Archive for the ‘Challenge’ Category

Not such a bad year after all….

December 30, 2011

Art biz coach Alyson B. Stanfield each year challenges her readers to take stock of the past year, to see what you have accomplished, what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown. I did it two years ago (it was a real eye-opener!) and decided to do it again this year.

In 2011 . . .

I added approximately 175 new people to my mailing list, gained numerous new followers on Twitter and created a Fan Page on Facebook for TwinLakes Encaustic Art, which has now 171 likes. The Ning community on Encaustic Art grew to more than 900 members, with almost 250 new members since January 2011.

Marketing & Business
In the past year I participated in 11 exhibitions. I sold 21 paintings and got my first commission, which was well received.
New this year was my involvement with the Lake-to-Lake Studio Tour. It forced me to tidy up my studio and present it as small gallery with proper title/price cards. We also had a beautiful flyer printed with details of all the participating studios, and the group created a facebook page and online map. During the summer I had almost 50 people visiting me, which resulted in more names for my mailing list, people signing up for workshops and several cards and paintings sold.

Also new were the Lobby Gallery Sundays at the Penticton Lakeside Resort in the period before Christmas. I was able to rent some display screens to hang my paintings and did demonstrations with the iron. Many people signed up for my mailing list and I sold 4 paintings.

I wrote 53 blog posts, 12 newsletters and 13 Ning broadcasts last year.

Education & Exploration
While at the International Encaustic Artists retreat in Portland last September I attended many talks and demonstrations. I also was chosen President of their new Canadian Chapter CanWax.
One of the highlights of the retreat for me was getting to know Kelly Williams and Bridget Benton. Kelly has worked closely with people struggling with addiction and presented a very personal tale of success. Bridget’s  talk about creativity really blew me away, and she is incredibly funny! I hope to invite both of them to Canada to share their stories.

New resources for me were the online classes by Linda Womack. I signed up for 2 and will certainly take more in the future. I also took dry embossing with Viv and a drawing class with Kindrie. My bookkeeping skills improved and I can now reconcile my own bank and credit card statements.

I learned to inject myself medication and discovered Zentangles, an artful way of doodling.  I even drew some left-handed.  A number of drawings were coated with wax and became part of the Untangled exhibition. Recently I also incorporated them in small paintings in combination with the crow images.

I taught 9 workshops, held one circle meeting, did a demo with local girl scouts, took 2 vegan cooking classes and participated in the 5th. RipOff Challenge.

During the summer I created a new body of work: the Hills & Trees series, of which many paintings sold this year.

My paintings received 1 + 2 place in the art contest of the May issue of Okanagan Artworks.
Okananagan Artworks also published a feature article about me and placed the winning painting on the cover.
In October there was an article in Okanagan Sun about Untangled, my joined show with Bethany Handfield, and Skaha Matters mentioned my studio with a picture.
Being part of the RipOff Artists brought publicity in 3 newspaper articles and hundreds of viewers during the RipOff week and the following display at the Fall Art Show in Oliver.

4 of my paintings were admitted into FCA juried shows; two of them got send to Vancouver.

I was able to support Gilda’s Club Simcoe Muskoka with discounts and extras, and I sent extra iron and waxes to The Creative Cocoon, Ontario, an organization which works with seniors.

And one last thing: while doing all of the above I was battling breast cancer with the unwavering support of my fantastic husband and all my dear friends, far and wide.

After the surgery in Oct. 2010, I underwent 5 chemo and 20 radiation treatments and numerous tests in 2011. I lost all of my hair and grew it back again.
Although being ill from the treatments did slow me down a bit, if I now read over what I’ve accomplished this year, I’m very proud of myself.
It was not a bad year after all!

P.S.: Below is an oil portrait of me by Bill Hibberd, which he painted last month. I think he captured very well what this last year has been about for me: life-changing, resulting in a determined optimism…

Thea Haubrich by Bill Hibberd


RipOffs 2011: American Gothic Finals.

July 25, 2011

I still owe you the final creations from our RipOff week. This is how the pieces looked by 3 PM on the last day, July 9.

Salvador Dali - aka Russell Work

Len Norris - aka Leo Pedersen

Amedeo Modigliani - aka Enid Baker

Frida Kahlo - aka Marion Trimble

Gustav Klimt - aka Dianne Birnie

Hildegard of Bingen - aka JoAnn Turner

Pablo Picasso - aka Terry Irvine

Alexander Calder - aka Kurt Hutterli

Erica de Ruiter - aka Barbara Levant

Katsushika Hokusai - aka Thea Haubrich

And here is the original American Gothic again, by Grant Wood:

American Gothic by Grant Wood

Finale RipOffs 2011: American Gothic

July 20, 2011

This is how my piece developed over the week:

At this stage it felt all wrong! Too much colour in the guy and the dark collar on the geisha was way too harsh! Also the white pattern on the blue kimono was too much of a contrast.

