Mixed Media Artist

I work primarily in acrylics and collage.I use collage and beewax in my assemblage works and am now completing several shrines using found objects. I have been experimenting with encaustic collage and have found the medium very challenging. The paint is a combination of melted beeswax and pigment. A small amount of damar resin is added for hardness. I mix these paints myself and while painting all custom colors are mixed directly on a hot palette.
I will share my progress with this exciting medium with photos of work in progress and finished pieces.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Venting for Encaustic Painting

One of the most important aspects of designing an encaustic work area is the task of taking the wax fumes out and bringing the fresh air in. My husband custom designed mine and it works exceptionally well.

We researched for months, reading and visiting other encaustic studios. There is a lot of very helpful information on the RF Paints website about building a ventilation system. There are so many different ways of venting air out, and I chose a built-in system so it wouldn't get in my way.
Here are the photos of the parts that are built into the wall. We had a big advantage building from the ground up because none of the working parts of the system are exposed. The only thing you see is the 6" intake grille on the face of the wall, the variable speed switch, and the vent on the outside of the building.

Some important notes are as follows.
1. You should use a licensed electrician for the hookup of the electrical components.
2. It is very important that the variable speed switch is compatible with the fan.
3. The exhaust vent will allow sufficient flow that it will not impede the flow of air.
4. When using the system you will need to crack a window or door to let air into the room to make up for the air that is being exhausted.
5. It might be advisable to consult with an HVAC contractor to install the system.

#1 - Intake Grill and Variable Speed Switch (on left)

#2 - Inline 250 cfm Duct Fan Installation

#3 - Closeup of Variable Speed Fan Switch

#4 - Overall View of Installation

#5 - Exhaust Outlet with Damper

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Place to Create

I often get asked about how and where I work on my art, and I thought I would share in the designing, and building of my studio. For years I shared a studio space in the basement of my husband's office building, and was so fortunate not to have any overhead, and a great artist friend to share it with me.
But it left a lot to be desired, as it was not heated in the winter and had no windows! I had always dreamed of my own creative space.

In anticipation of my husband's retirement, we started designing a barn, with a garage level for his tractor, kayaks, etc., and the second floor devoted to a studio space for me.

There were several things I really wanted, and one of them was a ventilation system over my encaustic work area to take out the toxic fumes from the wax. And of course, lots of windows and  counter top work areas.

We had the perfect spot on our property to build it. Across our creek there was a flat area surrounded by woods with a beautiful view of the creek. The first photos are of the setting before construction.



I couldn't resist putting this photo of mama deer and her babies in, and was worried that we wouldn't have them after the studio was built, but as you can see they did come back.

Now back to the construction. The framing has begun for the second story. I had to climb that ladder you see and take a look. It was hard to imagine at this stage, but I was already moving furniture in.
We really had to challenge our balance to use that "bridge" across the creek to get the the other side.
More to come on my next blog post.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Oil and Cold Wax

These are two new paintings I recently finished using oil paint mixed with Dorlands cold wax. I am using traditional oil paints and not the water mixable type. Although I have heard they work equally well, I have not tried them.

Inside The Box
12 x 12
Oil and Cold Wax on cradled board


12 x 12
Oil and cold wax on cradled board

 I have built up 4-5 layers of the wax and oil mixture. When the layer is dry, but not completely, I begin to scratch and draw into the surface. At this point I may add more marks with graphite (as I did in the painting below, Inside the Box) or oil bars. This may end up being my final layer or I may put several more over this and enjoy the way the scratched layer shows through. I can draw with graphite or oil bars at any point in the layering process.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Paper made from stones!

A friend of mine had a new product for me to test out that she had just received from Cheap Joe's.
It's a new kind of paper for artists and is made without using trees. Terraskin is totally fabricated from stone.

This from their website:

"TerraSkin is a combination of Calcium Carbonate (>75%) with a small quantity (<25%) of non-toxic resin (PE – Polyethylene) to create a strong sustainable substrate. Together these materials create a substrate that is both water and tear resistant!"

