July 17th was the opening for the new group show at O Street Gallery on Oregon Street in Redding, CA. Curator Shelly Shively threw quite the party- there was well over 100 people in the room at all times. Music filled the air, beautiful food was presented by "Accidental Catering" and Redding art lovers flocked to see the vibrant various artworks. There are 12 artists in the show, all with a section of wall space. Shelly let me ninja my way into the show with some 3D pieces including installations and small sculptures. I'm very grateful to share a show with such amazing artists, some of who I've been taking oil classes from (Susan Greaves and Chuck Prudhomme.)
The show will run until October at this "happening spot" in Redding, CA. There's an amazing antique mall co-op connected to it, so bring your wallet-there are amazing deals!
Exploring an all natural material list is so exciting! The list grows and grows the more I adventure, spend time in the woods and talk with people. Northern California is a great place to be doing this because of the vast amount of nature and different climates and environments in every direction. Native American culture is still very prevalent here too, and recently I've met some women who do native basket weaving and are offering to teach me.
Pictured below is an encaustic painting the Mendocino Mountains, a trees landscape from Northern Michigan, and a triptych of different Trout. These were created with beeswax medium painted on a wooden panel. I did some research and found out how to make my own natural gesso with rabbit skin glue and calcium carbonate. This homemade mixture is gritty enough for the beeswax to stick to. The encaustic (beeswax) medium is homemade as well and all natural. Beeswax, demar resin and Earth Pigments make up my recipe. The ratios change as I'm exploring this new medium and finding ways to manipulate layers & melting points. Each layer is fused with a heat gun and I'm able to carve into the wax creating texture, collage into the wax and I can even use ink and gold leaf on the top layers.
There is so much to learn and to explore in encaustics. I will be teaching an encaustic workshop at North Valley Art League in Redding, CA this fall. Until then, I'll keep exploring this fantastic and all natural medium.
My first conceptual oil paintings. Inspired by the Eiler fire in the Thousand Lakes Wilderness area East of Redding, CA.
A few weeks ago I was invited by North Valley Art League to run their June program and present my life as an artist from childhood to now. I had a lot of fun going into the vault of older work from college and seeing my progression. The program was 1 hour and I got paid a pretty great stipend for my time! The group enjoyed it very much and told me I was new and refreshing to have around & that they love my young energy. The president of the league took me aside afterward and asked me to start teaching classes at their gallery! I've been working on getting proposals together for that, I think I've narrowed it down to drawing, encaustics and a very affordable kids program for this first round of classes.
It's been a big few weeks here in CA!
Please join us for this years Mt. Lassen Art Show here at the Mt. Lassen Art Center! It is this weekend, Saturday and Sunday all day! There will be free music, painting, fun, open mic and a hula hoop workshop! If you are an artist and are interested in showing your work, it is fee and hassle free! Just contact us and come on the earlier side of the day as the gallery space is first come first serve.
Come on over for a down-home art show and family friendly part! All are invited to join in the fun! :)
Jessica R. Willis
Artist of many mediums inspired by nature and philanthropy