Wax On, Wax Off

Today was a work at home day. I was supposed to be working at the ski resort but an unfortunate February rainstorm changed those plans. Part of my at home work involved balancing the checkbook and depositing checks. Answering some emails. Repricing some pieces. Making arrangements to meet with a gallery owner this week (fingers crossed!) and covering some photos in encaustic wax so Randy can get them mounted and framed. 

We use a lot of encaustic in our work and I thought I would take the time to explain a little about it. The encaustic process when used in photography refers to applying hot beeswax over a photographic image. This wax can be pigmented with color or remain white or creamy beige and it can give the image an intriguing surface and density, adding depth to the photo. Generally we use no pigment in our mixture, just the beeswax itself. The wax we use however does have an added component. Beeswax on its own will remain soft; the addition of damar resin raises the melting temperature and will allow the beeswax to cure and harden over time creating a glasslike finish. Encaustic has been around for thousands of years in the form of painting. You can read more about that here; Encaustic Painting.

Is it hard to care for? No. For more info on how to transport and care for encaustic work, you can read about it here; Caring for Encaustic.

Unfortunately today I had some issues and out of the approximate 5 hours I attempted to work on applying encaustic medium to the 10 or 12ish pieces I have backing up for me, I only finished one. The wax I made ended up being too yellow. We used some unbleached natural wax that was just too dark in color for what we need it for. I made some more of the clearer wax and mixed it together and it was still too dark. Growl. I ended up melting the wax I already applied off of three pictures and then spilled hot wax all over the kitchen counter. Double growl!! Not happy. A lot of work for not much to show for it. Sigh....let me sing some rainy day working at home blues. 


So it begins....

Art Show acceptance and denial season is upon us. Most come in the form of email with the following heading "Name of Show" Notification. The email is opened and the first words you see are either "Congratulations!" or "Thank you for applying....yada yada yada... you suck... blah blah blah...." (O.k. it doesn't actually say "you suck", but that is the general feeling we get.)

This year we decided to put our self-esteem to the test and apply for some larger more nationally recognized shows. So far, well, we didn't have high expectations but the rejections hurt none-the-less. We have been accepted however into our first show in Michigan, Art Birmingham takes place outside of Detroit in May. I seriously hope to catch the tulips blooming across the state! They do bloom in May right?

New this year is also ArtisGras in Green Bay in March. We had a good show last year back in August in Packer country and are happy to be back. We also plan to be back in Sturgeon Bay, Excelsior and Edina. You can see where and when we will be throughout the region on our EVENTS page. I will list them as they come in. There are 8 listed now, hoping to add more in the next few months.

With art show season creeping up and Mother Nature confused about what season it actually is, it has spurred Randy on to start creating new frames for the new season. And why start small? This guy weighs in at about 12 pounds and measures 30" x 30". Maybe not the piece you want hanging above your bed, but it is a stunner and will look great wherever you can locate a stud to hang it on ;) We believe this version of Rough Draft will be entered into the March Wood & Metal show,  at ArtZ Gallery located in Amery, WI.

Stay tuned. And hey, if it makes it easier, you can subscribe to the right ----> to have an email sent whenever a new post is well...posted.

Be well :)


Reclaim It!

Before Randy and I met we both had a love for old stuff. Each our own collection of rusty pails, old wash tubs, pop crates, oil cans and all kinds of fun stuff to put rocks or plants in. And although Randy did not have a thing for enamel covered urinals like I do, I still liked him anyway. So it shouldn't be a surprise that some of our favorite things to do are to scour antique shops, garage sales, vintage stores and auctions for unique and fun stuff. (It also turned into a side business, Tin Cat Collectibles, we have a booth in Osceola where we resell our treasures.)

Sometimes, we find stuff that we feel could be turned into a cool frame. We've most recently used a sled, baking pans, crates, drawers and copper shelving. Here are some of my favorites.


My friend Kelly and her husband Matt build log homes. It was a goal of theirs to have one of their homes make it into the calendar the company they work with puts out every year. So Randy and I spent a couple days this past late spring taking pics of the interior of their home, as well as others they have built. Well, she found out today that they made the 2017 calendar! How exciting. So glad we were able to be apart of making that happen for them. And it wasn't just one home, but a few. 

You can see their work at www.lakelandloghomes.com

Fests Might Just Not Be Our Thing

Bayfield Apple Fest. Approximately 88,000 people came through in three days. There were apples to be found everywhere! Apple pie, apple chili, apple cake, apple ice cream, apple brats, apple whiskey (my personal favorite), apple cider and even just the good ole apple. It was an insane amount of people that came through that little town. Saturday was wall to wall people going by our booth. At one point I could not see the booth across the way from us. Wow. Unfortunately for us, that didn't mean much in the way of sales. It was an apple munching crowd. A "wander around and stuff ourselves" crowd. Not that it a bad thing, trust me, I stuffed myself several times. That town was full of great food to be had! It just wasn't an art buying crowd. We won't be back for this festival, at least not to sell anyway. We kinda decided that maybe anything that ends with "Fest" might just not be our thing.

We did camp with friends and this time I am happy to say there was no flooding. We did however seem to manage to bring a family of mice with us from home. We caught 4 within the three days we were there. A new record for us. Pretty exciting stuff :)

Thank you to all the familiar faces that stopped by to say hello. We always appreciate that. 


Art Street in Green Bay was a success for us. Nothing broke down. No one fell out of trucks. We sold some stuff. Got to meet some great people. There was a horrible night spent at a Motel 6, but we'll just ignore that. Had drinks with friends old and new. Had our hopes renewed! Thank you Green Bay!