Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Encaustic Paintings to Debut At The Tempe Festival of Arts

I have definitely been inspired by my new surroundings since my move to St. David, Arizona in mid October of this year. The landscape of Southeastern Arizona is so varied. I think this state must have the most variety of landscape in one state. Locally, the view goes on for miles and I continue to be amazed at the amount of wide open spaces. The tall grasses have almost a buttery color against the backdrop of the warm mountains. The weather and time of day have a huge affect on the color and hue, changing the mountain ranges from a warm tone to a cool blue and purple as the sun begins to set.

I'm working on a painting of the Grand Canyon but its had a few revisions and I am still not satisfied with it. I'll get there. Of course, I think they look better in person since encaustics are so difficult to photograph. I'll be presenting these along with a number of other new works at the Tempe Festival of Arts, booth# 5535 Friday, Dec 5th - Sun. Dec 7th. I'm also excited to start teaching workshops here in my studio starting in January. Schedule is on my studio website exPRESSive Arts Studio.

"Wide Open Spaces"
Encaustic & Mixed Media on Panel
12" x 24"
Painting above:

"View From My Car"
encaustic & Mixed Media on Panel
8"x 8"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Road Trip - the Destination

Friday morning we left my sister's house in Phoenix and headed south. Its a short but uneventful drive from Phoenix to Tucson. A few scenes sparked some old memories such as Compton Terrace - just south of Phoenix, where I attended many concerts in my youth - my most memorable was when I took my sister for her birthday to see Fleetwood Mac and we joined up with some childhood friends, a group of sisters - so we were a happy dancing group of young women having a fabulous time with our blanket out on the lawn, singing and dancing to the latest FM hits and at least I - was wishing I was Stevie Nicks. That concert was also the first time I ventured into the men's room after discovering that there was no line at the men's room when the women's had a line so long I would have peed my pants. Stevie at Compton (not the concert I was at)

We were hungry by the time we got into Tucson so decided to stop and find a Mexican restaurant. To our surprise, they were few and far between or perhaps I just didn't know where to look. We ended up at Chewy's - not what I had in mind but they let us have Sonny in the patio area and since it was about 96 degrees - thought this best than leaving him in the car.

Back on the road and I was starting to get anxious about my new digs - only having seen pics over the internet - was I going to hate it - was it a Craig's List scam? Am I totally screwed? Was this all a mistake? Driving into the small town of St. David I was very pleasantly surprised to see an art gallery, A Gallery of Dreams and hoped it also lived up to my expectations. Down the little dirt road and spotting my new home, a smile came over my face. I had perma-grin for the rest of the evening. It was everything I had hoped for. I had always loved the Santa Fe style architecture. There were only 3 houses on this dead end dirt road and my need for privacy was satisfied completely.

Evelia and I unloaded quite a bit of my "oh my gosh I have too much stuff" from the POD which had arrived the day before. I was surprised and entertained by the numerous grasshoppers that filled the lawn and rested against the wall on the front of the house. There were some very large ones, slow and walked only - no
jumping or flying like the smaller majority. The neighbors later told me the nickname for these 3" long grasshoppers was "Little Generals". Different state/climate - different bugs.

We claimed bedrooms and threw down sleeping bags and pillows and then started our arrival celebration with a few margaritas with supplies we picked up at the local safeway (yes - they sell tequila at the safeway). Being out in a small town, away from the lights of the big city allowed for a dramatic view of the stars as the sun went down. The stars were amazing - the milky way a clear streak of white that ran over the front past the back of the house. The quiet, the dark - I hadn't even seen close to this since living in my private 1 1/2 acres in Gold Bar, WA. The last few months of a very public and very noisy living environment made me appreciate this all the more. We were inside when at about 9 or 9:30 we heard the coyotes and went outside to investigate. They were running in the area and practically screaming as a pack - something I hadn't heard before.

In the morning Evelia was outside reading and called me to come see the horses running by. The property backs up to some ranch land that my neighbors/landlords say is owned by the Kartchner's (Kartchner Caverns) and they run their horses and cattle thru the property at different times of the year.

Turns out I actually have a horse corral area on the property and as much as I love horses, I am not in a position or driven to own one - too much responsibility. And as my friend Pat reminded me, the size of the vet bill is relative to the size of the animal - ouch!

