Sunday, December 3, 2017

Waxing Away

A couple of weeks ago I went down to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton to see the #NEWAX show there... here are some of my favorite pieces in the show.

I do have to tell you that #OttyMerrill is a friend and a former mate from when we had studios at #RunningWithSissors in #PortlandMaine.

Her work is sublime... Symphony in Black

Ken Eason
Pamela DeJong
Donna Hamil Talman
This was done on paper then hung with a plastic sort of hanger so it floated against the wall... this reminds me of the work I've done infusing photos with encaustic and putting them in frames

Angela Dean
  These are encaustic with transfers....something I've done as well

and then these two other sculptural objects caught my eye...

Leo Sewell
I loved this sculpture made from reclaimed objects...

Hank Murta Adams
and this cast glass piece... I didn't know you could cast glass....

Monday, October 23, 2017

October Odditites

September seemed to fly by after we got back from Halifax.  It was a fun trip but it was back to business when we jetted home.  Because I could not vent encaustic wax fumes from my studio, I was on the hunt for another  one with windows - which I found at the State Theatre building in downtown Portland on the corner of High and Congress streets.  I should also be able to set up a mini studio in the back but that hasn't come together yet.  The one thing I miss about Running with Scissors is the community there.  I have peeps there who have influenced my art making and I hope to catch up with them in the near future!

I've got the place mostly set up, but will get some help from Hilary at abode on better organizing the space once a few other events have come to pass.  I've been a member of the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA) for a while now and went to a meeting last month where it became clear that someone needed to step up to curate the November member show.  Since I've done this before with Asylum Gallery back in the day in Sacramento, I said sure, I'll do it! 

Then I get an email from the digital art professor Matthew.Smolinsk (UM Orono) asking if I would like to be a visiting artist and talk about my work for two classes in October.  Since they were willing to pay me, I agreed.  I'm looking forward to it this week as I always learn so much about life and art by teaching.

In addition to the UMVA show that opens November 3rd, First Friday here in Portland Maine, there will be a sculpture of a giant, naked woman in DC.  You can read about it here. 

If you're on the opposite coast, you must check out the work of Maria Maiolino in this great article by Carolina Miranda.  I htink it's interesting that she used eggs for her performance but in a different way than I used them in my installation at Running withe Scissors, before I moved.  Yes, eventually, I will be posting all the documentation of that here.  I do need to put it up at another site somewhere.  I need to have the documentation all in order to do this however.

Monday, September 4, 2017


We took a quick birthday trip to Halifax in August.  Neither of us had ever been there before and a new airline was offering some bargain rates and when JK asked me if I wanted to go, I said Of Course!  I love traveling and exploring new places and places where I was once there years ago.  So, yes, I've got some Irish Traveler genes. 

One thing I loved about the city was it's waterfront - Portland you could take some lessons from our Canadian neighbor!  Like the photo above.  Yes, Virginia they are huge hammocks just out there for anyone to loll around in!!  Although you must have to get up pretty early to snag one, as they were never empty when we strolled by.  Had dinner our first night at a great place called The Bicycle Theif while sitting at an outside bar and chatting with the very friendly local folks.  And of course we met another couple from Maine 

You wouldn't know it from the photo of the island that sits right in the middle of the harbor, but Halifax is a boom town right now.  That's why not so many city photos (except the ones I posted on Facebook) b/c construction is not pretty or even interesting at times.

What was interesting was the Arts Gallery of Nova Scotia and that they did a special project with autistic kids as evidenced here:

The photo above shows some of my favorites from the exhibit.

What follows are some other favorites from the museum.

Mermaid by #EmilyFlowers

Titanic by #JimSmith

Tree by #MattWendel
Probably one of the most amazing things they have in the place is the old cabin Nova Scotia's most famous artist - Maude Lewis - lived in with her jerk of a husband.  You must see the movie Maude to understand.  She is the Maritime Provinces' Grandma Moses.  The inside of the cabin is completely painted too.

