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How many times can I sweep the floor?

The painting above is called Puttering. It is 40″x 30″x 1.5″. There are quiet and loud conversations in the composition. Drips, lines, geométricas and even an “x” create a delightful backdrop for the lobster orange and cadmium yellow pigments. This is all to say that I’ve been puttering in the studio and getting ready for the next deep dive.

Some people need to clean the house before they can work. I have a tendency to sweep. It’s my meditation. I sweep the house, the studio, the porch. In my mind I’m rehearsing the work for the day, pushing it off until there is nothing else to straighten. I consider this Polishing the Procrastination.

SCREECH


I just learned of the latest school shooting. No more time to sweep. It’s about now. Take action however I can. I used to teach in the public schools. Our classrooms were often the only safe place for many children. This has been taken away. I’m sickened and determined to shift the scale.

Color to the rescue.

For now I have a new purpose for PTP.

XOXO,

Francesca

By |February 15th, 2018|Categories: Brightlife|0 Comments

In Good Company

The traveling is over and I’m happy to be settled once more in the studio.

I’ve taken a few days to think about all that has happened and all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. The Art Fair in Las Vegas went well and I have a few interior designers interested in the BIG painting. There were comments about my work being bold, strong, powerful and graphic. Viewers were amazed by the surface quality and texture. The big painting got a lot of “wows” and some were amazed it was encaustic. Perfectly aligned to my position and vision for my work!

Next stop was Ventura where I participated on the artist panel. I was nervous at first and naturally I was comparing my work to the other artists and feeling inadequate. Fortunately, the moderator Yessica and owner of the gallery did her homework and she guided us through a wonderful conversation. We talked about our influences, process, social media and how we all engaged in the unpredictable in our work.

If the vibe is right, a panel can be the perfect place to explore ideas, think out loud, delight an audience and build confidence.

Yessica mentioned that because of my Master’s Degree in Environmental Education did that that influence my choice of materials? I never made that connection! The environment is essential to me and is it no wonder that I live across the street from a Regional Park, have chosen an organic, bee loving medium, or that my interior environment has to have color? I’m realizing how important it is to be surrounded by other thinkers, creators and growth minded people. Everyone on that panel pursued an angle in their art that seemed out of reach to me; yet, the dialogue filled me with incredible fervor to return to the studio and push my work to the edges.

I’m not sure in the how or what but I’m willing to live in the inevitable discomfort that comes before the break through.

The talk was video taped and I’ll be able to post that link soon.

One edge I will be pursuing is going bigger! I want my thinking and problem solving to match the actual size. In the past I would create a small work and then try to scale up. That doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s like stretching an image to fit your screen. Distortion. I want to see a large solution for a large painting. Better yet, I want to see a solution that is even larger than the painting. This feels like a painting that can breathe and open up a room and person to light.

So, this means that I’m phasing out paintings under 12″x 12″.

Today I’m having an Open Studio and offering my smalls at a reduced price. I need the space physically and mentally! Come on by if you’re in the area. I do have some wonderful pieces.

I also have a Shopify site up where you can take a look too. Click on the above image to go there. Or just Google my name and Shopify. It will come up. I think. I hope. And, if you’d like to take a little one home, at checkout use the discount code: goingbig15

Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO

Francesca

By |February 10th, 2018|Categories: Encaustic, Studio Wildcat|0 Comments

Onward

Meeting this group of remarkable women artists was the highlight of ArtExpo Las Vegas for me. I’m so glad I went. I don’t have many photos from the art fair because I was swapping stories with these ladies. Each of us brought a unique and authentic body of work to Las Vegas. I’m proud to be part of this group and to have exhibited with the Jen Tough Gallery.

Presentation of the work is key and Jen was flawless in setting up two booths of work for the event. Along with her team she made a stunning initial visual presentation and a lasting final impression. I’ve learned from previous fairs that an encounter can be broken up into 3 parts. Beginning impression, middle conversation of identifying needs/desires of the viewer and the final experience. Oddly, it’s not the middle conversation part that people remember.

People base their experience on the initial and final interactions.

Smile when you say hello and graciously walk with them as they leave. Always with an appreciative smile for the time together.

