Sunday, October 20, 2013

Where did she go?

Where did she go, or more like where have I been? Right here at home, working my job and doing as best I can to deal with stuff. I have had a long hiatus from the studio. A lot of stuff has been in my way, but I am looking forward to getting back to work as the fall season winds up and winter sets in.

My home and personal life are too complicated when layered on top of my full time work as a photo stylist to allow much artwork. Actually I have channeled my creative energies elsewhere for awhile; I decided to re-learn how to play guitar (!- yeah that looks like something out of left field unless you know that I used to play as a teen). I found that I could practice music in the limited chunks of time that I get. When it comes to the wax studio, my little time would not be enough to melt my fondue pot full of medium let alone actually work on art.

But I have always known that what I am will not change. I have had other enforced absences from the studio over the years, but it's all going to work out. I always go back into it stronger. I could no more avoid my own reflection in the mirror than avoid returning to painting.

I have been watching the sky carefully and taking lots of photos (often while driving- yeah, that is me with my little Lumix pointing through the window) for inspiration. I have been inspired by the sky for, well, forever. It was the primary subject of my early work after grad school and has continued to inspire long into my adventures in encaustic. The fluid and layered nature of the atmosphere is an easy translation into the fluid, layered nature of encaustic painting. The added interest in science based imagery and ideas is also a good fit to the sky/water/land thing.

I have recently found some interesting paint from the decorative arts world that works well with wax and I am eager to try it out with encaustic layering. Modern encaustic painting is still evolving and developing, so lets see what we can do with it with the new paints, mediums and techniques along with the traditional ones.

Here is my teaser- (taken with my phone):




Sunday, January 27, 2013



This was the sky shortly before dark on the beach in Conneaut, Ohio recently. The jet contrails are unavoidable so I simply embrace them as some kind of emblematic writing or markings. As a painter I make a lot of these kind of marks on my paintings. They serve many purposes both in terms of the content of the art and as formal art elements. I use a lot of science and technology based ideas and imagery overlayed on top of beautiful color fields. I guess you have to look no further than this to figure out where I draw some of my inspiration from!

I always look at the sky- I snap photos from my phone, just to look at them. They are not art, but I have long been inspired by the sky. The sky is the one great eternal thing we all have in common- just look up and there it is- as much mine, yours or anyone's. The clouds in sunset or the dark sky at night both move me, and even during the long periods that I am not actively painting, this looking informs me and keeps the art-fires burning inside.

My hectic life keeps me out of the painting studio for long periods, but I always go back to it refreshed and ready to make new art. That time will be soon; here in the dead of winter I will fire up my encaustic tools, torches, hotpots and hotplates in my unheated attic studio. You'd be amazed at how the tools, hotpots, lights and my space heater can make it pretty tolerable temperature wise. A few more weeks and I will be back in the studio. I have some obligations over these next few weekends, but I am putting in my order to Swan's for wax today!

Here's another recent shot I posted on Instagram:

I usually find myself in parking lots around sunset- the nature of my crazy job sends me out shopping quite a lot, so if I see the evening sun at all in the cold months it is from some parking lot. This stuff keeps me going, creatively.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Art show redux

Primary Event  Series, #1, ©Tina Elkins

Perseus and Andromeda Series, ©Tina Elkins, 4 of 28 panels. From a series of 6" square panels hung in grid form. Originally there were 25 of these hung together in a 5 x 5 grid, but they are now being displayed in different arrangements.


It's been a while, but here is a couple of shots of my show that is hanging at the Creative Studio Gallery at American Greetings (home of my day job). Admittedly this show is a re-hanging of my show last year at River Arts Gallery, with a couple of small additions to make up for some sold items.  I had a wonderful opportunity to put a decent professional camera on them in the photography studio that I work in, so maybe I will post a couple of others since they look so good.

