The Favor of Closer Attention

“…the joy of prairie lies in its subtlety. It is so easy—too easy—to be swept away by mountain and ocean vistas. A prairie, on the other hand, requests the favor of your closer attention. It does not divulge itself to mere passersby.” ~ Suzanne Winckler (2004, Prairie: A North American Guide, University of Iowa Press, Iowa City, IA, p. xi)

The Favor of Closer Attention
encaustic mixed media
12×24 inches

When I was in college I was not an art major, but I tried to take art classes as electives as much as my schedule would allow, which wasn’t much as on top of my science based classes I also had a lot of clinical hours. And I was normally working 2-3 jobs outside of school. But nevertheless, I was able to take a few drawing classes. I remember in one of them, we went outside to draw and I spent probably 2 hours drawing a 5 inch section of a tree, blown up on my drawing pad. The time flew. And how I loved just looking at the bark, noticing the shapes, the intricacies of something that we normally just pass unnoticed. To get to know something intimately, really intimately, one must draw it, I think.

I am not sure I was able to capture all the layers and details that this painting entails with my camera. But in person, this paintings really does beg a closer look. There is much more underneath the layers than at first glance.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~ Henry David Thoreau


A couple of exciting things to announce:

:: I have an Intro to Encaustic and Mixed Media workshop coming up at Perfical Sense Studio in Evanston, IL on Sunday November 13th. Call Cindy to reserve a spot!

:: Last week I shipped out some of my encaustic paintings out to Everett, WA to be part of 3231 Creatives. I know a couple of the other artists who will have their work there as well and I am really happy that our work will be together. Wish I could just stop in and visit, but Everett, Washington is a tad far away from where I’m sitting in Chicago. I believe that Angela Rockett is going to be teaching a Creativity Workshop there soon which looks like a ton of fun. And Angela is awesome- I’ve been fortunate to have shown with her in the past when I lived in Seattle.

:: This week I am shipping out three of my handbound blank mixed media journals to the Tubac Center of the Arts. They were juried into the Holiday Artisan Market 2011 and I am excited to have my books there.

Fragmented Time
handbound blank journal
mixed media covers
8×6 inches

The exhibit will take place November 18th-January 2nd, so if you’re in the area, stop by!

And I just wanted to give a huge thank you to everyone for their comments of congratulations and support for my Somerset Workshop chapter! I really appreciate it and I hope that my articles help anyone out there who has been curious about encaustic to try it out and/or just to learn more about it. Thank you again.


  1. “Well congratulations to you Scrappy” (as they would say on the Little Rascals)!! So many wonderful ways that your work is being shared…but of course.

    I love your quote about the prairie…and then I wonder if you’ve visited Ragdale in Lake Forest just north of Chicago…it’s an artist residency and there are several acres of virgin prairie, with walking paths, on the site…a magnificent afternoon adventure.

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