So now I'm settling into my new home and enjoying the sunshine and warm weather and solitude and setting up my studio space. New art beginnings to come soon!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Road Trip - Part 3

After leaving the Grand Canyon at above 8000 feet in elevation, the winding roads took us down about 4,000 feet in and we headed out into the desert towards Flagstaff to rest for the night. We drove thru the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation and I admired the view while my mind raced with new ideas for paintings inspired by my new southwest surroundings. The cd player in my car was broken - I think a piece of paper had slipped in along with a cd a few weeks back - jamming and making it unplayable. This of course meant that a large part of the trip was in silence, a few conversations, some bad local radio stations mixed with static and on occassion, our own musical vocal talents broke the silence and of course made us laugh at ourselves. I challenged Evelia to sing a song in Spanish and she started singing the Macharena. HA! I can do better than that and countered with Ceilito Lindo and La Bamba. We're both more of sing along to the radio vocalists than solo artists so the singing didn't last long.

I was suddenly compelled to pull over at the Cliff Dweller's Lodge in the area of the Vermillion Cliffs. I just needed to stop there and experience this place. It was only 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon and there was plenty of driving time ahead of us but Evelia suggested that we stay here for the night. I was surprised at her suggestion as I really thought she wanted to make it to Sedona but I was easily convinced. We ended up having a fabulous stay and a great meal and wonderful company in meeting the staff. We sat in the outside seating area of the restaurant where Sonny was welcome to join us. The presidential debates were on the tv in the background but we were focused on our new friends, the staff at the restaurant. Bobby, the dinner cook called down his dog, an Australian Shephard named Magee and another staff member's dog, LT also joined us. Sonny tried guarding the stairway entrance and growled at Chris, another staffer as he came up to the restaurant from the small service station store. Jerry fell in love with Sonny and I saw that even more the next morning when we went to breakfast. We missed breakfast as they had switched to the lunch menu but Jerry found a piece of bacon for Sonny. I told Jerry how I had been looking for a new home for Sonny and he said he would talke him in a heartbeat. I didn't want to make an impulsive on the spot decision so I took Jerry's contact info and considered the situation the rest of the trip. That morning I took a few photos of the area and noticed 2 very large crows sitting in a tree. I was reminded of my friend, Binky because she likes to use crow imagery in her artwork.

We made a breif stop in Flagstaff for gas and a pit stop and then headed to Sedona. The Oak Creek Canyon area is lovely and again, we followed winding roads as we descended back down from Flagstaff's 7000 feet elevation into the canyon. We passed slide rock and I had a nice recollection of being there when I was young, sliding down the large flat rocks in the river that runs thru the canyon.

Sedona has some beautiful landscape but the town is way too touristy for me. We did stop for a snack and to stretch our legs. I was surprised at how many people were there on a Thursday afternoon in October. Anyways, again, beautiful landscape - I love the red rock.

We left Sedona and made it to my sister's house in Phoenix just after sunset. The constant and nonstop attention from their Australian Shephard, Newt upon Sonny was more than a bit disconcerning, it downright stressed me out. Newt chased Sonny around and Sonny ended up falling into the swimming pool in the backyard. I was quick to scoop him out as I knew he was not a water loving dog. By morning Newt had found new ways of adoring his attentions upon Sonny (I really can't go into detail on that) and Sonny gave up running from him but was surely relieved when we left and headed south to our final destination.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Road Trip - Part 2

Tuesday morning we left Kanab UT and headed for the north rim of the Grand Canyon. This was the last day the Lodge would be open as snow would soon be expected that would close down access to a good part of the north rim. I was pretty exhausted by the time we reached the lodge area and main view lookouts though and actually had to lay down against a tree and rest for awhile.

Evelia and I lost each other for about 30 minutes as we went in opposite directions. Sonny got lots of attention as you can imagine.

Sonny laying in dirt next to me laying against tree

The veiws were incredible and just one of those places that is hard to believe actually exhists. I had been to the grand canyon once before when I was young, about 21 or 22 but didn't have a chance to spend any time there due to the person in charge of van at the time - and that's another story.

This shot is a close up of the peak in the photo above. If you look closely, you'll see some tiny specs on the top of this peak which are actually some very adventurous hikers. Wholly crap! How did they get there?

So from the Grand Canyon we headed down a some winding roads a few thousand feet on our way to Flagstaff for the evening - or perhaps if I wasn't too tired, Sedona.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Heading South - Road Trip Part 1

Well the journey to relocate to Arizona started on Sunday Oct 12th with my bestest buddie Evelia and my dog Sonny after a wonderful evening with our dear friends, Rob & Cheri O'Brien and perhaps a little too much wine. The first part of the drive was pretty uneventful as we headed over the I-90 pass and over to eastern WA. We became very aware of the lack of traffic and even wondered where all the people were. Our first night was spent in Baker City OR. The next morning my friend called to say they had snow on the ground in the Provo area where we were headed. We were driving into Idaho when we found our first scenic stop - picture to left - but I swear I don't even remember the name of this place - started with an "M".

