Art for Life Podcast Archive

Episode #1 Art and Artichokes

Jan. 7, 2020

The Art for Life Podcast from Gallery’s Choice is a weekly program designed to inspire, educate and support the creative endeavors of others. Artist Rose Jarecki hosts and shares behind the scenes look at her life as an artist, insight into the work of a creative, and shares tips and stories from her 16 years in business. The Art for Life podcast series features: interviews with today’s contemporary artists and art students; tutorials, tips and techniques; product reviews; and resources for those interested in art as a vocation or pass time. The show explores artists’ techniques across a wide variety of media including drawing, painting, jewelry and all things art glass, and provides insight into living well as it serves to inspire and motivate the artist within all of us.

Host Lead in:

  • This is the Art for Life Podcast by Gallery’s Choice, and I am your host, Rose Jarecki.
  • Gallery’s Choice’s Art for Life Podcast series. Meant to explore the creative side of life by sharing tips techniques, inspirations and recipes with the goal of living well. 
  • Whether you are an artist, an artist wanna be, a regular Jane or Joe Doe, with some time to kill, I promise there is something in here for all of you.
  • We will talk about our business and how to be a great career creative
  • We will get you started if you never, or you never knew you could
  • And we will share anything we discover on the topics of being healthy, happy and wise.

Episode 1: Art and Artichokes

  • In this episode we will inspire you as we share our story of how one passion of art turned into another for farming.
  • Share with you why we decided to launch a gallery podcast show.
  • Provide some fun foodie antidotes about artichokes, and why you should love them!

Lead in:

An artist who starves is not alive and an artichoke without “art” is “I choke.”

(Kinda like this joke!) Being able to pull it all together is the creative struggle.

Sponsor – Gallery’s Choice

Welcome to Episode 1: Art and Artichokes

Why an Art for Life Podcast?:

  • Wanting to be a creative.
  • Wanting to pursue our art business and to continue to serve the community at large lead us to the realization that in order to find our voice we need to embrace technology.
  • The lines of communication have been multiplied and so has the noise. To be heard above the rest, it is our goal to develop an online and multi-media event-based community.
  • To connect with and provide for our community through podcasts, video, blogs and other live content events

How we got here to Art and Artichokes?:

  • While my husband and I were going crazy … about our crazy and demanding lives as artists entrepreneurs, we needed to take a moment to take care of ourselves
  • Focusing on eating healthy and making better food choices would you believe it so that we could feel better and we could keep up the high energy levels that we need for our life at Gallery’s Choice.
  • Weekly food shopping became the focus, and we turned our attention to the myriad of foods, fruits and vegetables available at our local supermarket that we had never tried
  • This whole sustainable concept of eating food that was grown at home or near home was intriguing, 
  • About this time in our business we were struggling to justify our engagement as artists at our local farmers market.  This was once a lucrative venture and a way of advertising our business (engaging in our community) had pretty much come to a crawl.
  • At the same time our young people – the interns and students- were talking about engaging in a “new thing” called Culinary Arts.
  • And I began to see how the artistry of food could communicate just as much as a painting, as artwork, and how to answer the question, “How do we serve our community with our business while providing sustenance for ourselves?”
  • And this was so much more a holistic issue.
  • It began to make senses.
  • I remember a trip to California on business in a former life and I remember one particular meal (that just blew me away!) One out of how many meals I’ve eaten in the many years I’ve been alive?
  • It was three fish prepared to perfection. The flavors the textures and the artistry of the presentation.  This chef was a true artist.
  • It has been years, people, but I still remember that one meal.
  • Bill and I started out by personally just trying one new vegetable a week, while we already thought of ourselves as pretty healthy eaters, but we were in a rut. So we took our dining experience to the next level.
  • Each week we would bring home a vegetable or fruit that we were unfamiliar with.  We then researched it, learning about it’s health benefits and how it was grown, and how to prepare it.
  • That week we’d try it out. One or two recipes that we researched and see that we liked.
  • My experience was: Wow (Amazing) New flavors, new favorites, eating better and then, not too long after: Feeling better!

The “Ah Ha!” Moment!

  • Living well is a creative experience.
  • It is about discovery.
  • Playful adventure.
  • And that was the beginning of a new idea:
  • An idea to embrace culinary arts by bringing the edible flowers we grow locally on our micro farm and re-engage our farmers marketing strategy.
  • It started with nasturtiums, squash blossoms (great with cream cheese, ya’ll) calendula, roses and lavender.
  • I love them all.
  • Although I have to admit, some of the market customers didn’t quite get it. But that’s OK they weren’t on our new veggie of the week program with us either, so that’s alright.
  • As we worked in our field, engaging and learning more about those valuable edible plants, one plant endeared itself to our hearts so strongly we had to pursue it further.
  • GC Lavender was born of a culinary lavender experience involving a Lavender Lemon Shortbread recipe and a (tasty and versatile) simple syrup elixir.
  • If I knew how to untangle the creative force driving us
    • To be an artist studio
    • A public art center
    • A gallery
    •  And a culinary artist
  • I’d try so that you could understand it better.
  • But then again – why bother. The goal is the same: Provide joy through the care and nurturing of mind, body, and soul.
  • Embracing life, living well, experiencing joy and sharing these discoveries with others through classes, artwork, and an occasional recipe, of course…
  • Well, that’s it.

Now let’s eat!

  • OK so now a show of hands: How many of you like Artichokes?
  • Great!
  • Me not so much – at least not until this week.
  • Next question.  So how many of you knew that an artichoke is an edible flower? No way! Right?
  • See how all this fits together?  It’s one big art flow. So why wouldn’t I like artichokes?
  • These edible flower pods are relatives of the thistle. Wait a minute, I pulled some of those from my garden this year.
  • And they are packed with good things for you like folate, Vitamin C, E and K, potassium, magnesium and fiber. This plant also packs an antioxidant punch and is s source of plant-based protein.
  • What’s not to like, right?
  • To be clear, my experience with artichokes up to this point was out of a jar. Some salty and a little slimy in texture. Guess I should have checked the Best Used By Date on the jar.
  • But despite my earlier experiences, I dedicate this Podcast to giving this floral pod another try.  My favorite recipes for the week – bonus, you get two – are: Roasted Fresh Artichokes and Artichoke Spinach Dip.
  • You can find more about this online at GallerysChoice.com
  • Check out our blog for recipes and show notes.
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast and follow us on social media
  • Hope you enjoyed this episode and hope you will enjoy some artichokes this week. Send me a letter – let me know how that goes. We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks again – take care and remember to live well this week!

Royalty free music and sounds in this podcast were sourced from the YouTube Audio Library
with special shout out to the artists for this episode’s featured tracks:

“You’re There”

“Stacy and George”

By

The Mini Vandals

Episode #2 Beeswax and Bok Choy

Jan. 14, 2020

Episode #2-Beeswax and Bok Choy

The Art for Life Podcast from Gallery’s Choice is a weekly program designed to inspire, educate and support the creative endeavors of others. Artist Rose Jarecki hosts and shares behind the scenes look at her life as an artist, insight into the work of a creative, and shares tips and stories from her 16 years in business. The Art for Life podcast series features: interviews with today’s contemporary artists and art students; tutorials, tips and techniques; product reviews; and resources for those interested in art as a vocation or pass time. The show explores artists’ techniques across a wide variety of media including drawing, painting, jewelry and all things art glass, and provides insight into living well as it serves to inspire and motivate the artist within all of us.

Host Lead in:

Are you looking for a way to artistically display some mementos from last summer’s vacation?  How about a painting collage? Or think scrap book page on a wall. Or maybe you are tired of traditional oil painting and want to go beyond Bob Ross and try something a little different this time, abstract maybe, impressionism or impasto, direct to canvas. If you’ve never tried painting with wax than listen this week’s episode is for you. We are here to take you in a new dimension.

