IVF as Art

As someone who experienced many challenges with regard to fertility, I was inspired to find a way to honor my experience and journey using my fine art and I’d like to share that with you in this post.

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While I realize it’s a unique experience for each person who goes through using medically supported means of conceiving a child, IVF and everything leading up to it was both physically and mentally challenging for our family, required a significant financial investment and took a tremendous amount of time and energy.  

 

For those of us who are fortunate enough to have success with the process, it is truly awesome to witness the results unfold in front of our eyes.

 

Creating and displaying this art piece felt like a way to honor our journey and to focus on what was beautiful about it, rather than let the challenges take center stage.  

 

I created a piece of my own daughter’s beginning stages as mere cells before we transferred her as an embryo. I included colors that I wanted to incorporate into my nursery and symbolism that felt meaningful. I look forward to being able to show my daughter the very beginning stages of her life interpreted in this way.

 

  The piece shown is 30x40 bees wax, resin, pigments, photography on birch panel.

The piece shown is 30x40 bees wax, resin, pigments, photography on birch panel.

 

I am extremely passionate about creating this commissioned art for parents who went through IVF to conceive a child. 

 

The IVF art I am creating for clients is inspired by the journey and the magic of being able to see imagery of your child as just a few cells. This is just incredible to me.

 

In addition to the reward of a baby, this art piece felt cathartic to make and also to display on my daughter’s nursery wall. 

 

I’d love to talk to you about creating an IVF art piece for you, so email me or call with questions about the process and investment. 

 

Warmly, 

Norah

The Process Behind my Encaustic Paintings

For the last few years I have expanded my creative world and started working with encaustic painting, which incorporates my photographic imagery. I started by working on a smaller scale and have begun working on larger pieces. I have shared a little about this journey along the way and I intend to expand as my experiences with this art form continue. Since many people are curious, I want to detail a bit about my process and what inspires me about working in this medium. 

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My fine art incorporates the medium of encaustic, pigments, and embedded photographic imagery on birch panels. The encaustic medium is comprised of bees wax and resin and I apply it in many layers along with the other materials. Using a rigid support, each layer is fused together with a heat gun or torch so it combines with the layer before it. One of the many unique qualities of encaustic is the possibility of transparency between the layers, giving the viewer of the artwork a glimpse into the “history” of the artists markings, scrapings, painting, and other creative choices below the surface. You get to see, in effect, the process of the artist, which I love.

 

Encaustic painting has been around for many years and there are multiple ways to work with it. This is an incredibly versatile medium that is used differently by each artist. Some artists love to work in thick layers with lots of texture and some even use it sculpturally. The wax can be painted, dripped, brushed or poured in hot liquid form onto the piece. As the wax cools, it hardens but doesn’t need to dry. The material can be incised, scraped, melted and remelted, carved and more. I am very much drawn to creating a smooth surface that highlights the beautiful sheen of the wax after it is buffed. I sometimes choose to include texture, but my preference is that this texture is a meaningful compliment to the imagery and piece as a whole. My photographic image is printed and layered into the wax very carefully with a tacking iron and layered with additional medium and sometimes paint. I love giving new life to images that would otherwise stay dormant on my computer. 

 

I began working with photography many years ago in a darkroom, rolling and developing my own film and enlarging prints. Although technological advances have dramatically shifted the world of photography, I fell in love with the hands-on process of developing my own photographs. While I appreciate and love digital photography and all that can be accomplished on a computer, a few years ago I found myself yearning for an outlet to work with my hands again.  I am continuing my career as a photographer but am expanding to include fine art as well. 

 

My process is very physical and working with encaustic can be difficult during the hot summer weather in Austin, Texas.  The process can take a lot of patience and requires a proper ventilation system and sometimes a (not so sexy) face mask to protect me from dangerous fumes.  I find it incredibly satisfying using my hands in this way and find myself continuing to be pulled back into my art studio. I am inspired by so many artists, but one artist who has very much impacted my journey is Shawna Moore, a prolific artist based out of Whitefish, Montana. 

 

I look forward to continuing to create this work and travel along this path. I am currently accepting commissions from both my own photography as well as imagery that is provided by my clients.

 

To see more of my work, visit my website and follow along on Instagram for current projects. 

 

 

Thank you to my dear friend Amy Smith for all photographs in this post.  Amy can be found on Instagram at @amyrsmithphoto.

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