As the intensely colored wing came into its own through interpretation with color, I could not help but wonder what would happen by breaking it up into pieces— distinctly separate, yet part of the whole. Pushing past the resistance that lives within myself… to stay with what I know, is a powerful lesson in letting go, a parallel to so many parts of life which take their own form, ready, or not. Remaining open to the unknown of what comes next is an ongoing process of trust and acceptance. Both beauty and loss reside here…
This piece began with a macro photograph printed onto textile, hand-colored with colored pencil, layered with encaustic medium, carved with relief, cut to shape, sculpted, and sewn onto waxed birch panel. It is a wall hung sculpture full of radiance and reflection.
After finishing the coloration and carvingof the large butterfly on my table, I felt a strong pull to separate the being into two. After several minutes reflecting on the possibility of engaging an interchange between two separate beings, I decisively took my razor blade and cut through the textile and waxed layers as I held my breath. Continuing to explore the relationship between the two parts, I reflected on the power of collaboration and interrelationship and how others can sometimes see us more clearly than we see ourselves. The ongoing dialogue between these shapes brought continue to elicit insight and further pondering…
This sculpture was created from macro photography printed onto textile and layered with wax, carved with relief, cut to shape and sculpted, before coming to rest on suspended branches suspended from the ceiling, creating dynamic shadows on the background wall .
I have always been gently drawn to the inner layers that exist in others and myself, something which has only deepened as my life continues to build with experience and relationship. Raising our boys makes me aware daily of the importance of not only encouraging them to fully explore who they are, but to convey the message that all is welcome and celebrated. May we encourage this with one another and ourselves in ways that uplift, honor, and remain receptive and curious about what may emerge so that we may be ready to nurture.
This wall hanging was created from original macro photographs that were printed onto textile, layered with encaustic medium, hand-carved for relief, cut to form and sculpted to shape, colored with powdered pigment, and sewn into place before dangling from a dowel, piercing a found piece of wood which cradles the delicate emerging forms.
As a reincarnate of a moth long past its life, this one came to rest on a bovine rib that was found on our neighboring land from decades ago. As I worked to bring these two elements together, I was reminded of the impermanence of our lives and the time in which inhabit our lives fully.
This sculpture was made from a macro photograph printed on textile, layered with encaustic medium, cut to shape, carved for relief, sculpted, and sewn into bovine bone, a powerful reminded to seize the day and accept the cycle of life. This is a wall piece, but could be featured as a pedestal piece, as well.
This wall piece was created by layering original macro photography with encaustic medium, carving with relief, cutting to shape and sculpting, coloring with powdered pigment, and sewing onto the found branch, gifted by a friend. The small sculpture dangling by the “thread” (wire) was hand sculpted and rests inside part of an orchid petal, delicate and pure.
Last year our family raised monarchs for the first time, releasing them onto our land when they eclosed. Witnessing the changes day by day put me in touch with the fragility of their beings and their dependence on the many protective and nurturant conditions necessary for survival. Watching them grow through each delicate stage until ready to become hanging “J's”, form chrysali, and begin their process of emergence was breath-taking, flowing beyond words to complete wonderment, as reflected on my son’s face while two crawled across his hand, resting before their first flight into our fields and out into the world. As we sat in silence—eyes wide and hearts open--we experienced the miracle of their wings taking to open air. This experience brought home in a profound way that our choices matter, and empowers us to find ways to continue to act, big and small.
Creating this piece (out of photographs of the very monarchs we held) to depict not just the beauty, but the destruction of nature that is already happening, began as jolting and deeply disturbing. It put me in touch with a wide range of feelings— helplessness, grief, and anger. But as I continued to fully sink into the work, challenged by the materials and enormity of trying to convey such far-reaching implications through one piece of art, these emotions slowly metamorphosed into enlivening energy that grew. As I strove to convey the scope of global warming with a call to be moved into action, I was acutely aware that this is for not just our children and all generations to come, but for all living beings who are silently dependent on us for the very survival of their environment. May we be moved deeply to heal and protect the gifts of this precious world.
This piece was created from macro photographs printed onto textile, layered with wax and carved for relief, cut to shape, sculpted, and sewn onto painted encaustic cradled panel, a wall piece that will continue to motivate change in the now.
This sculpture was created from original macro photography that was printed onto textile, waxed heavily with encaustic medium, cut to shape, hand-carved edge-to-edge, sculpted, colored with powdered pigment, and stitched together. The artwork changes dramatically with every angle, as sculpture does-- one thing I love about the dimensionality, as it mirrors the diverse nature of ourselves, as well.
I benefited deeply from engaging with this sculpture, and felt gratified and relieved when the title came to me, encompassing years of hard work, inside and out, to create this integrated piece. Although it took courage to post the genuine title of the piece, I am glad I could own it. After all, we are all composed of many diverse parts that are to be celebrated...
We all have parts of our lives that seem to dangle by a thread in their fragility, often unknown to those with whom we interact with in the outside world. It is my hope that we are able to find the support needed to bring these parts of ourselves to safe landing, nurtured by love, acceptance, shelter, compassion and encouragement when it is time to be released from the nest.
This piece was created from a macro photograph printed onto textile, layered with wax, carved with relief work and cut to shape, sculpted until it came to rest on the wooden cane circle. The life form in the nest is created from sculpted wax, nestled by wild grapevine. This is a ceiling suspended sculpture.
