Friday, December 18, 2009

December Notes

Work above by Cynthia Robertson.

If you missed our holiday party last Sunday at Cynthia Robertson's house, you missed a very yummy treat. She served us the best Gumbo I've eaten recently along with a large pot of greens (mustard, I think) and on the side, corn bread of course and a pot of pig tails and necks. Soul Food Yum!!!
Of course we all brought yummy appetizers and dessert but the Gumbo (chicken, sausage, shrimp, crab, maybe oysters too) deserved 5 stars. Cynthia sent a bowl of gumbo home with me and it was even better the next day. My mom, who made wonderful gumbo too, said hers always tasted better the next day. Both days were good for me. Well, I loved the greens too. Southern and Soul!

Thank you, Cynthia, for your wonderful hospitality and yummy food.

Members who attended brought a small encaustic painting to swap. That was fun too. I came home with one of Cynthia's paintings. See top of post.

Work above: Julia Koivumaa, Atlantis; Encaustic Collage on panel

Scroll back to Thursday, Dec. 10 and the talk at MFAH, How Artists Think.
The talk was part of a summer education program at the museum for patrons wanting to learn more about how to look at and better understand contemporary art.
One of our own, Julia Koivumaa was one of the artists on the panel of four. Julia's presentation was precise and to the point, (she was third to speak and was encouraged to speed up the process because the previous two artists had taken a bit more than their allotted time.)
She works mostly with the medium of encaustics (beeswax and damar resin) and photography. The works she presented this night were mixed media encaustic paintings with collaged photos.
Ideas referenced in this series of new work are time, memory, changing attitudes.

It took the others a bit more time to get to their point but certainly they enlightened us about their thinking and creative processes as well.
Nerves get in the way sometimes and it is just plain hard to be literal about non-literal information. Perhaps that was a good thing for the audience to see....just how hard it is to speak about conceptual work and how difficult it is to speak directly about a process that is so non-linear.

Along with Julia on the panel were artists Jason Dibley, Armando Rodriguez and Nathanial Donnett.
Jason Dibley, artist/photographer is Program Coordinator at the Houston Center for Photography here in Houston. Jason stages his imagery with sometimes real objects and sometimes cut-outs that he has made himself. He directs light on the objects casting shadows on the wall. These cast images are what he shoots. The relationship of the particular objects (size and scale, etc)projected in shadow juxtaposed with a bit of drawn element plus the title, create a sort of visual pun. The photographs from the series he talked about, like the one below, are all quite small.

Image above: Jason Dibley, The Engineer, 2006.
Silver Gelatin Print. 5 x 4 1/2inches (Image from Artist profiles HCP page, click image to go there for more images)

Armando Rodriguez works in various media including photography, printmaking (etching, lithography, and monotype), graphic design and bookmaking. In addition to teaching at Art League Houston, he also works for the Houston Chronicle and in the education department of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Armando said he enjoys the mystery of working intuitively, not knowing just what the final outcome will be.

Work above by Armando Rodriguez (Image from Art League Intstructor page. Click image to go there.)

Nathaniel Donnett says his work has been influenced by the conceptual work of Joseph Kosuth. He pays homage to that artist making use of some of Kosuth's visual strategies but the shift in imagery and use of object Donnett utilizes directly references his own agenda. Clicking on Donnett's name will take you to a Youtube video of Nathaniel talking about his work.

The artist talking part was my favorite part of the presentation of the two hours but the slide comparisons that Chelsea Schlievert and Lauren Fretz, educators in the MFAH's Education Department presented was also very interesting and informative with audience participation encouraged. It was sort of a mini art appreciation course condensed in one evening. The works they compared were works from the MFAH collection and available for us to see in person. Comparisons paired two different artists use of color or line or compositional strategy, etc.
Amedeo Modigliani's portrait of Leopold Zborowski, c. 1916 and Cesar Augusto Martinez's Bato con Sunglasses provided one such comparison.

The third element of the two hours was at the end when the audience was broken into four smaller groups and sent out into the museum with one of the artists from the panel to discuss a couple of paintings (that artist's choice) in the collection.

Thanks to the MFAH's Education Department, Chelsea Schlievert and Lauren Fretz as well as to the four artists on the panel for this program.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

How Artists Think

Julia Koivumaa, TexasWAX member will be one of the panelists in the How Artists Think discussion this Thursday evening Dec. 10th, at the MFAH. Admission is free but space is limited so please make a reservation by sending it to You will receive a confirmation from them via e-mail.

Meet in America General Conference Room, Mezzanine of Audrey Jones Beck Building.

