Saturday, June 2, 2018

Is the mural done yet? NO!

So I have explained this more times than I can count, so thought I'd put it in writing somewhere to refer to.... Although there is vinyl covering almost the entire back of the studio/ Aurora Fastprint, there are still more steps to complete the mural project "Aurora: Cultural Context of the Fox."

So here's what it looks like right now....

Here's notes of what else needs to be done: 


  • wrinkles in vinyl smoothed out
  • PVC poles wrapped in vinyl
  • lower door covered in vinyl
  • screening wall for dumpsters built, with matching vinyl to blend in
  • 46' x 33' skyline panel , with CNC router cut skyline floated above it, and 3D monarch 
  • 30' x 60' prairie panel with CNC router cut prairie plants silhouette floated above it
  • stainless steel water jet cut dragonfly perched on it
  • whooping cranes silhouettes cut and attached
  • "Aurora" word cut and attached

So here's what the finished piece will more closely resemble...when will it be done? I don't have an answer for that right now... 

....and an explanation of all of the imagery in it....

 Fastprint owner and Aurora Downtown president Kim Granholm has sponsored and collaborated with local Aurora Artist Cheryl Holz to create the art installation Aurora: Cultural Context of the Fox, their public contribution to the growing art scene in downtown Aurora. 

Aurora Fastprint (54 E Galena Blvd, Aurora) has provided leadership and print services to the business community for decades and is now pioneering new technology to bring art to the exteriors of downtown Aurora.

The art installation going up on the building’s Northern face illustrate the building’s function and location downtown on the banks of the Fox river.  The 2nd floor houses Aurora Artists Studios, which has provided affordable studio space to local artists since 1998. 

·       The painterly washes and splatters on the installation represent the art-making happening on the 2nd floor studios inside the building.  The rest of the imagery reference Aurora’s rich cultural, artistic, musical, literary history and the beautiful Fox river that runs through it.
·       The text running though the center is a poem called “Aurora” created specifically for this installation by Susan Schubert, a member of A-Town Politics, a local poetry group. 
·       Aurora’s rich musical history with the Blues is represented by a musical score of 12 bar blues that float through the river and appears in the upper left-hand corner as well.  An electric blue guitar represents the ongoing support of the contemporary Blues by the city. 
·       The lower right-hand corner includes a portion of the Aurora Artwalk logo, which was the predecessor to Aurora’s First Fridays, a monthly celebration of the arts.
·       The new Aurora downtown logo is slightly skewed to float across the river at sunset with the constellation “The Great Bear” in memory of Bear, Cheryl’s beloved canine companion coming to the studios since he was a puppy 13 years ago.  
·       The abundance of wildlife the river brings will be represented by their most handsome representatives:
o  Monarch butterfly perched above the Downtown skyline
o  Stainless steel blue darner dragonfly hovers above a section of prairie
o  Cedar waxwing perched on the 12 bar blues.  (I was fortunate to witness an entire flock one day from the studio window!)
o  Silhouettes of sandhill cranes break the roofline of the building
o  Softshell turtle making his way up the river
o  Orange spotted sunfish and smallmouth bass flash their colors in the river
o  Northern Leopard frog hovers near the edge of the river
o  Cormorant’s head pops up out of thee river before diving down again
o  Army of tadpoles clustering near the bottom of the river
o  Duck tracks imprinted along the shores
o  Pressed leaf specimens from the Linden trees in Rotary Park situated right outside our building float throughout the background of the mural. 
o  Silhouettes of native prairie plants float above an abstract prairie sky. They are, from left to right: prairie dropseed, white wild indigo, false boneset, missouri goldenrod, porcupine grass, Pale purple coneflower, switchgrass, big bluestem

The original scale painting, approx.. 7’ x 11’, is available for purchase for your downtown Aurora location!  Please inquire at

Cheryl Holz’s artwork and other commissions can be found at

To have a vinyl image applied to your building, vehicle or? contact

Friday, February 9, 2018

Sharing Winter Work on a Snow Day....

( I have not blogged in …..a very long while. Sometimes it felt like i was just shouting into the void. Feel free to shout back in comments if you like....)

I told myself I was going to spend the month of January in the office getting my sh*t together, organizing, purging, and catching up on ginormous piles that have a accumulated in the office. Taking photos on my exercise breaks at the forest preserve and cooking have been my creative outlets.

Even though i did get a lot accomplished, turns out I couldn’t make it a month…

The Midwest is experiencing a lovely winter storm right now- this is our view out back!

Although I’d rather be in the studio making paintings with my blowtorch, i thought a snow day was a fitting time to share my new winter works with you. it’s always fun to hunker down with my honey, my animals, and big pot of soup….

i have always had a fascination with and affection for the night sky.  in winter there is less to look at on the ground, so my gaze turns upwards. (Plus I have a thing for blues of all shades and tints...)
I have done work celebrating it in the past-  a Night Sky series came out of work commissioned by the Sisters of St. Francis, like minded women who value our environment.  “Sister Moon”, as St Francis referred to her.  I hadn’t done any night sky paintings in a while, but was kind of itching to go back. I posted this video on my business fb page a hill back -

so….with all the hype surrounding the event of a Super Blue Blood Moon, i was excited to view it- but unfortunately we did not have clear skies and wasn’t able to get  a good look.  however -  I found myself up at 4 AM the next morning (which if you know me at all – never happens willingly –) and Hershey and I headed out to try and get the best view of the eclipse. In an effort to find a view unobstructed by powerlines and buildings, i kept driving and found myself pulled to my favorite forest preserve,  which i realized after i got there-  has a high hill making a good vantage point for viewing. I really was there just to see and experience it, but then found I wanted to capture it in a visual.  I snapped away photos with my iphone- a camera not equipped to photograph the moon. However, as the sun rose, I  was delighted with the gorgeous pastels of sunrise acting as a background to the silhouettes of many trees.  this familiar forest preserve took on a new light  for me- literally.


That day I abandoned  the office and headed to the studio where I created many studies of the night sky in encaustic, incorporating my tree silhouettes here and there.  I haven’t made any night sky paintings in over a year, and was feeling the itch to do it. Although I like to make art celebrating the season I’m experiencing, my winter pieces are few and far between.
Here are some of the pieces that have come out of that. 
Many have phosphorus pigments that will have a subtle glow when the lights go out. 
None are done. 
Most will become the focal point of assemblages that incorparate limbs of trees, birch bark, torched wood and ecoprints. 
….or at least that is what i am thinking this week. 

that is always subject to change……


in the light....and the dark....

...and the snow parts!  tracks coming next....