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He was 5 years old

… and returned for the demo!

What a cool mom.

She and her son visited me during the first weekend of open studio. They looked at all of my work, turned the pages of my encaustic sketch book and flipped through my rack of prints. I mentioned to her that I’d be doing a demo the following weekend.

I waved goodbye to them as they walked down the driveway.

1pm. Saturday. Demo time.

Guess who comes running up the driveway?

We huddled around the griddle. On my left sat the mom with her son in her lap. Others stood or sat on stools. I showed how I begin each gessoed panel with layers of medium and then move on to the pigmented wax. I gave the cautionary tale about using the torch and how to NEVER pick a torch up by the nozzle even when you know it is cool.

Good habits will save you every time!

The demo is not a time for me to “create”a painting but a time for people to try out the medium. I want them to feel the nature of the hot wax cooling as they put brush to panel. I remind them they need to think about what to do next with the brush in the container, not in the air.

“It’s like chess, ” I say.

The adults began with the little brushes and painted thoughtfully. They made circular marks with precision and got into the fine work of scraping away layers to reveal incised paint.

And then there was the 5 year old.

“Your turn.”

He picked up the largest brush and made the boldest moves. One. Two. Three times. Oh yeah.

Lesson learned.

In this post open studio afterglow I’m going to devote the next few months to bold moves. The first one being that I’ll be focusing on the color Orange. This idea came up at the end of last year when I was doing some crazy edgy 6 month forecasting. Crystal ball gazing. I saw only orange in my future….

Orange paintings. Driving an orange Fiat. Orange sneakers. Why? I like orange. I like challenges. I think it will push me to an edge where good things happen though you can’t plan for it. Like finding lost objects when you’re not looking for them.

Here’s a start.

This is a detail from my sketchbook.

Is this an orange painting? Is it fair to use other colors?

Here is the full sketch.

What about scale? Here is an example of a large painting that is yellow. It’s called Hello Sunshine and was juried into a mark making themed show at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art this month.

But hey, there are some other colors in here.

True.

This rule I know for sure.

Begin with the big brush.

XOXO,

Francesca

By |June 13th, 2018|Categories: Encaustic, Studio Wildcat|2 Comments

Napping in the studio

The weather makes such a difference for me.  How easy it is to get up when the sky is clear and the light is strong.  I don’t close the shades at night during this time of the year.  I want to get in sync with the change of light outside and watch the day reveal itself.

I feel that’s what I’ve been doing in the studio this month as I’ve prepared for Open Studio.  THE BIG REVEAL!  It might not be as glorious as Mother Nature but it sure comes close!  Light filled.  Color packed.  Inviting.

This week in-between open studio weekends I hung out in the studio. I felt like I was nestled among a scented bouquet; the color and placement of work were petals that folded, overlapped and defined space. I relaxed among my work and even took naps on the sofa tracking the time by the passing of the shadows as the sun moved West.

I hope this is the feel when people come to my studio. To breathe with the paintings and let them create calm within our energy fields. I want people to experience how it is to live with color which becomes a dimensional aspect, energy in their home.

The human spirit can be felt by what we place in our homes.

I’m paying attention.

XOXO

Francesca

By |June 8th, 2018|Categories: Brightlife, Studio Wildcat|0 Comments

East Bay Open Studio Weekend One

There’s something about sitting in the studio before the doors open officially to the public for Open Studio. There’s a word in Portuguese: aconchego. It means cozy, embracing and just right. It feels very aconchego right now.

I look around and see a visual calendar of the last 6 months. Each painting has marked time through title and color. Like a metronome, there has been a steady rhythm to the work though it was unrecognizable at the time.

There is value to cleaning up the place, tossing paintings that were at the end of their shelf life and re-organizing work. Always editing. Weeding. Thinning. Lean existence. Abundance in the space.

This year I wanted to show only, well mostly, my new work Pillowtalk. I wanted to acknowledge the whole conversation and listen for its guidance into my next 6 months.

Imagine making squares for a quilt that stack up over time only to make sense when stitched together. That’s how hanging a show feels. You have to sit back, take it all in and let it wrap you up. Always in color.

I’m pleased.

XOXO,

Francesca

By |June 2nd, 2018|Categories: Studio Wildcat|2 Comments

PillowTalk

“What are you working on now?

“PillowTalk.”

I get a mix of looks with this response. Some chuckle, others want more information and some even mention Doris Day.

That is an example of PillowTalk. I believe when we access our subconscious mind and bring the information into the present moment we are utilizing a greater range of sensibilities.

Take it a step further.

My dreams are lucid and filled with information. I lead the charge. I fly. I speak Português fluently. I’m calling them “sleep” experiences for lack of a better word plus I’m not able, YET, to formalize them in this moment. Perhaps it is the subconscious?

Is it possible to simultaneously access and integrate our “sleep” mind with the present moment? This exploration is the basis of my new color series PillowTalk.

In my last post I showed a “doodle” of procrastination. Or was it? I wrote that the doodle provided me with the information I needed for the day. It was an exit from the freeway into the countryside where a multi-sensory awareness thrives.

Look away from this post for a moment. Look straight ahead and take notice of the objects. Maybe you can see a chair, table, lamp, dog resting on a bed. Now blur the eyes and see the space and what might BE beyond the space. I have a hunch that space has our presence too and is filled with information.

The paintings in PillowTalk explore the merging of this “double” life, “double” speak. The squeezing of two active disengaged realms create compositions of contrast, color overlaps and peeks into forgotten space.

As the series progressed I utilized more of the quiet conversations that aren’t verbalized when we are awake. Blocks of color rest next to visible meandering lines buried beneath layers of clear medium. The work became lighter and buoyant. Honest.

Freeway. Exit. A choice.

XOXO

Francesca

PS: Open Studio June 2-3 and 9-10. Hope you can take the exit and come see PillowTalk in person!

By |May 27th, 2018|Categories: Exhibitions, Series|0 Comments

Sunday is Elastic

Current mood. Sunday mood. A little procrastination so I went doodling. Isn’t that what Sundays are for? I prefer the weekends to working than the weekday. Somehow time seems elastic with fewer interruptions.

I was supposed to write a statement for my PillowTalk series, the highlight of my Open Studio! Instead I’m pulling out my computer crayons and coloring in a very elegant rider on a Lusitano horse doing high airs!

I think there’s a lesson here. This is a complicated, difficult move in the horse world. Yet what composure and joy of horse and rider!

Calm.

Balance and lightness.

Aha!

Unconsciously, with no mind, my quiet mind surfaced with instruction and an example of PillowTalk! I followed my feelings of the subconscious and brought it to daylight.

The merging of the conscious with the subconscious to create a multi-sensory experience of the world.

My doodle was a form of the quiet mind “speaking up!”

I’m in countdown to Open Studio starting June 2. The studio is a mess. I can’t finish hanging the work until I get frames for two pieces and another framer delivers two pieces. (They’re gorgeous paper pieces framed exquisitely.). There’s a demo to plan for, labels to make, inventory sheets to produce and more.

I look at my doodle, the voice of my quiet mind and I know how to be.

Doodle on!

XOXO,

Francesca

PS: You’re all invited to my Open Studio! I’d love to share our PillowTalk! You can find more information HERE.

By |May 20th, 2018|Categories: Brightlife|0 Comments
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