an invitational online artists’ residency created and led by michelle belto and lyn belisle
THE THE ENSO ENSO CIRCLE CIRCLE an invitational online artists’ residency created and led by michelle belto and lyn belisle
OF RESIDENTS’ FINAL EXHIBITION OF RESIDENTS’ FINAL EXHIBITION JANUARY 2022 JANUARY 2022 1
Copyright © 2022 by Lyn Belisle and Michelle Belto for The Enso Circle. All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher and the artists whose works are included except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. Printed in the United States of America First Printing, 2022
The Enso Circle An invitational online Artists’ Residency Created and led by Michelle Belto and Lyn Belisle theensocircle.com
The Enso circle symbolizes many things: the beauty in imperfection, the art of letting go of expectations, the circle of life, and connection-- the imperfections and contours are exactly what makes the Enso beautiful.
INTRODUCTION: THE ENSO CIRCLE I reread some of the early communications between Lyn and I from 2015 when we first began planning what would later become The Enso Circle. Back then, I was doing a lot of teaching on the road and Lyn had created a thriving art center. The original impetus, I think, came from wanting to continue and expand our collaborative teaching experiences into something more enduring. We continued to throw around ideas for the next couple of years, while life took us in different directions. The proverbial window opened when Covid forced us all into quarantine. Separated and isolated in our studios across town from one another, we had time and energy to design a focused experience based on connections-creative, collaborative and community—the opportunity we wanted for ourselves. The Enso Circle Artists Residency was born. David Brooks, NYT columnist, wrote recently that 2021 has been a shapeless year. He was speaking of the experience of isolation-fog, a weariness of spirit that comes with seemingly endless waiting as a Covid world marks time. I am struck by the contrast of Brook’s experience to those in the Circle. During the last twelve weeks, I witness artists immersed in art making, shaping their weeks through personal goals and accountability to the community. Our Zoom meetings and Slack discussions are lively and engaging, often punctuated by laughter. There is a palpable excitement and a pride in accomplishment evident in posting of work in process. Requests for critique invite supportive discussions followed by new insights. Yes, is so many ways, 2021 has been a shapeless year. Lyn and I are humbled to weave the fabric of the Enso Circle twelve weeks at a time. The stunning work in this catalogue speaks to the professional and artistic growth of each participant. The variety of media and artistic expressions you see here has been a rich and exciting cross-pollination of ideas and resources. Thanks to each of these amazing artists for allowing Lyn and I to be a part of their life and their creative process. Michelle Belto
This third catalog in the Enso Circle series is tangible proof that “what if” can become a reality. When Michelle and I opened up this concept to the arts community in February of 2021, we had no idea how that community would respond. The fact that we are preparing for our fourth term is proof positive of the enthusiastic response we’ve received. The big surprise to me is how this Residency program has affected me personally, renewing my tattered sense of optimism and reviving my absolute faith in the creative force of community during uncertain times. As Anne Lamott wrote, “Creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.” Those of us in the Enso Circle experience all these things which are magnified because they are shared. The Enso Circle is not an art workshop or social media group, although it has components of each of those. Artists who apply are ready to focus on a conceptual goal in their studio practice. It could be a social theme, an exploration of media, a series of work that analyzes personal struggles or celebrates overcoming difficulty. You’ll see powerful visual and descriptive examples of these authentic statements on every page of this catalog. Each of the Resident artists whose authentic, eclectic work graces these pages answered a call for concept that had not been tried before – a virtual Art Residency based on a written application and specific goals. Since the first day, the Residents have shown respect, support, humor, and encouragement to others in the Circle. We’ve inspired each other in all the best ways. I am incredibly grateful to these Residents who have made The Enso Circle a reality, now and in the future. Lyn Belisle 5
WHAT IS THE ENSO CIRCLE? THE ENSO CIRCLE IS AN INVITATIONAL ART RESIDENCY, A DEDICATED THREE-MONTH TIME PERIOD IN WHICH YOU WILL JOIN A COMMUNITY OF CREATORS FOR A SPECIFIC SELF-CHOSEN GOAL THAT IS UNIQUE TO YOU. THE ONLINE RESIDENCY PROVIDES THE COMPREHENSIVE ARTISTIC SUPPORT THAT YOU NEED TO FOCUS AND STRENGTHEN YOUR WORK. YOU WILL HAVE ACCESS TO WORKSHOP SESSIONS, A PRIVATE ONLINE LIBRARY OF RESOURCES, REGULAR ZOOM CRITIQUES AND GROUP DISCUSSIONS, AND PRESENTATIONS WITH GUEST ARTISTS. DURING THE THREE MONTHS THERE WILL BE OPPORTUNITIES TO SHARE YOUR WORK IN PROCESS, TROUBLESHOOT STUCK POINTS, GET POSITIVE AND SUPPORTIVE FEEDBACK, AND MEET ONE ON ONE WITH LYN AND/OR MICHELLE. THE RESIDENCY CULMINATES IN A SHARED ONLINE EXHIBITION AND CATALOGUE. THIS CATALOG SHOWCASES THE WORK OF THE CURRENT AND CONTINUING RESIDENTS OF THE ENSO CIRCLE FOR THE SPRING, SUMMER, AND FALL TERMS OF 2021. WHO IS THIS COMMUNITY FOR? ARTISTS WHO ARE READY TO FOCUS ON A CONCEPTUAL GOAL IN THEIR STUDIO PRACTICE. IT COULD BE A SOCIAL THEME, AN EXPLORATION OF MEDIA, A SERIES OF WORK THAT ANALYZES PERSONAL STRUGGLES OR CELEBRATES OVERCOMING DIFFICULTY. IT’S ALSO A SPACE FOR THOSE OF US WHO FEEL STUCK IN OUR WORK, NEED THE EXTERNALLY IMPOSED ORDER OF A COMMUNITY OF CREATIVE COLLEAGUES, AND VALUE THE EXPONENTIAL WISDOM OF THE GROUP. IF YOU’VE FELT A SENSE OF ISOLATION, THIS VIRTUAL THREE-MONTH RESIDENCY MAY BE EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO RE-CONNECT TO YOUR ART PRACTICE THROUGH SYNERGY WITH OTHERS IN THE ENSO CIRCLE. IF YOU FEEL THE NEED FOR A BALANCED EXPERIENCE THAT ENCOURAGES BOTH PERSONAL CREATIVE TIME AND GUIDED ENCOURAGEMENT FROM LIKE-MINDED WORKING ARTISTS, YOU WILL FIND A HOME IN THE ENSO CIRCLE WITH LYN BELISLE, MICHELLE BELTO, AND YOUR FELLOW ART RESIDENTS. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS, PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE: WWW.THEENSOCIRCLE.COM
