Morpho’s 6th Annual Encaustic Exhibition

On Friday, I will be attending Morpho Gallery’s National Call for Encaustic Entries Opening party. This annual exhibit of encaustic artists will be held  August 4 at from 6 to 9 pm at 5216 N Damen Avenue in Chicago.

The 6th Annual Encaustic Exhibition includes 2D and 3D work made with the hot wax method of encaustic. Juried by Kathy Blankley Roman and Dan Addington, the exhibit includes works by several FUSEDChicago members and some encaustic artists I look forward to meeting that evening. The exhibit will be held August 4th through September 2nd 2017. Morpho Gallery’s hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 6 pm, and Saturdays from noon to 6 pm.

Artists included are: Brad Hook, Cat Crotchett, Laura Graveline, Anna Wagner-Ott, Brenda Erickson, Candace Law, Carol Myers, Carrie Baxter, Cindy Lesperance, Claudia Hollister, David Brown, Deborah Martin, Derek Brennan, Jeannette MacDougall, Jodie Sutton, Karen Ruth Karlsson, Katelyn Patton, Kathryn Isbister, Kathy Blankley Roman, Kay Vinson, Kaylee Dalton, Lamia Holden, Laura LaRue, Linda Mayer, Elizabeth Hubler-Torrey, Patricia Lagger, Penny Park, Rinat Goren, and Teresa Foster (the ones in bold are my FUSEDChicago friends).

For this show submission, I made a whimsical wall hanging. I was inspired by Brenda’s Now That’s A Jig! Shapes and put a bunch onto the Jig, initially thinking I would work with a 6 x 6 shadowbox.

Of course I went off-jig right away and started rearranging the wire as I went to make the shape more freeform.

Soon I had the basic shape to make a wall hanging.

I wanted to incorporate a vintage book page, which then determined the rest of the palette.

After some rearranging, I settled on purple and blue tones in addition to the text papers.

Then the fusing began.

With the fan going for ventilation, I had to weight the snippets down to keep them from fluttering off the table.

As always, the Xacto knife is my friend.

My friends recruited me for an evening meal, and it is always good to call it a day after a few hours in the studio anyway, because you need perspective and also don’t want to rush the design process.

While I liked the piece where it was, I still wanted to add the remaining papers as planned. I did swap out some swatches as the remaining papers were attached.

With big (to me) pieces like this, the wire isn’t always flush. It is a delicate balance of making sure the forms will be straight enough to hold the paper and also keeping in mind how the piece will hang in the end.

A Traveler’s Whimsy by Maike’s Marvels.


I am curious to see how the accepted pieces came together. Morpho Gallery always showcases a variety of techniques at this annual show. 

I didn’t get into the show, but this piece proudly hangs on my own wall until I am ready to part with it.

The making of my Edges submission

This summer has been so busy that a deadline on my calendar snuck op on me. I only had one day before submissions were due for Edges, Morpho Gallery’s fourth annual encaustic show. I was part of Wax(‘N)Blue two years ago and always love the way this annual show comes together.

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I decided to continue the wire experimentation I had started with Encounters with Language and Communicating Love. With limited time, and knowing Morpho Gallery is a good venue for small works, I used two 5 x 5 inch cradled boards to start my work.

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I had already started a layer of medium so I heated that up and evened out the medium layer.

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I cut out the strips of piano scroll I wanted to use for these ‘edgy ‘pieces. Our prospectus stated: “Artists are invited to interpret the theme of Edges. The word “edge” has many meanings. It can be a noun: the thin sharp side of a blade, a brink, place where two surfaces meet, a line or border where a surface terminates – or it can be a verb: to sharpen, to move sideways, to advance cautiously – to name a few. The exhibit is open to artists in the U.S. who work in the encaustic medium.”

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I decided to use a chocolate brown for the background color. It took a few layers for it to get the depth I wanted, and I could have added a few more if I hadn’t been pressed for time.

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Then I waxed the scroll and layered that on the piece. With more time I would have re-adhered these layers too as it was a bit bubbly, but pressed for time I evened the paper out as well as I could.

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Kathleen Waterloo and Kathy Blankley Roman jurored all three prior encaustic shows at Morpho: Hot Wax in the City, Wax(N)Blue and Unbound(ed). Kathy Blankley Roman is an award winning abstract painter. She has studied encaustic with Jenny Learner and Shawna Moore. Her acrylic and encaustic works have been exhibited nationally and internationally online. She has a lot of earth tones in her work and also uses a lot of mixed media, including vintage paper.

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I decided to play with masking tape a bit to give my shapes a bit more edge, potentially channeling Kathleen’s work a bit.

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Kathleen Waterloo received her BFA in 1996 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Her work is represented in Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington DC, and Portland, and has been exhibited nationally and worldwide. Kathleen uses vibrant colors and geometric shapes in her work. After the masking tape came off I adjusted the lines with a razor and a dentists’ tool.

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Then it came time to add the wire.

