and the commerce is Fine Art not travel. Providing studios for over 100 artists of varied disciplines, from potters, furniture makers and jewelers to painters, photographers and sculptors

In 1981 the 915 Studio Building, as the public has come to know it was inaugurated, with a group of painters, potters, and graphic designers making up the role as tenants.

You can read the whole story here.

As many of my facebook fans know, I love my New Studio. I get to walk there, about a 35-minute walk from my home each way. So, I not only get to go and have fun while I do my art, I also get a good exercise.

The photo below is of the hallway leading to my studio #212 on the 2nd floor.

@Dora Ficher Art

It is so awesome to have plenty of room to work.

Following you can see some pictures of my encaustic materials and some new work I have done in the past month or so. I have been experimenting with different collage materials and with the torch to fuse the wax.

©Dora Ficher Art
@Dora Ficher Art
Mixed media – encaustic paints, collage, oil sticks on wood 2.5 x 3.5.      ©Dora Ficher 2011
Mixed media – encaustic paints, collage, oil sticks on wood 2.5 x 3.5.         ©Dora Ficher 2011
Mixed media – encaustic paints, collage, oil sticks on wood 2.5 x 3.5.          ©Dora Ficher 2011

Some new Poppies…

“Springtime” Collage, Mixed media – encaustic paints, collage, oil sticks on wood. ©Dora Ficher 2011

Website:    http://doraficher.com
Blog:   http://doraficherartblog.com/blog
Twitter:    http://twitter.com/doraficher
Facebook:  http://facebook.com/doraficher
Facebook fan page: http://facebook.com/doraficherart

Interview Wednesday ~ Donna “Iona” Drozda

Donna “Iona” Drozda
Iona who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia loves to paint in the middle of the night. She adores nature. Yoga and gardening. She is now also enjoying Kayaking.
In Iona’s words: “My community goal is to assist you in diving deeply into physical, emotional and spiritual zones where true creative joy resides. Lunar phases inspire me. I apply this inspiration to my mentoring program, Lifecycle. My monthly ‘Luna See’ newsletter helps keep us attuned to creating with the moon cycles. I design studios for The Contemporary Art Center of VA and as a Statewide Artist Educator for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. 140 illustrated journals testify my gratitude for being here now. A few ‘Drozda Art Life’ adventures: ~ first gallery sale: 108 paintings to private collector ~ owned a gallery in a bustling arts district ~Chanted with monks in Tibet ~Witnessed the Ketchek trance dance, at midnight, in a forest in Bali ~hospice volunteer and author of book for care givers. Volunteer and on Board of Advisors for Tidewater Arts Outreach ~With its many phases life is simply wonder-full.

Iona and I met online while working on our mutual blogs.

We were classmates in “The Blog Triage” class given by Alyson Stanfield and Cynthia Morris.

I was fascinated with Iona’s blog posts, her art work and right away signed up for her newsletter ‘Luna See’.

 

The Red Room (detail), Drozda 1993, 64×48″ Acrylic on canvas

 

Iona, could you tell me about your relationship with the moon and your  ‘Luna See’ newsletter?
  • First of All, thank you, Dora, so much for inviting me to sit with you for a Dora Ficher Blog interview.
  • Watching the moon dance across the sky has always lifted my spirit. Since 1989 I’ve been  following the cycles of the moon as a way to look at time, and my creative work patterns, in a calmer gentler way.
  • For 6 years I met monthly with a small dedicated study group and our teacher, Robert Kent Myers. He would record our sessions and send them out to subscribers across the country. Each October several hundred  highly creative students of the moon phase work  gathered here in Virginia Beach for a seven day intensive at the ocean front. Each year I was one of the lead teachers. We were all interested in living with more creative focus and balance and spent the week learning, sharing, exploring , creating, dancing, drumming and playing.
  • ‘Luna See’, my monthly e-newsletter, helps us to look-up as we consider slowing down.  Over time, as one follows  these eternal patterns, they  discover a  natural harmony that aligns with the eight phases of each lunar cycle.  Each moon cycle carries a keyword which is then woven through each of the eight phases. This process, cycle by cycle throughout the year, builds a rhythm and offers  ways to engage your self expression . It’s a terrific tool for focus. For example; each August is the “Trust’ moon cycle. We can begin to look forward to this time period each year to focus on how that quality is functioning in our lives and particularly in the studio. A few other keywords that we visit during their specific month are: Introspection, Strength, Clarity and Renewal…with each month bringing our total to twelve.
  • Each phase of the moon extends for approximately three days and within that space there is a specific way to creatively express what the phase represents. For example; at each new moon we can take three days to hold a vision…at the first quarter phase we take an action on that vision… at the full moon we reflect on how the vision is unfolding and what it’s revealing, this is an appropriate place to look for any fear, trepidation or as I call it, ‘Luna See’ regarding what we’re striving for…and at the third quarter we devote time to watching with gratitude as our creative idea matures for the current cycle. That’s just  a glimpse at four of the eight monthly phases. Each Monday I do a blog post for that weeks moon phase energy.

