Art Roadtrip and One House Update

We took our first ever art roadtrip this this summer. The idea was to head up to Mass MoCA, stopping at Dia:Beacon and seeing some small towns in the Hudson River Valley area. Getting out of DC was essential. Just getting "out" was basic.
We scheduled only the first night (Nyack) and near the end, three nights in Williamstown Mass, very close to North Adams and Mass MoCA. The rest of the time we winged it.

The art we saw was pretty overwhelming and mind boggling. Dia Beacon was off the charts in scale and in the scope of art in those humongous spaces. The Joseph Beuys sound room with huge rolls and stacks of felt was the highlight for my sound sensitive musician husband. He understood it immediately and hung out in there. My highlights were the extensive survey of John Chamberlain's steel sculptures - they looked like colorful abstract expressionist paintings come to life in 3D. There were installations by Robert Morris, Robert Smithson, and Louise Bourgeois, and many others. The place feels like a small city with skyscrapers - the space around and above me was almost too much. 

From Dia: Beacon we headed north to Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Our main goal was to see the work of Anselm Kiefer, my favorite living artist. I was rewarded with three enormous rooms of his work,  including The Women of the Revolution, created in 1992, comprised of more than twenty lead beds with photographs and wall text.  An unbelievable array of installation work by Nick Cave was the headliner when we were there, and I was awed by the work. One question he asked was "Are there Black people in heaven?" James Turrell's work took us to another world of ethereal light and space. We hung out there for a while in heaven. So many gourmet meals .... I was nourished with as much art as I could handle. Below are some random shots from Mass MoCA and Hudson NY.

Last but in no way least is THE ONE HOUSE PROJECT that I am involved in. The opening is Friday November 3 from 6-8:30 pm, and there are 3 more events scheduled. So far there are 223 artists who have created "ancestor panels," each one giving image and voice to an ancestor (or themselves) who has come to the United States from another country. The spread of countries and situations that brought the people here is pretty awesome, as is the variety and beauty of the individual works. You can see them here.  All are now installed, creating the One House structure in Touchstone Gallery here in DC. I will be leading a workshop on November 18 in which you can create your own panel to take home. Limited to 20. To sign up contact Ksenia Grishkova at 202-347-2787 or

Touchstone is located at 901 New York Ave NW Washington DC 20001

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New Beginnings

By far the biggest change in my life this year has been the birth of our grandchild, Lowe Zadie Banner, who arrived on the morning of August 30. The epitome of a new beginning is the birth of a new baby! Being with her is miraculous. Actually having a child who then grows up and has a child - THAT is miraculous. Holding or looking at Lowe melts my heart, and opens me more to what it means to be part of our human family. Here are a few photos taken her first month of life. Grandma Marilyn and Grandpa Carl are ecstatic. Gabe and Michelle are loving and attentive parents, and deeply happy. Lots of love here.

And another new beginning - my new website is up and running! Yay!! It is redesigned with curated galleries and a much clearer format. So nice to look at! Voyages and Evidence, the first two galleries, focus on my work with sand and shells. Other galleries, Horizons, Abundant Earth, and two Archive galleries, show off my favorite works from the year 2000 onward. Let me know what you think.

I have also been working on a small works shop for the site. Watch for the opening announcement. And if you are pining to see some older work you can't find on the new site, you can search the deeper archives by clicking on the "about" page where you will find a link to the old one.

The Encaustic Conference in Provincetown was a winner.

I love Cape Cod! Probably 225 - 250 people attended the conference this year. Some highlights for me: 10 minute morning sessions of watching sunlight dance on the water, dynamic high energy contentful talks by Michael David, Joanne Mattera, Patricia Miranda, and Sharon Louden, an awesome demonstration by Laura Moriarty, and lots of time to hang out with my good friend and wonderful artist Debra Claffey. I had a painting in the juried show Sense of Place at Castle Hill "When Looking Down Becomes Up." The work in all the related shows was impressive - and some of it was deeply moving and inspiring. The founder, Joanne Mattera, decided years ago to create a supportive community of artists using wax in their work and has continuallyinsisted on "raising the bar." I took a post conference workshop with the phenomenal human being Sharon Louden. I need to get myself up there every summer!

From Patricia Miranda's talk.

From Patricia Miranda's talk.

11th International Encaustic Conference in Provincetown


I am getting excited about attending this year's encaustic conference. The conferences, conceived and produced by Joanne Mattera from 2007 through last year, are now a part of Castle Hill's programming. They have been held in Provincetown since 2009. In fact, the view of the ocean from outside the conference inspired my very first seascapes. Strips of different colors and values of blue and brown hovered in the light. I was mesmerized, and love returning to that spot. This conference begins Friday June 2 and goes through June 4, with pre and post conference workshops. Lots of great art, demonstrations, talk, and networking.

                               P'town 25     Encaustic on Wood     16"x16"