Artists4Artists: A Retrospective of Anne McKee Grant Recipients


Frida Rebel, (Digital Photograph, encaustic wax, oil pastel and digital image transfer on board, 2015), featured in the Artists4Artists Exhibition at TSKW.

The first artist grant I ever received was from the Anne McKee Artist Fund in Key West.  The year was 2000 and just the beginning of my artistic career.  The awarding of this grant not only funded a photo project, but it solidified the belief in myself as an artist in an established and esteemed community of creative individuals.   I was fortunate to receive other grants from Anne McKee in 2005 and 2009 as well.  These grants encouraged my exploration of the photographic medium and steered my work into new directions.  It goes without saying that I would not be where I am (or whom I am ) today if it were not for Anne McKee!

Since 1994, the Anne McKee Artists Fund has been the only grant program of its kind for Florida Keys artists.  It has had an immeasurable impact on an entire generation of artists and has helped to shape the cultural landscape in the Keys.  In the past 22 years over 250 grants have been given!!

Tonight marks the opening of Artists4Artists, A Retrospective Show of Anne McKee Artists Fund Grant Recipients at The Studios of Key West.  This exhibition celebrates 100 visual artists, authors and performers who have received Anne McKee grants over the past 22 years.

The opening reception is tonight January 5th from 6-8pm.  The exhibition dates are from January 5th – 26th at The Studios of Key West, located at 533 Eaton Street.  Artwork will be displayed on the 2nd and 3rd floors of TSKW with live performances and book readings in the main theatre.

 “When I started, I thought it would help people buy frames and materials,” said McKee of the fund that offers such tangible and intangible benefits to the local creative community. “I never dreamed it would help people do so many big things.”


Thank you Anne McKee! Wish I could be there in person to celebrate with everyone!!








#tbt to Digital Image Transfer & Mix Media workshop @TSKW

I can hardly believe it’s almost June.  Life has been crazy busy (as always) and time is moving FAST!  But I would be remiss if I did not write about the Digital Image Transfer & Mix Media workshop I taught at the The Studios of Key West this past February.  (I know…I’m throwing it way back and it’s not even Thursday!)

First of all, I gotta say what an honor and privilege it was to come back to Key West as an artist and an educator.  After 16 years of island living, I left Key West to reduce my expenses and focus on creative passions back in my hometown of Louisville Kentucky…and I can truly say I have done just that!  But Key West is a place I miss dearly and it felt so good to be there again.  In addition, TSKW has become even more amazing in my absence (if that was even possible!!) and recently moved into the newly renovated space at 533 Eaton St.  The facilities are top notch with artist studios, dedicated classrooms, three exhibition spaces, a theatre for the performing arts, and is attached to (and affiliated with) the independent book store (originally from Miami) Books and Books.


Housing supplied by TSKW during my workshop (which I quickly converted into a studio).


And even more recently, Nancy Klingener, the Southernmost Reporter/Producer for WLRN News is broadcasting from the 3rd floor at TSKW!  Add in an amazing staff, a ton of dedicated volunteers and awesome artist housing (including a bicycle) while either teaching a workshop or experiencing a residency.  I mean….HELLO(!!!)…everything you want in you local arts organization…and then some!!


Digital Image Transfer workshop at TSKW.  Photo by Jeane LaRance.


I’ve been incorporating encaustic wax with my photographs for some time and recently added digital image transfers to the working equation using alternative print materials by DASS™.  Combining the two into a two-day workshop was both a challenge and a blast to teach!  Day one was all about image transfers, which were applied to a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal foils, and fine art papers.  Day two took those initial results further with the incorporation of mixed media including watercolors, oil paints and encaustic wax.


I love this image created by Camille Blatz who layered an image transfer onto wood with the same image transferred onto kozo rice paper…final piece encased in encaustic wax.



(Click on images in the below photo slider to visit personal websites of featured artists)


I had artists of all mediums sign up for the workshop…photographers, painters, mix media artists and sculptors all represented.  The title of the workshop naturally attracts photographers (like myself) who enjoy exploring the possiblities of the medium.  But I love how this process transcends photography and speaks to artists of all mediums who are seeking more creative options for their imagery.  Ultimately, we all brought something slightly different to the table and learned a lot from one another.


I have been a fan  (and friend) of LIsa Esposito from the first moment we met and it was an honor to have her in my workshop.  Here, Lisa dips an image transferred onto Stone Paper into encaustic wax just to see what would happen.  (I even love her process notes in relation to the image above!)



(Click on images in the below photo slider to visit personal websites of featured artists)




Not only did Mark Hedden have two pieces made during this workshop accepted to the Small Works exhibition at Lemonade Stand Gallery in Key West he even sold one of those pieces. Thats what I’m talking about!


(Proof of the above)  Photo by Jeane LaRance.




I also taught a really fun gel medium transfer class with kids.  Working with a non-toxic acrylic gel medium, students learned the mixed media method of transferring an image to a wood panel.   Their ready to hang creations were finished with watercolors, colored pencils and acrylic paint.


As always…thanks for making it this far!



Digital Image Transfer and Mixed Media Workshop

That’s right people…I’m teaching a Digital Image Transfer and Mix Media Workshop February 11th and 12th at The Studios of Key West!!  And if ya didn’t know already, I’m pretty stoked about it!!

In this unique two-day workshop, participants will learn the techniques of digital image transferring while creating distinctive, one-of-a kind prints onto a variety of surfaces, including wood, metal foils, and fine art papers.  Day two takes the initial results further with the incorporation of mixed media including watercolors, oil paints and encaustic wax. This hands-on workshop is for artists and photographers seeking more creative options for their imagery. Emphasis is on exploration and experimentation.

Results of day 1 image transfers onto a variety of art papers.


I test drove this workshop a few weeks back with some good friends and got some really great results!  Many thanks to Jen Bull Wood and Christi George for helping me fine tune the experience that is coming to TSKW this February!


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With the images above, Jen first distressed the transfer film before transferring it onto watercolor paper.  She then hand colored the image with water color pencils and dipped it into encaustic wax.




For the following images, Christi used a white transfer solution to release her image onto a metal foil substrate.  She then added encaustic wax and paints, and applied oil pastels into scraped limbs details of this tree.

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On Day 1, Jen first distressed and then transferred this awesome image of her son Silas onto tissue paper.  Day 2, she took that image, attached it to a canvas and encased it with encaustic wax and paints.


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And finally, this last image…a happy surprise.  When Jen transferred this image to tissue paper, it bled onto the craft paper underneath it…totally unintentional….love it’s soft focus and ghostly feel!


Click HERE For more information on the workshop I will be teaching at TSKW on February 11th and 12th from 10am-4pm.

I am also teaching an Image Transfer Class for Kids on Saturday February 13th from 10am-12pm.