Brazilians are the expert people handlers. I learn so much when I’m in Brazil shopping at the malls. They greet you as you walk in, figure out what you’re looking for and offer many possibilities and after you make your purchase (which you always do); they walk with you to the front of the store, hand you your purchase and wave goodbye. It’s an experience.

And you bet. I return to that store next time!

It’s easy to get caught up in the compare and contrast when going to art fairs. I see what is selling, who is doing what, how many has been sold and to whom. That’s all well and good but I need to let it go too. Social media also offers a slippery slope if not careful. Constant looking at what others are painting, if they’ve sold, what they’ve sold can actually hurt in the end.

I need time to develop and respond to my work and not react to the work and success of others. This reactionary mode will take me further and further from my true work and the people who have come along with me. Me. Meme. Most meme in my message. How I create and present might change but the message stays true.

I now have employed TTT in my day. Ticking Tech Time. This means that my time on tech has a limit. A short fuse and if I don’t pay attention it can be as disruptive as a bomb going off. If you ever receive an email from me and I end quickly with a TTT you’ll know what is going on. Sometimes one phone call can resolve what might take 6 emails. I’m using the phone more myself. Rotary.

Why do horses wear blinders?

To run their own race.

XOXO,

Francesca

PS: I’m in Ventura, California right now at the closing reception for the show Nod to Mod at the H Gallery. I’ll have spoken on the artists’ panel sharing and deepening my message to live your bright life. Now.

Put on your blinders and run!

By |February 1st, 2018|Categories: Exhibitions|2 Comments

The Magic in Maybe

By the time you read this I’ll be on my way to ArtExpo in Las Vegas for the Opening Party of the art fair. This is the first time I’ve exhibited with a gallery at a major art fair and I have no idea what to expect. In the past I’ve presented myself but this time I decided to let someone else wrangle the art fair world and I will be free to roam the halls and greet people as they enter in and out of the many booths.

Maybe this will work.

All solutions can be found in nature. Sit patiently and observe.

Ant Trails. My house has been home to an army of ants lately and I think there is something I can learn from them and apply to the art world. At the fair I need to be the scout and set the trail for others to follow to my booth. Then, they’ll return to their BFF’s and bring them back to the booth. And on and on.

Maybe this will work.

I am grateful for my ants. (I will wear my perfume from Morocco!)

Four of my favorite paintings are in the show; one of them is Ascent of Icarus. You might remember that painting from one of my previous posts. The interested buyer opted out which made it available for Las Vegas and that is a great thing after all. Icarus lights ups the environment in a big way and the title begs the questions of “Tell me more”. Stories are wonderful crumbs to set a trail. People love to share and listen to them. It’s how we learn and grow.

Maybe this will work.

The other 3 paintings I’m exhibiting are the square ones in the first photo. I painted these after my Morocco trip and there is a strength and presence to them.

“Here I am. I have an opinion. I have something to say.”

You too?

Maybe this will work.

XOXO

Francesca

PS: I hope to take some photos and videos from the show. Check out my Instagram feed for in the moment moments. Maybe it will work…

By |January 26th, 2018|Categories: Exhibitions|2 Comments

Amor Fati

I think the flying dreams of last week were a reminder of the courage needed to go the distance.

Vacation mode is behind me and I now have momentum in the studio which means painting 4-5 days a week. “Do you check in like a job?” I was asked recently. “Yes. By 9am I’m in the studio. Sometimes earlier.” She nodded. I like routine, especially when I’m working on a series. Like Pillowtalk.

Because I’m showing up everyday I can enter the testing phase without panic.

Painting is all about testing. Each layer is a test of responding to what is in front of me. The hard part is to stay calm when you’re 8 layers into it and have yet found the end. The period. The closure. I’m learning that to push to the edge of the work I have to get comfortable with the “not working yet” phase. Discomfort. Am I willing to go the distance? Can I control my reactions in order to keep flying? Another life lesson.

Amor fati. ( a love of fate) – Nietzsche

The paintings in this post are the result of testing day after day. Some of the pieces have been layered and scraped back multiple times. If you look closely, you can see the history of the flight. Little scars, bumps and U-turns that hint at the journey and lead to gratitude for what happened.

That’s pretty cool.

XOXO

Francesca

By |January 20th, 2018|Categories: Always Be Testing, Series|2 Comments
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