Anyways, on thru Idaho stopping in Boise just for gas and some food and when we came upon Twin Falls, the area was quiet with a blanket of snow across the fields. The mountains were white and I hoped that there wasn't still snow in Utah. We got to Salt Lake as the sun was going down and the almost full moon was incredible. Evelia stood out the moon roof of the car taking pictures. I'm sure she was a sight for some of the locals. We stayed the night with my friend/ex-sister in law in Lehi and had some impromtu family time with her kids. The snow had all melted and the roads were clear but my mind was racing from being in the area again - not wanting to run into anyone or anything that knew or reminded me of my exhusband - ugh!

Now the real scenic travels begin. On Tuesday morning we headed southeast to see Bryce Canyon debating on visiting Zion or hoping to see both.

As we drove into Bryce we first came upon the
Red Cliffs and I had to imediatley pull over.
This place was beautiful. I had never been to these canyons before even with all my previous trips to UT when my kids were little.

We spent a good part of our day at Bryce and were leaving as the sun was going down so decided we to make it to Kanab for the night. It was so dark that I let a semi lead me through the windy roads of highway 89. It worked great until an aggressive semi pulled in behind me. I had to ditch them both at a passing lane and found my way thru the dark to Kanab. The old woman at the motel counter did her calculations for tax and change with pencil and paper and I helped her with the change part letting her off the hook as she was obvously tired and couldn't do anymore counting.

The moon was now full and was incredible over the Utah mountains. Kanab ended up being one of our favorite stops believe it or not as we dicovered a wonderful little restaurant that had a gallery upstairs. We enjoyed a top quality vegitarian meal and a few drinks and Victor, the owner was a pleasure and we thanked him for having such a spectacular little place in such an unexpected location. the Rocking V Cafe

Sunday, September 28, 2008


September is almost gone and it is my favorite month, here in WA and also back home in MI. The trees start to turn color, the skies are still often blue and the sun is shining (well most of the time). When those first leaves start to drop and they find their way indoors, on the bottom of my shoes or a breeze thru an open door, I leave them on the floor as an artful reminder that the days are getting shorter and I need to take the time to enjoy every moment. This photo was taken a year ago when my friend Binky and I took a day trip up to La Conner and the Skagit Valley. It definitely represents the feeling that things are changing, the color of the landscape, the golden light hitting the leaves on the trees. I guess I just needed to post this for myself and say, its beautiful day!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Catching Up

Its been 2 months since I last posted - shame on me! Life just keeps getting int he way. So here's the latest. Binky and I are showing downtown Seattle at Local Color - check it out.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pushing into 3-D

Just got home from a 3 day advanced encaustic workshop with Larry Calkins thru the La Conner Art Workshops in Mt Vernon. First of all, I love Mt Vernon - wish I lived there and if I wasn't heading to Tucson in the fall, I'd move there.

Anyways, took this workshop with my friends Binky Bergsman and Judith Jackson and also met some new friends. I find I don't work well in a workshop environment but if I focus and get into my zone, I can make stuff happen. I'm used to working alone, especially when creating art, so the distraction of others, although often inspiring, oh yeah - you should see some of the stuff that was created there - anyways, the distractions can pull me out of the zone from time to time but it is worth it to learn the new skills and be inspired by the other art being created all around me.

So I had moved a bit toward the 3-d with my window pieces but in the workshop I was introduced to boxes. Larry supplied wood and saws and all sorts of tools and this allowed me to create "out of the box" pun intended, over what I would normally create in my studio. I see now I will have to venture out and purchase a few more tools, including a band saw. Below are the 2 boxes I finished and I have another in process - the third with a window to look in but of course, I haven't figured out what is going to go inside yet. I'll keep you posted of the 3-d developments and my new "box series".

Thanks a bunch to Larry for turning me on to new techniques and to Robyn for hosting the workshop.

Tranquility Box #1 Tranquility Box #2 Tranquility Box #2 detail

PS - box names and I found myself asking for tranquility on the first day as I was a bit stressed and needed something to focus on.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Encaustic Show in Seattle

My friend and fellow artist, Binky Bergsman and I hung some of our encaustic artwork at Uncle Elizabeth's Internet Cafe in Capital Hill last week. Our art will be there thru July and we will probably be there or in the area next month for the artwalk which is the 2nd Tuesday of the month. It's cool having our work shown together and we will be showing again in September at Local Color in the Pike's Place Market area. What I really enjoy about showing with Binky is that we get to hang out and spend time together. She is a wonderful woman, a great artist and a treasured friend.