If I say the word “encaustic” chances are 90% of you won’t know what I am talking about.  Mention cold wax, and I may lose even more of you.  Even if you are familiar with these art terms – would be able to describe the difference between them?  Probably not.

Now if I say “oil painting” – most all of you will give me a nod of understanding. We are familiar with the masters’ work in oils and have seen contemporary paintings in this medium.

Today we will explore the difference between hot and cold wax painting and discuss why you might enjoy exploring one vs. the other.  In addition, I’ll share my personal experiences learning about the exciting ways of incorporating bees wax with oil and other materials to take creativity to a new level. And if you’ve never tried it – painting with wax can be a bit intimidating.  This episode is for you!  We can demystify this amazing media and get you going…

Episode 2: Beeswax and Bok Choy

Lead in:

Welcome back to this week’s episode of the Art for Life Podcast.

This week we are featuring Beeswax and Bok Choy.

  • In this episode we will explain the difference between hot and cold wax paintings
  • We will discuss how to use wax with your favorite other painting materials
  • And introduce you to some simple crafty projects you’ll be eager to try
  • We will give you some practical tips how to choose your wax medium  
  • And how to get started on your own wax medium projects

Beeswax Painting History

I am going to start out by giving you a somewhat of a history lesson the basics of beeswax painting.

  • For those of you who are new to wax-based painting, you can rest easy – as it has been around for thousands of years. 
  • The encaustic painting process is an ancient art form, actually.  It was used in the tombs in Egypt dating from 900 BC. where wax was used to paint portraits of mummies.  These so-called Fayum portraits are a testament to the durability of these art pieces as they exist to this day their unique imagery, the faces the colors, luminous and still well-preserved.
  • Encaustic is a term derived from Greek meaning “burning in” and refers to the process of using heat to fuse in each layer of wax and pigment as the painting is being created.
  • Now cold wax, as we know it today, purely defined as not using heat to fuse the painting layer by layer, and it is a more recent adjunct.  It’s only about 250 or 300 years old or so years old.
  •  This form of painting with wax in a cold mixture of solvent and oil is documented in the work of relatively contemporary abstract artist by the name of Arthur Dove.  He created some abstract paintings back in the 1930’s.   He is also known as the father of American Abstract painting, and so he shed new light on working with wax, and his popularity fueled interest in cold wax formulation. 
  • Initially this (cold wax medium) was produced as a way to protect and restore paintings. The first formulation of a cold wax medium, as we know it, was Dorland’s Wax Medium. And he made that, Frank Dorland, in 1947.  This paved the way for newer formulations of a cold wax as artists began to use it more widely, more widely as a medium to mix in with their paint, not just as part of the restoration process.
  • The benefit of the cold wax medium for oil paints was discovered in decreasing of the “drying time,” or what was thought to be the “drying time”, and overall increased body of the mixture, which stretched pigment and added texture.
  • One note about this “drying time” thing:  In the world of oil painting and wax, nothing really dries.  The solvents in the mixtures that evaporate, and the oil hardens or “cures”, just like a traditional oil painting, over time.

Wax Medium Properties

  • In addition to the benefit of this decreased drying time or the ability of an artist to go back and be able to work into it quicker, unrefined bees wax is a natural and renewable resource
  • It has a melting point of around 150 degrees F (higher than paraffin 115 – 145), it remains stable in most environments.  This kind of answers the question that most people ask about wax paintings, it’s like: “Well, but isn’t it gonna melt on my wall?” So, the answer is: “No. But if it gets over 150 degrees where you are staying, you probably have got other problems than the painting melting.”
  • Beeswax remains tough, yet flexible over time
  • And it adheres well to a lot of different sub-straights.  Not canvas, it doesn’t like to flex that much but paper, wood, and other things.  It really has a gripping ability.
  • It’s water resistant.
  • And also, it is a natural preservative.
  • Bees wax can be used as an oil painting additive, or as a medium for carrying pigment itself, in encaustic (hot) or cold wax techniques
  • It is translucent (it lets light through) and therefore allows for a sense of depth through layering and it is thick enough to hold and encapsulate other artistic elements.
  • For encaustic base, Bees wax is mixed with Damar Resin (not Varnish). This base can then incorporate pigments to create encaustic paints.
  • For cold wax, bees wax is mixed with some sort of solvent (either odorless mineral spirits, turpentine, or pure d-limonene – a natural citrus solvent) and may also contain small amounts of linseed or stand oil, damar resin, or other waxes. 
  • As I was doing my research I noticed that there were many recipes for cold wax medium, as there are artists working in the medium; and each tweaking, adding and experimenting a little bit  to get the preferred consistency that they want for their use in their particular work.
  • Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to do a deep dive in any one of these mediums here, just as time will not allow. But stay tuned as these topics will be topics of future episodes and I will dedicate time to both encaustic painting and to cold wax painting in the future so, be sure to subscribe to this podcast.  We are now happily available on iTunes and Google Play, and soon to be on Spotify.

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I reach for our own GC Lavender Body Butter.   It’s soothing and healing.

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As with all our lavender goodies, we grow our own lavender here on our farm in north central Illinois, and we make our own products.  GC Lavender Body Butter is great for knuckles, heels, elbows and knees.  I’ve also heard its great for runners to avoid chafing in those tender areas.

Pick up a tin at our Downers Grove Gallery or online at GC Lavender DOT COM.  GC Lavender – part of the GC family of products.

Encaustic vs. Cold Wax Comparison

  • SO, what is the difference between painting cold or hot (encaustic) using bees wax?
  • Well, encaustic means, as I said before, a burning in, and refers to the part of the technique which requires the use of heat (either by torch or heat gun) to liquify each layer enabling it to physically fuse to the other layers below it.  As this procedure is performed, the art changes.  This added an element of happy accident mystery to the work may be welcome or not welcome.  Sometimes the heat, from my perspective, allows pigment to escape an area and spread (maybe where I didn’t want it to go!).  This kind of work (and not unlike some of my silk paintings) demands the artist be open to Wabi-Sabi theory, and to be ok with not controlling everything.  You have got to be ok with not controlling everything! Ok, so, think of yourself.  If you are a Type A personality, you  may want to go a different direction.
  • But, at the same time, the loss of control is very expressive and very freeing and can appeal to artists wanting to channel emotions and color, rather than directing it.
  • The work surface in an encaustic hot wax surface, can be buffed to a high shine (almost glass-like) and it can hold texture. So it can go from flat to sculptural in depth.
  • With encaustics, the rich translucent medium allows for embedding and incorporation of other media: encapsulation of pictures, organic materials and mementos. This allows the artists to creatively explore multi-media imagery, such as popular collage techniques.  When we talk about encaustic painting and you look through galleries and see some of the beautiful sculptural work that people have produces, it’s awesome. You know, painting over wood blocks, making three-dimensional pieces that are stand-alone sculptures – in their own right. Or cutting back and incusing through layers to reveal something underneath that is a solid piece. And just something that is just the way the colors play using this medium. It’s very fascinating.
  • Initial set up for encaustics can be a bit daunting, however.  Our local art supply store has a few nice starter kit options, but with the price points between $550 to $650 at the time of this recording, I think that might be a bit off-putting to invest in if you aren’t already familiar with the medium.  And while there are ways to build your own studio set up less expensively, it can be frustrating if you aren’t familiar with how this process works.  So, my sage advice – TAKE A CLASS AND THEN DECIDE!!!! And we, at Gallery’s Choice, can get you started!  Once you have fallen in love with the medium, you can invest with confidence. And you’ll know how far you want to go with it.

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<Gallery’s Choice Wax Painting Class>

Hey kids, Mr. Bill here.  If you like what you’re hearing and want to give it a try, it’s time to jump into the game.  At Gallery’s Choice in Downers Grove, Illinois, you can take this class and many others.  Come join us in suburban Chicago and enjoy small class sizes in our gallery!

For best success, we suggest you start with a basic oil painting class, followed by the encaustic or cold wax – or both!  The start with oils gives you the base information while painting through various projects with pallet knife and brushes – both of which you’ll need for a successful start to painting with wax.