Here many of those issues have been addressed and it looks much better in my opinion.

This is how it looked around closing time on Saturday. The dried cherry blossoms have been collaged in. I might change the colour of the hilt of the sword a bit later, as I feel it is too bright.

Here are we, all together, after a job well done!
More pictures of the final day in this Picasa Webalbum.

RipOff 2011 – Continued

July 3, 2011

After the white wax on the samurai’s face had hardened I transferred the drawing again and started gauging the lines with a blunt stylus.The black lines you see here are still the charcoal drawing. Where the lines appear white I have scratched out the wax to fill with black wax.

Here I started filling the recessed areas with black wax using a small brush, but as I tried to scrape off the excess wax to reveal the lines I got into trouble. The wax layer underneath was too thin and uneven and it got real messy…

So I tried a different approach (it’s all about those challenges!) and filled the lines using the heated stylus with the brush head, which I had pressed flat. That worked much better!

After a lot of scraping and filling I was happy with the result. The original Japanese prints do have these black outlines as well, so it’s going to look great, I think.

Originally I meant to collage in the garments of the figures, using Japanese chiyogami paper, but I changed my mind. Instead I painted the garment of the samurai a nice rich blue wax and will create a pattern when the surface has hardened out a bit. Bethany gave me a fantastic idea on how to go about it…;-)
And I will still use some of those papers for accents.

So this is how my Nihon American Gothic looks right now….stay tuned!


RipOff 2011 – transferring the main drawing

June 30, 2011

In order to be able to transfer the drawing of the two figures onto the panel I needed to trace them on the back of the paper with charcoal. The easiest way seemed to me to tape the drawing to our patio door window, so I had a good view of the image through the paper.

The next step was to place the drawing, charcoal marks face down, on the panel and burnish the lines onto the wax surface. This worked really well. The lines transferred beautifully and hardly smudged.
The only thing was that part of  the samurai’s face was green from the mountains behind….I needed a smooth white surface to be able to get the features right. Now what?!

I decided to scrape off the charcoal lines in his face and paint in a layer of white paint, which I carefully fused flat.
As I was applying the white wax I also dry-brushed the shapes of the cherry tree canopies in. I coloured them with pink PanPastel and will later add some darker tone to create depth.
After applying the pale pink the colour of the pagoda really did not look very good, so I changed the colour to a warm red, again by brushing PanPastel on.
This is how it looks now:

It is certainly all still very coarse, and shapes or colours might still change, but I feel I’m on the right track!

RipOff 2011 – next step

June 29, 2011

My original idea was to use Japanese chiyogami papers to create the garments of the geisha and the samurai. These are some of the papers I bought in Tokyo many years ago:

Below you can see how it looks a bit like a puzzle, with all the loose pieces of paper! (This was before I had painted the pagoda in).

Now I’m thinking of painting the garments in wax, at least the large pieces, and then layer in some smaller pieces of the paper. The problem with large papers is that air gets easily trapped beneath them, which would make for bad adherence. I’m also not sure how to render the faces; I want them to be crisp and smooth, like in the original woodblock prints….
Lots of creative decisions to make. It’s a challenge every year!

Working on the next RipOff challenge

June 28, 2011

The next RipOff challenge will take place from July 4 – July 9 at the Quail’s Nest art centre in Oliver. We open with a reception on Monday evening from 6 – 8 PM and will work Tuesday – Saturday from 9 – 3. On Saturday is the big finale, where we all rush to try and finish our piece. Feel free to drop by any time.

In a post, back in March, I mentioned that we had chosen American Gothic as our fifth challenge. Each of the 10 artists in our group chose a different artist for their inspiration to create Grant Wood’s famous painting.
We will have Frida Kahlo (Marion), Len Norris (Leo), Katsushika Hokusai (Thea), Pablo Picasso (Terry), Salvador Dali (Russell), Gustav Klimt (Dianne), Erica deRuiter (Barbara), Alexander Calder (Kurt), Hildegard of Bingen (JoAnn) and Amedeo Modigliani & Charles Shultz (Enid). Can you imagine the fabulous artworks which are going to emerge next week?!