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Morpho Gallery “prides itself in seeking talented artists who are on the cusp of being discovered by the mainstream art community.  We invite local artists to exhibit their work in a creative and non-competitive atmosphere where artistic experimentation and development are encouraged. By creating a blank palette inside the gallery, we offer infinite possibilities for an array of colors, textures and media to come together. Morpho Gallery also offers leasing packages at affordable rates to groups and individuals who wish to stage their own shows.”

It took a bit of hammering and re-bending to get the wire to lay the way I wanted to.

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Et voila, two new encaustic pieces were ready for submission.

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Pushing the deadline does make for instant gratification. I am thrilled to be accepted into the show, along with FUSEDChicago members Carol Hamilton, Catherine Keebler, Cindy Lesperance, Dan Addington, Joan Moriarty, Karen Tichy, Kari Hall, Kelly Mathews, Laura LaRue, Linda Wein and Pat Lagger. The show also includes Alex Wilhite, Amanda Jolly, Amy Finder, Cate Cormack, Daniel Breslin, Denise Minkler, Danielle Miller, Gina Stanley, Elizabeth Schowachert, Karl Kaiser, Margaret Berry, Melissa Lackman, Naomi Hart, Nicole Prigan, Robin Miller, Robin Tripaldi, Stephanie Green, Susan Dickman, and Wendy Shapiro..

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The opening reception of Edges – 4th Annual Encaustic Exhibition is on August 7 from 6 to 10 pm at Morpho Gallery, 5216 N. Damen, Chicago, IL 60625. The show runs through September 6th, 2015.

Friends in mid-June Openings

Mid-June seems to be the time for many gallery openings. I attended 4 between Thursday and Sunday.

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I was Ahavani Mullen’s “plus one” for Art in Motion, which turned into a “presidential” FUSEDChicago gathering. (Ahavani is a vice president and I am co-President).

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There was an auction for paintings done by patients of the rehabilitation institute, and a few offered demonstrations of their painting skills throughout the evening.

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Since I had not been accepted to this show a few years back, I was curious to see what the aesthetic was, and can see that my art might not be the best fit. I was inspired by various pieces, even though I don’t generally veer toward the abstract.

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Whether it’s the mark-making, gestures, colors, I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you what separates true artistry and talent from low quality abstract work.

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FUSEDChicago co-President Michele Thrane had three encaustic monotypes in the show. (A monotype is described at this link.) Her work is featured in Embracing Encaustic: Mixing Media by Linda Robertson.

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Ahavani also had three encaustic pieces in the show. She successfully funded her upcoming Here and Now exhibit.

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Her diptych won third place.

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Someone channelled the Jurassic World movie premiere.

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We had a lovely dinner at Indian Garden and chatted about a multitude of things.

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Friday night I headed to Motor Row Gallery to see UnchARTed. This gallery was converted from an old dealership. Apparently this area is where one went to buy cars in historic Chicago.

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FUSEDChicago member Amy Van Winkle is part of this show.

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I love how she stitches into her encaustic work.

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My mentor and wax and wire teacher Crystal Neubauer has a multitude of collage works in the show.

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My favorite pieces (with butterflies of course) were already snapped up.

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There is so much texture in her work that you cannot see from photographs. Crystal’s book The Art of Expressive Collage: Techniques for Creating with Paper and Glue is available for preorder.

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I had a lovely conversation in Dutch with collage and acrylic artist Turkan Ilkdemirci, who spent several years in the Netherlands before moving to the U.S.

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Pam Peterson’s cold wax color palette spoke to me. UnchARTed runs through June 27 and its artists also include: Bill Sosin, James Edward Scherbarth, Nancy Pirri, Eve Ozer, Dianne Martia,and Cynthia Lee.

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Janet Lewandowski’s triptych reminded me of a discussion during Sarah Krepp’s art critique that is still simmering in my brain.

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I meandered over to Morpho Gallery for their STRATA opening with Carol Hamilton and Jeff Sevener.   STRATA is an exploration of colors and light through several diverse media.

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I was drawn into Jeff Sevener’s Tempest right away. His layering of papers and combining them with thread is exquisite.

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Then I entered the world of Carol’s multi-layered Madscapes. She combines mylar, rice paper, string and encaustic to create beautiful collage vignettes that can keep you mesmerized for hours.

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Her Earth Science wall of encaustic paintings is also a feast of texture and depth of her pieces.

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The texture and layers are bold on these pieces.

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So many favorites to choose from! This show closed on June 20, but another encaustic show is coming up.

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On Sunday I caught the last hour of the new Evanston Art Center’s inaugural exhibit “Hybrid’s Paradise” curated by Sergio Gomez.

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I got stuck chatting with people, so didn’t really have a chance to peruse the new art center, but admired the installation by the entrance.

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I love these metal mobiles and have a soldering class on my wish list.

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The lights were turned off just after I snapped pictures of this inspirational installation.

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I’ll have to return to the art center for the upstairs art. Hybrid’s Paradise remains up through August 9. Pick up a class catalog while you are there. An encaustic workshop is available on August 26.

Unbound(ed) at Morpho Gallery

Some calls for art are best for others, as was the case with Morpho Gallery’s latest encaustic showcase.