When I was young, I spent countless hours up in a favorite Maple tree, collecting handfuls of these tiny pods and releasing them to the ground. I never tired of their whirling journey as they spiraled downward to the welcoming grass below. I enjoyed photographing the fresh pink and green coloring of tender seeds that remains for only a few days before beginning to dry and lighten in preparation for flight. As the deciding moment begins the unfolding of a monarch’s chrysalis, carving the ridges and valleys of the maple seeds breathes life into them. There is joy in holding a maple seed as large as a turkey platter! How I would love to have released them, perched from a high branch… The seeds came to rest on a framed cradled birch panel, contained, but for a moment. Seeing them larger than life serves as a powerful reminder of our ability to propel forward, carrying the great potential that awaits inside us all.
Creating this nautilus sculpture came about from a printing “mistake", where I thought I had printed a nautilus facing the same direction from both sides. As I pondered about the interface of the 2 images, facing opposite direction, it occurred to me that this was the more accurate concept I am working with— the yin and yang of my inner self, the light and dark, and most importantly, the intersection that brings wholeness to being. We all have many parts that make up our whole, formed from a lifetime of accumulating experience… I chose to sew on glass beads at this delicate, yet strong, juncture, highlighting and honoring the light summoned to the bridge that is made between these two seemingly contrasting sides of myself. I wanted a reminder that all parts of myself, and indeed, us all, are sacred... that every one of us carries many dualities within ourselves, all of which have opportunity for change and healing, when needed, and celebrating, as well. This sculpture embraces that fullness of being, allowing to most fully live.
“Beyond” was created by printing photography to textile, layering with multiple layers of wax, cutting to shape, hand-carving, sculpting to shape, sewing, and hand-coloring with powdered pigment. It is comprised of two opposite-facing, yet joined, nautilus creatures. (more detail pics to come on “available” page)
As bark provides protective covering for the tree that is alive within, our outer self holds the many layers of our inner soul. And like the tree that grows stronger with each consecutive ring, our core is fortified with each experience in this life. This sculpture originated from a macro photograph of bark floating down a stream, and the color was deepened through colored pencil and powdered pigment. I am struck by the beauty and diversity found in bark, and always drawn to what lives beneath-- hence, the name of my blog, Beneath the Bark, as there is always a story that lives within us all.
This mobile is made from individually sculpted abstractions of macro photographs of two identical butterflies that I found drinking nectar from the same bowl. They were an exact mirror image of one another and reminded me of the opportunity for us to reflect the goodness we see in one another back to the other person, be it our children, families, friends, or strangers we pass on the street. This compassionate regard for others brings out the beauty not only in them, but in ourselves, helping us both to connect to and radiate that basic goodness more readily. The interplay of movement gives the illusion of perpetual flight, symbolizing the freedom which we all seek and hold as sacred.
One day, I was emptying vegetable and fruit rind into a well-tended compost pile of a friend, only to discover a vibrant beauty of a plant growing directly out of the middle of the compost. Carved one seed at a time, I mindfully pondered the carrying this refugee into another dimension, enjoying the slow and deliberate process. I was left with strands of papery outer leaves that needed some grounding, and was happy to have them wrap around and meet to create support and safe structure for this newly emerged being.
As I have continued creating these sculptures and working to strengthen their integrity, I realized that much of my encaustic sculpture process thus far has been to do so without showing how this integrity is achieved. It occurred to me that this is a strong parallel to how we present ourselves out in society-- trying to keep what holds us together, below the surface. And rather than hiding the hard work that goes into holding ourselves together, we have the opportunity to share the importance of that role in our survival and blooming.
This sculpture was created from original photography, printed onto textile, layered repeatedly with encaustic medium, cut to new shape, carved over the entire surface, sculpted to shape, hand-colored with powdered pigment, and carefully sewn together. This is a pedestal piece. (There are further detail images on the available page).
Like the arduous journey of my great-grandparents and those courageous enough to cross oceans in hopes for a better life, these moth and butterfly fragments symbolize the beautiful diversity inherent in the creation of this country. The tenacity necessary for this labor-intensive sculpture made me contemplate the heroic efforts, sacrifices, and deep trust in the outcome that was surely present.
This sculpture changes dramatically with every angle viewed. Wings come together to provide shelter, integrity, and support, enabling those nearest the top, release. How we could learn from this interdependence, realizing our individual strengths become fortified and more beautiful when shared.
Although many feelings were experienced in the creation of this piece, the one most deeply rooted, was gratitude. There are not adequate words to describe the appreciation I feel for my relatives, and all those who risked their lives in coming to America. I have a life of freedom, privilege, and opportunity because of their sacrifice. This sculpture is a tribute to all still on this journey.
This sculpture was created from original photographs of moths and butterflies that were printed onto textile, waxed repeatedly with encaustic medium, cut to shape, hand-carved edge to edge with detail, pigmented with powdered pastel, and hand-sewn together. It is a pedestal piece.
As I continue living, I am increasingly aware of the privilege of using one’s voice to speak. This is not a gift to be taken lightly, and is a freedom that I appreciate more by the day. There is a deep sense of liberation that comes from having the permission and empowerment to speak. This swallowtail springs forth from the jawbone of a cow that roamed our hills over 20 years ago. The sculpture emerged from an original macro photograph, was printed on textile, repeatedly layered with encaustic medium, cut to shape, hand-carved over the entire surface, sculpted to shape, and colored with powdered pigment before being wired to through the jaw bone, giving the illusion of flying outward from the wall on which it is mounted.