I paint in short bursts, not continually like any reasonable, dedicated artist would. This is not how I want to work, but it is what I can manage given the nature of my full time career and the demands of family life. I am naturally and very deeply driven to make things, and when I cannot devote the time needed to make art I will fill in by making other stuff just to keep my sanity. (I have lots of little side interests to keep my hands and mind busy.) When I can clear the time, and I am talking maybe a half day or two on a given weekend, I will hit the painting studio, but I have to know that I can work like that for at least several weeks in a row to make it count.

This has been a bad year for art making. I have had endless problems dealing with some things at home- all big time suckers. Sadly, this is not going to let up soon. We have had family illnesses, storm damage and ongoing issues about our house on top of my usual insaniac work schedule. I have managed to make only 3 small new pieces all year- this is very unusual for me to not work at all for so long. I am looking to this winter as a more productive period, and am planning on a new body of work. I have at least 6 larger (24") panels ready to start and several small ones ready to be prepped for painting, so now all I need is time. And time is something I cannot buy for love or money. I am waiting for the right opportunity, and I think I might get it over the holidays. So look for some new work early in 2013!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I am almost done photographing my new body of work and will post it ASAP. Work goes off to the gallery tomorrow so I will post the rest of the pieces as soon as I get all of the photography done. It's kind of lame for someone who works in a professional photo studio to shoot all of their stuff with natural daylight, but that is how I do it. Sometimes it gets shot properly, but usually not. I think my shots are fair representations, though. Encaustic is truly difficult to photograph- the shine off of the wax is only part of the problem; the differing surface depths, texture, color balance, and degrees of translucence are all a big pain to deal with. Ultimately the best way to experience encaustic is to see it in person, so for any one local to Cleveland please visit River Arts Gallery in Rocky River! Opening this Saturday Oct. 22 from 3-7 and on view through Dec. 4th.

Saturday, October 8, 2011



2 of my new pieces that are heading to the River Arts show in 2 weeks. Each of the panels are 20"x20", so the diptych is a little out of scale compared to the other image.
the diptych is Primary Event #3 and the other one is #5. The Primary Event series is not that different from the Event Studies, but the imagery is more integrated into the layering.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Work!



http://www.wix.com/telkins/tina-elkins--available-works#!works-2011

New work loaded onto the website listed above. I will post a couple of images here too! These are heading to my mid-October show at River gallery. They are titled "Primary Event" as the series name. Check the website for more images. More to come in the next several weeks!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

New show in October

I am busy making new work for an upcoming show at the River Gallery in Rocky River Ohio. I am half of a 2 person show opening Oct. 15 and running through Dec. 4:

River Gallery
Ara Hamamjian owner
Mark Yasenchack gallery manager
19046 Old Detroit Rd., Rocky River OH 44116
Some of the work will remain in the gallery through the holiday season as well. Look for all new work including a grid of 25 small panels- that one will be fun!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I'm back! OK, I never went away. I've been busy doing the things we all do, but had an incredible opportunity this summer to make art for a terrific client. I am pleased to say that 3 of my existing pieces and 4 new ones have been sold to Hahn, Loeser, Parks law firm. The first 3 will be installed in the Cleveland office (the Water and Sky diptych and Event History 2) and the newly created ATLAS Event series 1-4 has just today gone off to the Akron offices of HLP. Attached is a "grid" layout view of the ATLAS Event series. They have been beautifully framed in natural maple "floater" frames. I have a lot of great company at HLP, who has a commitment to collecting significant art of both national and local/regional artists as well. I offer my gratitude to retired firm partner and art curator Richard Zellner for selecting my work for the collection. I know they have a terrific home and will be well cared for. I did not have the new ATLAS pieces very long and would have liked to have lived with them for awhile longer, but they dwell now among other serious work with a science theme. Thank you HLP and thank you Richard- I am very flattered.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


one more!

New work at last!







At long last! Here is the beginning of a new series of works called Array. Within the series are a couple of sub-series, most notably one I am calling Slipping and Shifting. This one was inspired by, of all things, some vintage scientific graph papers generously gifted to me. I found that folded into squares that they made fascinating repeats. These papers are giving a subtle structure of grids and diagonals that I am playing off of. These are very process intensive- lots and lots of prep before the wax ever hits the surface.