I’m extremely sad that my radiation schedule is going to prevent me from working at the Quail’s Nest during the week, but I will be there on the Saturday for sure.  I have already started on my piece and will send Marion pictures, which she will print off and display in my name.
My artist is the Japanese woodblock artist Hokusai and this is my design:

Nihon American Gothic

I prepared a 18×24 cradled wood panel with encaustic gesso, two coats of beeswax and a coat of white encaustic paint. Then I painted the sky and far hills. For the pagoda I printed off the image on my laser printer and transferred it on the warm wax by first burnishing the image down, then soak with it water and rub off excess paper.
The resulting drawing was painted in with wax paint.

Notice the Gothic windows, an artistic license of the artist…;-))

The next stage will be transferring the drawing of the figures onto the panel.

2011 RipOff project off to a good start

March 12, 2011

The RipOffs are a bunch of artists who get together once a year to copy a famous work by a well-known artist. We’ve been at it for four years, so this year, our fifth challenge, we wanted to make it a special one!
Speaking of challenge: try to get 10 head-strong artists to agree on one dead artist & one image….it takes several meetings, lots of coffee and goodies, provided by our great “clubhouse leader” Marion to come to a consensus (more or less!)

There is always groaning from a few artists, who lament “they would have NO CLUE how to implement this particular artwork in their own medium…And then, when you see their finished work afterward, it is always fabulous!


Grant Wood - American-Gothic

To lift the veil: for this year we have chosen the iconic image “American Gothic” by Grant Wood.

And that’s not all: every artist will choose a second famous artist and execute the work in his/her style.
So, you would get an American Gothic looking like a Picasso or a Van Gogh….

Of course I’ve been pondering which artist to use and decided on following a specific style, rather than one artist.
We have lived in Japan for 5 years and I was always fascinated by the beautiful woodblock prints. We have several books and a few original prints, so that’s going to be my inspiration!

Next hurdle: it might very well be that I will not be able to work during our studio week, which is from July 4 – 9, at the Quail’s nest Art Centre in Oliver, B.C.

My radiation treatments will probably start early July and then I have to drive to Kelowna every day. Luckily my fellow RipOffs are very understanding and said I could just try to get as much done beforehand, they would get everything set up and I would show up for the finale on Saturday.

Of course I’m hoping to convince the oncologist to start a bit later with my treatment, but just in case: I’ve started to work on my piece and did my initial drawing:

Nihon American Gothic

Nihon American Gothic

I’m pleased so far; now I still have to decide which size I’m going for and prepare my panel. The plan is to use original Japanese chiyogami paper embedded in the wax for the garments and perhaps real dried cherry blossoms in the background.

We will soon have our press release ready, but I do want to show you our fabulous poster, which was created by photographer RipOff Russell Work.

Please check out our RipOff website to see what we have been up to in previous years.

Painted lunch

February 17, 2011

A while ago I invited 4 very good friends over for a potluck lunch and some painting activity. We had a lovely time and at lunch time everyone was admiring the cute napkins I had, with a bunch of roosters/chickens on them.

Linda, Judy, Carol & Margaret

One of the ladies, we now think it was Margaret, commented that we should each take a napkin and make some art with it. Then gather again in a month or so and do a little show and tell.
Good plan! Anything to get us painting, right?!

So fast-forward to last week, when we all met at Judy’s place. Same format: Judy had made some fabulous soups, there was salad, good bread, fruit and goodies.
Everyone brought their work and this is what we came up with:

By Margaret Phillips

By Judy Byer

By Thea Haubrich

By Carol Munro

By Linda Swales 1

By Linda Swales 2

Memento Mori, Thea Haubrich

For our next challenge Judy had a great selection of napkins for us to chose from.
It will probably take a while before everyone finishes her artwork, but expect neat stuff again!


I’m back

December 27, 2010

It’s December 27 and the last post here is from October 13. It was not even my own post, but an article my friend Hugh wrote about his artistic journey.

Why the long silence? Much has happened since and I did share some of it on my Facebook page and on the Ning site, but the blog has been neglected. Writing here feels more direct, personal and I was not ready for it.

Around the time of Hugh’s article I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had surgery and the prospects are good so far, but it shook my world to the core. I’ve never been really sick and now I am sitting in this oncology ward, with a bunch of questionnaires, which should not apply to me at all!! My energy level was zero for a while, but I did force myself to paint, starting some panels before the surgery, so there would be some half-finished work beckoning when I entered the studio again.

Those pieces turned out to be some of my favourites. Using transfer images of crows I photographed during a teaching trip to Vancouver I had them framed nicely and they are featured in my 2011 calendar of my artwork.

Listening - Series Connect

Thea Haubrich, Listening, 6x6, Series "Connect"

After a short trip over Christmas I’m ready to get back into the studio. I watched several art videos, not just encaustic, but about printing techniques and bought myself a screen printing set.

It’s going to be fun to experiment with something new and I promise to record the results here!