Blessings for the Living

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I have always been fascinated with ancient Egypt.  When I was a child I wanted to be an Egyptologist. That was until a teacher told me that everything had already been discovered so I couldn’t be one. Looking back I realize what a terrible (and totally untrue) thing that was to tell a child. Despite her discouragement I held onto my curiosity and fascination. The city I live in has one of the best Egyptian museums in the country with beautiful grounds including a walking labyrinth, alchemy and peace gardens and much more. It also houses one of the largest collections of artifacts in the Western US.

I think my love of all things Egyptian is in DNA. My Grandmother was a member of the Rosicrucian order. I have an old box of her study materials from the 50’s & 60’s. My Mother would bring us the museum often when we were growing up. She always told us it was her sanctuary. I feel the same way about the space as well.  There is something very peaceful and calming about it.

They currently have a special alchemy exhibit. It is a really fascinating subject that I am enjoying learning about. Both physical and spiritual alchemy are fascinating to me. Recently I have been exploring some the aspects and symbolism of alchemy and Egyptian mythology in my artwork.

I just finished the piece below. It’s a 24x36 mixed media encaustic piece that includes 18k gold. It is titled “Blessings for the Living “and is inspired by Ra, the Egyptian Sun God.

Blessings for the living Blessings for the Living

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The smell of warm wax in the morning

The last few months I have been focusing on my TechShop residency and exhibit. I love book arts and that’s all I have been creating, eating, drinking, sleeping, and doing lately. I have really enjoyed my residency and learning new technologies (lasers yay!). Along the way I have heard whispers from my encaustic paint calling me back, but I have always been to busy to play. This past week or two the whispers turned into shouts. So I listened and started working on a new encaustic piece. It feels good to smell the molten wax and feel the texture of the painting under my fingers. I’ve missed being in the studio too; most of my creating time the last few months has been in the TechShop. It feels like home and I am happy to be making some new encaustic work. I am still honoring my books as well. Each encaustic piece has lots of book pages embedded between the layers of wax. You might not always be able to see them, but they are there. I plan on continuing to work on and add more pieces to my “In the End” series. There are some new and unfinished thoughts to explore with this series. Working on it has been very cathartic and I need that more than anything right now.

hanging leavesCurrent work in progress 24x36 mixed media encaustic

Sunday Morning

Sunday Morning Several years ago before my Grandparents passed away I would often drive a couple of hours to their house and spend the weekend with them.  We were very close and I loved spending time with them. Most evenings my Grandfather (who we called Pops) would fall asleep in his chair then end up going to bed early. My Grandmother (who we called Brownie) and I would stay up late talking, playing Wii bowling and drinking diet cocktails (don’t ask, they are terrible).

Sunday morning I would wake up, usually before 8am and make my way out to the kitchen. Pops was usually sitting at the table reading the newspaper or at the kitchen sink filling up his hummingbird feeders.  He would always make some smart ass remark like, nice of you to join us or good afternoon. I would pour a cup of weak Folders’ coffee and sit at the kitchen table looking out into the beautiful, lush backyard.

Pop’s always had a green thumb and a beautiful garden; huge hydrangea the size of your head, fragrant gardenia, mini lemon tress and more. Both of my Grandparents loved hummingbirds, they had quite a few feeders hung up around the house. They tried to put them outside of every window so you could always look out a window and see a hummingbird.

This piece was inspired by my visits with them. My Sunday mornings with them were always a happy and peaceful experience that I will never forget.

My new color palette

In the past my color palette has mainly consisted of natural tones with lot of dark color vignetting the scenes. I am drawn to earth and jewel tones and you can see that in a lot of my artwork.

My current series is completely different and I must say a little uncomfortable for me at times.  The prominent color in this series is white with accents of gold, black and peeks of brown. Previously I have stayed away from white and have never used gold, if I used a metallic color it was always a copper.  So it was a big surprise for me when these colors demanded to be used.

I think a lot of it has to do with the meaning behind the series and what it explores. For me white represents clarity, spirituality and new beginnings. White is also a mourning color in several cultures. Gold embodies tradition and strength; the warmth of it balances the coldness sometimes associated with white. It also illuminates and enhances other things around it. Brown is a grounding, earthy color, its stability, comfort and balance.

I have been working hard on this new series and can't wait to share it with you in April. I have not shown it to many people yet, deciding it best to unveil it to everyone once it is complete. Below are several sneak peeks, little corners or sections of various pieces.


