I used to be quite content with my hermit-like qualities. Or I used to think I was content. But I’ve learned that I actually crave and need and want community. And specifically, community of women artists. Women who are creative and who are also mothers. Women who get the delicate balance between home and the creative self. I’ve learned this about myself and so I’ve learned to seek it out.
Having left such a wonderful professional artist group like FUSEDChicago, I really didn’t know what I’d find in my new area. And so I reached out and found Deena Margolis, who then invited me to join in on a group of artists who meet and talk, hence the title “Artists Talk”. We met at her studio about two weeks ago and it was a really great meeting.
Deena works in encaustic, which is how I found her. The other three women in the group work in different media. As an icebreaker though Deena heated up her hotboxes and let us experiment with encaustic monotypes, which is a lot of fun. But before that we discussed our current projects that we’re working on. Since we were at Deena’s studio we got to see her current project which is still a work in progress. She kindly is letting me post it here.
Deena’s current work in progress
To give you an idea of scale, this piece is probably over 6 feet tall and 6 feet wide. I could be off, but the point is, it’s large. And it’s fabric, paper, encaustic monotype prints attached together in a variety of ways. If you can, visit Deena’s website. I got to see some of her work from her series “Six Months“. Really great. She used her day calendar as a basis for her paintings that she created everyday for 6 months. They marked her time, the balance between studio, work, family. Some days, the painting for the day, was just the construction of the panel. And sometimes it was just empty. We all know those days! There is a link to an article from the Washington Post about the series that explains some of the empty spaces on the wall. Her paintings and her artist statement really resonate with me for many reasons.
Deena demo’ing on the Hotbox
After creating prints we all convened around snacks and tea and discussed goals for the group, individual goals, and just general shop talk. As for myself, my individual goals have to do with diving into creating eco-prints and experimenting with rust. I also set a goal of getting out and exploring the art scene. I haven’t yet done that in Baltimore other than going to Artscape in the summer and I know there is an active art scene here. My focus since our move here was to get us settled and to create home. And now that it’s feeling like home, I feel an opening up in me- both in my spirit and in my studio.
We are supposed to meet at the end of this month and I have yet to experiment with eco-dying and rusting! I better get to it. See, accountability to a group-it’s a good thing. And I have not gone to any art shows or galleries in Baltimore this month yet, but I did go to the opening of the Small Wonders show at Capitol Arts Network in Rockville, MD which is outside of Washington, D.C. That was a lot of fun and I think should count towards my goal that I set for myself for the month!
my monkeys being camera shy in front of my paintings at the opening
And just for the record, I still like my hermit-like qualities. I need that too. It’s a balance.