This piece was created from a photograph printed on Japanese paper, layered with multiple coats of encaustic medium, hand-carved over every inch (much like a woodcut), and recolored with powdered pigment. It is symbolic of the sense of hope that returns with each spring season, and the delicate beauty of the fleeting redbud, enjoyed in the moments it blooms. It is matted and covered with museum glass, and framed with a black metal frame, which simply holds the delicate carving.
This bovine pelvis found me in the hills. Soothing worn hip sockets with layers of wax, healing imagery of carved tiny fungi, hydrangea, and moths, I shakily embedded locust thorns, balanced by branches where Luna Moths take flight. Respect, violation, fear, acceptance, rage, grief, joy, and emancipation all reside here. This painful sculpture helped me see- not just trauma, but jubilation and liberation live in my body and spirit, emanating out when I am centered, surrendering to what is.
This piece was selected for the International Encaustic Artists exhibit, "Another Way of Keeping a Diary", November 2015-- January, 2016.
This sculpture was created after my recent diagnosis, following the loss of my mother and our house fire. I reflect yet again on the importance of holding on to hope for peace following difficulty, and the amazing power of our bodies and minds to be resilient, and to regenerate in response to life's unexpected comings with courage and growth.
"Outgrowth" grew out of cacti, a plant handled with extreme care to avoid the pain of spines contacting skin. Sculpting them through inevitably intense contact with my fingers as I carved, cut, waxed, shaped, and stitched them (a painful process, in of itself!), I felt empowered to enable growth into dimensional pods that adhered to the branch. It remains unclear whether they emerged from within, or attached themselves from another source. Like the pods, our lives are shaped by inner and outer experiences, a fascinating process when we can witness the beauty that can emerge when pushed beyond our boundaries, remain grounded to our core, and are supported by each other.
This sculpture grouping can be suspended from the ceiling, or viewed as a pedestal piece.
Having been diagnosed with MS the morning after the eclipse, I have reflected much on what wholeness means. Despite being changed by what we experience, whether it be trauma, illness, or loss on the path of life, we all are essentially complete inside, just as the moon remains whole, no matter its phase.
Like the lotus blossom that emerges unsoiled from muddy waters in the morning light, this blossom represents the beauty and strength of being that can come from things which are painful, causing us to reexamine our perceptions and remain open to insight that heals. This sculpture originated from collected locust thorns on our land, used for another exhibit, “Another Way of Keeping a Diary”, and transformed here into new being. The photograph was printed onto fabric, colored with pencil, layered repeatedly with wax medium, meticulously hand-carved, but into shape, sculpted into form, stitched together, and hand-colored again with powdered pigment. The inside of the sculpture is magenta, which radiates out the purity that resides in us all.
This sculpture was inspired by the stunning beauty of orchids in a greenhouse overflowing with intoxicating scent and delicate form. I found myself lost in the patterns, buttery-soft texture, and velvety petals, anxious to express their loveliness through encaustic. They are mounted onto a large cradled panel, in a background that lends a quiet atmosphere for them to rest. Like orchids, we can also be fragile in form, yet capable of great strength from within.
This tropical specimen, naturally full of holes in its leaves, drew me in for its ability to be connected to both its surface structure, and to what lies behind it. I appreciated the pattern made by these spaces, as well as the window they provided. I was grateful to find just the right supporting structure, further emphasizing what lies in the space between...
This sculpture originated from a macro photograph, was printed, hand-colored with pencils, waxed, cut to shape, carved, sculpted into shape, colored again with powdered pigment, and wired onto the branches, ready to be mounted to a wall.
This vibrant moth was brought back to life after being closed up in a mothball-laden drawer for years, and depicts how the true colors and beauty of form are exposed when given light and space. A macro photograph was printed onto fabric, details drawn in with colored pencil, layered repeatedly with encaustic medium, carved with detail, cut to shape, sculpted, colored again with powdered pigment, and wired onto a heavily layered birch panel, carved with organic form and painted with oils. It serves as a reminder that we all have a place in this world, and the power to be moved by the presence of others.
This sculpture began after a visit to the biology building at Berea College, as I combed through the specimen drawers of creatures lying dormant for decades. Brought to new life by being photographed, printed onto fabric, detailed with colored pencil, layered with encaustic medium, carved intricately, cut to shape, sculpted, and wired onto heavily waxed birch panel painted with oils, this moth serves as reminder that new perspective is found when we peer inward at ourselves, as well as outward at others... an process that is often that is often illuminated by mental reflection during the night.
Originating from a butterfly photo printed onto fabric, layered with wax, colored with pencil, carved, cut, sculpted into form, this butterfly took on new life with further addition of powdered pigment before coming to rest on a waxed panel. In this state of peace, it serves as reminder of deepened connection to self and others when time is taken to pause and be present.
Witnessing the migration of monarchs as they pass over our land, often stopping for sustenance on the milkweed and butterfly weed that naturally grows, I have been in awe of these creatures' tenacity, endurance, and inner knowing of direction. My aim was to capture a bit of their beginning essence, their miraculous metamorphosis from chrysalis to butterfly.
Beginning with a photograph of a monarch, printed onto paper, detail drawn in with colored pencil, layered repeatedly with fused wax, carved intricately, cut to shape and sculpted, this monarch came to rest on a freshly opened chrysalis, created with paper and wax, supported by branches on which they are wired.