This talk is a follow up to the How to Look at Contemporary Art classes held this summer. How Artists Think invites museum visitors to think about not only their relationship to a work of art but to the artist as well.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Texas Wax Houston November Meeting at Menil

Mummy Portrait of a Man, Egypt, Fayum region Roman, ca. 150–200

Robert Gober's Untitled, 2005 in the reinstallation of works in the modern-contemporary galleries in the Menil Collection. Curator Franklin Sirmans. Read about it Here. Photo: Hester + Hardaway

Remember, our November meeting is this Sunday, Nov. 15 at the Menil Collection at 2:30. If you are interested in learning more about Texas Wax and or painting with wax, please feel free to join there.

What will we be doing there, you ask? The Menil has recently rearranged their Modern and Contemporary gallery potentially providing new insights and conversations between some of the artists in their collection. For us, it is Brice Marden's Seasons (encaustic) hanging near Jasper John's encaustics placed near Robert Gober's piece of cheese (wax and hair?) under glass perhaps. Also the Fayum Mummy Portraits in the Antiquities Gallery.

Brice Marden's The Seasons 1974-75 Photo:Hickey-Robertson

Talk over food afterwards. Hope to see you there. Don't forget!

November-Celebrating Robert

If you didn't get out to CyFair last week to see Robert's Offrenda, below are some images of it I received from Dave and Suzanne. It was assembled at Lonestar College-CyFair in the lobby of the Fine Arts Building last week by Robert's friends and family but was only up for a few days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Texas Wax Houston October meeting

Thanks to Linda Walker for hosting our October meeting at her home. Suzanne Shield-Polk, Elaine Theuner, Susan Crowson, Linda, of course and Gwen were in attendance.

Gwen brought in a can of shellac and some Mica flakes and powder and demonstrated how Patricia Seggebruch describes the technique in her book Encaustic Workshop, setting it on fire while still wet. Linda played with it some on one of her pieces below. Of course we did all this out side.

Below is Gwen's demo piece. First we sopped in some shellac with a paper towel and set the wet shellac on fire. Then, we saturated a bit of the paper towel and cord with shellac and placed it onto the piece then set it on fired. Later, when the shellac was dry, Gwen hit the surface with a small torch to see how it could be manipulated dry. (see top right side)

Our November meeting place has changed. We will meet at the Menil that Sunday, (November 15th) instead of at Suzanne's house. There will more about that meeting in another post.

Linda and Gwen reported on the joint group meeting they attended in September that was held in Austin at the Dougherty Arts Center. It was a lot of fun visiting with everyone and informative as well. Austin member-associates (those who wanted to) shared their work with everyone. Each talked about particular techniques they use, ideas that inform their work, and a bit of their history with the medium. It was a great meeting to launch our newly formed statewide organization, Texas Wax. Thanks to Sharon and all the Austin members who helped getting that together.
Below are Sharon, Kristy, Kevin and Linda in front of the Dougherty Arts Center.
Go to the sidebar for a slide show of more images from the Austin meeting.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Extended Gallery Hours at Bosque for McGehee Exhibition

See Slide Show on side bar to the right for images of exhibition at Bosque Gallery.

Bosque Gallery has extended the hours for Robert McGehee's exhibition 'An Artist's Journey' to M-F 11-4 pm.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Robert McGehee Exhibition Traveling to Bosque Gallery

"An Artist's Journey" Robert McGehee's memorial exhibition opens next week at Bosque Gallery on the CyFair Campus of Lonestar College. The reception is Thursday, Sept. 24 from 4:30 to 6:30. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from eleven o'clock til two o'clock.

An ofrenda is being planned adjacent to the Bosque gallery in honor of Robert. He was a great fan of the practice of ofrenda altar-making and arranged for several campus events and presentations on the subject. He would be very pleased.

Bosque Gallery is part of the Fines Arts program at the CyFair Campus of Lonestar College located at 9191 Barker-Cypress Road. The gallery is located in the Fine Arts building on the south-east side of the campus.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Succesful Museum Day at HCCC

Thanks first go out to Jason Kishell, Artist-in-Residence Coordinator at HCCC, and HCCC for inviting TexasWAX to participate in Gathering of the Guilds, HCCC's part of Museum Day in Houston. Over 600 people came through despite the rainy day. Visitors were very enthusiastic and interested to see what we were doing with wax, many surprised that we were using wax as a painting medium.
A huge THANKS to Suzanne Shield-Polk and Steffani Frideres who joined me for the day. We answered many questions about the encaustic medium and about the TexasWAX organization, while at the same time, we each demonstrated various encaustic painting techniques.
It was busy all day and at times, very crowded at our tables with all three of us fielding questions and painting at the same time. It was fun and exciting to see so much interest, enthusiasm and awe.
Sadly, I did not bring my camera so there are no images.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

TexasWAX/Houston at Gathering of the Guilds this Saturday

Saturday, September 12th
From 10am to 5pm
TexasWAX/Houston artists will demonstrate encaustic painting techniques at
Gathering of the Guilds at Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts
this Saturday, September 12th.

