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Going with the flow… or not!

Someone long ago had painted “ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW” on a sidewalk at the University of Michigan. I don’t know if it was something I walked over once or everyday while I was there, but it was forever etched into my memory. Struggle against the flow. Go with the flow. Fight. Surrender. I don’t have the answers. Some days it’s one. Some days the other.  Making art is a struggle. Sometime you find that flow and go with it. The painting comes easy. Some days not. But I understand the game. “Don’t fall in love with the background!” The “ugly teenager” phase. It’s temporary! The “click” when it starts to come together. And  I know the materials. I feel competent that I can make them do my bidding. No big surprises. And then I started painting with encaustics, and the unknown is as vast as an ocean. I am a beginner here. Any sense of control that I may feel is false. With heat the wax becomes fluid and unpredictable. The lines move. Too much heat and you melt through to the wood panel underneath all those layers. You blow a hole into the painting. And you have…

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Letting go… YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!

In my ongoing effort to shift my brain’s power balance back to the right hemisphere, I took my first online art class last week. I say “ongoing”  because first there was this: I might be called the Technique Queen, but my friend Lisa is the on-line class champion! She is always in the midst of one or two classes. (She also goes to amazing out of town workshops/retreats! I’m only super a little jealous.) So, when my school semester was over in June,  I was jonesing  to paint and get loose after all that time doing the technical work of printing and toning all the photographs for my upcoming solo show.  After seeing all the cool new paintings Lisa had made, I asked her to show me some of the new techniques she was learning. We scheduled an Art Day and I bought some acrylics (but I’m an oil girl!!) and a new canvas. I went to her house on the appointed day and we set up in her backyard. I slid the easel into some shade and tried to groove with this whole we are outside, with all the sunshine and fresh air business (CHANGE! DONOTLIKE!) and she began…

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