I think Lewis painted the original "grumpy cat".
I also loved that the museum paid attention to the First Nation artists as well as those whose families immigrated here.  I really loved #MichelleBaikie and her photography featured below:

Spirit Drummer
We also rented a car one day to travel around to the SW of the city to explore the coast and found this charming fishing shack which looks abandoned, just south of Peggy's Cove,


Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove

Low Tide at Peggy's Cove

Low Tide at Peggy's Cove
En Plein Aire 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Thanks for Your Support

Doing multi-media installation is a lot of work and since it can't be "sold" like a painting or a photograph, it means you have to eat the costs involved or get it funded by a grant or foundation.  But to apply for those, you really need to have documentation of your past work. 

This brings me to one of the biggest documentation failures I've ever had - Different Paths up the Same Mountain - an installation that I did with Sherry Ragan (who died right after the installation 2/94) who was the executive director of the Institute for Design & Experimental Art - IDEA gallery when it was in the old Oak Park Firehouse) was supposed to be filmed but there were glitches and technical errors apparently and other than an article in a now defunct weekly newspaper whose name I can't remember for the life of me. 

It really was monumental as we had a three foot wide by 10 foot tall column with a light shining from the bottom; five altars that had 2 steps and artifacts from Buddhism, Native American spiritual philosophy, Judaism, Islam & Christianity; tape players under each altar with different scores I had created for each religion consisting of sound, readings from their holy books and chunks of music which were time to play randomly; then five lights of different colors with different gobos in them which had hand cut images (special shout out to my sister, Jude who did them for us) from the religions.

So back to our opening theme - support.  A thank you to the Forecaster weekly who listed both our opening reception on July 17th, Monday from 5 to 7 pm and our closing reception on July 17th from 5 to 7 pm at Running with Scissors, 250 Anderson (behind the big UHaul place on Marginal Way) or by appointment by emailing me anntracy51 (at)

I'm getting a few days (planned months ago) of R & R up at a lake with hubster and the doggie boys.  But before I left town, my beautiful, artist friends Christine Sullivan and Andrea Spencer helped me prepare parts of Visual Poetics of a War Against Women.  A huge thank you goes out to them.

Andrea helping with the flowers

Christine helping gild the birdcages

A gold clay frame by Anita Holt with ancient clay figurine from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin and ink saturated flowers
Look for a video link for the next post.  Having a tussle getting the old dvd player to read it so I can project it but I just ordered a new media player that is supposed to connect to the video projector.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Poetics of Dreaming

Dreaming seems to be the poetics of thinking to my mind.  I'm creating an installation using objects, video and fabric here at Running with Scissors (RWS), the home base of my studio.  I signed up for it months in advance but am now realizing July wasn't really the best of months to put it up, as the work for it needs to take place the last two weeks of June, which is also #PortFringe time.  I'm going to install it 1st and 2nd of July, but since I'm away that next week, it won't open until July 17th and will only be up for 10 days.  Hours will be by appointment only (b/c of zoning laws here in East Bayside) with a closing reception on July 27th.

This is Portland's Theatre Fringe Festival that is attracting talent from all over the US to come perform for 2 or 3 shows.  The 1st year it started, I tried to put together a re-mount of the show that my theatre company (#BeyondtheProsceniumProductions) took to Edinburgh back in 1996 - Dancing with Desire: A Poetic Fandango with the Erotic and the Bawdy.  But I was unable to cast it.  Ironically, I was asked this year to act in a show, but the producer lost too many actors and had to bag it.

So instead, I'm doing theatre without actors - or installation art as others call it.  Here's a wiki about it.  It will include the use of fabric, objects and video and be installed in part of the front gallery at RWS.   What I'm really sad about today is that although I'm volunteering Wed night., because of other plans made and work that needs to get done and my general peace of mind, I'm gonna miss the fringe this year.

