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Encaustics and the discarded series

"Sordid" - encaustic on 10" x 10" cradled board, $250.00

As another branch of my "Discarded" series, I have been incorporating antique photography into encaustic works.

I have a fascination with antique photography. It's sad and intriguing to find old family snaps and formal shots for sale at junk shops and antique stores. I can spend ages sifting through these crumbling old pages from someone else's life.  I like the idea of giving them a new life by putting them into art pieces. I find these images so inspiring - precisely because I don't actually know the people in them. It affords each image the potential of infinite stories.

My newest iteration of this series is incorporating these images into encaustic works. Encaustic is painting with melted wax, and you can do image transfers, collage and carving into the wax to build your image. I used the image transfer method to create this series.

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One way to monoprint

There are lots of ways to create monoprints. I learned a fun way to do it in a workshop with Karlyn Holman a couple years ago. I've used this process to create probably more than 100 paintings by now. I've done series of flowers, vegetables an fruits, portraits, birds, and most recently I have come up with a new series I'm calling "Absurdity Birdity".

I've found this process to be really versatile and fun, as well as freeing. You end up with smears and marks from the ink, and the collage paper ends up in places you don't expect. This gives you the opportunity to "make it work". I find it challenging and I feel some of my best work has come from this process.

I thought it would be fun to show how to do it.

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Absurdity birdity

A new series of monoprints has been inspired by an upcoming show "Art is for the Birds" at the Deer Path Art Gallery in Lake Forest, Illinois.

I was looking at the bird paintings I've done in the past and at the many figurative paintings I've done in the past year and wanted to put the two ideas together.

I liked the absurdity of the presence of a bird on top of someone's head, as if it was an every day thing. The silliness of it makes me smile. Doing this series in monoprint/collage/watercolor allowed the dirtiness of the monoprint process plus the brightness of the watercolor and collage papers. All together I think the effect heightens out the absurdity of the image itself.

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NBC's Chicago Fire and me

Yow!! Got a screen grabs of my artwork on national TV! NBC's Chicago Fire, filming in Chicago, has purchased 2 of my paintings for the permanent set and borrowed 4 more for use on temporary sets. Last night's episode showed the character "Shay" rescuing an at-risk baby - a poignant scene. But all I could see was my art behind her head! "That's Our Baby", "Tulip Garden" and "Autumn Cliffs" all got screen time this week.

Pretty exciting stuff! Thank you to The Leigh Gallery for taking such good care of me! Note: the paintings shown on last night's show are currently available for purchase at The Leigh Gallery in Chicago.

NBC's Chicago Fire - Rochelle Weiner artwork

That's "Tulip Garden" in the background!

NBC's Chicago Fire - Rochelle Weiner Art

You can see "That's Our Baby" on the left, "Tulip Garden" in the middle, and off screen to right is "Autumn Cliffs" (was only a flash on the screen but I recognized it...)

NBC's Chicago Fire - Rochelle Weiner Art

"Tulip Garden" clearly visible in the background.... Shay, move your head!

 

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More paintings to be on NBC's Chicago Fire!

Thrilled to find out NBC's Chicago Fire selected 4 more of my paintings from The Leigh Gallery  - this time on loan - for use on their sets! I assume that since they're on loan they're not for the permanent sets but rather for single scene usage. Keep an eye out for them - I know I will be! 🙂

Previous post: Rochelle Weiner Originals on Network TV

"Daffodils in a row" - Watercolor and collage, 24" x 20" framed

"That's our baby" - Watercolor, monoprint and collage, 15" x 15" framed

"Autumn cliffs" - Watercolor and watermedia, 15" x 15" framed

RainyDay-Exsalonce

Two large-scale watercolors now part of the Tony Odisho collection

So, how cool is this? The fabulous Tony Odisho, owner of Exsalonce Salon and Spa in Chicago as well as Tony Odisho Extensions and Ostia Hair Products (who also happens to be my hairdresser!) called me a couple weeks ago for a favor. He asked if he could borrow a couple of paintings as staging for a one-day photo shoot at his newly redesigned and expanded salon. I brought him over a couple paintings that he thought would work well, and they did, and the photos turned out fantastic! Even better - he liked the paintings in the salon so much that he ended up buying them! Yay! Thank you Tony!

Above, Tony Odisho, owner of Exsalonce Salon and Spa, standing in front of "Rainy Day" in the salon.

Masa Irises at Exsaonce Salon and Spa

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Snow day

A walk through a nearby Chicago park during the snow with my friend Roger and his dog O'Hare spurred this new series, which feels like a fun new direction in my work.

Featured above is "Fetching". Below are a few paintings in the series. This series is currently being shown at The Leigh Gallery and at the Andersonville Galleria in Chicago.

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My friends at Felines & Canines

Last month I wrote a post when I completed a series of pet portraits I planned on donating to my friends at Felines & Canines. I wanted to give them something to help decorate their soon-to-be-completed, totally renovated, new and improved pet shelter. Well - the long year of construction is finished - and now they have a totally gorgeous, warm and happy, no-kill shelter for cats and dogs. They moved in this week. They took an old house and made it into a state of the art, clean and friendly place where they can house 2-3x the pets they could before. Not to mention prior to the move they took in only cats - but now with all the extra space they have become a cats and dogs shelter. They are an amazing team and truly wonderful people. I can't say enough about them. If you are a pet lover, you must stop by. Adopt a pet, donate to a very worthy cause, donate some of your time, or just stop by to say hello. You will be as impressed with them as I am.

The photo above was taken yesterday - only a day after they moved in. They are posed in front of my donation - featured in their fabulous new adoption room. Abby Smith and her partner Kelly Thompson run this amazing place and Marie-Clare Balabanian pictured at left is one of the many dedicated and warm-hearted staff members who take such excellent care of these pets. The lovely canine front and center is Knuckles - Abby and Kelly's dog and a favorite at the shelter. Knuckles is featured in one of the portraits, upper right.

Congrats, my friends, on the fabulous new place, and the beginning of a new era for Felines & Canines!

Pictured above, from left: Marie-Clare Balabanian, Knuckles Thompson-Smith, Kelly Thompson and Abby Smith

To get a better view of the portraits, click the thumbnails below.

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Just won an IWS Award of Excellence for my painting, "And then I lost it"

Big news - last night I was honored by winning an "Award of Excellence" at the Illinois Watercolor Society's Annual Member Show for my painting "And then I lost it" (shown below)! I am over the moon thrilled about this. My first award since taking up painting again 2 years ago.

I walked into the exhibition last night with my best friend Robin, took a look around and thought to myself - oh man, I don't have a chance. There were so many truly amazing paintings on display last night, by some incredibly talented artists. This show is really something to see - and I figured no way was I going to win anything.... but then I did!

The judge was Marilynn Derwenskus, NWS, IWS - I was told that my painting was chosen for the story it told, for the risks I took in the composition and for the "glow" I was able to achieve in the execution. Super thrilling for me to get such high praise from a nationally respected artist and judge.

The painting, "And then I lost it" is one of a series I've been developing from discarded vintage photos found in junk shops and antique stores, which I'm calling the Discarded Series. The resource photo I used for this painting was of a little girl, circa 1930s, standing on a hillside with a white dress blowing in the wind. I added the cliff in front of her and the kite, to tell a story of innocence lost.

If you are interested in seeing a truly wonderful show, it runs through December 5 at The Mayslake Peabody Estate, 1717 West 31st Street, Oak Brook, IL.

RO

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