Contact us to find a weekday, evening or Saturday class that works best for you.  To double the fun, bring a friend or two!

Find more info online at GallerysChoice.com, send an email to ART @ GallerysChoice.com, or go old school with a call to 630-969-5660.

Gallery’s Choice is part of the GC family of products and services.

  • Now, cold wax is a different experience.  It is a painting medium at it’s most basic, it can simply be added to traditional and familiar oil paint to allow for richly applied impasto or painterly brush work where pallet knife or brush strokes stand out in relief. This is what first attracted me to this cold wax medium.
  • Cold wax surfaces have a unique velvety finish.  So it’s matte. And this matte surface is in contrast to the more glossy natural oil paint alone or the high gloss of the encaustic hot wax techniques. I find that soft, matte finish to be very soothing – it has mood to it.
  • If there is one advantage to cold wax, that I see as a teaching professional as well as an artist, is in its accessibility over encaustic work.  No heating needed, no fumes to worry about (unless you are creating your own cold wax medium, which we will talk about in another episode). 
  • But a beginners’ cold wax studio leverages a lot of existing tools and materials, and for the most part and with some inexpensive additions and set up, you are off and running! 
  • I will provide a Cold Wax materials short list on our site with a link to it from this episodes’ show notes for you. A little beginner cold wax studio check list if you want to take a look and play.
  • But like encaustic, cold wax can be used to create depth that comes with use of multiple layers applied over the artwork.
  • Now, If you are looking for visuals, (and I understand that this audio show has some limitations!) check out our web site GallerysChoice.com. Or check out the show notes that are linked to this podcast, and I will have a link to some visuals so you can check out the look and judge for yourself.
  • Now I always get asked this question: How do I figure out which one to do, I mean with encaustics, playing with fire sounds might exciting…Or do I want to do the cold wax thing, cause that sounds awesome also.  Well, here’s my suggestion:
  • If you haven’t tried painting with wax and are wondering where to start, my suggestion is to find the form of painting you like the most.  Observe the art and artworks of other artists, go to some galleries, take a walk, do a Google search o n the internet, look at what other artists have produced in those mediums, and find what draws you to it.  This is the same advice I give to would-be painting students who walk into our gallery and are trying to figure out if they want to pursue watercolor or oils or do I start in acrylics.  Take a walk through your local art gallery or art fair and see which pieces draw you in.  Is it the vibrance of color that you’re attracted to, or something very subtle and soft that is attracting you to it.  Does the high contrast intrigue you?  Or are you always drawn to those works that are soft and matte finish?  What ever it is, you will be able to move forward with passion.  
  • What I don’t like is when people make the decision based on some other reason.  They want to take something, but its, you know, a dollar more expensive.  Or they perceive that it’s harder to achieve so they so not pursue that medium.  That is the wrong reason.  If you have passion for something you’re going to better at it, so even if the medium is a little harder to master in the beginning, if you truly are drawn to it and have passion for that medium, that is the one you should pursue.
  • So, this part is done. And again, if Gallery’s Choice, or if I, can help you get started in either cold wax or encaustic painting, we would love to.  Check out our website at GallerysChoice.com and check out and subscribe please to this Art for Life Podcast.

Are You Hungry?

  • I don’t know about you, but painting all day in my studio generates quite an appetite, and as I don’t want to wind up being the subject of one of those Fayum mummy portraits, I think it’s time to fuel the stove…
  • This week in my quest to increase what I will call “food literacy” among the masses – to help you all live better and healthier, we are going to explore Bok Choy! 
  • At the time of this writing, Bok Choy, a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, ranks as one of the world’s healthiest foods (at least on one health-oriented website) due in part to phenols and other phytonutrients in this vegetable known to have anti-cancer-causing benefits to the body.  Just like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts this plant has a mighty list of good for you nutrients like Vitamin K, A, C along with Omega-3s.  And it’s antioxidant richness has made it a star player.
  • And maybe best of all – it’s a cabbage that doesn’t just taste like a cabbage.  You know what I mean, right?  And I like cabbage, but sometimes – ya know – that broccoli just is, well – overwhelming.
  • Bok Choy, and more specifically today we are going to be using Baby Bok Choy, it is so sweet and crunchy that is can easily be incorporated to soups and salads for its crisp, but not too stringy texture and soft sweet flavor. 
  • Today we are going to feature this vegetable in a super simple knock-you-socks off stir-fry, with garlic and SURPRISE: GCLavender Candied Ginger!

Oh Baby! Bok Choy Stir Fry

  • So here we go. So easy – and so quick: a vegetarian side dish to accompany any week-night fare.
  • Take 10 oz or so of Baby bok choy or regular bok choy, (if you can’t find the Baby Bok Choy, don’t worry about it) if the smaller ones aren’t available.  Separate the stalks and wash the leaves well.  Dry them and chop into 1-inch diagonal pieces.  Separate the leafy parts from the stemmy parts, as the secret to making this to a great texture is to put these in at different times so you do not over-cook the tender thin leafy parts while you are trying to get the stems tender. (shout out for this helpful tip from Chef John’s Garlic Bok Choy recipe on All Recipes) He did that in his dish and I thought, What a great idea, why didn’t I think of it!
  • Start by easing the garlic and red pepper into the olive oil and getting fragrant before adding ginger and stems of bok choy. (Stems only, right.) Sauté this for about 5 minutes covered until the bok choy is getting translucent on the edges. Then add the broth and leafy portions, with the soy sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. 
  • Now I like to use a no soy lower sodium version of “soy sauce” whenever I can, so go ahead and use your favorite soy sauce substitute.
  • And yes, this recipe uses GC Lavender Candied Ginger as one component in it’s flavor base!  Don’t worry, if you don’t have any (click the link on the show notes and go get some!) you can use fresh grated ginger or even ground ginger from your spice cabinet.
  • Also, I like to add lemon juice or zest into greens to brighten flavors and reduce any bitterness.  Although in this recipe – there is no bitter – so let’s just say I love lemons!
  • The last step you are cooking this uncovered about 5 -10 minutes, until tender.
  • Serve!
  • Hope you enjoyed this weeks’ Art for Life Podcast Episode.  Please subscribe and also please check out our show notes for useful links to our web site and for other resources we compiled just for you!
  • It’s been a pleasure to serve and I hope to be with you next time!

Special thanks to:

  • Our Sponsor: Gallery’s Choice / GC Lavender
  • Our Channels: iTunes, Google Play, WordPress
  • Royalty free music and sounds in this podcast were sourced from the YouTube Audio Library
    with special shout out to the artists for this episode’s featured tracks:

“You’re There”

“Stacy and George”

By

The Mini Vandals



Episode #3 Color and Cantaloupe

v

Episode #4 Door County Special Edition

The Art for Life Podcast from Gallery’s Choice is a weekly program designed to inspire, educate and support the creative endeavors of others. Artist Rose Jarecki hosts and shares behind the scenes look at her life as an artist, insight into the work of a creative, and shares tips and stories from her 16 years in business. The Art for Life podcast series features: interviews with today’s contemporary artists and art students; tutorials, tips and techniques; product reviews; and resources for those interested in art as a vocation or pass time. The show explores artists’ techniques across a wide variety of media including drawing, painting, jewelry and all things art glass, and provides insight into living well as it serves to inspire and motivate the artist within all of us.

  • This is the Art for Life Podcast by Gallery’s Choice, and I am your host, Rose Jarecki.

Episode 4: Door County Special Edition

  • In this episode we will inspire you as we share details of our summer trip to Door County WI. 
  • In this episode, Matt Bannon and Katie Jarecki join your hosts, Rose and Bill Jarecki, as they recap an eventful and inspiring vacation.  This accounting of their travels will provide highlights of their trip and helpful resources for your summer vacation planning.  As patrons of the gallery’s in the Door County region, this episode is part of our research effort to find and support art and artist colonies in the greater Midwest.