In making this self-portrait, my intent was to conjure up the act of embracing openness, and to remind myself that this healing energy is available to us all, rejuvenating and keeping us connected to the wider circle of life and possibility. Giving her a base that was solid and reminiscent of grounding to what I know to be good and true, it felt appropriate to use a motor part that was once an integral piece of a greater machine, movement inherent in its history. And finally, to ground this metal remnant into a piece of nature, which always gifts me with firm ground.
This guardian bird was created with a wide variety of materials, including a raccoon vertebrae, snail shell, bicycle inner tubes, and wax. I found the slow and patient work of applying each feather with each carpet tack soothing, and a bit like sewing… one thoughtful stitch at a time. I reflected on how the making of art is deliberate and slow much of the time, and like life, comes together into a coherent whole. The creature that came to be seems to embody that same deliberate energy, content to be in the present moment.
Otherworldly sprung up from a photo of hand-made art glass, its vibrant color and energy awaiting interpretation. The altered pattern was printed on fabric, layered with fused wax, cut into new shape, sculpted, hand-sewn, embedded with wire tentacles, and hand-colored with powdered mineral pigment. The newly embodied creature could have emerged from the sea, or perhaps the depths of my unconscious, reminding me of the beauty that resides both within and around me when I truly look.
Art glass, resplendent with imaginable form, was altered and printed on kozo, layered with fused wax, cut into intricate separate forms, rebuilt into one piece, adorned with mulberry paper and inclusion of hand-made paper clay, its protrusions coated in wax, all hand-colored in powdered pigment. This creature appears able to propel itself across the ocean floor, perhaps never seen by human eyes, yet divine because it exists, leaving me pondering what serves to propel us forward
A Blue Swallowtail feasting in our blackberry garden brought life to this sculpture. Printed on textile, layered with fused wax, hand-carved, sculpted into form, and colored with powdered pigment, it was wired onto a cradled panel layered with intricately carved organic shapes in beeswax and painted with oils, providing a resting place for this memorialized bit of nature’s beauty. It illuminates the revelation of inner goodness that radiates out when provided with the sustenance we need.
A small Io Moth wing discovered on the road under a street lamp grew much larger than life, as it was printed on kozo paper, layered with encaustic medium, hand-carved over the surface, sculpted, and wired onto a layered beeswax cradled panel, where organic swirls depicting movement were carved. Painted with oils to accentuate the habitat of the moth, I was struck by the fact that this wing was all that remained by morning, reminded of our vulnerability, and of the natural cycle of life.
When discovering bits of brokenness, I pause in silence, marveling at the beauty that remains. Left blowing in the early morning breeze on the grass, coming upon this Luna Moth fragment took my breath away. Photographed and printed onto kozo paper, layered with fused wax, hand-carved over its entirety, embellished by powdered pigment, it was wired onto an oil-painted waxed panel full of organic swirls of energy. This Luna remnant made me connect with the powerful sacred energy of night.
A monarch on the grill of a car-- clearly struck during its journey-- brought awareness of how our lives can be altered… either in a single moment, or by long-held process/systems. Each day there is desperate need to create goodness and gratitude amid the chaos and suffering in our world. “Migration, Interrupted” evolved by merging photo with kozo, layering with fused wax, hand-carving and sculpting, coloring with pigment, and wiring onto depths of carved beeswax waiting like the midnight sky.
This sculpture was made for an exhibit call for entry, entitled, In Flawed Abundance. It is in homage to my grandmother, to honor her life force, and how she raised herself up from modest means with fierce determination to live and create. It is in reverence to her tremendous hard work and talent, and the parts of her that did not feel valued, nor had the chance to be appreciated more fully by the world. It is symbolic of how these breaks in her spirit did not diminish her beauty or her artistic contributions, and to reinforce the fact that her art did, in fact, live on… both through my mother and her brothers’ artistic talents, and the passing down of this gene to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Although I got to know only a small part of her when she was living, I feel her spirit very much alive now in my heart and hands.
This sculpture rests on a handmade plate rail to be hung on the wall, just as revered as the fine china from which it originated.
The second piece I submitted for "In Flawed Abundance" is of my mother’s Blue Willow dishes, which held the food she so lovingly and dedicatedly prepared for her large family of eight children and spouse (always pointing out how beautiful the vegetables and fruit looked against the cobalt blue… an observation which I find myself often pointing out repeatedly with my own children as we use a few of these plates, still). In addition to the beauty of the pattern and color, there is the obvious brokenness that comes in families as difficult things are experienced. It has taken me a long time to share the pieces, and to see the beauty and healing that bringing them out into the light can bring. This piece is in homage to the integrity of my mother, and to the amazing artist that she was, as well as to her lifetime of sharing this gift with those she loved. She exemplified creating for the sheer joy of it. And mostly, my mother taught me to see…
This sculpture rests on a handmade plate rail, just as revered as the fine china from which it originated.
This piece is the third in the series of entries for "In Flawed Abundance, and is a compilation of my own shards, new and old, reflecting the piecing together of the many fragments of my life... tenderly exploring the sharp edges, while appreciating the depth of color, shape, glaze and history that each remnant contains... realizing that a deeper whole has emerged from this experience and the integration into my being, creating space as I continue on my path.
This sculpture rests on a handmade plate rail to be hung on the wall, just as revered as the fine china and pottery from which they originated.
