new undies for the new year?

 

Dear friends,

As I reflect on 2018 and look forward to 2019, I can’t help but feel enormous happiness and excitement. 2018 was a year to be remembered and I want to share some of my very favorite things from this year with you.

The highlight of 2018 was Michaela’s birth! Our newest granddaughter, and the first child of my son Jonathan and his wife Jessica, is full of joy and laughter. Her smile and laugh melt my heart. In fact, she, along with my other grandchildren are my greatest inspiration.

  

Heidi and I have loved every minute with our three grandchildren this year. We have enjoyed trips to the park, baby music class, holiday celebrations, and a family beach vacation in September. We truly cherished 2018 with them.

 
“Water Blue”, 10×10 , “Dawn”, 8×8 “,  and Coastal View” , 8×8 , Encaustic, collage and oil stick ©Dora Ficher

Some of my other 2018 highlights include discovering new books, art and office supplies, and artists. Perhaps my list will lead you to new discoveries too.

Books:

Supplies: office and tools

  • Levenger  Switch, swap, and rearrange pages as you please with the Levenger Circa Notebook System. One of the artists at the Asheville Mastermind Workshop had this notebook and I fell in love with it. She gave me all the info and as soon as I got back I ordered mine in my favorite color, turquoise, or aqua as they call it. I LOVE it. Papers go in so easily. You have to read about it to know how it works. Mine is all ready for 2019 and will help keep me organized during what is shaping up to be a very busy new year. 
 
  • Kemper Tools: Mini Ribbon Sculpting Tool Set, 5” long. I found these little tools while walking around in Asheville, NC. We happened upon a wonderful arts and craft store that had everything you could possibly need even if you didn’t know you needed it, or that it even existed.. It was a privately owned store run by a pair of aging hippies who still retained their flower power. They carried marvelous things, from carpenter tools to knitting tools. From sculpting tools to gardening tools. From yarn to paint. Spinning wheels to clay.  Weaving frames to easels. In a little corner I found these mini sculpting tools which I love to work with on my encaustic paintings. Great for scraping and building up the wax. Wish I could remember the name of this awesome store.
    
  • Yearlong Calendar: This is one of my very favorite new things that I began in 2018. I hung up a year long calendar on my pantry door.  It is very cool to see your whole year in front of your eyes. I color coded mine. It was definitely helpful. The 2019 one is erasable, a feature that I like. 
    
 

Donna:

  • Donna Uettwiller  To put it simply, I am eternally in her debt.  She is my assistant, my sounding board, my moral support, my lifeline to the “e world,”  my editor, and my friend.  That said, Donna has been my friend for almost twenty years and has now become an integral member of Doraficherart.  She assists me by photographing my art and helps me to write my blog by weeding through my scattered thoughts to find a coherent thread of what I am trying to communicate to you.  In just a few hours a week, she is able to work her magic, an alchemist at creating a finished product out of my scattered thoughts. Donna is an amazing photographer. Check out her photos here—>website.  Thank you, Donna!

Artists

  • I saw quite a few art exhibitions this year here in Philly and during my travels to Asheville and Lancaster. The one that mostly stands out is one I just saw at the Guggenheim museum this past week: Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future. I had  not heard of her until a few weeks ago reading friend’s posts on facebook. I was fascinated with her work. You can read all about her and see her paintings in the links above. It felt like her work was meant to be displayed at the Guggenheim. 

Six strings, Duet, and Allegro, mixed media – Acrylic, wax, collage on canvas. ©Dora Ficher each piece is 20×20″

And, because this time of year is full of favorite traditions, I’ll close by sharing my family’s New Year’s Eve tradition!  On New Years Eve, all members my family wear a brand new pair of underwear. Some of them even say the color you select should match your wishes for the coming year. It may sound silly or superstitious, but, for our family, wearing new undies ensures we welcome the new year ready for a fresh start. I have always done it and, so…we will be wearing new undies to welcome 2019! I’m not sure if this is just an Argentinian custom but I have done my best to encourage its growth in the USA.  So now I’m wondering about other family customs. Do you have any special traditions in your family, holiday related or not ?  I would love to hear about them so I hope you leave me a comment here.

I want to thank all of you for supporting my passion of creating and my art business.

Happy New Year, my Friends!  May 2019 bring you much Happiness, good health, prosperity and PEACE. 