Sponsor – Gallery’s Choice

Resources:

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Popelka Trenchard Glass

64 S 2nd Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WISCONSIN 54235 

920-743-7287

popelkaglass@popelkaglass.com

Racine, WI

Hot Shop Glass

239 Wisconsin Ave, Racine, WI 53403

(262) 833-0095

Door County, WI

Edgewood Orchard Gallery

4140 Peninsula Players Rd, Fish Creek, WI 54212

(920) 868-3579

Door County Kayak Tours- Cave PointTop of Form

Bottom of Form

6325 WI-57, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

(920) 355-2925

https://www.doorcountykayaktours.com/kayak-tours/cave-point-county-park/

Cave Point County Park

5360 Schauer Rd, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235

Go Guide and Dining Guide 

Arts Guide

Edible Door

https://www.doorcounty.com/business-directory/edible-door/

Good Eggs

9820 Brookside Ln, Ephraim, WI 54211

http://www.goodeggsdoorcounty.com/

Door County Pulse Podcast

June 14, 2019

https:/doorcountypulse.com

Not Licked Yet

4054 Main St, Fish Creek, WI 54212

(920) 868-2617

https://www.Notlickedyet.com

Wilsons Restaurant

9990 Water St S, Ephraim, WI 54211

(920) 854-2041

Peninsula State Park

9462 Shore Rd, Fish Creek, WI 54212

(920) 868-3258

https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/parks/name/peninsula/

PKJ Designs

10000 Pioneer Lane
PO Box 337
Ephraim, WI 54211

920-854-9229

Artists:

Pamela Jeffcoat – Jewelry

Michael Beaster – Wood working

Betty Williams Carbol – Heart Pins

Marcia Nichols – Painting

Richard Einerson – Wood Bowls

Blue Dolphin House

10320 N Water St, Ephraim, WI 54211

(920) 854-4113

www.bluedolphinhouse.com

George Burr Gallery

10325 Highway 42
Ephraim, WI

920-854-7877

Geoffrey Lardiere

9868 Hidden Spring Rd., Ephraim, WI

(920) 854-1885

http://www.lardiere.com

Plum Bottom Gallery

4999 Plum Bottom Rd, Egg Harbor, WI 54209

(920) 743-2819

AND

Plum Bottom Gallery – Downtown:

7813 State Hwy 42
Egg Harbor, WI 54209

(920) 743-2819

https://www.plumbottomgallery.com

Landmark Resort

http://www.thelandmarkresort.com

Carrington Restaurant

Shipwrecked

Trolly Tours

Coyote Roadhouse

Also Check out:

Wisconsin Cheese Masters.com

Hwy 42, just South of Egg harbor, WI

Thank you for listening.

  • You can find more about this online at GallerysChoice.com
  • Check out our blog for recipes and show notes.
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to this podcast and follow us on social media
  • Hope you enjoyed this episode and hope you find yourself in Door County this summer. Let us know how you enjoy Door County! We’d love to hear from you.

Thanks again – take care and remember to live well this week!

Royalty free music and sounds in this podcast were sourced from the YouTube Audio Library
with special shout out to the artists for this episode’s featured tracks:

“You’re There”

“Stacy and George”

By

The Mini Vandals

Episode #5 Enamel and Escarole

Episode 5: Enamel and Escarole

Have you ever marveled at the depth and color of enamel jewelry?  Or has your attention been caught from across the room by a piece of wall art, and when you move in to take a closer look, were you surprised to see the painting was actually done in glass?

This episode will explain a form of art near and dear to my heart – fired vitreous enamels

If you think playing with fire is your idea of fun, this episode is for you! 

Welcome to Episode #5 of the Art for Life Podcast by Gallery’s Choice

  • In today’s podcast, we will explore the many facets of glass enameling.
  • You will understand what enamels are and are not, and you will come to know the different techniques that can be used by artists when working with glass enamels.
  • We will discuss the best way to get started with enameling, and outline the basic process and basic tools required

To understand enameling, we must first understand glass. 

Glass is a non-crystalline, usually transparent amorphous solid. (Holy heck, we threw all of you in the deep end already. “ Rose – what are you saying?”) Ok. Put another way – glass is a very interesting material in that, while it is solid (say at room temperature) it continues to move… This fact has been the topic of study and intrigue by esteemed Physicist and Nobel laureate: Philip Warren Andersen. 

Andersen, regarded as the most creative physicist in the world, has made significant  contributions to sciences, most notably to symmetry breaking in particle physics (Leading to the development of the “Standard model”) and to the philosophy of science through his writings on emergent phenomena.

And in case you are not quite up on your reading for the emergent phenomena theory:

In philosophy, systems theory, science, and art, emergence occurs when an entity is observed to have properties its parts do not have on their own. These properties or behaviors emerge only when the parts interact in a wider whole. Like the emotional reaction someone has when they see a work of art.  Or like riding a bike.  For example, smooth forward motion emerges when a bicycle and its rider interoperate, but neither part move forward on their own.

Emergence plays a central role in theories of complex systems, such as life itself. It could be said that biological life is an emergent property of chemistry, and psychological phenomena emerge from the neurobiological phenomena of living things.

Ah ha.

So as I started to say before I lost you: Andersen is a smart guy.  And even he is perplexed by the properties of glass, leaving us with one of the most profound unanswered questions in physics to this day  :

 “The deepest and most interesting unsolved problem in solid state theory is probably the theory of the nature of glass and the glass transition.”

  • Philip Warren Anderson

Philip Warren Anderson (born December 13, 1923) Indianapolis Indiana is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate. Anderson has made contributions to the theories of localization, antiferromagnetism, symmetry breaking (including a paper in 1962 discussing symmetry breaking in particle physics, leading to the development of the Standard Model around 10 years later), and high-temperature superconductivity, and to the philosophy of science through his writings on emergent phenomena. – Wikepedia

Enamel is not paint.

Vitreous enamel refers to glass powder (plus colorant) that is applied to a surface and in fired in at temperatures between 1380 to 1500 degree F. so that the material is transformed into a glass coating.

Easily confused with “enamel” paints of the day, so named only to mean “glossy surface sheen”, but not having any other characteristics of real vitreous enamel.  The confusion even becomes greater when popular brands market materials such as “Glass Enamel Paints” for decorating glass. Ugh!  Hey Martha, your paint is great for wine glasses, but will never be all in there. These paints are oil or alkyd-resin based products developed to adhere but not to be fired or become permanent to the substrate.

So getting back to enameling:

The earliest examples of enamels come from Egypt, as powders were applied and fired to pottery, stone objects and some jewelry.

Following on into the Roman period, enamel was used to decorate vessels where metal work designs featured application of enamel powder made by mixing colorless glass powder with other materials such as a metallic oxide to produce pigments. The designs were hand painted over outlines or freehanded, and the pieces carefully fired to temperatures hot enough to meld the applied powder by not so hot that it would melt the work.

Byzantine enameling of the Middle ages reflected some of the more intricate and interesting works in Europe, and one style “cloisonné” emerged.  Meaning cells of color, cloisonné enamel technique utilizes layering of transparent enamels within cells of line art design or cloisonné’s. The wires, typically made of precious metal: either gold or fine silver, produce the delicate framework for the art.  Each layer of work is fired until the height of the enamel is even with the height of the wire. With its high attention for image detail, this technique continues to capture the imagination of enamel artists to this day.

Also notable from this period were Limoges enamel work from France. Using a technique known as champlevé, impressions were incised out of the metal, leaving troughs or low spots which then served to capture enamel. This was easier and cheaper to produce, and as such was practiced widely around the world.

During this same period in 16th century France, a technique known as Grisaille was developed which used a series of ultra-fine while and dark enamels to create a painting medium where artists focused on the building of multiple hand-painted layers to create imagery with subtle shade of grey brought on by multiple firings which caused applied layers to become more and more translucent.  The result, monochromatic works with superb shading detail representing three dimensional forms. Awesome!