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I had seen the Unbound(ed) call for art, but in spite of my freewheeling summer felt too confined in my work to create a piece for it. So I let the deadline pass, and instead got to enjoy the works of other encaustic artists.

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Submissions from all over the country were accepted, and the show is a wonderful showcase of creative techniques and inspiration. Juried by Kathy Blankley Roman and Kathleen Waterloo the show’s title refers to the term “Unbound” and all of its meanings.  The show opened August 1 and is up through August 30.

Exhibiting artists include:

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Carol Hamilton, Norman Soskel, Cheryl Holz, VA de Pintor.

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Cat Crotchett, Laura LaRue, Daniel Hurley, Barbara Fredericks Miner, Martha Robinson, Robin Samiljan, Ahavani Mullen, Sandra C. Pence, Karl Kaiser, and Kathy Blankley Roman.

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Kathy Cantwell.

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Carol Flaitz, Amy Van Winkle, Barbara Walton, Ginny Krueger, Caitlin Edgar Bielata and Robin Samiljan.

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Carol Flaitz, Nicole Prigan, Eileen P. Goldenberg, Jennifer Terpstra, Kathleen Cosgrove, Rodney Thompson, Patricia Lagger and Yvette Kaiser Smith.

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Bill Oistad.

I look forward to playing with some of this textural inspiration.

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Morpho Gallery prides itself in seeking talented artists who are on the cusp of being discovered by the mainstream art community.  The gallery is located at  5216 North Damen Avenue Chicago IL 60625 and is open Fridays and Saturdays from 1-6 p.m. And by appointment Sunday-Thursday.

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Wax(in’) Blue opening night

I had a lovely evening mingling with encaustic artists at the Wax(in’) Blue exhibit.

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It was naturally a gathering of FUSEDChicago members, but also artists who had come in from as far as Michigan to peruse this exhibit.

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As the title indicates, the theme was blue, and it was great to see the spectrum of blue on display.

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From dragonfly to dragonfly

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Encaustic Art by Carol Hamilton, Mary J O’Hearn, Yvonne Prisble, Ahavani Mullen,
Bobbette Rose, Carol Hamilton, Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Kimberly Fuller

My Dragonflies were in lovely company.

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Patricia Lagger, Karen Tichy, Lynda Cole,
Patricia Lagger, Maike van Wijk, Candace Meyers

Kimberly Fuller’s Jewelry intrigued me.

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Sculptural pieces give encaustic wonderful dimension.

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Donna Zarbin-Byrne

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Robin Samiljan, Sue Cahill, Nikkole Huss,  Laura LaRue,
Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Valerie McCune, Jenny Learner, Karen Tichy, Vicki Reed

This Lumen print technique on silk by Vicki Reed is intriguing.

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Kari Hall, Brad Hook, Kari Hall

I also enjoyed seeing a few figurative pieces in this exhibit, since truly painting in wax is a challenge I have not mastered.

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Jacqueline Drake

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Sue Cahill

Discussing techniques was illuminating.

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Colors ranged from bright to subdued.

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Jessica Behan

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Kathy Roman

Since it was at Morpho Gallery, I wore my Morpho pendant, with a blue dress of course.

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The show is up from August 10th-31st with walk-in hours Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m., or by appointment. Morpho Gallery is located at 5216 North Damen, Chicago.

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I just submitted to another show, so we’ll see if the momentum keeps going!

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Wax(in’) Blue, an August exhibit

I’m thrilled to have 2 pieces in the Wax(in’) Blue exhibit at Morpho Gallery. The exhibit opens on Saturday (August 10) with the opening reception from 6 to 9:30 pm at 5216 North Damen, Chicago.

Wax(in’) Blue is a juried exhibition featuring work from 25 encaustic artists from around the Midwest. The title refers to the color blue and all of its meanings. Each artist has approached this theme in their own way, resulting in an exhibition filled with different styles, techniques and new takes on the encaustic medium.

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The show is up from August 10th-31st with walk-in hours Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 6 p.m., or by appointment.
Artists include:

Ahavani Mullen, Bobbette Rose, Candace Meyers,
Donna Zarbin-Byrne, Jenny Learner, Karen Tichy,
Kathy Roman, Laura LaRue, Maike van Wijk,
Nikkole Huss, Robin Samiljan,  Valerie McCune,
Yvonne Prisble,  Alicia Forestall-Boehm,  Brad Hook,
Carol Hamilton,  Jacqueline Drake,  Jessica Behan,
Kari Hall,  Kimberly Fuller,  Lynda Cole,
Mary J O’Hearn,  Patricia Lagger,  Sue Cahill,  Vicki Reed

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Last year’s Hot Wax in the City was a fun exhibit, at which these photos were taken, and I look forward what this encaustic show has in store.

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Morpho Gallery prides itself on seeking talented artists who are on the cusp of being discovered by the mainstream art community. They invite local artists to exhibit their work in a creative and non-competitive atmosphere, where artistic experimentation and development are encouraged. By creating a blank palette inside the gallery, Morpho offers infinite possibilities for an array of colors, textures and media to come together.

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