CURRENT ENSO CIRCLE RESIDENTS ANNE BOEDECKER ANN BONESTELL WALDINEI LAFAIETE ANN LEACH LISA LOVEJOY LEILA REYNOLDS INGRID TEGNER SHEILA WOLPER
MASSACHUSETTS CALIFORNIA TEXAS MISSOURI WASHIINGTON TEXAS CALIFORNIA NEW YORK
About the Artist & the Work
I found my way to art later in life, after many years as a quilter and crafter. Expressive art facilitated growth and healing during a time of deep grief. Since then I have shared the transformative power of art through workshops and retreats exploring collage, altered books, art journaling and other modalities that lend themselves to free expression. My work is intuitive and spontaneous, arising from inner stirrings that find their way to the surface as time and space allow. It is a spiritual practice that sustains me through the vicissitudes of aging and the turmoil in the world. The works I’ve chosen to exhibit are titled Mindful Offerings I, II, and III. In Buddhist practice offerings are made to the Three Jewels: the Buddha (as a teacher and enlightened being), the Dharma (the teachings) and the Sangha (community of spiritual seekers). These three pieces elevate offerings collected and made from nature, in appreciation of the beauty of the natural world. I created them mindfully, with reverence, gratitude and delight.
(Clockwise from top left) MINDFUL OFFERINGS I Paper, plaster and found objects 12 x 12 $100 MINDFUL OFFERINGS II Paper. plaster and found objects 12 x 12 $100 MINDFUL OFFERINGS III Paper. plaster and found objects 12 x 12 $100
About the Artist & the Work
ANN BONESTELL In 1979, I met an artist who became my closest friend and confidant and who introduced me to her world. Thus began my own creative journey. Over the next 30-plus years, my work evolved through a progression of art forms, including photography, mask making, fiber, paper, collage, jewelry, encaustic, and assemblage. In 2018, health issues cut my journey short and art making moved to a back burner. Finally, this year, after passing up two prior opportunities to join the Enso Circle, I felt compelled to say yes. For the first two-thirds of this cycle, I focused on creating new work space at home so I could return to art making. The long pause brought with it a new way of working in which I am learning to listen to what the art wants to be. I’ve now come to love the process itself over the outcome. First in a new series -- Between The Moon And Me -“Emerging” represents rebirth from a long hiatus into a new direction, where the meaning of the work reveals itself fully upon completion and reflection. The next two pieces, “Seeking,” and “Finding Her Tribe” continue a progression in the series.
Top EMERGING Mixed Media 6” x 6” NFS Bottom Left SEEKING Mixed Media 6” x 6” NFS Bottom Right FINDING HER TRIBE Mixed Media 6” x 6” NFS
About the Artist & the Work
WALDINEI LAFAIETE I created my first assemblage when I was in fifth grade in Brazil. Decades later an eye-catching mixed media painting in a hotel caught my attention and revived my desire to express my creative energy through assemblage art. I was determined to create something similar but I never did. Instead, I have spent my adult years expressing my creativity through photography. The image of that mixed media painting never left my imagination though. I was recently invited to make an assemblage altar for an exhibition where creativity is seen as a form of spiritual expression. I can’t remember any other time on my creative journey that I felt so connected to the universe’s creative flow. I started to see every found object as an opportunity to repurpose, relove and reinterpret. The Enso Circle program gave me the boost to explore more. I combined my natural curiosity for eastern culture and religion with my background in Graphic Design to bring to life art pieces that convey a sense of sacredness through rustic beauty. I find the process of creating harmony out of chaos fascinating, especially when the new reality stimulates the viewer’s imagination and evoke an awe-inspiring response. The Buddha Altar (bottom left image) created with clay, plaster, wood stamping and collage was my first attempt to combine mundane objects to express beauty and the divine. The Relic Gold Buddha (larger image) was created with polymer clay, wood and found objects. My intent was to create an art piece that resembles an ancient sacred artifact. The White Buddha (bottom right image) is made of clay, plaster and found objects. The inspiration came from a statue in the White Temple in Thailand.
About the Artist & the Work
ANN LEACH On an average day in May 2011 the skies rained down devastation on my community of Joplin, Mo. as the most destructive tornado in our country’s history ripped through my city. I lost everything that day. But what I found amongst the debris of my life was the healing spark of my own creativity. There was just one problem: I wasn’t an artist. Instead, I painted pictures with words to help others heal in my work as a writer, speaker, and therapist. As the salvaging continued, I discovered the healing power of spirit dolls and began looking at sticks fallen from 100 yr. old trees at my post-tornado historic home as art rather than more debris to be cleared away. I added fabric and found objects and the spirit of each doll began to reveal itself to me. The dolls showed me that despite big change, good and healing could come from what remained. I began offering the spirit dolls to others desiring to set new life intentions for their lives too through a newly launched website, SeaSistersSpritDolls.com. It is my hope that the Sea Sister spirit dolls will inspire and support others in having a life worth living and loving.