Now I am still aware that we are talking about visual things in an audio world, so I hope you will indulge me as I refer you back to my web site through my show notes links so I can share with you some examples of these techniques.

The good news is you do not have to be a Nobel Laureate to learn to make enamels!  We have several great classes at Gallery’s Choice in Torch-fired enamels, 3-D enameling projects, Metalsmithing for champlevé work and my favorite: our Cloisonné Intensive workshop coming up this spring.

Try our Torch-fired enamel class where we explore using a basic, inexpensive torch set up and copper base to explore and learn the process of enameling using opaque vitreous enamels.

One great enamellist wrote: I can teach you in an afternoon how to enamel, and you can spend the rest of your life discovering enamels.

  • See now, that wasn’t so bad?

Sponsor Ad – Gallery’s Choice

GC Lavender Candied Ginger (1 min ad)

Hey kids, Mr. Bill here.  We’ve been using our CANDIED GINGER in a few recipes lately, so I thought I’d share some of the known benefits of one of our favorite superfoods – GINGER! 

  • Ginger can reduce pain and inflammation, for example muscle soreness, or to ease the symptoms of a cold or the flu. 
  • Ginger helps lessen nausea, reducing discomfort from morning sickness, the flu, and nausea from medications including chemotherapy
  • It can lower your risk of certain cancers and supports cardiovascular health
  • Ginger also helps reduce gas and improves digestion

We add GINGER to many things, including stir fries and our Chamomile tea.  GC Lavender CANDIED GINGER with LAVENDER.  The great taste of this ginger/lavender mix can add just the right spice to your meals!

As with all our lavender goodies, we grow our own lavender here on our farm in north central Illinois, and we make our own products.  GC Lavender Candied Ginger is a superfood that will serve you well.

Pick up a bag at our Downers Grove Gallery or online at GC Lavender DOT COM.  GC Lavender – part of the GC family of products.

Notes – benefits listed are according to WebMD and Medical News Today and Wikipedia

So back to why we care:

  • The color experience for
    • Need help getting started in applying these topics?  Join us at Gallery’s Choice
    • If you are looking for visuals, (and I understand that this audio show has some limitations!) check out the show notes and I will have a link to some visuals so you can check out the look and judge for yourself.
    • And don’t forget our web site GallerysChoice.com for more information on painting classes in Watercolor, Oils and Acrylics.
    • Subscribe to the Art for Life Podcast!

Sponsor Ad – Gallery’s Choice

Gallery’s Choice Oil Painting Class (1 min ad)

Hey kids, Mr. Bill here.  There’s no better way to learn than to actually DO IT, so here’s your invitation to join us for an introduction to OIL PAINTNG.   At Gallery’s Choice in Downers Grove, Illinois, you can take this class and many others.  Come join us in suburban Chicago and enjoy small class sizes in our gallery!

With pallet knife and brushes in hand, you will create 4 scripted images in 4 weekly sessions, building each week on the previous to learn the basics and explore color theory.  If you have some experience, or after you’ve completed our intro course, you are free to explore any subject as we transition from teacher to coach.  We use Terpenoid Natural to avoid harmful chemistry and annoying fumes.,

Contact us to find a weekday, evening or Saturday class that works best for you.  Find more info online at GallerysChoice.com, or go old school with a call to 630-969-5660.

Gallery’s Choice is part of the GC family of products and services.

Now for the Love of Leafies:

This weeks’ recipe features: Escarole

  • An easy way to incorporate greens diet and a great way to make quick week-night dinner.
  • Escarole is rich in Vitamin A (as beta carotene), Vitamin C , K and fiber.
  • Today this featured recipe is for the: Love of Leafy Soup
  • This recipe starts out by gently heating 2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil with 4 cloves of minced garlic and 1/8 t. of red pepper (cyanne) flakes or ground,– whatever you have – and a dash of cumin for a minute or two until aromatic.  Don’t brown the garlic – it will get bitter.  Just heat and stir until you start to smell some spicy goodness!
  • Next, add 8 cups vegetable broth (preferably some you made from scratch, just for this -) Oh get real: grab your favorite brand and dump it in here – I mean, just watch to sodium.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, measure – I mean weigh out – 4 oz.- 6 oz. of Escarole and 4-6 oz. of Swiss Chard or spinach.  Yes I use a kitchen scale!!!!!!!  My goodness one of my favorite “Get it Right in the Kitchen tools”. 
  • Pat dry and trim off stems.  Chop in 1” pieces. (Cross chop so you don’t wind up with long stringy pieces!)
  • Now that your broth is boiling, add pasta (4 oz. mini farfalle) 4 oz I said not the whole box. And cook until tender – 7 -10 minutes.
  • Once the pasta is tender, add the greens and cook until wilted maybe about three more minutes.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice and serve with a dusting of fresh parmesan cheese!
  •  That’s so quick, so easy so fresh! 
  • Make sure to hop out to our blog to get the recipes we’re compiling for you.  The links are in the show notes.  Hope you enjoyed this weeks’ Art for Life Podcast Episode.  Please subscribe to our web site so you don’t miss the other useful resources we compiled just for you!
  • It’s been a pleasure to serve!  Enjoy!

Royalty free music and sounds in this podcast were sourced from the YouTube Audio Library
with special shout out to the artists for this episode’s featured tracks:

“You’re There”

“Stacy and George”

By

The Mini Vandals

Episode #6

Episode #7

Episode #8

Episode #8 – Thoughts for Life: Living with the Fear of Covid-19

Where were you during the Covid-19 crisis?  No doubt, they will be asking that, after it is over.  Are you nervous about the future? Feeling isolated, and maybe a little fearful?

If you are, then you need to listen to this episode of the Art for Life Podcast. 

….

In this episode, we share an intimate look at the life of an artist and small business owner.  We share resources to relieve anxiety and show you an example of how forward thinking works to put fear in its place.  This episode is personal, insightful and as real as anything could be.

Sit back and relax and listen,

We are glad you are with us! 

Today is March 20th 2020

My name is Rose Jarecki. 

I am the host of the art for life podcast.

Today’s podcast is going to be a little different than most – as different as the situation that we all find ourselves in at this moment in time due to an invisible foe.

As we experience three weeks of a closed business and isolation in my home – wondering how the next several weeks are going to play out.  It’s an ever-present reminder that life has a way of throwing you things in the way of your best laid plans.

So why am I talking about Art at a time like this?

Well, for one thing, Art is my Life.  It’s how I make my living. It’s a chosen life. I make no apologies for this fact.  It is also a way of life I would not trade.

Today is just another example of how life often throws challenges in our way just when we think we see the path where we plan to go.  And I think there’s a valuable lesson here – and one worth sharing.

You might think, art wouldn’t be important.  It’s not like food, medicine or (ahem) toilet paper!  But I have come to know how important it is.  It is essential to the human spirit. 

I know just by how much I personally miss the interaction with the many customers we have through our gallery on a daily and weekly basis.  Our painting students  – our stained glass people, students working on mosaic art, exploring glass stainer’s painting. We have people fusing glass making beautiful eye-catching bowls and art pieces and students taking our drawing classes.  The jewelry classes that were cancelled for twenty or so new customers – this crisis has far reaching impact on Bill and I and our community of customers – people who we have come to consider our extended family.

We may be considered a simple, small non-essential business, in the grander scheme of things, but I know we play an important role here.  I am always impressed by how many people say that attending an art class is their “therapy”.  They come to enjoy some time away from their everyday cares, stresses at home or at work. Just to do something new and different.  And I can tell you how good it makes me feel when I see the lights come on in someone’s eyes when they try something new and it works – it looks good – or even better than they imagined.  However we use art, it remains a human means of communication, and is a very important, basic tool that we can use to express ourselves.  It fills our heart with joy, a sense of accomplishment and sometimes even a sense of wonder.

Art relaxes us, quiets our mind, and let’s take some time away from day to day challenges.  Art can take us to a place in our mind where we can connect to the inner peace within us. It can give us strength. It let’s us focus.  Focus on all the things that are super important.  Like family, community and compassion.