Hugs to all,
Dora

***Stay tune for details about my two upcoming exhibitions opening in January. More about it next week.

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

From Denver to Golden, Colorado

From Denver to Golden, Colorado

Before leaving Denver we got together with one of our students from PMFS! Jessie Beer, who lives in Denver and works in Boulder, was also a counselor at our camp for several years until she moved 5 years ago. It was GREAT to see you Jessie!

From Denver we headed to Golden, Colorado for Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Breakthrough 2017.  Alyson B. Stanfield has been my Art Biz Coach for many years! Her online programs have been invaluable to me as I work toward becoming an “artist entrepreneur.”

I was eager to attend Alyson’s yearly Artist Breakthrough conference. This was my third time in attendance and this year was as inspirational and informative as I had hoped. It is always an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by so many artists and Alyson and her team are a dependable source of information, strategy, and motivation! They cover so many aspects of how to be an “artist entrepreneur,” and a businessperson, not only a self-employed artist.

We didn’t only learn, at Breakthrough, we also did a lot of dancing!!! We had fun, hung out with artists from all over the USA and beyond, like Mexico, Canada, and Malaysia. I even met several artists from other Latin American countries who live here in the USA like me!

I ended my week feeling inspired and couldn’t wait to get home to begin incorporating everything I have soaked up during this incredible trip into my art business. 

Thank you for traveling along with Heidi and me. We’ve enjoyed sharing our trip with you!

Dora

From New Mexico to Colorado

From New Mexico to Colorado

What an adventure we are having! This past week we have traveled from New Mexico to Colorado delighting in wonderful eateries, incredible sites (and sights), and cozy inns.

In Taos, New Mexico, we enjoyed a lovely meal in the cutest restaurant, The Love Apple.

“Once known as the Placitas Chapel, This little Catholic Church was built around int 1800’s and was in operation for 100 years,” but according to the hostess, “well, since this is New Mexico, you never know…”

We were also fortunate to visit the incredible Taos Pueblo, an ancient pueblo belonging to a Tiwa-speaking Native American tribe of Puebloan people and the only living Native American community designated as both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The adobe structures and land were breathtaking and truly inspiring.

After visiting Georgia O’Keeffe’s house and Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, NM, an absolutely awe inspiring experience, we checked into the warm and comfortable Abiquiu Inn where we enjoyed a delicious meal and even had beer brewed by the monks.

After leaving New Mexico, we drove to Manitou Springs, Colorado where we had a wonderful dinner and stay at The Cliff House at Pikes Peak – such a stunning place and nice entertainment by a guitarist!

From Manitou Springs we set off for Denver and stayed at the iconic and beautiful The ART Hotel. It was so clean and minimalist and there is artwork everywhere throughout the hotel! Simply gorgeous!!

From Denver we headed to Golden, Colorado where I am taking part in Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Breakthrough 2017. I am excited to be here and for the opportunity to take part in this conference and I look forward to telling you more about it next week.

This trip has been amazing so far, and I can’t wait to get back to my studio and start painting. I took so much in that I’m thinking of doing a southwest series. We have been and seen so many places since we landed in Albuquerque… totally inspiring!!!

From Philly to New Mexico

From Philly to New Mexico

It’s been an amazing 10 days of travel, learning, beauty, and food! Last Tuesday Heidi and I flew into Santa Fe, New Mexico. I was excited and eager to participate in Paula Roland’s Intermediate Workshop on Encaustic Monotypes. The workshop was “designed to help you… refine skills; advance your techniques; find your voice, and connect style and content of monotypes with your studio practice.”

 

Paula is an incredible artist and teacher and it’s an honor to learn from her and work alongside so many engaged in developing their work. You can read more about Paula in this Vasari21 article by Ann Landi

I also had lots of time to explore Santa Fe before and after Paula’s workshop. Santa Fe is an incredible city full of vibrant color and amazing food! We started our trip off right celebrating Heidi’s birthday at Sazón, a fabulous authentic Mexican restaurant.

Our fave breakfast spot during our stay in Santa Fe was Café Pasqual’s, which beckoned us with an assortment of delicious breakfast options 3 mornings in a row including gluten free French toast! It’s a must if you are visiting.

On Monday, we left Santa Fe and drove to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa and what an amazing place it was.

Next stop, over the breathtaking (literally) Rio Grande Gorge and on to Taos, New Mexico! 

Stay tuned next week for our visit to Abiquiu and then on to Denver and Golden, CO to Alyson Stanfield’s Breakthrough Conference.

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