WHEN TIME WAS KIND Wood, clay, watch parts, ribbon 9” x 8” NFS
GUARDED GRIEF WITH A DASH OF HOPE Cholla, clay, ribbon, wood, plastic 5” x 10” $75
OPEN HEART- A CAT SHAMAN’S TALE Wood, clay, ribbon, feathers, barbeque skewers 6” x 11” NFS-From the collection of Janet Johnson
About the Artist & the Work
LISA LOVEJOY My way into becoming an artist has been a meandering one. I learned from my grandmother who was a painter. From a very young age I was under her wing, voraciously learning and drinking up anything she offered. At some point point, there was art schooI. Yet I am still very influenced by her style and attitude about art. Ergo, I paint the way I feel in that moment. I slop that paint on and celebrate the mess and the unexpected. The paintings I am showing here are part of a series I have developed about my messes. Generally speaking, I’m messy and I celebrate the unexpected, however there are consequences. After so much shame around this, I decided to celebrate it.
(Top) IT’S BEEN A WHILE Acrylic on watercolor paper 22’ X 30’ $650
(Bottom Left) HOME IS WHERE THE MESS IS Acrylic on watercolor paper 22” x 30” $650
(Bottom Right) UNINVITED GUEST Acrylic on watercolor paper 22” x 30” $650
About the Artist & the Work
LEILA REYNOLDS I believe art is “the language of the soul.” In whatever form, art expresses the soul’s desires, hopes, dreams, visions, and even agonies without barriers of culture, class, or age. Not having had any experience with painting (other than painting a wall), I joined a group which gathered in a church hall to draw and paint. I discovered that my soul is refreshed when I create. This epiphany occurred when a professor in seminary allowed me to present a painting instead of a paper for the final: an interpretation of Siddhartha, Sounder and The Gospel of Mark. I’ve enjoyed many media: oils, fiber art, acrylics, and collage, always focusing on texture and color for expression. I find cold wax and oil and encaustic intriguing. I discovered the beauty and power of abstract art as it allows the artist and the viewer to discover their own unique stories. I seek to evoke the stories living within me and within the viewers as they respond to my art. I paint intuitively, letting the art piece develop as I interact with it. I enjoy developing multi layers, allowing each layer to continue my story. In this series, “Uncovering Memories” I search for an answer to “Who Am I?”
“Beneath the Surface” 10”x10” Mixed Media and Encaustic on wood panel $325.00
“Awakening” 10”x10” Mixed Media and Encaustic on wood panel $325.00
“Finding Solid Ground” 10”x10” Mixed Media and Encaustic on wood panel $325.00
“All That Lies Beneath” 12”x12” Mixed Media and Encaustic on wood panel $468.00
About the Artist & the Work
INGRID TEGNER As a resident of Riverside, California, I sense the vibrations of both sonic booms and small earthquakes on a regular basis. I have long been interested in tectonic plates and how the earth was formed. When I was researching the San Andreas fault, I was fascinated by how shock waves created by a simulated earthquake compared with the waves of sonic boom. I have created those visual patterns with suminagashi, a Japanese paper marbling technique. Literally, the word means “ink floating.” The suminagashi layers are placed under layers of wax, like the seismic activity we sense underground. The marks on top of the wax were made using a stencil I created with vintage player piano rolls. Music from the past, from another time of great social inequity,1929. Living through the pandemic has, for me, been a dance with uncertainty. This series is a meditation on wholeness amidst fracture, on how to delve deeper and maintain serenity. (Clockwise, from top left) SENDING OUT A SIGNAL Encaustic and suminagashi on wooden panel 6” x 6” $150.00 LISTENING LONGER, LISTENING DEEPER Encaustic and suminagashi on wooden panel 10” x 10” $350.00 AFTERSHOCKS Encaustic and suminagashi on wooden panel 6” x 6” $150.00 CROSSING A NEW THRESHOLD Encaustic and suminagashi on wooden panel 10” x 10” $350.00 THE OLD DISAPPEARS, THE NEW EMERGES Encaustic and suminagashi on wooden panel 10” x 10” $350.00
About the Artist & the Work
SHEILA WOLPER From textile designer, to photographer, to educator, to collage/ mixed media artist and teacher, my creative journey has come full circle. When I retired in 2011 and returned to a full time art practice, it became clear to me that each phase of my professional and personal life informed my art, often in surprising ways. My foundation in design, my exploration of photographic processes, and most importantly my understanding of the vulnerability of children, and the complexities of childhood and family relationships, have all found their way into my art. I am drawn to the contrast between exterior appearances and interior reality. My collages, assemblages, and artist books strip away the surface of existing stereotypes and expose, through visual narratives, a sometimes ambiguous or distorted reality. A scavenger for as long as I can remember, I am fascinated with the possibilities of found objects and recycled materials. I revel in the discarded, decayed, and fragmented. This passion has earned me the sobriquet, coined by my husband, of “slum goddess.” The city is my shopping mall and I rarely come home without some kind of found “treasure.” A recent acquisition was rolls of architectural plans. As I studied the plans of mostly suburban homes, I began thinking about the concept of “home” and its meaning, so different for each of us. The essence of “home” is much more than the skeletal shell of these drawings. It is a psychological and emotional network of relationships, attachments, memories, wishes, and dreams. My goal for the Enso Circle was to translate this complex concept into visual images. The three pieces displayed here are just the beginning of my series.
(Clockwise from top left)
NESTLING: Mixed media assemblage on cradled board 11” x 14” $500. THE RETURN: Momigami paper and alcohol ink on cradled board 6” x 12” $400. EXODUS TO SUBURBIA :Mixed media on paper 18” x 24” $600.
ABOUT THE CURRENT ENSO CIRCLE RESIDENTS
WHO BEGAN IN SEPTEMBER 2021
ANNE BOEDECKER I have been on a journey towards the full expression of my authentic self through art for the past 20 years. I have explored collage, altered books, art journaling, watercolor, fabric art, assemblage and ink on yupo paper. I founded Art Heals the Soul in 2006 to share the power of art with others. I retired from my psychotherapy practice in 2018 to devote more time to Art Heals the Soul and my own art and spiritual practice. The pandemic has limited what I can offer others, but given me the opportunity to focus on my own growth as an artist. I am currently working on a series of mixed media pieces to accompany poems about grief I’ve written over the past 20 years.
ANN BONESTELL While art and creativity were largely absent during my earlier years, by 1979 I had met an artist who introduced me to her world and thus began my own creative journey. Over the next 30-plus years, I explored a variety of art forms and today am comfortable working in any of them Following a three year hiatus for health reasons, I recently returned to art making with renewed purpose and a new way of working. Having learned to “listen more deeply” I now enjoy a dialog with the work and have come to love the process even more than the outcome.
I am a life coach/therapist and always use creativity as a vehicle for expression as either a graphic recorder or doodler, creating visual maps of next steps for my clients. I have supported local artists for years as a volunteer locally but just began exploring my own creativity in 2011 after losing everything to the EF 5 tornado that hit my town. I was board president of the local arts center at the time and saw firsthand the power of the arts to heal. I have been hooked on art journaling, collage, and spirit dolls as my mediums for personal healing ever since.
INGRID TEGNER When I was seven years old, I realized that I wanted to work with the soul but didn’t understand what that meant. As a child, I learned how to knit and embroider. Although a career in the arts was actively discouraged, I continued to develop skills in ceramics and printmaking. I left social work years ago and completed my BFA in 2019. Making art is another aspect of soul expression and spiritual development. The process gives me space for quiet meditation and reflection. I am deeply grateful to the Enso Circle for providing a supportive
LEILA REYNOLDS My series of encaustic paintings for this catalog, “Uncovering Memories,” was influenced by the writings of T.S. Eliot and Henri Nouwen. In “Little Gidding” T. S. Eliot writes about the concept of productive struggle. “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.” As I explore art, I struggle. Yet, in the struggle to express the “language of the soul,” I discover what has been waiting to be revealed. Henri Nouwen, priest, pastor and author, wrote in “Reaching Out”: “Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend…It is that free space I hope to offer the friend or stranger viewing my art.
WALDINEI (WALLY) LAFAIETE Waldinei Lafaiete, aka Wally, has been working with Marketing and Communications for over 20 years. Wally moved to California from São Paulo, Brazil in the late 90’s and decided to follow his creative drive by enrolling in Graphic Design classes. This exposure to New Media Art gave him the initial inspiration to learn more about Photography. He left his corporate job to join the editorial board of the publication and simultaneously created Lafaiete Creative Productions, a small marketing company that has been creating successful advertising campaigns for businesses in San Antonio. He is fascinated by making art that suggests subtle relationships and themes from objects not normally seen together.
LISA LOVEJOY My paintings are in acrylic and sometimes mixed media. I enjoy painting in bright colors and loose shapes. Im particularly fascinated by trees and nature but I also like to explore portraits and still life. My goal is to portray these things in a way that is dreamy and in surprising colors. I want to explore still lifes that are non traditional in their environment and communicate humor and joy.
SHEILA WOLPER I am a mixed media collage artist and teacher based in Ancramdale, New York and New York City. When I retired in 2011 my need to create art, which had emerged periodically over the years, only to return to a state of hibernation, awoke from its stasis and changed my life. I met a group of women who were all returning to or beginning their art practice, also after retirement, and we formed an art group, appropriately called, Next Act Art. We have inspired and supported one another, shared our skills, shown our work in group shows, and are finally able to call ourselves “artists.” Three years ago, I began teaching collage and mixed media. Sharing what I love, art and teaching has enriched my art and my life. The more I teach, the more I learn about myself, my art, and the importance of community and connection.