This grouping is comprised of seven sculptures that originated with macro photography of handmade art glass, which was printed onto kozo paper and layered with twelve or more layers of encaustic medium, and cut into abstract shapes that were formed into new beings. They were then further redefined by the addition of powdered pigment that was drawn into the original imagery. Their warmth and energy reminded me of the surface of the sun, rising out of the night sky. They are wall-mounted and make a dynamic movement across the wall, as if ushering in the new light of day.
This grouping is comprised of seven sculptures that originated with macro photography of handmade art glass, which was printed onto kozo paper, layered with at least 12 layers of encaustic medium, and cut into abstract shapes that were formed into new beings. Powdered pigment was then drawn back into the image to further abstract the imagery. The hues and play between color and light reminded me of the moon reflecting over the ocean at night, bringing forth the peaceful and majestic energy of the night sky. This grouping is intended for installation on a wall space, bringing a sense of soothing and fluidity to the environment.
This sculpture is made out of hand-formed beeswax and damar resin, colored with powdered pigment, and adorned with tiny droplets of wax on each surface. The miniature organisms appear to be emerging out of the sea pod where they reside, leaving us to ponder from which species, plant or animal, they have sprung forth. This sculpture is intended for pedestal placement, but could be transformed into a wall mounted piece.
This piece originated from a macro photograph of a sheet handmade art glass that was printed on kozo paper and layered at least 12 times with encaustic medium, cut into abstract shape, and sculpted into new from. It was then colored further with powdered pigment, bringing out the beauty inherent in the original glass, and further adorned with droplets of pigmented hot wax and wire tentacles. It is a very sturdy piece, and can remain a pedestal piece or wired for wall installation. It reminds me of how when we stretch ourselves to explore new ideas and challenges, we transform ourselves in ways previously not imagined.
This small sculpture was made my hand-forming the tiny flowers from a beeswax and damar resin medium, with the tiny centers being created by miniature droplets of pigmented wax. They grow out of the worn driftwood, as if arising from the center of the wood, reflecting the tenacity of new life to emerge from the most challenging of places. This is a wall-mounted piece, and allows light to be transmitted through the ephemeral petals.
This encaustic sculpture reflects my deep sense of amazement and wonder at what is discovered when we look closely at the never-ending creatures, shapes, colors, and textures that we are gifted by nature. Materials include macro photography, powdered pigment, kozo paper, wire, encaustic medium, and wood found on our land. There is intricate hand-carving, coloring, and sculpting involved in the making of this piece, which can be placed on a wall or a pedestal.
Winter berries found by my young sons inspired "Propagate". Printed on kozo, colored pencil applied, and layered with fused wax, the entire surface was hand-carved with rich detail prior to excising into shapes. Each sculpted and built into a cohesive pod, fresh wire tendrils reach outwards. Powdered pigment was applied to the chamber before cradling into the wood. The pod appears as if discovered on the forest floor, full of beauty in its present state, its’ potential for new life yet to come.
This piece was created when confrontation of new health issues for myself collided with witnessing the decline of my mother's health and the end of her life here after years of living with Alzheimers. As my mother's ability to walk changed from unsteady to wheelchair to bed-bound, I thought much about the freedom that mobility allows, especially when coming from our own volition. Every morning as I walked in the predawn light, I offered gratitude that my legs could carry me, still. Having any changes in our health is a stark reminder that we are not guaranteed smooth sailing, making it vital to remember what we have every day.
I think of the many that lost this freedom of movement as I worked as a social worker in nursing homes and hospice for years, and as I watched my Mama lose hers. I was inspired daily by how they could keep a sense of humor, perspective, gratitude, and open loving energy, despite their restrictions— such gifts they shared. This energy and awareness fueled this piece, whose foundational macro photograph was of handmade art glass which I had in my collection for the making of stained glass. I thought about how glass is made, the solid crystals becoming fluid when heated, and how they form an unknown composition, until the hand of the artist helps direct them before they cool. May we all retain some choice in how we move about in our lives.
This piece was made involving ornamentation of found bone, bleached and fossilized by the ocean. I pondered its history as I reflected on my own, in the light of losing my mother and reflecting on my own mortality. My mind reflected on these vital frames and the similarities and differences which are evident in our own biological families. I thought of the strength of bone, its integrity enabling the support of all that it carries, and how this stable foundation carries us forward on the many paths in our lives. Because their beauty and form do not become revealed until long after death, I realized I often do not remember to take time to offer gratitude for the amazing job my bones perform for me day after day, so it made me smile to add ornamentation as some bit of homage to their quiet awesomeness…
This piece began with a photograph of coral, taken through a glass specimen case in a biology building at Indiana University. As I carved through the crevices in the image, I thought of the many creases in our brains that hold memory, experience, feelings-- all the parts that make up who we are. I reflected on my mother, and how full her life was before Alzheimers... and how memories that enriched her soul, short-term and long ago, faded away as she declined in her disease. Just as the coral remained intact and beautiful in its' solid remains of life, so did my mama's spirit. I titled the piece, "Ascension from the Ocean Floor", and experienced a catharsis in allowing this two-dimensional image to become fully alive in a reimagined entity, envisioned rising up from the ocean floor to experience a new way of being.
