When is a Workshop…Well Not a Workshop? Part 3


I would like to share work of all the artists I met, and I might over the next year. But there is one more for now—Katalin Ehling. I was particularly in awe of this artist whose work I saw daily as I entered the room. Katalin was using hand stitching on organza as her line and applying to her paintings which told incredible personal stories of home and place.

For about 40 years she worked in batik and has also done encaustic monoprints. The hand stitching she produced was so fine I thought she had used a machine, but this was a skill she learned from her mother. You can visit her website at: http://www.katalinehling.com/




“Along the Path,” 20” x 30” x 3”, Mixed Media Collage on deep wood panel with found object (piano striker), $1200


It’s another hot day as I make my way from the camper to the beach. All along the path are yellow flowers growing low to the ground on both sides. When I come to the top of the dune, I see a single, unoccupied beach chair.

It’s waiting like an invitation.

Using Everyday Objects in Art

foil insulation used to make markings
foil insulation used to make markings

Sometimes we put off producing art for silly reasons: we don’t have the right color paint; we need a special brush or tool; we don’t have enough time. I can’t conquer the time problem, but I can suggest that if you don’t have the right tool, you can look at everyday objects—whether for inspiration or application—even if you are not a mixed media painter.

Making It Through, detail of
Making It Through, detail of “standing stone,” 65″ x 6″ x6″

Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns drew inspiration from the everyday objects and images from popular culture. Robert Rauschenberg’s “Combines” used expressive brushstrokes, layering, and found objects. If we take their lessons, we look for art in everything around us. So even if you paint in oils ask yourself how you can make more personal markings. Could it be a hairbrush or a piece of plastic packaging?

More and more my “tools” are the items most people throw away. And yes, I find a lot of them on the ground. This past week I came across a small piece of foil insulation that we had used in the attic. Used with paint, it became the perfect stamp for a new piece.