ENSO CIRCLE CONTINUING RESIDENTS
THESE ARTISTS ARE COMPLETING THEIR SECOND OR THIRD TERM
FLORIDE BARTELL - CALIFORNIA GAIL BYRNES - MASSACHUSETTS SUE CONNER - CALIFORNIA MARIAN MCKENZIE-CONE - NEW ZEALAND VANESSA MARTIN-LANGONE - CALIFORNIA HARLEEN OSBURN - CALIFORNIA IRENE PEAKE - ARIZONA HEATHER TINKHAM - MINNESOTA MICHELLE TRACHTMAN - MARYLAND SARAH TREANOR - OHIO STAN UNSER - TEXAS
About the Artist & the Work
FLO BARTELL My family of artists, artisans, and musicians fostered and encouraged my early love for the arts…music, dance, art, and needlework. During my childhood, I especially enjoyed making art from material I found in my backyard, around the house, and in my mother’s sewing basket. I chose a career in education and mental health, but in midlife I responded to the pull of my early passions. Now a dedicated artist for more than three decades, I maintain a studio practice, teach encaustic painting and sculpture, and am represented by Art Central Gallery in San Luis Obispo, California. In my first Enso Circle term, I began a series of wall sculptures based on ways we heal. With influence from my Enso Circle mentors and mates, I began to include figures in my sculptural work. Early pieces in the series suggest we can heal through music, by being open to guides we meet in our lives, and by listening to the wisdom of our sages. Continuing in this theme, JOY reminds us that celebrating our blessings, even in adversity, can be a path to healing our spirits. In creating JOY, I was able to explore figurative sculpture, learn more about and from the materials I like to use, and to continue to follow my interest in muses and guides. As I worked on the composition of this piece, I was reminded that finding balance is key in art and in life. JOY 18”x 24”x 4” Encaustic with mixed media $1400
About the Artist & the Work
GAIL BYRNES Simplicity. That’s what this residency was about for me. Could I cut an entire doll front and back from one piece of folded fabric with a single cut? Could I make a doll with very simple features, letting her essence speak? Could I make a doll without a plan, letting scissors and fabric guide my hands? These were challenges offered by Helen Layfield in her soft sculpture doll class. I made a number of hand stitched dolls, with seams exposed. The process was liberating and exhilarating and took me to a primal place. I was taught to stay within the lines, to obey the rules. Many years of practicing acupuncture and working with shamans in a number of traditions taught me to bend these rules and to see beyond traditional boundaries and into energetic and spiritual realms. The primitive feminine forms of these shamanic figures speak to the power of simplicity. (left) HOLDING TIGHT Fabric, hand stitching, beads and buttons 10” tall, 5 1/2” wide $95 (top right) BEYOND WHAT IS SEEN Fabric, hand stitching, ephemera 7” tall, 4” wide $75 (bottom right) I SING MY SONG Fabric, hand stitching, ephemera 13” tall, 6” wide $125
About the Artist & the Work
SUE CONNER I sit in my studio, taking in the magnificent vista before me and breathe in the mysteries and wonders of nature. My eyes come to rest on “Honoring the Sacred Remains”, which pays tribute to the tenuous balance existing in nature’s glorious bounty. Experimentation and discovery were essential in every step. Discarded packing materials sparked my curiosity for building a structural foundation. An “altar” emerged – the perfect means for honoring the simple beauty of the eucalyptus leaf. Incorporating the textural qualities of mulberry paper and encaustic medium further enhanced a sense of reverence. Soaking the leaves in glycerin, dipping them into medium protected their delicate details. A sense of “balance” was communicated by suspending them from a stick. But something was missing. I put it aside for a few days – the answer – it needed a circle. Experimentation again ensued with copper tubing becoming the perfect choice. Finally, I used PanPastel and oil stick to emphasize the details. This piece has become the catalyst for a larger body of work that will continue to communicate my deep connection with nature. I will let spontaneity be my guide, listen to my intuitive voice, and embrace the need to maintain balance in my life rather than to attain perfection.
HONORING THE SACRED REMAINS Encaustic and found objects 16x17x6 $400
About MARIAN MCKENZIE-CONE the Artist & the Work
“Love produces harmony and harmony creates beauty. Therefore the chief motto in life is ‘Love, harmony and beauty’.” Hazrat Inayat Khan A journey of inner discovery. . . . This past year, both the residency and the continuing residency helped me travel new artistic paths. The first residency had my focus on wrapping up my past into decades and moving into new space with fresh eyes. I found myself in the continuing residency actually diving right back into my past but becoming the link between seven generations of women in one branch of my family tree, my Great Great Grandma, my Great Grandma, my Grandma, my Mother, Myself, my two Daughters, my Three Granddaughters. I have produced a book with a cover made from old materials and tied all the pages inside the front and back covers with a large ribbon made of plaited old materials to keep it all together. Modge Podge, Encaustic on water paper, Extravorganza prints, photos of family over seven generations,different college materials, linen tablecloth material, ribbons, old laces, buttons, paints. One page holds letters, placed in the pocket of an old child’s pinnie (made by my mother for us as children), written by my great grandma to her grandchild Annie, (my mothers Sister) and replies by my daughters and granddaughters. Along with a reflection of my childhood memories this has made an intertwined and beautiful journey that hopefully holds love and treasure for generations to come. 34
(Selected Pages) LOVE, HARMONY, BEAUTY Handmade Book Fiber and Mixed Media 14x17” NFS
About VANESSA MARTIN-LANGONE the Artist & the Work
During the past two years, I have observed my inner experiences in reaction to what is going on in life. Being a mom to two amazing boys, my creative time is often during the “in-between” of things. This time is precious and my spiritual, grounding anchor. Experimenting is a constant for my mind and I create both abstract and mixed-media encaustic art. My ideas bubble up and out of my subconscious as I process my thoughts and feelings. It takes time to realize and comprehend why we feel a certain way and sometimes we may not yet have the words to describe or understand. My work conveys what words sometimes cannot. Each painting has a word from the ancient Ogham alphabet, as a nod to my Irish ancestry. When the visual elements are complete, encaustic layers seal my image along with textured mark-making. Making art is a cathartic and freeing experience for my soul. This series symbolizes the layers of life, our history and inner wisdom that we have inside of ourselves.
About the Artist & the Work
Whether standing on the summit of Mount Whitney and looking up into a sky so blue it is almost black or standing on a beach looking at a single shell held in the palm of my hand, I become part of the symphony of nature. It is immense, breath taking, magnificent and inspiring. But it is the solitary shell that brings me to my knees. Even in this small thing, there is a universe. For this residency, I chose to draw a series of shells. My process is simple. Charcoal is placed on a heavy paper and sanded into it until it is a mid-tone gray. Then the sketch is laid down. Next, more charcoal is added and sanded into the paper for the darks, and the mid-tone gray is sanded away to expose the white of the paper for the lights. This push pull of lights and darks continues until the drawing emerges.