I think I've spent too much time in the boonies because Capital Hill was a little funky for me and really - I'm usually quite comfortable with the funk - I'm part funk myself - LOL! But really - when the big city really feels like the big city, you know you need to get out more. HA!

And yes - the walls really were that yellow!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Illustration Blue Devils

This piece I created in response to an assignment in a design class to illustrate a story called "The Blue Devils of Blue River Avenue" by Poe Ballantine. The mixed media encaustic piece includes imagery from the story including flies, venus flytraps, cigarette butts and of course blue devils, a popular drug of the sixties.

I am such an anti-smoking person that it was difficult and disgusting to collect the butts but I have found them to be interesting collage elements for my work. I am drawn to more 3d work and will be leaning in that direction on some new pieces I am working on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

encaustic windows

Trying to get back on track with the blog thing and post my art. I've been creating these new "window" pieces combining my photography, other mixed media, and of course encaustic. These are on 12 x 12 pnaels and I finish them in black float frames. I have 3 of them finished now - 2 are hanging in my studio and one is at the Monte Christo building in the Arts Council of Snohomish Co gallery store for the month of May. Arts Council Website

Of course it is not the image they have on their website as Liz who is in charge of the gallery likes my circles piece that has written affirmations on it.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Blog stuff and where is Bridgette

friends blogs and websites -

sitting here in Ballard with Binky - hmm - that should be a song title and we're going over how to use the blog.

I've already linked to Binky's blog so now we are going to link to Wendy's blog

Wendy Le Lynds Blogspot

Darn - we are in Ballard and don't know how to get ahold of Bridgette. Shucks!

More Jake

Here's Jake again, as I've continued to print his image. I'm moving from printmaking into a 3 dimensional piece that also includes Jake - wll post soon - or later.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

the Studio Evolves - "Where Is Home?"

Its been quite awhile since my last post and I've neglected to keep up on my commitment of posting every Sunday. My bad. Darn - that life keeps getting in the way.

So the studio has evolved and the classes are going well - happy students make a happy Karon. The gallery is what really surprises me - and we are getting ready for the 2nd show with new artists and new artwork. The show for April is theme based and is called "Where Is Home?". This idea came from the same source for my inspiration of the "Jake" series and has also been something I have been dealing with over the last year. I sold my home and know that where I live now is temporary. So I wondered - is it the physical space we surround with our treasures and family that make a house a home? Is it the city, the state, or the country that is our home? I was also recently involved in an art project that helped a women's day shelter,

Friday, February 15, 2008

a series in progress

I mentioned in an earlier post that a legendary icon from my home town of Ann Arbor Michigan, Shakey Jake Woods had passed away this past November. His passing left me very contemplative about "home", "where is home" and "what journey I am on" so I decided to work on a series that included the imagery of Shakey Jake - to share the story of how he impacted my life and others in our community - how he will be missed. Here are the beginnings of two pieces I am working on in my studio. Hard to find the time lately to dedicate to making my own art. Hope to have these completed by next weekend. I work on about 3 or 4 pieces at a time and they all evolve differently and at different rates. Who will finish first I wonder.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

News for the New Year

I went to visit my friend Evelia Sanchez at the open house she held for her pottery studio, The Pottery Loft at the end of the year. I hadn't been to her studio since she moved into this building and was quite impressed with her new and improved space (new to me - she has been there a year already). Anyways, she shared with me that the artist that was in the space next door had moved out and the space was now available. She gladly showed me the open space and when we walked in I noticed a large rectangular shape cut out of the linoleum floor in the front room. DING! A bell went off in my head. This is a perfect spot for my printing press! My poor printing press has spent more time in storage and in my cold garage with boxes stacked upon it due to my numerous moves over the last year and a half. So I called the landlord, signed a lease, moved all my current art and supplies out of my Lowell Art Works studio and have spent the last week cleaning and next weekend will finally move in the press so I can get back to printing.
Turns out this space is so large that I felt it needed additional use than just me creating my own artwork so I decided to offer monotype workshops. I have created a schedule, class descriptions and a registration form and am ready to start teaching at the end of the month.

I'm excited to announce the opening of my new printmaking studio, exPRESSive Arts Studio at 3710 Mukilteo Blvd Everett, WA 98203.