Gathering of the Guilds at Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts is part of the Museum Day event that happens every year in Houston's museum district. All museums participating offer free admission, transportation, with demonstrations and hands-on activities at some locations.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Robert McGehee/Memorial Exhibition

Below: Robert McGehee at Houston Community College Gallery in 2001 installing one of his pieces for the Faculty show that year. I didn't have my camera last evening so the images posted here from other sources. Some of them like this one were not in the memorial exhibit.

The majority of the work presented in Robert McGehee’s memorial exhibition at LSC-North Harris was last evening was from his latest venture into the medium of encaustics but there were paintings in acrylic, works on paper including intaglio prints and drawings and even some of his beautiful painted Porcelain pieces, as well. All the work, however, was very much in keeping with the themes he talked about in his statement below.

“My current work deals with the symbiotic relationship between cellular (physical) life and spiritual existence. Cellular life consists of health, disease, pain, passion, age, life cycles, regeneration, body fluids, blood, and death. Spiritual essence could include love, hate, suffering, joy, and determination. The co-mingling of these two states of being is of great interest in my work. I am currently working on some imagery concerned with the precise moment physical life and spirit both combine and separate.
This line of work began within the body and centered upon the internal physical world. Most of the early work centered on blood and disease. I then moved into a cellular exploration and have now evolved into exploring the melding and separation of the physical (cellular) and the spiritual. I would like to develop a show that filled the gallery with cellular and spiritual imagery and that would evoke a feeling of life and regeneration.”

The large painting leaning against the wall to the left is also Robert's work.
These two images are taken from archives of the Houston Community College SW Art Gallery Site.

The memorial exhibition will travel to LSC-CyFair campus later in the month for a short run so there is opportunity for you to still see his work if you can’t make it to Houston before the closing at North Harris on Sept. 18th. It is worth your time.

Below are more images of Robert's work.

Friday, August 28, 2009

TexasWAX/Houston Announcements

AUGUST 30th at 2:30
TexasWAX/Houston meets Sunday, August 30 at 2:30. Gwen's house is the meeting place. Contact her for directions.

Robert McGehee - An Artist's Journey
A commemorative exhibition of Robert's works will be displayed from August 24 - September 18
in the Fine Arts Gallery at Lonestar College, North Harris campus.

Receptions are Tuesday, September 1, 2009 one at 1 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m.
I hope everyone can attend.

Saturday, September 12th
From 10am to 5pm
TexasWAX/Houston artists will demonstrate encaustic painting techniques during the day at
Gathering of the Guilds at Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts

September 12th is Museum Day in Houston's museum district. Free admission,
transportation, hands-on activities at some locations, and demonstrations.
We are pleased to be a part of this event.

Monday, June 22, 2009


My apologies to readers and to Joanne Mattera. Actually, Joanne was the curator of the Wax Libris exhibition I mentioned in the previous conference post. I have corrected that in the post as well.
So sorry.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Conference Report - Exhibitions

Third Annual Encaustic Painting Conference at Montserrat College of Art

Beauty and Its Opposites Montserrat Award - Gregory Wright

The Conference was great this year, as usual. The weather cooperated and stayed cool. No AC needed most days. Many thanks to Joanne Mattera and all of the Montserrat people whose efforts made this event possible for the 3rd year in a row.

Elena De La Ville-Director's Award

The sessions I sat in on were helpful, interesting and worth my time. The exhibitions were well presented and the work substantial. There were more exhibitions this year with even one rogue exhibition off campus. That was fun. (Hmm. Ideas for next year.)

Besides the Beauty and Its Opposites---this year's juried exhibition at 301 Gallery, there were three other exhibitions associated with the conference.

Wax and Wane Experimental
, work from Miles Conrad's "Off the Wall: Encaustic in Three Dimensions" workshop at last year's post-conference was in the front window of the 301 Gallery.
Participating artists in this exhibition were Dawna Bemis, Linda Clark, Jody Colella, Miles Conrad, Brandei Eiger, Ruth Gooch, Tessa Grundon, Marsha Lipsitz, Nancy Lowe, Ruth Sack Isabel Santis. Eleanor Hazel Trabaudo, and Joyce Vinson.