(Top Left) CHAMBERED TIGER NAUTILUS Charcoal on BFK Rives 9” X 11” Image Size NFS (Top Right) CONCH Charcoal on BFK Rives 8” X 12” Image Size NFS
TIGER, TIGER Charcoal on BFK Rives 9” X 11” Image Size NFS
SEA SONG Charcoal on BFK Rives 9” X 12” Image Size NFS
About the Artist & the Work
IRENE PEAKE Working in collage and assemblage lets me make a mess on my art table. If you were to open the drawers in my studio, you would find not only standard art supplies but my collected treasures as well—ancient beads, hand spun yarn, shells, etc. In my studio practice, I try to maintain a sense of play while handling many components in order to see which work together. With a bit of luck, connections are made, individual objects are transformed, and a story emerges. During the past three months, I continued working on a series of “memory boxes” which I began in my first residency. Each piece honors a person who has had an impact on my life and includes their story. “Fannie at 18” honors my maternal grandmother who emigrated to the US from Romania, and eventually became a milliner. The box which I have created reminds me of her work box filled with supplies as well as the wonderful embellishments she created for hats. “Mother Nature in the Desert” honors an actress I once met and celebrates a role she made famous in a series of television commercials.
(Above) MOTHER NATURE IN THE DESERT Mixed Media 8-3/4” x 6-1/4” x 2-1/8” $150 (Right) FANNIE AT 18 Mixed Media 1-7/8”x 7-1/4” x 7-3/4” NFS
About the Artist & the Work
HEATHER TINKHAM I have always had one foot in each of the creative and analytic sides of life. My studies have ranged from theatrical design to computer science, and from business management to fiber based handwork. After decades in consulting, I moved to full time art in 2013. This divide has not always been easy, and I continue to discover new ways in which these aspects of my life come together. My doctoral research led me to seeing not only the elements of our human interactions in business but also how they relate in complex and emergent ways. As I later worked on developing my art practices, I saw color, line, texture, and form as elements that dance with each other, creating contrast and context, and where the experience changes as the piece evolves and with each new encounter with a viewer. Heart, the Inconvenient Rebel, Undercover, represents the early separation between these sides of my life. Her ability to impact her environment is limited by this division, and fire smolders beneath the more conventional presentation. When she learns to bloom, her life remains a patchwork, but the pieces grow to blend and weave together, creating new life.
(left to right)HEART, THE INCONVENIENT REBEL, UNDERCOVER (back) Cotton, silk, velvet soft sculpture 6” x 20” HEART, THE INCONVENIENT REBEL, UNDERCOVER (front) Cotton, silk, velvet soft sculpture 6” x 20” HEART, THE INCONVENIENT REBEL, LEARNING TO BLOOM Cotton, silk, velvet soft sculpture 8” x 22”
About the MICHELLE TRACHTMAN Artist & the Work
In my first residency I concentrated my efforts on creating spirit dolls. I loved the process and learned so much from it. As a continuing resident my focus was a bit more experimental, trying my hand at several different techniques, with all of them using fabric and thread. This residency was all about threading together feelings, relationships, and spirit. Over the past few months, I have created eight soft sculpture dolls with Helen Layfield as the teacher and inspiration, as well as two fabric books which were inspired by two different artists with two distinctly different techniques. Pictured here is my version of a spirit cloth called Meditation. It was inspired by the work of Jude Hill. This is a slow stitch project done by hand. The background is six different cotton fabrics that are woven together and then tacked down. The next step in the process was to add the vintage laces and yo-yos. There are vintage buttons and additional stitching on the background fabrics to add texture. Each stitch was formed to connect mind, spirit, and body. Making this piece was a labor of love!
SPIRIT CLOTH 18 x 24 Fiber, thread, objects NFS
About the Artist & the Work
SARAH TREANOR I lost both of my parents young - carving a canyon of grief into me. Creativity and a love of nature helped me transform that canyon into a beautiful inner landscape. This is the space that I create from. It cannot be seen, but it is felt in the things that I make. These encaustic pieces honor life. Each began with an eco-print mounted to a panel and encased in wax. I then incorporated enamel paint, microbeads, and asphalt patch into the uppermost layer. The result was a rich honoring of the layers of a beautiful and fleeting life. The workbook was a new venture for me. As someone who has been parenting myself for many years, I wanted to encourage others to nurture themselves well. I wrote and photographed the entire guide, and shared it on my website for download. Both of these projects were so meaningful to make.
BURNING RED MAPLE Eco print and encaustic wax on wood panel 4 x 4” $45
SAGE TRIO Eco print and encaustic wax on wood panel 4 x 4” $45
JAPANESE MAPLE DANCE Eco print and encaustic wax on wood panel 4 x 4” $45
WORKBOOK PROJECT: Build Your Nest
About the Artist & the Work
STAN UNSER A fascination with images and a compulsion to merge them into stories directs my work. My focus is on presenting a narrative and artistic composition. I start with digital manipulation of the images before transferring them with acrylics and finishing with oils. Abstract or tumultuous environments are frequently opposed with organized figurative elements. I also welcome ambiguity to invite viewers to advance their own interpretation of the piece. Creating viewer involvement is my foremost purpose. I’ve been making artwork since my retirement in 2015 and am influenced by multiple class instructors including Michelle and Lyn at the Enso Circle. One class taught me to photo transfer using dissolving paper. After taking an oil painting class, I started using that to finish over the photo transfers. Currently, I use Photoshop, a larger printer, and add various mixed media processes, including encaustic, which I learned from Michelle. Many of the works I create in Photoshop don’t always make it to a canvas. They are presented as photographs and may later become a canvas work.