This sculpture is made from an original macro photograph, printed on handmade kozo paper, layered with multiple layers of encaustic medium, intricately carved with wooden tools, further colored with powdered pigment, and sculpted into shape. The segments were then hand-sewn together, and the tentacles were added to complete the life of this form. It is a pedestal piece, but could be mounted onto found wood and be made into a wall hanging.
This sculpture was created as I sifted through the loss of my mother, examined my own mortality, and have been witnessing my nieces, nephews, and children in their journeys of their life stages. I continue to be amazed by their courage in letting go and experiencing that which calls them, and am grateful for the energy which it helps to ignite in my own evolution.
I made this piece by forming encaustic medium onto wire, hand-coloring each with powdered pigment, and adorning the surface with tiny droplets of wax. These spores appear to be growing out of the found wood, and perhaps discovered among the forest floor.
This piece holds macro photographs of the wings of Blue Swallowtail butterflies, that have been hand-carved and sculpted, and incorporated into the cradled panel. There were 5 of them gathered around a bit of tomato on the ground, feasting together. The shape of the sculpted wings made me feel drawn to make them go towards one another, perhaps seeking comfort and connection.
I made this sculpture after visiting a grocery that carried food from around the world, pausing to marvel at cuisine so different from mine. Coming upon these large cacti leaves (spines removed), I reflected on the sustenance they held... guarded treasure beneath their once spiny exteriors. Like the life-saving water contained within, we also have inner resources to call on in times of need. Connecting with these parallels that lie within the natural world makes me feel more grounded in our shared world.
This piece is made from a macro photograph, and is hand-colored, layered multiple times in wax medium, hand-carved relief work, sculpted, adorned with wax droplets containing "spines", and nestled into wood found on our land. It is a wall hung sculpture, and has much depth out from the back surface.
This sculpture arose from working with the remnants edges surrounding “Ascension from the Ocean Floor", transforming them into their own unique forms. It was nice to watch them take on their own identities, and to begin to coalesce into a collective whole. There was much patience and deep breathing as I applied the minute detail of tiny molten droplets of wax on each fragment, and I reflected on how these same sustaining practices are needed throughout our lives as we take on the various ups and downs inherent in life. I am grateful for the grounding of my breath, and the reminder that sometimes it is all that is needed to keep going. When I was photographing the sculpture, my son remarked that they looked like passengers, which rang true for how I felt about them. We are all passengers in this life, separate in our selves, yet together in the journey.
This sculpture is made from an original macro photograph, printed on handmade kozo paper, layered with multiple layers of encaustic medium, intricately carved with wooden tools, further colored with powdered pigment, and sculpted in shape. Each piece was then further adorned with tiny droplets of melted wax medium, and placed on the found wood vessel from our land. It is a pedestal piece, but could be wired for mounting on a wall.
This piece was made through the summer after losing my mother and examining my own mortality, as well as witnessing my neices, nephews, and children grow towards and into young adults. I continue to be amazed by their tenacity, bravery, and sense of possibility, which inspires me in my own evolving life...
I made this piece by forming encaustic medium onto wire, hand-coloring with powdered pigment, and adorning each surface with tiny droplets resting on the surface. they are embedded into the found wood, as if just having sprouted to life on the forest floor.
I found this sea urchin on a specimen shelf in a university biology building, long since removed from the ocean, its final mission to serve as an object of study for science students. I was struck by the beauty and metaphor that leapt out of the reflection in the glass on which it rested. I pondered the calcified remains of this dear creature and how the opening in this vessel seemed to invite me in, beckoning further exploration. I pondered about outer bodies, the ways in which we age, and how we often become more introspective as the years go by… and if we are lucky enough to have made it to the another year, how we both reflect on what has transpired in our lives and wonder how we will continue to evolve. This simple image holds powerful symbolism, reminding me to grow inwardly with as much intentionality as I tend to my physical body, and to balance energies, within and without, as part of daily mindfulness.
With gratitude for all of the paths that have taken me here, I am reminded to honor new unfolding as well as losses that have been integral in my making, and to share the outgrowth in a way that will be passed on to my children and those whom I touched in my time on earth. Batik dots, which mark where defensive spines once stood, remind that we, like the sea urchin, have elements which reflexively ward off all that we perceive (or misperceive) as threatening. Without needless defense, our true self emerges.
This sculpture originated from a macro photograph of a nautilus shell at a local nature preserve in Kentucky. It was printed onto kozo paper that was then transformed with colored pencil, layered with at least 12 layers of encaustic medium, cut into new shape, sculpted into 3-dimensional form, and further colored with powdered pigment. The simplicity of the unfurling shape reminds me of the power of opening, both to our inner selves, and to being receptive to what others have to offer us when we allow ourselves to experience them fully.
This macro photograph shows the early blossoming of a peony, and is printed on kozo paper, covered with multiple layers of encaustic medium, and is hand-colored further with powdered pigment. It is mounted on a cradled panel. I am always in awe of the fragility and exuberance that is evident in the blossoming in spring.
This sculpture reflects the early signs of spring, as seen in the unfurling of the tendrils on a young fern, found in a nature preserve near our home. Witnessing this quiet act of emergence reminded me of how naturally we come into being when surrounded by stillness, safety, and sunlight. Materials used in its creation include macro photograph, kozo paper, encaustic medium, powdered pigment, found wood, and linen thread.
This piece was made from a macro photograph of the Common Blue Morpho Butterfly, whose wings, when closed, show this brown pattern with "eyes" to help ward off predators, but when open, reveal a brilliant cerulean blue irridescent color. This metaphor is so reflective of how our defenses can help protect us, and that when we feel safe, we can reveal our innermost beauty.