Bill and I live the life of an artist.  It is a chosen life.  We have made it our sole source of income.  But this chosen life doesn’t promise us financial riches.  But it provides an abundance of blessings that come in the form of a cup of coffee from a student, or a kind word of appreciation when the artwork we labored over is finally installed.  Now abundance doesn’t exactly pay the bills, so there is the blood sweat and tears that comes with working for it.  But it is a life I can’t imagine not living.

So many of us small businesses are impacted by this crisis.  When you work for yourself, i.e. not employed, it’s not like someone can mail you a check to fix things.  In fact, those of us small businesses who live from job to job – not even paycheck to paycheck – are going to need to get really creative to survive this interruption.

And as an artist, I see that most clearly.  We are all in this together, and we are not alone…I have heard this again and again.  Our personal situation makes me a bit more anxious: as those of you who know us already realize – Bill’s open-heart surgery scheduled for the end of this month has been put on hold by the hospital.  With no known date for rescheduling, it puts him at risk as the time pushes out – with added concerns of contracting the virus pre-or post-operatively.  So there is fear in my life, beyond losing my business.

I am not sharing this with you for sympathy – but I needed to share it so you understand that I can feel for you, whatever your personal story – I hear you.

I feel your anxiety.  And I think you might be interested to hear this next bit.  It’s still about me – but it also embodies what I am going to do about it.  For me and for you.

But first, I have to back up a little: to January of last year.  Last year when everything was going along pretty hunky dory. (Now that said, you can guess about how old I am!)

So, back in 2019 I had a new years’ resolution to exercise a side of my brain that had been dormant for a while. I needed to get to understand more about marketing via social media.  Moving the art business forward and trying to attract a younger segment of the marketplace, I felt I needed to find a way to communicate where people were hanging out.  I needed to dust off and exercise the Technology Management MBA I have and get over my fear of the little buttons on my phone (this was the new fan dangled Iphone my daughter so lovingly gave me so I’d give up the flip phone and be able to text her)…so I did.  Bill and I spent a good amount of time, tapping the shoulders of younger people and asking a lot of questions about “The Facebook” and about hastags, and such and about inner U- Tubes!

It was a great experience, looking back, how much I learned after I put my mind to it and let fear stop guiding my actions.  I researched this thing called a Podcast (Podwhat?) and really got excited by the prospects of sharing with more people than just who could get to my storefront.  And even then, I thought, well, you have to understand it, build it, publish it and then make it better, as you go.  And well yeah, heck – then I’ll find a way to make money with it.  After I get really good with the content. 

It was around June or July that I was getting comfortable with the technical aspects – recording and editing audio files, learning software programs like Adobe Audition, how to use ID3 tags, what additional collateral was required to go behind a program such as the Art for Life Podcast. Such learning and I was finally ready – I could see the “how to.”

And then in late June – I hesitated.  I stopped because of fear.  I stopped because I thought no one would want to listen…to me. I stopped because I was afraid my content wouldn’t be good enough.  That art wasn’t something people would want to hear about.  I hesitated, with the excuses lined up about being too busy, and it was too hard, and I was going to have to do it every week…

Some time passed.  I gave myself a break from thinking about it for a few months.  We were super busy doing pop-up events trying to extend the seasonal farmer’s market into November anyway.  I thought I’d get back to it when life gets easier, or so I thought. When I had more time.

But it was then that life gave us our first roadblock.  Bill got the news from his doctor right before Thanksgiving that he needed open-heart surgery for a mitral valve prolapse.  Not urgent, but necessary, this structural problem brought with it fear of the unknown.  So then on came the research and second opinions and medical insurance issues, it all came swirling. 

It was then that I launched the Art for Life Podcast… in the face of an uncertain future.  I figured if I didn’t start, I’d never get there.  And every legitimate excuse would get in the way.  Or maybe I needed to start this labor-intensive creative activity to maintain my mental health, as well…

So many obstacles, I thought to myself. How would we keep the store / gallery running for the week he’d be in the hospital or in the weeks to months following, when he’s be moving around but not able to swing in the wind chasing after tents and products at farmers’ markets and art fairs? 

One of the things I love so much about our chosen life as artists and sole owners of a little art gallery called Gallery’s Choice is the great sense of community we have.  When we got the news and started to tell our customers, we were embraced with volunteers who came forward to work with us to keep the shop open, take sales and help us at the markets.  My God, what a blessing.  So, in the weeks that followed, we worked on the schedule and had everything planned, and I was beginning to feel better about the path through his surgery and our financial time afterwards.

In the meantime, there were visits to the dentist and other doctors, tests and minor dermatology that had to be done, and it the midst of getting going on this podcast, I missed one.  Then two, it was just too much work, on top of everything else. 

I could give up.  No one would blame me.  It is a huge commitment.  And to do it right, it has to be consistent. I told myself.  I could give up, anyway, who cares – it’s not that important.  And I feel so bad about not doing it right.

But instead, I gave myself permission to miss. 

No disappointment, no self-loathing, no destructive sense of failure.  I gave myself permission.  And, as I see how very valuable this communication vehicle is, for my business and it’s continuation, I start again.  How Vital it is that I share this information with you so you can think about it, and apply it to your own circumstance.  When life gets in the way, give yourself permission.  But don’t ever loose site of your goals.

So I missed one (or two) weeks So what? (Did you miss me?) If this is your first time on our podcast, then probably not, right?   And if today is the first time you had time to join our podcast (I know since you are at home trapped with your family and needed some escape…) I invite you – I beg you – listen to one or more of the previous episodes, as they are more indicative of what I had originally had in mind content wise – before the world I as knew it blew up…  I will put a few links in the show notes of my favorites so far.  Anyway:

Today I start again.  And Today, I am faced with even bigger challenges.

I am amazed at how quickly life can change. 

Just last Wednesday, I was bleaching everything in site at the store and we were putting new protocols and disinfecting procedures in place to mitigate the transfer of the Covid-19 virus as we share tools and goggles in the gallery class rooms.  Got that done with a deep clean on the store Thursday and by Friday, we were shut down completely in compliance to the CDC recommendation for social distancing and to not be in groups of more than 10 people.

Bill got the news that day that his heart surgery has been postponed – and we now live with the fear of pushing it out too far in the future…or being compromised and getting ill because of the virus.  Our volunteers as well as our customers are on lockdown too…

Amazing.  Life is truly amazing.

Truly not knowing yet how the new norms of social distancing will impact our class business even after the crisis is over…it is incomprehensible how we will be able to withstand this impact.  Buying art will be the last thing on peoples’ minds when they come out of this and our world revolves around these sales and these groups.  We are lean and mean and there are no reserves.

And so, I put fear in the corner once more, and I begin again.  I begin to asses the tools I have at my disposal and the talents I can lend to the world.  In my world, Art is for Life and so I try something new for me and for you – Online learning.  This is something that has been in the back of my mind for some time now, and although I would wish that the content and presentation would be more polished…I am going to move forward with the knowledge that if I do nothing – then that’s exactly what I will get back.

And in a way it is amazing.  I am sitting here in the midst of the unknown, at the edge of all disasters and I am excited by the next opportunity.  I’m anxious, sure. And Edgy. But not hopeless.  Because I see the power creativity can lend.

I can’t tell you how excited I am to share this with you.  We have many tools for communication that were not available to previous generations and this makes the possibility of reaching a greater community possible. 

While I don’t believe that on-line learning will ever take the place of an in person community of students and teacher, and the interaction of other students with each other, there are definite possibilities for a very rewarding experience.  The technology I had when I was a Strategic Business Manager for a major telephony company in my former life has come so far and become so much more accessible.  There is no reason we can’t connect on this platform and continue.  As I traveled for business almost 50% of the time, I became familiar with distance learning as a means to finish my MBA.  It was a method for communication as I worked demos of half-baked product releases out in the field.  NetMeeting and other types software applications, now familiar to the thousands of kids doing their home learning away from school. 