Here's a little sneak preview of one of the objects that will be in the installation.

Friday, June 9, 2017

What Happened to May?

Not unhappy it's come and gone as it was mostly rainy and cold as memory serves.  But we did have the highlight of my sister coming to visit with her partner Steve for a couple of days... and we got to see Mad Horse Theatre's production of Mr Burns: An Electric Play.  if there is a decent theatre company in your area doing this piece, go see it.

On the very first of June, we drove down to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod with the doggies so I could attend the International Encaustic Conference 11.  It was inspiring and I learned some cool things.  I also learned I really need to vent the fumes from the hot box one works on.  Unfortunately my studio here at Running with Scissors is not on an outside wall, so I'm not sure of what can be done.

And I learned a new way to mount my cell photos that I saturate with encaustic wax from the wonderful Sherrie Posternak.  

She uses RIVETS and then ties to a rod for a hanging tapestry sort of effect.  Brill way of dealing with it.  I will experiment with it hopefully without filling the air with too much toxic debris.  Wasn't that a Frank Zappa song?  No, it was Cosmic Debris.

One of the other things I've done since our return has been to create a very large digital, abstract painting.  Life's Mystery I

And this weekend my nephew Mark is coming for a visit before settling down to his PhD studies at Univ. of Virginia.  He's never had lobster, but says he will try it.  But tonight, it's brats on the grill.  Gotta go make that happen!  Until then, my dear reader.....

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Going to Venice for the Biennial this year?

No?  I'm not either, BUT one of my digital collages will be there as part of a group show via #BostonBiennialIV.  I'm so jazzed as this is the 2nd time I've been included in the show.  Know anyone with a private Jet?  Ask them to email me and maybe I will get to the May 13th opening at ARTIsm3160

More info on the Digital Artists of Maine page on FB.  But for those of you who are not on social media much, I write this blog to share my adventures.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Waxing Onward... Through the Fog

March is just about over, and the news from DC is so dismal I had to do the first in a series of encaustic paintings and my largest one ever! 

and this bad boy is already framed out to  13.75 x 16.75"...  You'll be able to see it up close and personally when Running with Scissors has it's "Spring for Women and Studio Art Sale" event on May 6th.  For deets, click here.   I'm more than happy to split the sales with four very fine groups that serve girls and women. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Painting my Way Out of It

So while this terrible #CircusOfHate is being driven by #Scrotus, I've been trying to channel all the love I can muster and I've been doing more mixed media painting!  Yes, actual painting with acrylics.  Let me present you with "Creationism: Fake Science".

This will be available at the studio here for our May 6th Open Studios.  And I will also have a digital version available for folks who would like prints. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


If you're even a little like me, you've been depressed since the election in November.  That depression seeped into the holiday season making it not quite as jolly as it could have been.  Was hoping for a miracle from the electors, but they apparently want to see this country slide into fascism and didn't have the brass ovaries to do anything about it.  Fine.  Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.  Maybe it's the new vitamin I'm taking now, but I'm no longer feeling so very tired.  After all, this isn't my first rodeo.  At last night's MLK dinner (hosted by the Portland NAACP), it was the speech of Sherri Mitchell from the Land Peace Foundation that helped to fill me with hope...

And then something happened today which gave me even more hope - a project that I thought had gone south forever, was reborn!  "Some time ago you and I spoke about interest from the Ritz Carlton San Juan in licensing your piece Day at the Beach. While the client had decided that the work was not the proper fit for the lobby space, they are now interested in moving forward with the piece in the corridors."

The piece is one of digital alchemy using an iPod photo as a base, and was shot during a workshop with Elizabeth Opalenik a few years ago.  Thanks again Elizabeth!  And thanks to my beautiful models, Rachael Schwartz and Stephanie Acacia Lasher.  You ladies will be famous at the Ritz!

Day at the Beach (c) Ann Tracy