The sculpture started with the photograph, covered in many layers of wax, was detailed with colored pencil, intricately carved, cut to shape, and hand-sculpted before final detail with further powdered pigment.
This sculpture originated from a macro photograph of tiny red mushrooms growing on the forest floor. Printed on kozo paper, colored pencil, layers of encaustic medium, and additional powdered pigment covered the surface, and it was hand-sculpted into form. The end creation reminds me of what might emerge from the sea, mirroring the depths of what arises in our consciousness. The form is mounted onto found driftwood, and is a pedestal piece.
This encaustic sculpture was created for the encaustic invitational exhibit at the MS Rezny Gallery in Lexington, KY, open from January 12- February 20th, 2015. It was created using mulberry paper, encaustic medium, macro photography, found wood, and LED lighting. There is intricate hand-carving and coloring on the luna moths, which appear to fly in formation around the light.
This piece originated from a macro photograph taken underneath the dolphin tanks at the Indianapolis Zoo. The surface of the water changed continually as the dolphins swam by, creating shimmers in the dappled light of the sun that shone through. I was with my mother and my two sons, reflecting on how quickly life moves, and how constant is the change. My mother has had Alzheimers for many years, and I was happy to be able to share this experience with her and my boys, taken in by the peacefulness of the water above. I was mesmerized by the beauty that was transforming before my eyes minute by minute, and grateful that we could share this experience.
The photograph was printed on kozo paper, has multiple layers of encaustic medium, was hand-carved to interpret further detail, and colored with powdered pigment. It can be either mounted on a cradled panel, or framed.
This was a very intensive piece to make, comprised of many "pods" that were formed from macro photography of the Blue Common Morhpo Butterfly, who wings when closed show the classic "eye" formation to act as protection, and when opened, whose wings shine a brilliant and irridescent shade of cerulean blue. This balance between the two reminds me that our truest selves are revealed when we can let down those guards which are protective, allowing our inner beauty to shine forth. This symbolism was important for me to use in this root system, which was discovered in a creek bed after being dislodged in a flood. I realize that at this time in my life, I am very much "alive in the flow", and balancing the sharing of both my outer and inner wings. I like that the pods appear to be both moving, and somewhat slowed by their resting places in parts of the roots.
This sculpture was very labor intensive, as each pod is hand-cut, sculpted, and has much relief carving done on the surface, as well as hand-colored original photos that are adorned with powdered pigment after the carving is complete, to further bring out the richness of color.
Transforming an original image of a jade plant in morning light, this sculpture morphed into form which could have washed up with the tide. Layers of encaustic medium were applied to kozo paper, hand-colored with powdered pigment, and sculpted into from before wires were incorporated to become tendril-like projections. It is delightful to watch what appears out of seemingly unrelated images, and how they can take on new life when viewed from a different perspective. This is a pedestal piece.
This sculpture was created with multiple layers of drawing and painting on mulberry paper, that was then waxed, sculpted, and had further pigment added to the topmost layer. It was a meditative exercise in letting my mind be free of expectation of what was to come forth, and to let my hands form the image into dimension. I worked in silence to let my mind be most clear, and enjoyed the process of letting the colors flow into form. This piece can be placed on a pedestal, or can be incorporated into a panel to be hung.
The encaustic sculpture in this piece was originally part of the "NOT big" juried exhibit at the MS Rezny Gallery in Lexington, KY, and soon after found a new home nestled in these branches. It was purchased at the Berea Arts Council live auction.
This encaustic piece originated with a macro photo of a luna moth that was discovered in its last moments in the pre-dawn light. It has much relief carving and coloring on the moth, and the multitude of layers of beeswax on which it is placed are intricately carved by hand, providing a place of reverance on which this creature can rest. It is framed in a beautiful burled-walnut frame, which further enhances the inherent beauty found in nature. (16 x 20 encaustic piece, 28.5 x 34.5 in framed)
While walking along a country road, I spied a large pod that had been caught in the fence. It was like a dandelion that was gigantic, full of seeds that were in various stages of detaching from the pod's core. They appeared to be preparing for the journey which the wind would carry them on, much like letting go of my mama as she is nearing the end of her life here with us.
This 2-dimensional piece began with a macro photograph printed on kozo paper, layered with encaustic medium, hand-colored, and meticulously carved with relief detail, and finally completed with powdered pigment.
This encaustic sculpture originated from a macro photograph of a parrot that sat on my lap at the aviary in a zoo, and is transformed into a sea creature, of sorts. It holds wonderful energy for me, as it commemorates a day full of beautiful energy as my 2 sons, my mother (who lives with Alzheimers), and I all sat in the quiet locked aviary with the zookeeper... the birds slowly came closer and closer, until they were crawling on our laps, hats, and nestling under our chins. There was a profound sense of just being with these beautiful animals, and there was no need for words... just delighted laughter intermingling with the squawks of these exotic creatures. Kozo paper, encaustic medium, powdered pigment, encaustic paint, and stone are all used in the making of this piece.
This encaustic sculpture emerged from a macro photograph of reflections under a dolphin water tank, was hand-colored, cut, and sculpted into form which rests on wood from our land. This piece is a reminder of the flow of life, in which predictions are impossible as to what comes in with the tide, with further reminder that I can cope best when I accept what is, rather than resisting. Additional detail and view photos can be found in "available" gallery.