(Clockwise from top left)
NATE’S FISH Photo transfers, acrylic, oil, on canvas. 24”x24” NFS BROKEN WINDOW Digital Photograph 11”x14” NFS SIDEWALK LONGHORN Digital Photograph 12”x12” NFS
ABOUT THE CONTINUING ENSO CIRCLE RESIDENTS
WHO BEGAN IN MARCH OR AUGUST 2021 FLO BARTELL
When I make art, I excavate stories, scars, and symbols and give them form with encaustic and mixed media. I work with encaustic because the smooth, glossy surface, the pleasant aroma, the soothing rhythm of my torch, the unpredictable and preservative nature of the medium, and the intense color and movement possible with hot wax and pigment are seductive and satisfying. I sculpt and paint with determination, passion, and with a spirit of exploration that I hope the viewer can feel in my art.
I inherited an old treadle sewing machine when I was 16, which began my passion for creating. I was an avid sewer for many years, and eventually did fiber arts, including weaving. I worked with clay for several years, and photography for a decade, having several solo shows. My work was largely about reflections and the macro world. More recently I have begun working with collage, and mixed media, and love combining different modalities. I have been an acupuncturist and shamanic practitioner for many years and enjoy experimenting with light, energy, and flow in my art and my work. SUE CONNER The encaustic medium’s rich colors and sculptural qualities, for me, are intriguing and exciting. I find satisfaction when I let the spontaneous nature of the wax guide me as I explore ways to create textures, embed found objects, incorporate images, and integrate paper where the wax is the unifying factor. I have learned that life is essentially about the journey, what we encounter as we move forward, and how we choose to react. 50
I am a qualified pre-school and primary teacher who currently resides in Timaru, NZ. I believe that art is the freedom to explore ourselves and teach us who we want to become through trial and perseverance in the application of medium and never giving up when we think the world is against us. For me it is about colour and imagination, feeling the color in ourselves and the world around us. I combine these two aspects and leave the viewer to decide what they see in the work. HARLEEN OSBORN I work predominately in charcoal, pencil and watercolor. Most of my drawings have been done from life, but I occasionally work from photographs. I have had three one man gallery shows and one of my charcoal drawings was published in “Strokes of Genius”. I have no formal art training, but I have taken workshops with several classically trained artists. I recently retired from my job in healthcare and am ready to grow as an artist. HEATHER TINKHAM I create fiber based mixed media art to express aspects of our deeply human experiences in their conflicting yet intimately integrated ways. These unique pieces are designed to intrigue and capture your imagination. My art challenges the labels we rely on so heavily, focusing on core essences and relationships, bringing more authenticity into our chaotic world. Ideally, my pieces end up like drops of water at the intersections of a grand spider web, magnifying the heart of the matter and focusing our attention on questions that are not easily answered while drawing us close with their haunting familiarity. 51
An early memory from growing up in Ireland is being a little girl, painting at my grandmother’s table and feeling as happy as can be. Art and the act of creating continues to sustain me through these liminal times and I am so very grateful for it. The Enso Circle community is my North Star and I am so thankful to all of you for your guidance, support and encouragement. “Be of good courage all is before you, and time passed in the difficult is never lost...What is required of us is that we live the difficult and learn to deal with it. In the difficult are the friendly forces, the hands that work on us”. Rainer Maria Rilke IRENE PEAKE
I like to find beauty and meaning in everyday objects. I’m the person who goes to the beach and comes back with a pocketful of shells, or who visits the woods and comes back with a handful of sticks and stones. Each item in my stash is special to me, whether made by nature or, like a piece of fine, old lace, made by hand. When I work with these items, magic happens. A story emerges in the form of a collage or assemblage. MICHELLE TRACHTMAN As a child I loved to sit and color and play with paper dolls! Eventually I craved doing something more creative. I fell in love with working with fiber and stitch. I learned to needlepoint, to make traditional hooked rugs, fabric collage/art quilts and art dolls.More recently I’ve wanted to connect more with Spirit through my artwork and started making spirit dolls. This series theme changed many times and ended up being about aging. Creating this way is freeing and has added to my desire to work with natural elements, mixed media, and sculptural creations. 52
Ten years ago, when I lost my fiance in an accident, I made a promise to myself to leave my corporate life behind and make art. I’ve kept that promise. I create in a variety of mediums like photography, encaustic, ceramics and writing every day. Making things has helped me to build meaning and purpose into my life, especially in times of grief or transition. I continue to explore my own personal journey in my artmaking process, while sharing the things I learn that help me along the way. My hope is that I can help others see their own creativity as a tool for healing and transformation.
I’ve been making artwork since my retirement in 2015 and am influenced by multiple class instructors including Michelle and Lyn at the Enso Circle. One class taught me to photo transfer using dissolving paper. After learning oil painting, I started using that to finish over the photo transfers. Now I use Photoshop, a larger printer, and various mixed media processes including encaustic which I learned from Michelle.
STUDIO SHOTS: HOW WE CREATE IS A VARIED AS WHERE WE CREATE. HERE ARE SOME STUDIO PHOTOS FROM ENSO CIRCLE CURRENT RESIDENTS.
