Wild Acres workshop retreat October 1-3rd 2010

Sunrise from my room the first morning at the  2009 workshop.

Wild acres is a great place to be and to be there with a group of like minded artists is even better!

Plan to join us as The Charlotte Art league and Wild Acres joins up to provide you with a one of a kind experience.

Prominent NC Artist, Diana Arvanites and me, Shanti Marie  will be there to provide  instruction, tips,  & techniques  to create a piece of art that looks and feels like encaustic without the hot wax.

Are you a creative type who would like the opportunity to experiment with various mediums? If you are then give yourself a special gift this year and spend the weekend at Wild Acres with Prominent NC Artist, Diana Arvanites. She will assist you in a learning experience that will be both fun and relaxing. You will learn how to use various mediums to achieve a look of ancient encaustic without the use of Hot wax and blow torches. Feel free to allow yourself the time and in this environment the space to experiment with some new techniques that you can take back to your studio and incorporate into your own work. With experimentation and guidance you will you be able to create something unique and truly your own. This event is sponsored by the Charlotte Art league. And in cooperation with Wild Acres Mountain learning Center in Little Switzerland, North Carolina. Wild Acres is a true retreat undisturbed by traffic and the noises of the city. Located on Pompey’s Knob, near the Blue Ridge Parkway, it is situated on 1600 acres at an elevation of 3,300.00 feet. Inspiration exists behind every tree rock and sunset Acrylic wax? Yes, you can achieve encaustic wax effects with acrylics. It can be mixed up to look just like encaustic, creating beautiful transparent and translucent layers that simulate the qualities of wax. It is a viable alternative to the hazardous process involving solvents and heat. In this workshop you will learn how to create wax-like surfaces that resemble unrefined, yellow, and pourable bleached beeswax. All without the wax! Explore your style using collage and embedded images with acrylic gels and poring mediums.

These are two examples of the surface created using mediums.  You can also use paint, transfers, collage and many other techniques you already incorporate in your work.  Its endless really.  Your only limited by your imagination!

The price  for food lodging and instruction is $285.00 double occupancy or $50.00 extra for single or private rooms.   This is  from 3:00 pm Friday October 1st to Sunday at noon.

come joins us!!!  the class size is limited so email me asap if you want us to hold your place.    email :shantmarie@aol.com  we take pay pal and checks…

“All dogs go to Heaven” # 8 Conte crayon on paper

This drawing is part of a series… These three dogs are always looking out to the horizon and I think they have many fine moments of just ” being dogs, and this is just one of them.

$50.00  plus $5.5  for postage and packaging.

11 by 14 inches……  for those that do not know what a conte crayon is… its very similar to a soft pastel stick.  You will need to frame this piece under glass.

“Under the falls” oil on gallery wrap one inch canvas. 24 by 24 inches

I have been in a bit of a quandary lately over what to paint next, no not these little paintings, but bigger paintings 1/2 sheets to full size sheets or bigger.

I just finished a series. I decided I wanted to start another series or so I thought. The problem is: I cannot for the life of me get the fourth painting started. I also have been reworking the second in the series even while others tell me to leave it alone, its great. This tells me maybe I really don’t want to make it into a series.  Then again…I have to admit I struggle thru this foggy quagmire of first attempts every time I start a series. It only seems after I’ve painted four or five paintings that I have a sense of what it is that I’m trying to say. It almost like I have to take the idea of a painting from a concept into a breathing living thing. Right now I feel like these paintings need CPR and I can’t remember how to administer mouth to mouth. Until then Until I can breath life into these paintings its just paint, paper and brushes.

As you become a better painter with more skills and techniques, you start to search for your style, you crave uniqueness. Why do painters constantly advocate breaking from the traditional school of thought? Is it the case of attempting to create paintings that will owe nothing to any other piece of work or artist–something unique and original in the world of art?” It’s a wonderful philosophy, but unfortunately an unrealistic delusion, simply because no one has ever been able to demonstrate a work of art that is entirely different. Every painting I ever gazed upon, including those in any gallery and those of the great masters all echo some previous painter’s accomplishments. Painters are by nature trying to achieve something new by using parts of something old. Every work of art, consciously or unconsciously has been subjected to traditional values in one form or another. The truth is that there is nothing original and if it appears as original there are most likely some less known artist doing the same thing but not getting any credit for it.
There may be new mediums, new colors or pigments but the basic way we take paint and create has not changed.


Chinese foot binding.. What Women went through for acceptance

Its hard to believe anyone thought this was attractive but most likely our idea of beauty…that  being a women who is ultra thin and our compulsive dieting would seem ugly and odd by the standards of a hundred years ago.
In my research for geisha I found these photos and they are photos of a chinese women not Japanese but some how they came up under geisha.  I just finished reading a book about China and foot binding and in this story they bound the child’s feet at 6 years old.  They had to break the toes and to do this, each day they would  bind and rebind the child’s feet …. tightening the bandages, then require the child to walk back and forth until all the toes were neatly tucked under the foot. Some mother’s had a difficult time keeping the bandages on or tightening them enough and the child’s feet did not get bound correctly and they were basically left crippled by the ordeal. Apparently even when done correctly the person cannot walk long distances without discomfort.  This practice was outlawed by the government in 1958 but apparently in some rural areas it was not reported.  The book is called

” Snow Flower and the secret fan”     Lisa See is the writer.

Now I’m reading “geisha” by Liza Dalby I’ll let you know how it goes…..

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Sunny Day Koi


I painted this the other day while I was demonstrating to my art class how the gessoed surface works with watercolor. Because this painting wasn’t finished I went ahead and finished it up in my studio. My Koi are very hungry these days and keep uprooting my lilies which have three or four lilly pads struggling to grow. The nights are still cool but I will assume the weather will be warmer any day now and those koi and the lilies will be growing!
8 by 10 watercolor on gessoed masonite sealed with a polymer clear coat. $95.00