This vessel was made from mulberry paper layered with 20+ coats of encaustic medium, embedded wire enabling further strength and form. The surface design was made using a batik tjanting tool with encaustic pigment, powdered pigment applied to the wire tips. As this large hollow piece was being formed, I reflected on how much we hold inside ourselves— life experience, dreams, loss, emotions, and gifts that have yet to be expressed in the world, a delicate balance of openness and containment.
As I was typing these words, I began listening to Tina Turner in her "Love Within" album, in which she sings about honoring the divine mother within all of us— the embodiment of unconditional love. She speaks of this love being within her and never having left her, and that she knows she can go beyond her history and her suffering— beyond. She reminds that this female power is within all of us, male and female, and when we seek out this energy, it nourishes values like love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and tolerance. What synchronicity to hear this music for the first time while I was struggling to find words to express the symbolism of this vessel. Thank you, Tina Turner, who proclaimed in that song, "When words fail, turn to music”.
These sculptures emerged from a photograph of a nautilus shell residing at a nature preserve, and seemed to call for liberation from their original wholeness. The photo was printed on kozo paper, layered with encaustic medium, cut and sculpted, and colored heavily with powdered mineral pigment before being adorned with tiny droplets of wax. The separate pieces reminded me of the possibility for ongoing growth and transformation, while still retaining the core parts of who we fundamentally are. These sculptures can be mounted onto a cradled panel, nestled on a natural form, such as wood or stone, or left as they are in their pure state.
This piece was purchased by St. Joseph Hospital, Lexington, KY, as part of their Healing Arts Initiative, in which art purchased from local artists is selected for inclusion in the hospital environment. Bringing images that transmit beauty and calm into the space where patients, families and staff work together for healing, provides a sense of respite for weary minds and bodies, and hopefully helps restore a bit of energy needed to continue whatever is being faced. Having worked in medical social work for years, I can attest to the need for this healing energy, and am honored to be included in part of this journey.
During an amazing week of discovery at Encausticamp, I was able to explore using a hot-wire to carve EPA foam. This piece resulted, as the foam was layered with mulberry paper, and many layers of encaustic wax, and then hand-carved relief work. It serves as a reminder to embody the concept of loving-kindness, which is a profound thing to extend to everyone whose path we cross, as well as our own.
This sculpture originated from a macro photograph of a peony, was printed onto kozo paper, embellished with colored pencil, layered repeatedly with fused wax, cut into form, sculpted, and adorned with tiny droplets of pigmented wax for relief work. The colors of the peony appear initially as subtle and soft, and like their fragrance, come to life more vibrantly as they are deeply inhaled and appreciated in close proximity, waiting for their wholeness to be discovered.
This piece originally was in the NOTbig exhibit at Mary Rezny Gallery, transformed into a new piece of assemblage sculpture, and sold at an auction as a wall piece.
Our first harvest of maize in our fall garden yielded the inspiration for this piece. The image was printed on kozo paper before being layered with encaustic medium, hand-colored with powdered pigment, and sculpted into form before coming to rest on this stone from our land. It is a reminded of the delight of our young sons reaping the rewards of work in the garden, and reflects the many things by which we are blessed.
This encaustic sculpture was made from a macro photograph of a nautilus shell from a favorite nature preserve. I have always been struck by the beauty of the nautilus shape, and feel like it connects on a primal level for me, drawing me in. Through the creation of the piece, I reflected on how much connection with others is enabled when we let our innermost selves radiate outwardly.
This sculpture was juried into 5th Annual Encaustic/Wax Exhibit at the Encaustic Artists Institute, in Sante Fe, NM, in October 2015, and was purchased by the institute for inclusion in their permanent collection.
This large piece is compiled of macro photography and watercolor collage work layered onto cradled encaustic panel, with each image being layered in wax, hand-colored and cut, with many that are sculpted on to the panel. Encaustic paint and powdered pigment are then used to integrate the images into a cohesive piece that depicts the many cycles of our lives. It serves to remind me that each phase of our lives deserve reverance, time, and wonderment as they unfold.
This piece was juried into the Kentucky Arts Council exhibit, "Visions at the Capital", in which 50 KAC artists who have been supported by this council in the past 50 years invited 50 new artists to exhibit with them. Chosen work was displayed at the capital building in Frankfort, KY, for the spring legislative session, running from January 2016- April, 2016.
This piece is a macro photograph of butterfly weed from the field behind our home. I was struck by how much the tiny clusters of flowers looked like tulips, and was happy to make this discovery upon my study of them. It made me happy to be connected to this source of food and rest for monarchs and other butterflies as they progress on their journeys. The lushness of color and light made me feel joy and openness, and reminded me to stay close to that which feeds my own spirit. The photography is printed on kozo paper, mounted to a cradled birch panel, layered in encaustic medium, hand-carved relief work done, and further enhancement of color through the use of powdered pigment.
While walking along in the woods, I was struck by the bold color and symmetry of acorn shells that were scattered across the forest floor. I was drawn to the radiance of their pigment, and how much life it added to the decaying leaves. The macro photograph of these remains were printed onto kozo paper, layered with wax, colored with colored pencil, cut to form and sculpted, and completed with further powdered pigment before coming to rest on this piece of found wood from our land. Again, I was reminded to find beauty in the details, and to appreciate the simplicity of form that nature offers.