My new Photo Encaustic Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my new studio space.  Since then I’ve been working on setting up the encaustic workshop and it’s ready to do it’s job.  I became interested in photo encaustics in January and took a couple of workshops over the summer. (I shared about those workshops here.) Moving time came and all the encaustic supplies were packed up.  Here is the great unveiling, so to speak.  I haven’t yet, actually worked in the space creatively but will share as the experiments and creations emerge.

Open to Delight…again

Sometime in the past several months, I realized that I had, in all the craziness of home searching, stopped taking photos of those little moments of delight that appeared in my days.  I hadn’t really stopped noticing them, but I hadn’t been recording them.  And I think, the act of recording them makes it a bit more intentional to keep my eyes and heart open to what delight there is in the world.

I’ve written and shared about delight before many times (you can read them here) but as a reminder, I believe that our lives are full of moments of surprise and joy that add up to delight.  Sometimes they are big things but often they are the small things and often we totally miss them if we are not paying attention.  It has been my practice for some time to be more aware of those moments. Taking photos of them helps to be more intentional about it.

I restarted taking my delight photos in August, right in the midst of major moving activities.  I use my phone camera to take the photos, in an effort to keep it simple.

It’s more about noticing the delight than creating a work of art.  The work of art is in the moment itself. 

What’s more, when they are on my phone, I don’t really look at them until it’s time to write a post like this.  Then I get an additional dose of delight when I look back through the photos on my phone and re-delight at all those moments.

Hope you will find delight in some of these images and perhaps go on your own mission to be aware of the delight in your days.

Back in Business, Mostly

It’s been a very busy 5 weeks since we moved into our new home in Virginia on September 7.

Sometime about a week after we had moved in I had this thought as I was waking up one morning.  Moving is a bit like a puzzle.  The puzzle is your life and you take all the pieces and mix them up and put them in a container. Then when you get to the new home, you take them out and begin to put them back together. It’s still your life but they all go together a bit differently than they did before. 

In the past five weeks we have unpacked scores of boxes, painted a few rooms, painted the front doors, moved the silver ware drawer 3 times (I think it’s in the right spot now), organized closets, given away piles of boxes and packing paper, rearranged furniture multiple times, learned how to navigate the area without GPS, figured out which hardware store is the best, visited the local paint store at least once a week, tried at least one restaurant per week, attended a beekeepers meeting (Michael), joined the art school in town (Gail), obtained VA driver licenses and registrations, and much more.  It’s tiring at times but energizing as well.

This week, my goal was to finish my office/studio.  In it’s first 22 years, this space was a hair  salon but it’s taken quite readily to it’s new role as photography studio.  I’ve had the computers and printers in full working order for about 2 weeks now thanks to our generous and technologically savvy son, Adam.  There were, however, still piles of boxes and nothing other than the computers was really set up as I wanted it.  So it’s almost done.  All that is left to do is unpack the books, which I will do as soon as I find the pegs that hold up the shelves on my bookshelves.  🙂  Where the boxes of books currently are in the corner is where I am planning to have a studio lighting set up.  I have a head full of ideas that have been waiting for this new space to be able to create.

Here’s a few photos to give you an idea of the process and what my wonderful new space looks like. I added the first 3 photos of my space in NY to refresh your memory.

In the next few days, I hope to finish setting up the encaustic workspace (it’s at the other end of the house, in the basement) and actually do a bit of work there.  It has been calling to me! I will share photos when that is complete.

 

 

 

 

The results are in!

A couple of weeks ago, in the post Out There, I shared some images that I had submitted to a call for entry at the A Smith Gallery with the theme, Vistas.  Yesterday, the juror’s choices were announced and I was pleased to have the image, The View from Shore #10, accepted for the exhibit.

View from Shore #10
On exhibit at A Smith Gallery, Johnson City, TX, November 3 to December 17, 2017.

Dan Burkholder was the juror for this exhibit.  As I mentioned in the earlier post, each call for entry has a different juror.  While each juror is very capable and accomplished, they too have personal preferences.  It’s fun to see what sort of images are accepted.  Was this one of your choices?

You can view all the images that were accepted here in this online gallery (click on the images to advance through the entire exhibit).  Of course, if you happen to be in the Johnson City area in November, stop in and check it out in person.  It’s a great gallery.

Now I need to get a print sent to the gallery!

Out There

One of the things I do as a fine art photographer is submit images to “calls for entry”.  I call it getting my work “out there”.  There are many organizations nationally and internationally that publish these calls to invite artists to submit work.  Over the past few years, I’ve found a few specific galleries where my work seems to generally fit and I like the way the gallery is run.  They have various exhibits throughout the year, usually with some theme.  If I have images that I feel fit a certain theme, I will submit to that call for entry.

