Archive for the ‘Personal stuff’ 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


paintings. emotions. connections

November 21, 2011

Paintings can have a powerful way to evoke emotions, as I experienced yesterday during the third Sunday of the Lobby Gallery at the Lakeside Hotel.

Detail: We Are Not Alone

At the front of my table I had again displayed one of my latest paintings, We Are Not Alone, this time with a spotlight directed at it.  The light really brought out the textured  surface and the painting got lots of attention. Some people suggested another orientation and we had a lot of fun turning the painting upside down (looked quite good), or sideways, which was less flattering.

At one point a lady stopped and looked long at the painting; she seemed lost in thought, so I waited a bit with approaching to greet her. She then told me that the painting made her think of the gold rush, which took her back to the Yukon, where she came from.
Many years ago she had come to the Okanagan , on accord of some bad circumstances, leaving behind all friends and family. She then revealed to me she had been a victim of the Canadian Indian Residential School system, which  was intended to force the assimilation of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada into European-Canadian society. The purpose of the schools, which separated children from their families, has been described as cultural genocide or “killing the Indian in the child.”

She now was an advocate for the victims and shared her story through lectures to make people aware of the wronged indigenous people.

This all came pouring out her, because my painting had connected with her….we both were amazed at the intensity of our emotions and embraced as she left.
Bella, you made a big impression on me, thanks for sharing your story on accord of my painting!

On a lighter note: although I did not sell any paintings yesterday, I had great fun talking to everyone who stopped at my table. Carol brought over several people, who had seen her display, to introduce me to them as “the teacher”.

And at the very end of the show Barb Hofer and I exchanged a painting, so technically we both sold a painting!

This is the beautiful painting I got:

Barb Hofer, Similkameen Symphony, 14x18

In exchange Barb took one of my latest Hills & Trees paintings:

Thea Haubrich, Connected, 12x12

A Sunday Outing

April 4, 2011

Yesterday I took my own advice from my April Newsletter and went on a little spring outing along the Naramata Bench. First my hubby Peter and I visited the well-known Red Rooster Winery to check out Gillian Tucker’s exhibit of her oil paintings (sorry, Jill, I said in my newsletter they were acrylics!).
The paintings looked spectacular in the upstairs space. You have to go and take a look! Here’s a little taste:

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Of course we bought a couple of bottles from Red Rooster too. The girl at the desk was so funny! Peter challenged her if she knew all the prices from the top of her head and she took him up on it; winning, of course…so no discount on the purchase…;-))

Then we took a nice walk along a part of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail, with spectacular views of Lake Okanagan. We also saw this little fellow, a Hoary Marmot, who tried to scare us away with loud screeches:

Hoary Marmot

Hoary Marmot at KVR Trail

A Happy Day!

January 2, 2011

Today Peter and I are celebrating our 38th. wedding anniversary! We were the first ones to get married in 1973 in the picturesque “stadhuis” in Hillegersberg, Rotterdam.

Stadhuis Hillegersberg

Stadhuis Hillegersberg

January 2nd is a bit of an odd day to get married; usually couples in Holland get married before the end of the year, because of tax benefits. We were poor students, so did not care about that!

In those days of course there were no phones to take pictures with, not even digital cameras, so I had to scan in some of those old photos to show you how we looked.

Wedding picture 1 Thea/Peter

In front of Thea's home in Rotterdam

Well, I don’t think you would recognize us from those pictures! Peter has a lot less hair now and I don’t think I will EVER fit into that dress again…;-))

Wedding picture 2

Young love...

More art in my bedroom

January 1, 2011

Here are some more paintings which are gracing my bedroom walls:

More art in my bedroom

Karen Lehrer, Daniella Woolf, Donna Schnare, Linda Swales, Bethany Handfield, Linda Womack

From the top, left:
a lovely piece by Karen Lehrer. Again a painting exchange, this time from the recent IEA Advance/Retreat in San Francisco.

Next to it, in blues and yellows, a real Daniella Woolf! I bought it as I visited her studio during the 2009 IEA Retreat.

The beautiful landscape to the right is by Donna Schnare, a good friend from my Ning social network. She painted this on a tile and told me it was the first time she had done that! I’m very honoured that she gave it to me.

Below Karen’s piece is Linda Swales’s painting of winter trees. This work has a wonderful glow, which unfortunately does not show very well on the photo. Linda is one of my best friends here in the Okanagan. She attends almost all my workshops and circles. Hopefully I will be able to offer some again soon.