I hope you will indulge me by checking on my blog site for updates in the next few days for my first beta online classes and demos you can engage in while you are kicking back, doing nothing at home, waiting out the crisis.  I hope you will join me if you are anxious and need to try to do something to de-stress for a while.  I promise – you will probably find something to laugh at – and that is fine with me!

I also, would appreciate you help and feedback on the events I am launching in this beta release of Gallery’s Choice Art for Life Online series. I expect to run these regularly in addition to our regularly scheduled mayhem at the gallery once this crisis is in the rear-view mirror.  But by buying and participating in this paid content and it’s first efforts now, you could help get us over the next big hill, and enable us to continue bringing joy and art education to the community for years to come.

I see many applications for remote teaching in my future, where I can apply these new freely accessible technologies to reach more people.  Providing teachers with online modules for greater reach for art education in schools or for home school families is one aspect, in addition to providing entertainment for adults who want to learn more for their own personal enjoyment.

I have hoped that the blog and the Podcast would be the springboard for a larger virtual community – someday.  Unfortunately for me, it seems the time is now and the need is today.  So I’d better get busy!

And while this dream will take some work.  The first attempts will no doubt be rough around the edges.  But am I afraid?  No. I am an Artist!

Thanks for joining me – stay safe, stay healthy and we will see you soon!

……

I want to share a resource with you, given the current times and the stress we are experiencing.  I will put a link to it in the show notes, and check out our blog, we have a post on this resource there as well.  There is an audio Master Class put out by the application Calm, which I positively love.  And this one in particular, by Elizabeth Gilbert entitles “Creative Living Beyond Fear” really hits home.

She talks about the creative process and how the act of creating art is like emulating the creator, which we long to be closer to.  And how we were all made to be creative beings.  I absolutely love Elizabeth’s explanation of creativity and how co-creation and creative living is any life that chooses curiosity instead of fear.

And at this moment in time: this message rings so true.

Give it a listen.  I might mention also, the link I am giving you is not a signup – you can access it for free.  I am not an affiliate or anything – so I don’t get anything if you do sign up for the app.  But the resources they put together might be of great help – to you or someone you know.  So give them a listen!

Again I will put a link in the show notes and also on our blog, at GallerysChoice.blog, so be sure and check it out!

Check out the Calm Master Class entitled: “Creative Living Beyond Fear,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the New York Times best seller Eat Pray Love, powerfully reminds us that we are all creative beings. Whether you dream of expressing yourself more fully, sharing your story, building something beautiful, or sprinkling more magic in your day-to-day life, this Calm Masterclass is the perfect place to begin your creative process.

I absolutely love Elizabeth’s explanation of creativity and how co-creation and creative living is any life that chooses the path of curiosity instead of fear. The loving artist. The persistence within you. Give this a listen!

Hope you can find some peace in this time of uncertainty – but realize that this peace comes from within.

God Bless.


Episode #9 Highlights and Habaneros

March 31, 2020

The Art for Life Podcast from Gallery’s Choice is a weekly program designed to inspire, educate and support the creative endeavors of others. Artist Rose Jarecki hosts and shares behind the scenes look at her life as an artist, insight into the work of a creative, and shares tips and stories from her 16 years in business. The Art for Life podcast series features: interviews with today’s contemporary artists and art students; tutorials, tips and techniques; product reviews; and resources for those interested in art as a vocation or pass time. The show explores artists’ techniques across a wide variety of media including drawing, painting, jewelry and all things art glass, and provides insight into living well as it serves to inspire and motivate the artist within all of us.

This is the Art for Life Podcast by Gallery’s Choice, and I am your host, Rose Jarecki.

Episode 9: Highlights and Habaneros

So let’s talk Highlights.  And Habaneros – as some like it Hot! Like my husband. And some do not! Like me!

And if any of you listening have had the opportunity to take a class in our gallery, you know what we mean! (polar opposites when it comes down to instructions…keeps the place lively, and our students thinking!)

Today we will divulge the secrets of our complementary points of view through our interpretation of this week’s podcast topic and share a recipe that’s sure to please the HOT and Not so Hot in your life!

To our point that variety makes life great:  Please listen!

Welcome to Episode 9: Highlights and Habaneros

  • In today’s podcast, we have two radically different interpretations of what is meant by “Highlights.”
  • Because this is my podcast and I am the host and, of course, automatically right, I interpreted the word “highlights” to have meaning across several art mediums.  Understanding the importance of highlights in painting, or in glass artwork, and how it is used to create depth and focus – is one of the most important concepts in the art world.
  • Highlights to my husband means: the top achievements in the past year of our artwork activities and projects at the gallery Equally important to review how far you’ve come and what you’ve learned in the past either in technique or by participation, this podcast shared the stage as he provides a look at some of the top activities for us from 2019.

So today we will begin by examining techniques and resources for you to achieve great Highlights of your own!

Background:

  • Incorporating highlights in any drawing or painting imparts a sense of light.  This sense of light then gives the viewer clues as to shape and form by imparting a sense of depth and contour.  The ability to master highlights (and in a broader term, to command lighting) provides the artists an indispensable tool for guiding the viewer into specific parts of the work. 

  • Now how an artist imparts highlights in their work depends on their media.  Let’s take drawings for example.  Either simple graphite pencil or charcoal, it doesn’t matter.   Highlights here can be achieved either by using a lighter shade of, shall I say color, as I refer to a quote “spectrum” of grey scale, or by removing said graphite or charcoal from a given are via an eraser or smudging tool.  Difficult to get a visual on this I know so, I will, as always, leave some links in the show notes back to our blog, at galleryschoice.blog so you have a visual resource for this podcast content. 

Also, please look with interest at the show notes or blog to see the new online learning resources for drawing from Gallery’s Choice.  This is a new – starting today , “in real-time” thing, so if you see an “under construction” banner as a place holder under any of these links – I apologies – just come back on a day or two and try it again.  I have to say – I am just so excited about our new online learning resources that I can’t wait to get them all out there and perfect before I start talking about them! So there, you can be on the ground floor of something amazing!
Anyway, I digress.  Back to the techniques:

So in painting media, highlighting is achieved in various ways as the artist paints, but it now depends on the media as to the technique and when and where these highlights are applied.  I myself find this fascinating, as I traverse multiple media in my own art.  To give you an idea:

Let’s take Watercolor painting, as an example.  Once the artist determines what the source of light is and where the highlights occur, they have to then determine what elements will receive the strongest, brightest hits of light.  This has to be done at the very start, before paint ever hits the paper, so that the artist can plan for how to preserve the light of the paper. In watercolor, white is not a color to be added, it is paper white areas to be preserved.  The artist can do this in several ways:

One way is by masking.  Masking is the covering of the paper so that as the artist paints across the area, the pigment will not contaminate the covered space.  Masking can be as simple as using a painters’ tape for broad areas, or very detailed with the use of a liquid rubber material, painted on with a “throw-way” brush or stick.  Either way the area is masked first, then painted. This can be repeated after drying in various areas as the painting progresses.

The second way a watercolor artist can preserve the white of the paper as highlights is by skillfully avoiding those area entirely.  With this method, the artist doesn’t have to be concerned with injuring the paper when removing the masking.  They do not have to wait for masking to dry before they start.  This said, any stray drops or bleads into the area can cause the image to change, and so some practice makes this technique more comfortable.

Another way, in watercolor while working in wet areas, an artist my simply wipe out or push back a color using a dry brush or a tissue to absorb some pigment that has been applied back.  This may not get you all the way back to the bright white of the paper support, but it does provide a gradient for highlights say, in clouds, where reflected color and light require more soft transitions.

Finally, after a watercolor painting is dry, a crisp small highlight detail can be scratched into the painting, if the artist requires through the use of a sharp tool.  This technique, while used at the end of the painting, should be used in limited doses, as it requires damaging the substrate and is obviously not going to work for larger areas.