I've noticed that because of the fiberless quality of TerraSkin, it does't absorb paint like traditional paper and has a unique texture and feel. Images stay much crisper and cleaner because the paint sits on the surface. Color can be lifted very easily and areas can be wiped off and repainted.

Here are my first attempts using acrylics on Terraskin!

Acrylic paint on Terraskin paper available from

This one is in process, But I loved the way the paint created the bubbles on the right. I have chalked in 3 figures and I'm not sure if I'll keep them.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Night Space

This encaustic painting has a textured surface and small pieces of silver leaf collaged into the paint.
The shiny look of the silver leaf does not reflect the light when encaustic medium is painted over it.
But, I still like the effect it gives.  

Night Space
8 x 10 



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Back to the Heat

I'm ready for some instant gratification and what better way than to heat up my encaustic palette and get to work. I will share some earlier works that haven't been on this blog and then a preview of new works on the drawing board. I've always dreamt of doing an installation and I am working toward that end.

Close To The Sun

This painting was chosen to be included in the EAI ( Encaustic Art Institute) juried show.
It is 6" x  6" in size and framed in a matte black museum floater frame. There is no glass on this type of frame, so the beautiful quality of the wax can be seen. This piece has a lot of texture in some places and is smooth and glassy in other spots. I have used a small amount of amber shellac on the surface and burned it in with a torch to give the bubbling effect.


View From Lake Louden

This piece is part of the Arrowmont Sevier County Biennial Juried Show, and will be on display through March in the main gallery. This artwork is framed in a matte black museum frame without glass and  measures 17" X 17" in size.

Fall Migration

This is a 12" X 12" encaustic work with a lot of surface texture in the top half of the painting, contrasting with the smooth reflective area below. It is left unframed with the cradled sides finished, which eliminates the need for a frame.

This next group is my newest work and is in the very beginning designing phase. These little paintings are on 4" X  4" X 2" blocks of wood. My intention is to combine all 9 of them and hang  them as a group (installation). Not sure yet what the configuration will be; possibly 3 rows of 3 across, or all 9 across. That decision will wait until they are completed. This is just the first layer,(some paintings can have 20 layers)  I really like these clear colors and simple lines.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Emporium Gallery Exhibit

I was fortunate to be included in the recent exhibition at the Emporium Gallery on Gay Street in Knoxville, TN.

The 12 x 12 cradled panels are oil and cold wax. The larger ones on the opposite wall are acrylic collage.

Patera Series: 1
12" x 12" x 1"


Patera Series: 2
12" x 12" x 1"

Red Vessel

10" x 10"x 2"


12" x 12" x 1"

These paintings will soon be for sale in my etsy shop: notsobland.etsy.com

Friday, January 23, 2015


Since my last post I have been busy working  on oil and wax paintings for a group show of regional artists at the Emporium Gallery. It is located on Gay Street in the historic art district in Knoxville. I love this open contemporary gallery, because it is full of light, and has abundant space for display. The opening was January 5th and will run through February 4th. The photos of my work did not come out as well as I would have liked, so I'll retake them, and then I will post the ones included in the exhibit. These are some new pieces I have done, and others that were not ready to include.

This series is all 12" x 12" cradled panels, 1 inch deep. The medium is traditional oil paints mixed with Dorland's Cold Wax Medium.

I used a palette knife to add the paint and after it dried to the touch I scratched through the paint with a sharp needle tool.

I used ink brayers and a 4' squeegee on this one, and scratched though to the various layers.

This is one of the Patera Series for the Emporium show, that was not ready. I had applied the paint very thick so it took a while to completely dry. Patera is a bowl or vessel used in ancient Rome for drinking or pouring.

This piece is painted on heavy 300 lb handmade watercolor paper with a deckle edge.  More paint is needed when painting on paper as the first layer gets absorbed, and the heavy texture of the paper leaves small white indentions where it is lower than the surface. The first coats were applied with a palette knife, then a brayer and squeegee. I did like the finished product very much and was able to scratch and remove paint in much the same way as on a wood panel.