Entering images provides me with another outlet for my work, a way to have BNF’s (big names in the field) see my work, and to receive some feedback on it, even if that feedback is simply being accepted or not.   Having work accepted for an exhibit helps me to build a resume that shows my work has been exhibited at the national level.  And it’s just fun!

These two images were exhibited at the A Smith Gallery this year as part of two different shows.  Each show at this gallery, as well as many others I submit to, has a different juror for each show, those BNF’s  I mentioned earlier.

Impressions of Trees-5 was accepted into the Trees exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City , Texas in January.

Between the Mountains and the Sea was accepted to the Elsewhere exhibit at the A Smith Gallery in Johnson City Texas in the spring.

I thought it might be interesting for you to follow along a bit when I enter one of these calls.  The A Smith Gallery has a current call for entry open which the theme, Vistas.  I’ve submitted these 8 images.  (click on each image to make it larger.)

Do you think any of these will be accepted? If so, which ones?  I’ll let you know when I find out.

Waiting to put down roots

Cooking is one of my favorite creative activities.  Fresh herbs have always played a big role in my cooking.  At our NY home, I had an herb garden right outside the front door, right under the kitchen window.  One of the advantages of living in Virginia that I have been looking forward to is the warmer and longer growing season.  My favorite herb, rosemary, can survive the winter outside in Virginia and thrive in the climate there.  🙂

Here’s a few of my plants and herbs from my NY garden waiting to be put into Virginia soil.  We will have a deck right outside the kitchen that will hold my new herb garden.  The fig trees will find a home in the yard somewhere.  Yes, some of these would be available for purchase in VA but I really liked the idea of bringing some of my favorite plants with me to put down roots along with us in our new home.

Rosemary and fig trees waiting to put down new roots.

More rosemary, lemon thyme, oregano, and winter savory.

Not an herb but an important plant for me. This lovely little black eyed susan variety was part of my NY garden that I had originally gotten from my parent’s garden.

 

 

Going, going, gone

Unless you’ve done it, which I hadn’t in 33 years, it is very hard to to imagine putting every single one of your possessions on a truck and watching it drive away.  That’s what happened this past week.  At the moment, we are in the in between, not able to be in either home and without most of our belongings.  It’s an interesting place to be.

Here’s a few images of the space I worked in for the past decade or more, as it was being packed up.  It’s fun to think about setting up my new spaces.

Computer equipment in my office ready to be packed.

 

Almost done.

No longer an office.

Encaustic and framing workshop ready to be packed.

Shutting the doors on the truck and off it goes. See it in Virginia.

 

A Big Adventure

Is this a new decorating trend?  Or indication of something about to happen?

 

 

 

This week is a big one for my husband Michael and I.  We will be leaving our home of 33 years and heading towards a new home and a new chapter in our lives.

I thought I would share some of the journey here on my blog so that you can follow along as we set up a new home, a new studio, and have this big adventure.  Stayed tuned for more photos and details.

A New Direction

In January of this year I was introduced to photo encaustic work.  I immediately knew that this was a new direction that I wanted to pursue with my work.  Encaustic painting uses beeswax and pigments and is a very ancient medium.  Photo encaustics, combines photography with the warm beeswax medium creating very unique, layered, moody images.

In July, I was able to attend a 3 day workshop at R & F Handmade Paints  to learn and try working with photo encaustics.  I came away with a strong (that’s putting it mildly) desire to continue to continue to learn and work with encaustics and my photography.

Encaustics provides a more hands on way of working with my images, something I have been craving for some time.  While I enjoy computer work at times, I wanted to create more hand made pieces.  It also gives an extra dimension to the images with all the layers of wax and pigments.

I have plans to set up a dedicated encaustic studio where I can continue to explore this fascinating medium.  I’ll keep you posted as that progresses.  For now, here are a few images of me at the workshop and some of my practice pieces.  I have much, much more to learn!!!

Beginners’ Photography Retreat

Springtime at New Skete ©Gail S. Haile

A couple of weekends ago, I got to spend some wonderful time with six other photographers, leading another Seeing with New Eyes Beginners’ Photography Retreat at New Skete Monastery.

Despite torrential rains, 65 mph winds, and a brief power outage we enjoyed this wonderful setting that is so rich in images.  Actually some of those conditions created some unique images.   No matter where you are or what the conditions there is always something to be seen, to be noticed.  Spring had just arrived on the mountain that holds New Skete Monastery and the earth was waking up from it’s hibernation.   New life, potential, and hope surrounded us.

We spent a lot of time going over the basics of how photography and our cameras work. When you know how they work, you can make decisions about what type of image you want to create rather than letting the camera decide for you.  Understanding the basics allows a photographer to create images with intention.

A video of some of the photographers’ images summarizes the weekend far better than I could with words:

And of course, this was New Skete Monastery so there were puppies and dogs!  They got their own video of images that the photographers created:

 

If you are interested in a future  photography retreat, sign up for my newsletter and you’ll be the first to know.