Now just a short note about white in Watercolor – as I know someone is going to try to catch me on this:  But what about “China White” watercolor paints?  That’s white, right?  The answer is yes, but…while this white pigment does have some fine uses (like falling snowflakes against a white snowy hill, perhaps) in general it is too chalky and opaque to be considered for large application in a fine watercolor artwork using, in general, transparent pigments. 

To summarize for watercolor: considering a paintings highlights are a first step.  Not like other media, where you add highlights, in a broader sense, as you go or at the very end.

In oils and acrylic painting, the highlights most usually occur at the end. 

Acrylic painting uses materials that is opaque: meaning your white will show up when you paint over black and your yellow and blue when properly layered won’t produce green.  So highlights on this style of painting occurs mostly at the end stages, as the artist comes to the final points of the painting.  Now this is not to mean that lighting isn’t considered in the beginning – but not so strictly as in watercolor. 

The acrylic artist is free to play with different values of color while they develop their depth and shading and the top most elements can be treated with a white or “dirty white” value to impart the bright wet highlights of an eye or a dew drop shimmering in the sun.

Oil paints are a bit of an anomaly in that there are transparent (see through) pigments as well as opaque colors.  So in this case, the oil painter has to determine how to approach each color and each section of the painting.  If, for instance, using the grisaille technique, the artist will apply many more of the watercolor-style highlighting techniques to the color glazes.  On the other hand, painting direct to canvas to leverage the thick viscosity of the oil-based paints can necessitate need for applying defining highlight details at the end, because you can’t see the canvas through the thickness of the paint.

I want to remind my Art for Life Podcast listeners that there are opportunities to explore these mediums with me at the gallery through our classes.  Class sizes are kept small and individual attention is really valuable as you get used to something new.  I also can’t stress enough how valuable a learning community is and the students we have in our classes are phenomenal – just my pride and joy!  So I hope to see you soon in class.  www.GallerysChoice.com

Before I leave this topic of Highlights, I want to make mention of how highlights play in glass art media as well.  We always think about painting and drawing when we think of applying highlights, but this topic is also very applicable to the glass art media as well.

One very visual example is in mosaic medium – or quite precisely the Glass-on-glass mosaics, just one style of glass art we enjoy working at the gallery.  While transmitted light produces color, both light and dark values, the real deal is the intentional highlighting of the subject matter itself.  This is more times than not, worked out at the design stage and accomplished through expert and precise glass selection.  In glass art, you have white glass, which is opaque, of course, but you also have a full spectrum of pale transparent or translucent colors, that can be used (when the substrate can transmit light) to act as highlights.  Think of a twisting green seaweed coming up from the sandy bottom of a koi pond.  The bottom of the leaf is darker glass and as it twists the artist chooses medium and lighter greens or yellows as it moves up toward the surface.

 Stained glass art is the same thing.  The only difference is that the pieces are larger (usually) and so the glass the artist can make use of the glass itself to lend variations of color and density to create the illusion of highlights.

As you can image lighting and highlight is a topic which is worthy of concentrated thought, no matter what medium you use.

So with that, after the break, I believe it is time to switch are focus on to a radically different sort of Highlight!

Next up to encapsulate some of the most exciting and significant events in Gallery’s Choice over the past year is my consummate co-hort and partner in crime: Mr. Bill.

Bill: Gallery’s Choice Highlights for 2019

Those of you looking to add some spice into your life, and diet might consider the following recipe: Zazzy Habanero Maple Glaze a way to meet in the middle!

Bill:

Habanero maple glaze.  But you don’t like hot stuff, right?  Well, let’s start by saying IT’S NOT HOT.  Its ZAZZY.

We can use a little old-world science to help create a wonderful glaze that’s both sweet and a little spicy.  This is a great glaze for your pork steaks, chicken, or even tofu.  So here we go – and you’ll need to watch closely or the magic will slip right by!

What we have here is a little science for your kitchen.  No, we’re not going to freeze slivers of food with liquid nitrogen or laser chop your veggies into perfect circles.  Don’t be obscene.  It’s food, kids!

The trick is in the prep of the habaneros.  You’re going to quarter them, and then scrape away the insides.  Please, please, please, use a pair of gloves and some safety glasses for this.  You will kick up a little spray when you scrape the insides, but what you’re trying to do is pop the little blisters on the inside of the pepper and remove all the pith.  You do not want to inhale the spray, either – as it can be a respiratory irritant. And the capsaicin, the hot part, is in the pith.  And its why getting some in your eyes is nasty – it won’t immediately dissolve.  So be careful.  Make all that pith go away and then chop the peppers a bit more.

Just to make sure it’s all gone, pop these peppers into a tall glass and cover with either tequila or vodka – basically any clear alcohol will do, but vodka is probably easiest.  This is the magic that really brings down the heat while leaving behind the great flavors a habanero brings to the table.  The capsaicin will be drawn out by the alcohol.

Now a little patience.  This needs to pull the remaining capsaicin out of the peppers, and it takes some time.  30 minutes is still hot.  60 minutes is better.  90 minutes and you’re down to the heat of a bell pepper, so don’t go too far.  Drain in a strainer and press out the liquid with the back of a spoon. 

You can save this booze for a friend, but no joking, it will be hot and you really shouldn’t play a joke on someone with this.  It’s just a bit dangerous as even a small amount can really mess them up.  If you’d like to try some, add ¼ shot of hot vodka to 1 shot not-hot vodka, and sip.  No downing shots, and it’s not a viral challenge – it’s just stupid hot. 

Before you create the glaze, you can sauté your meat in a skillet with an onion.  Season with a little salt and pepper.  Cook it until it’s basically done, then remove to a bowl.  We want to use that pan of good scrapings to start our glaze.

Now that you have tasty not-hot peppers, follow the recipe to create your habanero maple glaze.  It’s a great finish to some boring chicken or pork steaks.  It’s zazzy!

Good luck!

If you like it hot, but not too hot, this sweet and spicy glaze could be the meeting of the minds!

One precautionary statement: 

The active ingredient in spicy peppers, Capsaicin, can be extremely irritating on the skin, in the eyes, to the stomach and gastrointestinal tract, and if inhaled.

This naturally occurring chemical is polarizing:  It has health benefits and is used as a dietary supplement for helping digestive issues, encouraging weight loss, and in creams for pain relief and help with skin issues such as psoriasis.  It is being studied for its potential in fighting certain types of cancers.  Conversely, it is used in insecticides, bear and dog repellents and pepper spray and can cause blistering on skin, gastric cancers and severe gastro-intestinal distress. 

It is difficult to say who may have sensitivities, and to what degree.  So:

As with any new thing you try, do so in moderation, and take reasonable precautions to stay safe and healthy.

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Hello, my name is Frank

Hey kids, Mr. Bill here. 

And don’t forget our web site GallerysChoice.com for more information on painting classes in Watercolor, Oils and Acrylics.

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Gallery’s Choice Oil Painting Class (1 min ad)

Hey kids, Mr. Bill here.  There’s no better way to learn than to actually DO IT, so here’s your invitation to join us for an introduction to OIL PAINTNG.   At Gallery’s Choice in Downers Grove, Illinois, you can take this class and many others.  Come join us in suburban Chicago and enjoy small class sizes in our gallery!

With pallet knife and brushes in hand, you will create 4 scripted images in 4 weekly sessions, building each week on the previous to learn the basics and explore color theory.  If you have some experience, or after you’ve completed our intro course, you are free to explore any subject as we transition from teacher to coach.  We use Terpenoid Natural to avoid harmful chemistry and annoying fumes.,

Contact us to find a weekday, evening or Saturday class that works best for you.  Find more info online at GallerysChoice.com, or go old school with a call to 630-969-5660.

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Royalty free music and sounds in this podcast were sourced from the YouTube Audio Library
with special shout out to the artists for this episode’s featured tracks:

“You’re There”

“Stacy and George”

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The Mini Vandals