Luminous Landscape Invitational was in the second floor hall of the Hardie Building.
One of Rodney Thompson's Landscapes above. Two paintings below by Alexandra Masino.
Participating artists in Luminous Landscape are Lindsay Bentis, Debra Claffey, Linda Cordner, Janet Bartlett Goodman, Kimberly Kent, Dorothy Simpson Krause, Maura Joy Lustig, Julie Shaw Lutts, Alexandre Masino, Tracy Spadafora, Mary Taylor, Rodney Thompson, Charyl Weissbach and Diane Bowie Zaitlin. This exhibition will up up through the end of June. More of the landscapes can be seen on the Conference Blog sidebar and here.

And In the Round, Invitational---sculptural works by artists Debora Kapoor and Kim Bernard in the Schlosberg Gallery located on the first floor of the Hardie Building.
Above and below: A beautiful piece by Kim Bernard.

DetailPrayer Ball by Deborah Kapoor
Piece below is also by Deborah. Another invitational exhibition, Wax Libris---an exhibition of artist-made books that included encaustic as medium---was displayed on the shelves of the Paul Scott Library also located in the Hardie.
This exhibition was curated by Joanne Mattera and up through June.
Daniella Woolf, "B&W Book," 2008, paper, wax, fabric
Sandi Miot, "Found Out Along the Way," 2009, encaustic, graphite, and discarded books, 12 x 12 inches

Catherine Nash, "This Too Shall Pass," 2009, encaustic mixed-media assemblage, 7 x 13 x 4 inches
Participating artists were Jeanne Borofsky, Cari Hernandez, Supria Karmakar, Julie Shaw Lutts,
Sandi Miot, Cherie Mittenthal, Catherine Nash, Raymond Papka, Daniella Woolf, and Joanne Mattera. This exhibition was only up through the three days of the conference. You can see more of the books on the conference blog side bar.

Miles Conrad's Wax and Wane - Experiment in the window of 201 Gallery was perhaps my favorite. I loved the individual pieces as well as the concept of the exhibition which was an experiment to see how these wax pieces would fare in a west facing window. Some of the works were still hanging on the wall by the end of the conference but many had fallen to the floor. Looked like they were all still intact however.
The front window of 310 Gallery in Beverly. Wax and Wane Experimental. See a picture of the exhibit after pieces droped to the floor of the window click here and scroll down. This is Nancy Natale's blog and her conference report.

A difficult thing though to make that statement stick, ("My favorite exhibition") when I loved so much of the works in all the other shows as well. All in all, the total exhibition experience was one of the highlights of the conference.

Nicholas Capasso was the juror of Beauty and Its Opposites. He is Senior Curator at the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He chose works by 20 artists. You will find the list of participants on the conference Blog. Most of the artists had two or three pieces in the exhibition. At the top of this post are the images of the two top award winner's, Gregory Wright and Elena De La Ville. Director's Award chosen by Joanne Mattera, and Montserrat Award by the Gallery Curator.

Below is an example Robin Luciano Beatty's work. She won the Conference Award. Two images and a detail below. Attendee's voted on their favorite piece.

Detail below.

Below: Paula Roland's Monotypes with light filtering through from behind. She received an Honorable Mention.
I have always liked her monotypes and paintings but I really love the direction her work heading these days. Seem more organic? Don't know, but they work for me.

One of Daniella Woolf's pieces was made with old canceled checks stitched together and waxed. Daniella has two other pieces in this show as well. I don't remember if it was this piece for which she received the Honorable Mention or if it was one of the others. I enjoyed them all but this one touched me in a personal way. My siblings and I found boxes of canceled checks and paycheck stubs in my mother's stuff when we were going through her things after she passed away. I didn't keep them but remember wondering how I could put them to use in my artwork. I'm glad Daniella didn't throw hers away.

Danielle Correia's paintings below struck a chord with me too but for a very different reason. I loved the humor and frivolity of the images as well as the way they were painted. She had others as well with this rabbit-head character playing around doing all sorts of things. These were the two larger pieces. Her work took an Honorable mention too.

Overall, I felt the show was very strong and I had a very difficult time choosing my favorite for the Conference Award. I won't post the whole show but below are a few more of my favorites.

Rodney Thompson's two pieces in the exhibition.

Below right: Cora Jane Glasser's
She and Debra Ramsay were the two rogues holding
the off-site exhibition. I took photo's while there
but they disappeared from my camera!
See their Youtube video.

Jane Allen Nodine

One of April Nomellini's Encaustic collages.

One of Kristin Swenson-Lintault's paintings.

These two below belong to Roberta Lee Woods. Her handmade papers thick with organic materials make up these pieces resembling tanned leather, especially in the one below.
I was drawn to these immediately because of the rough textural qualities and organic feel.

There are plenty more images I could post here but Whew! I'm ready for a break. More on the conference sessions in another post. Here is a link to a video of the reception.