The fiery orange/red painting is by Bethany Handfield, another student and close friend. This one is called “The Eye of Pele”.

And below another lovely piece by Linda Womack, which she sent me recently as encouragement. She incorporated a photograph she took at Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., where she spend a few days with her husband after she had taught two workshops here in the Okanagan.

So at night I’m surrounded by all these inspiring artworks. Each from a fellow encaustic artist, whom I have met and often am very good friends with. Can you imagine my sweet dreams??

Artwork in my bedroom

December 30, 2010

The silkscreen printing set is still in its box, so here’s something else I’d like to share with you:

The artwork which is hanging in my bedroom!
I love to collect fellow (encaustic) artists and have a number of small paintings hanging above my bed.

Brad Hillis, Eileen Goldenberg, Linda Womack, Mandy Rollings

The intriguing painting with the Grinch-like fingers is by Brad Hillis. I got it at a painting exchange of our FCA Chapter Christmas potluck in 2009 and am extremely pleased with it.

The little guy on the left, with the dots, is of course an original Eileen Goldenberg! I acquired it during the Encaustic Conference last June.

Next to it is a real Linda Womack. She came to teach here in the Okanagan and gave me this little gem. So proud to have it!

Underneath is a lovely small painting by Mandy Rollins. She made it during the workshop with Linda Womack and I fell in love with it right away. She displayed it in the recent encaustic exhibit “Brilliant Moments III” and I bought it before opening night!

Carol Munro, Phyllis Lasche

The painting in sections, at the top, is by my best friend Carol Munro.  I won it in the FCA painting exchange in 2008.
Below it is a little encaustic installation by Phyllis Lasche. It is hard to see, but she made a 3D work, incorporating a piece of shell and coloured beads. You can hang it in any which way, and can play with it too, rolling the beads around!
This one I also got in a painting exchange: at the IEA Retreat in 2009.

More paintings in the next post!

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!

MHP and alcohol inks

August 7, 2010

I had to tidy up my studio to make room for my new toy: the Munro Heatable Palette (MHP). Mainly I had to remove the newsprint that covered my table, for I realized that I was setting myself up for disaster with the pancake griddle on 350F, enclosed in a wooden frame and covered by an aluminum sheet….

After my first play-session the paper had turned quite brown! Just happy it did not ignite!

Munro Heatable Palette

Here the newsprint it still underneath...

Now I feel much better and this afternoon I played happily, making tons of mono prints, most were way too dark, but hey: I’m still learning…

This was one of the best ones:

mono print - Weave

While the palette was heating up I took out my alcohol inks, which I had really neglected for a long time. But boy, they are fun to use with encaustic!

Just dribble onto the wax and they form gorgeous shapes, with crisp, dark outlines. You can blend colour over colour and wipe off what you don’t like with the special blending fluid.

I worked on a 4×6 card with a flower I’d done during a demo. The original was quite bland, just yellows and light greens, but the ink really made the flower pop. The colours kind of shimmer on the petals. I used a scraper to scratch out some lines in the heart of the flower.

Alcohol ink flower

Give it a try: it’s great fun! I used Adirondack alcohol inks, which I had ordered from Joggles.

Finale RipOff Project Mount Lefroy

July 4, 2010

Well, we did it again! After a frantic day of working (for some, Russell and Barb had already completed their piece) we planted the flag on Mount Lefroy. We had tons of visitors over the week; I counted about 150 names in the guest book!

Here are some impressions of our last day:

Marion finally started to warm to Mount Lefroy!

Enid was in her element all the time!

Barb with her woven garment + scarf

The last stitches for Dianne before the 3 PM ring of the bell!

Russell with "Lawren's painting", times two

I’ve even made a video of his photographic installation!

Poor Terry felt still very sick and has a lot of yarn to be knitted before completion.

Kurt: Installing the installation

JoAnne's finished CD cabinet

Leo's 3-D piece in wood

My encaustic piece

And then we had a baby Quail visiting the Quail's Nest!

't was hard to fit all artists in the picture! Kurt's missing here...

After the photo shoot, a toast and some well-deserved goodies we all went our separate ways. Watch for the RipOff display at the Fall Art Show in Oliver, Oct. 2 and 3. And next year at Handworks Gallery and Leir House Penticton.

That was it for this year! Will we do it again? Of course we will!!