Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Anyway, I saw some encaustic work at a local school last fall and have been thinking about it since. Today I ordered a starter set of encaustic paints and some extra medium. I'm not going to invest in art store heat equipment or tools right now. I will get a griddle at the thrift store and use the metal tools and heat guns I have. I'll get some wood blocks and seal them myself.
For those of you experienced in encaustic, any wise words or experiences to share?
For those of you who haven't seen or heard of encaustic painting, it is painting with beeswax and pigment. Layers are laid on; colors show through each other and blend when heated. Heat tools and shaping tools are used to carve and smooth the image.
Encaustic is used for painting, collage, and painting over other images (like photos!). I'll update this site as I progress and would like to hear from any of you doing or thinking of encaustic.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
I do like to write about my photographs - interpret them in a way. I wonder if that would be interesting? I could also include how, why, and where I took a given shot.
If you're reading this and would give me some feedback via comment or email, I will certainly appreciate it!
PS: I'm making Artist Trading Cards from my photos. Some are small versions of the full image, some are crops of the image and some have been digitally or manually altered. I'm putting them on HolyCowPaper at Etsy.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Anyway, back to direct communication. I worked in business for 34 years to some success, including large staff management. When I say 'direct', I mean a style that includes asking direct questions, stating what I observe, expressing my opinion ( I always have one), and facing the tough questions out loud. I often ask the question a group is thinking but not saying. This directness has served me well and cost me too.
It serves well because I get information, I am heard, I clear the air and help groups get on with a difficult issue. It has cost me and my friends and associates because it can be shocking and/or embarrassing to others. It can hurt feelings. It can stop a room cold.
I am retired now and being away from workplace issues and projects, my own recent life events, and continued personal development have quieted my communication habits some and helped me have more appreciation of others' feelings and reactions. (My husband wouldn't agree) I am still, though, involved in teams, organizations, marriage, children, and friendships that require communication. I still see great value in speaking up, speaking one's mind, saying things clearly, and clearing the air when there are unspoken issues.
B U T, direct communication demands preparation, grace, and kindness. Prepare - think before a meeting or conversation how you can introduce difficult subjects or unspoken concerns gracefully in your own style. When I managed staff and had the wonderful opportunity to coach individuals on improvements and corrections I thought they could make in their performance, I learned that starting a conversation with some disclosures and encouragement helped the communication and helped both of us feel at ease. Statements along these lines:
- that I am a direct communicator and that is sometimes a bit surprising to others,
- that we would discuss some topics that might be uncomfortable at first,
- that I encouraged them to use their own communication style (not mine),
- and to feel free to ask for a break or change the conversation
Grace and Kindness - consider how someone else may feel, how you would feel if the topic were raised, question asked, feedback given. Couch it in friendly terms, start out slowly if you need to. Say "this may be a difficult question,...", or "if I may state an opinion...". Wait in silence for a response or reaction. Give others time to think and decide how to respond. Talk with a soft polite voice. DON'T, as I did many times, just blurt out your thought in a loud clear voice when no one else would dare say it. Wade in slowly. Think about how to say your thought in a graceful and kind way. DON'T, as I have, say "Says who?" when you could say, "excuse me, why is it, or under what advice...". Trust me, you'll be glad. Say it, but be kind. It will still help the cause of communication and progress and it won't hurt you or your associates! Don't make them victims.
When I know I am being extraordinarily direct, I try to prepare people and to be gentle. BUT I choose not to avoid the message or question. I tried that with no success and I frankly don't believe in it. I think we are all better off if we get our thoughts and questions in the open. We can not work on the issues we do not state. If we are willing, there is nothing we can't work out with time and effort.
So, my message in the post is encouragement to speak up, state your mind, ask your question, but unlike I did for many years, consider the feelings, fears, and preferences of others. I wish you great success in your communication. It can stop wars, solve world problems, and bring us closer together.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Saturday, April 12, 2008
The equipment I'm using is:
- Panasonic DMC-FZ50 (Leica optics)
- Epson R2400 Stylus Photo Printer
- Toshiba computer and MS Vista
- Photoshop Elements 6
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Here are the stoneware buttons I just made. the last picture shows the mess that fell to the kiln shelf. Some wouldn't fit on the rods of my bead rack and I strung them on two sizes of high temp wire. The smaller wire slumped. I think I can save some with a small dremel bit.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
I have the first edition of my studio website up. It is holycowstudio.com. I plan to link or move my blog there when I figure the software out better. So far I have my ETSY shop displaying and I plan to use ETSY for my sales from the website. I don't think I want to manage an online store and I'm not selling much anyway!
I used godaddy to get my domain name and to host the site. I am using their software to build the site.
Tonite is clay-play at the art gallery. I'm working on a hollow egg - "CAT". We use low fire clay and work together once per week. It's fun to work together and visit. more later - dinner!