ENSO CIRCLE FOUNDERS LYN BELISLE MICHELLE BELTO
About the Artist & the Work
We are a mobile society. It is rare to find someone who has lived in one home or neighborhood all their lives. I am no exception. I left home at thirteen and moved to a religious boarding school, where I frequently needed to relocate for my job as an educator. Somewhere along those moves, I lost a sense of place. For the last several years, my work has explored how memories are embedded in our experiences of objects we collect and spaces we inhabit. My questions led me to cold wax as a subtractive medium that unlike encaustic, requires an element of time. Burying coded marks under layers of cold wax and oil paint is my way of remembering and recording. Fragments of the story finds its way toward the surface, reordered. I like the serendipity of discovery in this process. I have been fortunate to have lived the last twenty-plus years in the same location, where I have many memories. In this series, Touchstones, I intend to recover a sense of place, painting by painting.
SHOP ECHOS Encaustic over cold wax on panel 12” x 12” $ 390
REAR WINDOW MEMORY Encaustic over cold wax on panel 12 x 12” $390
About LYN BELISLE the Artist & the Work
I’ve given a lot of thought this past year about the resilience of the collective human community. The result is a series of 24x24” mixed-media paintings on wood, each one based on the idea of Full-Ness, which is the quality or state of being “filled completely or to utmost capacity.” From this concept of Full-Ness comes Mindfulness, the act of paying attention to what is happening in the present moment and doing this purposely and deliberately. When we practice mindfulness, we pay attention to what fills our thoughts and can then tap into an inner knowing, an ability to tune into our perceptions. If we recognize that we are “full” of fear, being mindful can help us re-fill our minds with words like grace and peace. Obviously, the unsettling fearful situations in today’s world won’t change, but our response to them can. We know that this is just simple welldocumented, psychology. So, I took this opportunity to develop these paintings as a means to cultivate personal positive “fullness” and attentive mindfulness. I adapted six words for six works that describe positive resilience and balance: Hope-full, Peace-full, Care-full, Grace-full, Joy-full, Thought-full. This series was satisfying in its process, and I’m grateful for the insights I gained.
(Right) THOUGHT-FULL Acrylic/Mixed Media on Birch Cradleboard 24x24x2” $500 (Bottom Left) CARE-FULL Acrylic/Mixed Media on Birch Cradleboard 24x24x2” $500 (Bottom Right) HOPE-FULL Acrylic/Mixed Media on Birch Cradleboard 24x24x2” $500
MICHELLE BELTO My best work has always had components of image, story and dance. Without the immediacy of live performance, I’ve had to wrestle with the limits of the visual form. How was I to merge narrative in my work or give a sense of movement in what is basically a two-dimensional static image? My questions and my ensuing study led me to paper and wax as mediums of choice. Paper, as an organic material, is
LYN BELISLE Human faces, ancient or contemporary, fascinate me as summaries of life stories in the moment. Clay, paper, beeswax, and fiber are my instinctive, beloved media but mark-making through abstract painting challenges me to develop my own language of expression and translation.The more aware I am of the little day-to-day things that capture my attention by calling to me in a mysterious way, and the more I take
Congratulations to the Residents of the Enso Circle for an excellent exhibit! We are so grateful to you for your creativity, courage, and diversity!
Michelle Belto is a multi-faceted artist and teacher, whose work as an artist, educator and author spans more than forty years, three continents and multiple publications. She holds degrees and certifications in Fine Art, Theater and Expressive Arts. Michelle’s teaching schedule includes instruction in her signature work with paper and wax (Wax and Paper Workshop, Northlight Press 2012) and her life’s work developing an insightful process for deciphering meaning and purpose from the art we create. Her work is in private, corporate and museum collections. Michelle is a R&F Teir Instructor for R&F Paints and an adjunct faculty at Southwest School of Art where she teaches a variety of encaustic painting courses.
Lyn Belisle is an award-winning teacher, artist, designer, and writer, who has taught a range of fine arts, humanities, English, and graphic design throughout her career. Lyn teaches mixed-media workshops at Lyn Belisle Studio in San Antonio. She also teaches nationally, recently in Taos, Santa Fe, Provincetown, and Washington State. Her signature media are earthenware, paper, encaustic, and fiber. She has had six one-person gallery exhibits since 2011, and recently retired from the faculty at the Computer Science Department at Trinity University. Lyn is an active member of the San Antonio Art League, the Fiber Artists of San Antonio, the San Antonio Potters’ Guild, the Encaustic Art institute, the International Encaustic Artists, and The American Craft Council.
“Knowing the teacher and knowing I needed to reach out to a like minded group of people to keep me focused on producing more art and this seemed like a dream place at the right time. (It was)! It became a place of refuge for me I just couldn’t wait for the next ping on my Slack site, the community built from this residency is more than I could have ever thought possible, the organization behind the scenes has been enormous I know, but such a smooth outcome and beautiful group of ‘found’ friends.” Marian McKenzie-Cone, Two-term Resident
When I first read about The Enso Circle, I was so excited. An opportunity to work with Lyn and Michelle – I couldn’t apply fast enough! Little did I know that I would be joined by a group of wonderful women, sisters in spirit. All these artists are talented and blessed with generous hearts and a giving spirit. The residency has brought focus and a purpose into my art practice and dear friends into my life. I’m already planning for the next three months in the Circle as a continuing resident. Oh, and did I mention how much fun it is! Holly Osborn, Three-term Resident
The entire experience of the ENSO Circle has been so good for me on so many levels. It has pushed me to try new things and experiment with some kinds of making that I’ve wanted to do for years. It has encouraged me to let go of expectations and experiment more openly. Through the residency, I’ve been able to take the time and space to concentrate on some deeply personal work that has allowed me to work through some emotions in a very cathartic way. It has helped me to feel more supported and like I have a “crew” I can talk to about art things who “get it”. And lastly, it also helped me embrace parts of my process I have struggled with for years by giving me new perspectives. Sarah Treanor, Two-term Resident
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE ENSO CIRCLE: WWW.THEENSOCIRCLE.COM