New, different and a bit daunting

Creating new artwork is always a little scary. So many things go through your head. Will this series be any good, will people like it, will they like my old work better, is it recognizable as my style, does it mean anything? It’s no wonder so many artists get blocked. I am starting to create a new body of work for an upcoming exhibit in April. Its new, different and a bit daunting to work on. It’s very personal work influenced by the past few years of my life.


In addition to the personal influence and inspiration of the work the medium is going to be different than my typical as well. My past work has mainly been photo based; woven, painted, transferred or other techniques. Photography has always been the focal point with other media complementing it. The past few years though, I have been working more and more with encaustic and book arts. Working with wax and paper feels very natural and fulfilling. I have become very fond of creating and experimenting in sculptured, layered and textured work.Photography will always be my first love but I feel that it is receding into the background a bit. Instead of being the main element it may just be an addition complimenting the main mixed media work or not included at all.

So, new very personal work that's not photo based, needless to say I feel very vulnerable about creating and exhibiting it. I am enjoying the process though, it’s not all fear and panic. I love being an artist and being able to create and express myself through art, it can be a very cathartic process.

Below is a sneak peek at a work in progress.

Silicon Valley Open Studios

Silicon Valley Open Studios is one of my favorite events and I would love for you to join me this year. In addition to hanging out with me and getting a behind the scenes look at my work space here are a few other reasons to stop by.
  1. Try your hand out at painting with hot wax! Create and take home your own mini piece of encaustic artwork with my complimentary encaustic art making station.
  2. Win a piece of original artwork. For the third year I will be having an artwork raffle.
  3. Enjoy art and music in a fun and comfortable environment. I will have lots of new work on display as well as cards, prints, gifts and more. There will also be live music by Mark Camp, snacks, iced tea, and a beautiful garden to enjoy.

Saturday May 17th and Sunday May 18th
11:00am – 5:00pm
Amidon Art Studio
492 Arleta Ave
San Jose, CA 95128

Upcoming Workshops

NEW! ENCAUSTIC AND PHOTOGRAPHY
Saturday, June 22, 2013
9:45-11:45am (2 hour workshop)
Cost: $85 per person (includes materials)
Twin Soul Art Studio, Los Gatos, CA
Ages: 13 to adult
Take your photos to new level by learning to combine the ancient art of encaustics with modern photography and printing techniques. This workshop will cover paper use and selection, mounting techniques and materials, encaustic pouring, painting and photocopy transfer techniques. Proper tools and safety procedures will be discussed. Great for photographers who want to add another option for their clients or anyone who wants to giv their photos an artistic painterly touch. All materials included and all levels welcome. Students will go home with 2-3 finished pieces and a goodie bag. Class limited to 5 participants.
To register please call Twin Soul Art Studio at:
408-410-8143 or email info@twinsoulartstudio.com
http:// www.twinsoulartstudio.com/
INTRO TO ENCAUSTIC PAINTING
Saturday, July 20, 2013
2:00-5:00pm (3 hour workshop)
Cost: $145 per person (includes materials)
Twin Soul Art Studio, Los Gatos, CA
Ages: 13 to adult
Encaustic is the art of painting with hot bees wax. This hands-on workshop is a great introduction to encaustic painting. Learn the basic techniques of encaustic painting including the history of the media, materials/safety concerns, heating tools and fusing techniques, layering, masking, stenciling and other techniques to create beautiful works of art. Instructor will provide all materials and students will go home with a sample technique board, resource list, instructional handouts and product samples. Class is limited to 5 students.
To register please call Twin Soul Art Studio at:
408-410-8143 or email info@twinsoulartstudio.com
http:// www.twinsoulartstudio.com/
IMAGE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES
Saturday, July 27, 2013
2:30-4:00pm (1.5 hour class)
Cost: $45 (includes materials)
Twin Soul Art Studio, Los Gatos, CA
Ages: 8 to adult

In this class students will learn image transfer techniques for paper arts, collage, fiber arts, and more. Explore transfer options such as Xerox Transfers, Packing Tape Transfers, Inkjet Image Transfers and more using inexpensive materials. Students will go home with a variety of samples made in class.
To register please call Twin Soul Art Studio at:
408-410-8143 or email info@twinsoulartstudio.com
http:// www.twinsoulartstudio.com/

Encaustic Class

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The past couple of weeks I have been working with Twin Soul Art Studio to create an encaustic class. I am very excited about the opportunity to teach this class and have lots of great ideas for a variety of classes that use encaustic.

It looks like the fist class will be in March or April and most likely on a weekend afternoon. If you are interested in more info on the class please send me an email at shannon@shannonamidon.com and I will send you all the details as soon the class is finalized.