The first six months of 2013 have been exceedingly busy for me. I have reveled in it. For too long I have just lazed around here on the ranch. Of course, I paint and sleep and stay on the internet FB pages too much, too. I look out my windows or walk down to the mailbox. BUT, it was so energizing to have so much to do to prepare for the conference as well as a show in Houston at Jack Meier Gallery.

By December 2012… I figured I better heat up the encaustic and get out all my paints and panels. I had not worked with encaustic for many months and needed to get my hand back in. I had no idea what kind of show opportunities would come up, the themes, the sizes or anything…………just paint and see what comes. I even decided to do a few small works on paper and panels to take to the Hotel Fair at the conference.

Work did get made… I liked some of it better than others. The themes were announced with sizing. OMG, I had painted some work way too big. That’s okay… I took it to the Houston show. I was fortunate to get a painting into the juried show, SEVEN, chosen by Shawn Hill and held at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, and another in the A Gallery show titled RED, chosen by Adam and Marin Peck, owners of the gallery. I was really pumped with getting into two great shows during the conference.

Besides the exhibition opportunities accompanying the conference, there were SO many lectures, demos or workshops you could choose to attend. It is impossible to make everything. Not a one was a dud, I promise you.

I went to Nancy Natale’s Bricolage two day workshop before the conference started. I have a better understanding of how I might can add other elements to my work in the future. Nancy is a very generous, talented teacher as well as a nice person and a wonderful artist.

The other workshop I attended was Post-Con, Understanding the Curatorial Process, with Barbara O’Brien, director of the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO. I can say unequivocally that this kind of workshop is of the most value to anyone who has been an artist for a long time. Of course, it would be for someone in the earlier stages of their career as well as anyone wanting to challenge themselves. A time comes when it is not the technique you need to dwell on (unless you need a new one) as much as the inner journey you make as an artist. Sometimes you have to be forced kicking and screaming into do the thinking that goes with the art making………….the why, the why not, the who cares, the … you get the drift.

I was terrible at documenting the conference. I just had way too much going, doing and listening to do to remember most of the time to take pictures or make many notes. What I do have are disjointed. I leave you with a few photos and a heartfelt thank you to Joanne Mattera and Cherie Mittenthal for hosting such a wonderful event for all of us to come to every year we can.

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My apologies for not finding more photos right now… and I have to give credit to someone ( I know not who) who made the two pictures with Joanne in them. Let me know and I will post your name. Photo of me in the hat at the restaurant is by Helen Dannelly.



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