    River of Time, Drozda, 2007, 14 x14″, Acrylic on wood
I read that on your first gallery sale you sold 108 paintings to a private collector. Wow, how did that happen? Could you tell us about it?
  • It was so magnificent. Here’s the  short story: I worked in relative seclusion for 5 years before the time of home computers. I had no phone, TV, radio or outside distractions. I didn’t have a car. I was recovering from violent crime and invested all of my time in gardening, healing and  the study and making of my art. At the close of those years I moved back to the city and made an appointment to have the top art gallery look at a portfolio containing 12 of my paintings.  The gallery asked to keep the work to show the pieces to the curator of modern art at the major museum in town and also to a private collector. The museum curator was out of town. The collector came to see me in my studio, went through all of the paintings I had done during that 5 years and contracted with the gallery for the purchase of 108 completed works. I light up each time I think of what dreams may come to meet us.
Marsh Morning, Drozda, 2003, 14×12″ Acrylic on wood
You say that you love to paint in the middle of the night, what is it about it that you love? I’m particularly asking this question because I also love to paint in the wee hours of the night.
  • Then you know, don’t you  Dora, that there is a quiet and a certain alchemy that happens in the wee hours that simply isn’t available at any other time. That’s what I love. My pattern is to go to sleep at about 10:30 instructing myself to wake when I’m rested and ready to create. This happens spontaneously (no jarring alarm clock) between 2-3 am. I move into my studio and let the muses show me what they will. I generally work until dawn. Then a short nap and the whole day ahead with another nap, of 20 minutes,  in the late afternoon.

 

March Morning, Drozda 2008, 16×16″ Acrylic/board


Could you tell us about your mentoring program, Lifecycle?
  • Since 1990 I’ve also incorporated living in harmony with the phases of the moon into this studio outreach service.  Lifecycle is a personal energy reading and the format is an 80 minute audio CD that’s based on two pieces of your birth information plus a sample of your handwriting (I’m a certified analyst in love with the way we make marks on paper). The information  focuses on you and the creative energy that is available to you focusing on the twelve months ahead. Many of my clients get an update each year at their birthday to stay tuned into their own creative rhythms.
  • I have clients from all across the country and beyond. Lifecycle clearly and gently reminds you of your innate gifts and talents. It’s like a portrait in words or a refreshing energy drink that you listen to!  Any reader who may want more information can email me. I also follow up with many clients who sign on for 6 phone sessions which allow time for deeper exploration and cultivation of creative strengths.
Spirit House, Drozda 2003, 36×48″, Acrylic on board
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
  • I don’t think I could do any better than to quote Georgia O’Keeffe.  “Go to work.”
The Bodhisattva, Drozda 2001 48×60 Acrylic/canvas
How do you get your inspirations?
  • I’m passionate about symbolism and metaphor combined with observation of the natural world. I’m inspired by the opportunity to be alive! How fleeting and what a treasure.  I feel that ‘affecting the quality of the day’, as Thoreau said, ‘is the highest of arts’.
What is your favorite medium to paint with?
  • I mix materials with abandon but Acrylic is my paint choice. I love its versatility and color quality. It stands up fabulously over time. A new media favorite are the beautiful Pan Pastels.
‘Don’t Stop the Dance’, Drozda 2006 60×60 inches Media Blend on Unstretched canvas
Bee Goddess, Drozda 2000 8 x8 “ Media Blend on wood

Iona, thank you so much for being part of my “Interview Wednesday” I have learned so much from you in these last few months.

You can find Iona at:

Celebrating Art Life At

Her Website: http://www.donnaionadrozda.com

Her Studio Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wren-House-Studio/

Her blog: http://donnaionadrozda.com/blog

Shameless Self Promotion Workshop

©Dora Ficher 2010 “3rd” mixed media, wax, oils, photograph 8×8

The above is a work in progress

I had a wonderful week learning all about “promoting your art online”. I attended Alyson Stanfield’s workshops.

In Lancaster, Pa. “No Excuses-Art- Marketing Workshop” and in Rehoboth Beach, DE. “Shameless Self Promoton Workshop”.

I first went to Lancaster, drove there with my son Jonathan Meter who is a photographer in NYC and had never taken any of Alyson‘s classes.

He and his girlfriend just started a new blog, “The BiteSizedblog” and he wanted to learn all about promoting it.

In Lancaster we met some wonderful artists. The workshop was sponsored by The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftmen.

I was very excited to be able to help Alyson with her sale’s table in both workshops. I had a ball.

I have taken many classes with her and I am always learning new things.

Facebook, blogs and twitter are constantly “changing” and Alyson is up to the last minute changes in everything “social media”.

It was great to meet new artists. I believe that for me this is the most fun of participating in both online classes and in workshops. You meet so many wonderful people.

After Lancaster I came home for a day, picked up Heidi and headed down to Rehoboth Beach where neither one of us had ever been to.

The Rehoboth Beach, DE. “Shameless Self Promoton Workshop”. was held at The Rehoboth Art League and organized by Kim Klabe.

Saturday after the workshop we walked around the town and visited several art galleries. My favorite was the working artists studios: Base where many of the artists that attended the workshop have their studios.

What better way to end a week long journey than with a great dinner at an awesome seafood restaurant.

If you have never taken any of Alyson Stanfield’s online classes be sure to visit her blog and sign up for the next one. You will learn tons!

 

Heidi, the tree hugger

The birds and the bees

Encaustic Workshop

What a great week-end!  Two whole days of just creating. The workshop was given by Artists / Photographers   Leah McDonald and Athena Petra. I got to be part of it along with a few other artists most of them photographers. I learned not only about painting with encaustics but also about encaustics and photography. Following is a visual journey of my week-end.

The “Bees Wax”
The paint melting
Leah McDonald

Leah showing us different things you can do with the bee’s wax once it’s applied to the substrate.

Leah & Toni

Toni Robertson, photographer

Leah McDonald and Athena Petra

Athena sharing one of her photographs

Rita

Rita Bernstein, photographer

Oil Sticks
Oil Paints

The painting room in Leah’s studio.

Encaustic Photograph

One of my “Hat” photographs glued to the substrate, covered with Bees Wax and painted with oil paints.

My paintings with encaustics will be up tomorrow.

This is my 2nd workshop in the last few months. I took another one back in December with encaustic artist Lorraine Glessner