Dora Ficher


Mixed Media

Painting

Artist's Biography

Every painting starts with a grid. The vertical and horizontal lines calm my active brain and provide a structure on which to work.

I often paint within the cells of the grid before tying everything together. Because I use encaustic, I work slowly and deliberately. Building up sticky, fragrant layers of wax forces me to be present. This meditative process is as important as the end result.

Autobiographical stories on paper are encased inside the waxy pigment. The layers of narrative and paint parallel the layers of energy from daily life. Abstract shapes, patterns, and vivid color recall cherished memories of my native Argentina.

Dora Ficher relates autobiographical narratives in her encaustic paintings. Abstract shapes, patterns, and vivid color recall cherished memories of her native Argentina.

Artist's Statement

Born in Buenos Aires, to a family of accomplished visual artists and musicians, I grew up immersed in energy and color, inspired by people, art, music, architecture, and the variance, intricacies, and connections of colors and patterns. My palette is bold, an expression of this energy and cherished memories of my native Argentina.

Many ideas tend to speak to me at once so I often begin my paintings with a grid. The vertical and horizontal lines calm my active brain and provide a structure on which to work. I paint within the cells before tying the work together.

The encaustic medium encourages me to work more abstractly, making connections between shapes, patterns, and colors. I work slowly and deliberately building up the fragrant layers of warm sticky wax using a blowtorch to fuse each layer. I incorporate collage materials in the wax – sometimes visible, other times not. Autobiographical stories are encased inside the waxy pigment. The layers of narrative and paint parallel the layers and complexity of life.

The encaustic monotype process stretches me even further as an artist as it requires me to surrender and use tools that often result in unpredictable outcomes. Encaustic monotypes are prints made from wax paintings transferred onto paper. The paintings are created using solid pigmented wax sticks, brushes, sponges, and other tools on the surface of a heated metal plate, a hotbox. The use of pigmented wax paint allows me to build layers of texture into my painting resulting in a color-rich, complex, one-of-a-kind painting.

The mediums of pen and ink, oils, watercolor, acrylics, and digital “paint” help me to create an impressionistic series of works representing music, flowers, villages, landscapes, and wildlife. This work I affectionately describe as “doodles” since it allows me a free hand using a minimum of tools during creation.

Since 2009, I have been able to devote myself to being a full-time artist. To that end, I consistently seek exhibition opportunities while enhancing my studio practice and knowledge of the art business.

Selected Exhibitions

Solo
2013
Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2011
Featured Artist, Artista Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2010
More Colores, Olitsky Art Gallery Congregation Beth Or, Maple Glen, PA

2009
De Colores, Gratz College, Elkins Park, PA

Group
2018
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Philadelphia, PA

County Studio Tours, Montgomery County, PA

Juried Group Exhibit, 3rd Street Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2017
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Philadelphia, PA

Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA

2016
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Philadelphia, PA

Gold Standard Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

2015
Embassy of Argentina, Washington, DC

2014
Gold Standard Cafe, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Philadelphia, PA

2013
Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Philadelphia, PA

Spring Open Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2012
Bluestone Fine Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

An Art Journey from Argentina in Philadelphia, City Hall,
Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Philadelphia, PA

Confluence Juried exhibit: The Embrace of Water and Light, Kobalt Gallery, Provincetown, MA

Spring Open Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2011
Everyday, Old Candy Factory, Lancaster, PA

Wax Poetic, Contemporary Encaustic Work, Nicholas Berg Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2011
Open Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Featured Artist, Artista Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2010
Jenkintown Festival of the Arts, Jenkintown, PA

2009
Fall For The Arts Festival, Philadelphia, PA

Culture Hair Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2007 – 2010
Strawberry Festival, Plymouth Meeting Friends School, Plymouth Meeting, PA

2003
Faculty Art Exhibit, Plymouth Meeting Friends School, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Professional Experience

Teaching
1989 - present
Co-Owner, Fun in the Sun children’s summer camp for art classes and activities

1990 - 2008
Art – Plymouth Meeting Friends School, Plymouth Meeting, PA

Education

Instituto de Bellas Artes “Beato Angelico” Profesorado de Artes Visuales, Buenos Aires, Argentina
BFA, BEA

Continuing Education
2017
Intermediate Workshop on Encaustic Monotypes with Paula Roland, Santa Fe, NM

2016
Carbon Lab: Graphite, Ink + Encaustic with Paula Roland, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

2014
Class with Heather Hutchison, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Color with Hylla Evans, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

2013
Pattern, Repetition, Process with Lorraine Glessner, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Casting, Building, Sculpting with Kelly McGrath, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Moving your work forward with Pigment Sticks, Lisa Pressman, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Casting, building, sculpting, with Kelly McGrath, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Pattern, Repetition and Process with Lorraine Glessner, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

2012
Wax and Bricolage with Nancy Natale, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Wax and Screen printing with Jeff Hirst, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Pigment Sticks with Lisa Pressman, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Encaustic and Photography with Elena De La Ville, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Encaustic Monoprinting with David A. Clark, Visiting Artist Series at R & F Handmade Paints, Kingston, NY

2011
Day of Flames with Lynette Haggard, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Patterned Effects w/ Mixed Media in Encaustic with Gregory Wright, Truro Art Center, Truro, MA

Participant at “The International Encaustic Conference” Provincetown, MA

2010
Encaustic different techniques with Tremain Smith

Encaustic and Photography with Leah McDonald

2009 – 2010
Art business classes and workshops with Alyson B. Stanfield, author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion

Encaustic with Lorraine Glessner, Abington, PA

1993 – 1995
Berkeley Computer Training, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Graphic Designer

Related Coursework: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Quark, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel