Encaustic Cows

I’ll make the images as large as I can on this post so you can see the texture and details of my first five encaustic paintings, although I prefer to call this series


I’ve chosen to marry encaustic medium with the subject of bovines. Encaustic is an ancient medium that has seen a resurgence of interest. It’s basically painting with hot wax. Ever since I saw Jasper Johns’s American Flag at MOMA, I wanted to try my hand at encaustic painting. It’s a very experimental medium, so I got inventive with the supports I used and the items that I embedded.

12"x12" bull in encaustic medium

‘Bucowlick Encowstic’ 12″ x 12″ by Susan Krieg

‘Bucowlic Encowstic’ was created on window screen stretched on a 12″x 12″ frame. It’s important to choose a sturdy support because wax is very pliable. If you want to try something as flexible as screen, you have to go small. I propped it up on my window sill to show you how translucent the wax is. Of course you probably wouldn’t want to hang an encaustic painting where sunlight can shine directly on it. With the metal feel of screen, I decided to add metal embellishment, like the copper ribbon and metal flower and bees.

Encaustic on window screen.

Encaustic on window screen.

'Enlightened Bull'    9" x 12"      by Susan Krieg

‘Enlightened Bull’ 9″ x 12″ by Susan Krieg

‘Enlightened Bull’ is painted in encaustic on a prepared panel (Masonite).

Speaking of transparency, I should come forward that this subject happens to be a bull, not a cow. It was one of those magical days in Virginia, a Sunday in May 2015. I have seen many cows on the outskirts of Charlottesville where I live. I had my husband drive so I could quickly hang out the window with my camera, if need be. There are no shoulders on rural roads here making it nearly impossible to stop for a quick photo. Anyway, as it turns out this day, we drove and drove and drove and no cows anywhere. Just as it was getting frustrating, we drove around a bend and there were 3 cows, or so I thought,  standing fairly close to the road. I jumped out of the car and told my husband to drive on and come back and get me in a half hour or so.

I started to attach my longer lens to get some close ups of the 3 when I noticed they had horns. By the time I set up the tripod they had moved quite close. I scrambled to put my regular lens back on. By this time one even had his head through the fence.

Not a cow after all.

Not a cow after all.

I know that was kind of a long story, but I ended up with 150 images to work from and these first five encaustic paintings are from just one of those photos.

sketch from photo

sketch from photo

Moo-ving on here. The next two paintings are on 9″ x 9″ stretched canvas. The first using rabbit skin glue as a foundation (I know, don’t be judgmental, there’s a story behind why I used it). and the wax adhered very well.

Krieg Baby Bull 9x9

‘Baby Bull’ 9″x 9″ by Susan Krieg

This second painting is my homage to Jasper Johns, with the embedded American flag. It was created on top of an existing collage painting of mine. This experiment was to see how the wax adhered to papers, which it does very well.

Tribute to Jasper Johns   9" x 9"      by Susan Krieg

Tribute to Jasper Johns 9″ x 9″ by Susan Krieg

And lastly, what’s an encaustic without a cow (bull) on an actual stick?

‘Encowstick’ or if you’re Jewish, it could be a ‘Moozuzah’

'Encowstick'   13" x 2" x 2"    by Susan Krieg

‘Encowstick’ 13″ x 2″ x 2″ by Susan Krieg

Cows have always been a fascination for me.

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‘Horton Harvest Mural’ in Orange, Virginia

horton harvest mural       horton mural and surrounding wall area

During the month of April 2015, I painted a 9’x11′ wall mural at Horton Vineyards in Orange County Virginia. It is titled ‘The Horton Harvest Mural’ and features the family loved German Shepherd, Viognier, named after a variety of grape that the Hortons introduced to Virginia. It was such a pleasure to paint in the winery, the aroma of wine penetrated my clothes and my soul. It’s a beautiful winery. Be sure to visit it at www.hortonwine.com or in person at 6399 Spotswood Trail on the way to Gordonsville, Virginia, and stay for a wine tasting and a mural viewing!

Horton Mural with Susan painting dog       Caught in the act of painting!

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Two Christmas Card Designs for 2014

Photoshop is becoming one of my favorite design mediums. As a fine artist, I was very resistant to using Photoshop. In the good old days everything had to be drawn a bunch of times. Slowly I’m coming around to using Photoshop whenever it helps to reduce design time, and as long as I’m not infringing on someone else’s work.

Windsor Christmas

A long time friend and patron of the arts asked me to create her Christmas Cards again this year. She’s fun to work with, as she usually has the initial concept in mind and then I get to run with it. The card features her relatively young dog and her relatively older parrot meeting each other nose to nose. I speculate that they may meet nose to nose on many occasions.

dog and parrot nose to nose

Windsor Christmas 2014

50 cards

50 cards!

The borders are all hand leafed.






Mesmer Christmas

I wanted to honor my sweet little Mesmer this Christmas as she passed away last month at the age of 14. I picture her in a beautiful space waiting for the day when we see each other again. From ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, our card states that the bell on our Christmas Tree rang this year and our angel got her wings.

Mesmer the dog Christmas Card

Christmas 2014

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New York City Series

New York City  – First two paintings by Susan Krieg

Seated woman with Yorkie

I Love New York 34″x24″ mixed media on canvas

Woman with Snow Globe

Women of New York 34″x24″ mixed media on canvas


This is a preview of a new series I’m currently working on. The paintings contain imagery specific to one of my very favorite cities, New York.




The series will be represented exclusively by ‘Central Park Gallery’, located at 24 Central Park South. This is a brand new gallery in an exciting location.

In addition to the originals, limited edition giclees are available. Much more to come soon…………


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New Website

susankrieg.comVisit www.susankrieg.com

For the past couple of years I’ve been taking classes in html5,css3, and design graphics. There is so much to learn! I know I could hire a pro to build my site, but I love learning how to do this myself, especially with Adobe Products.

I started the  website after painting the hot yoga mural. The first section that is up and running has to do with the six years I spent in Los Angeles and the many murals and projects I painted with students, neighbors and other artists. As time goes on, I am discovering that many of the murals no longer exist. Understandably, artwork reflects a moment in time and doesn’t always withstand the changes of time. Thanks to the internet, I can keep these murals and projects publicly referenced whether they still exist or not. For some, it’s a trip down memory lane. Enjoy!

My future intention for the website is to add several more sections including paintings from my archetype series,  graphic design, as well as a store.

A sample of images from the website:

Click on any of the images below to get to the website.

 Bob Barker Mural       Workboot Warehouse Mural

Cornucopia of Cultural Diversity       Electric Whimsy Mural      

Night Gallery Doors Project       Village of Hope MuralHe's No Angel SculptureArchetype of the Feminine Angel, Angel Project

   Bears by the Lake, Bears Project       Ventural Music Festival Project

Italian Landscape Painting       Trompe l'oeil Kitchen Door

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Hot Yoga Wall Painting


Mural Design

This interior wall mural, which I’ve titled ‘Yoga of the Ferns’, is located in the small hot room at Hot Yoga Charlottesville. Created June 2014.

When I learned that the owner was interested in having something painted on this wall, I poured through my books of inspiration. My initial idea was to paint people in yoga postures among symbolic types of plans, such as lotus, chrysanthemum or bamboo. I definitely wanted some type of plant imagery because plants are green and calming, yet alive and rejuvenating. I came across a picture of a fern stencil. I liked the idea of the fern. They are a local plant here in Virginia and their stems are like backbones, they uncurl like we do in yoga presenting a supple and flexible support.

I also liked the idea of the stencil, but a real stencil seemed impossible as it would have to be very large, unruly and expensive. A stencil felt  symmetrical and structured and that’s what I wanted to achieve on the wall – good balance, good form and control.

The room is a bit square and boxed in. The desire was to change the feeling of the room, open it up and make it feel bigger. I wanted to make you feel like you were in an earthy setting.  A also wanted the colors to be somewhat calming, yet invigorating by limiting the palette to green with some rosy tones, while intensifying the light and dark values. My hope was that the structure and the symmetry would allow focus, rather than distraction, for the practicing student.

Susan in Standing Head to Knee

Susan in Standing Head to Knee

My Yoga Practice

I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota. Frequenting the book department at Herbst Department Store was one of my favorite past times as a teen. It brought to me knowledge of many things that just didn’t exist in Fargo, one of which was a book titled ‘Yoga and Health’, copy write 1953. It would have been during the 60s that I tried to teach myself yoga.

I didn’t find yoga again until 2008. I lived several block from a Bikram studio in Ventura California and it looked interesting. I tried it out and was immediately hooked on the intensity of it and started my practice under a teacher who was very strict about form. This all came at a big transition time in my life. I was starting to have some miserable physical symptoms: arthritis, osteopenia and grumpiness to boot. In 2010 we moved from California to Virginia and for the first two years I had no access to Bikram yoga. I realized the benefits I had been gaining from my practice. When a new studio  in Virginia Beach opened in December of 2011, I was at the grand opening waiting for the doors to unlock. I did my first 30 day challenge there and gained the benefits. The arthritis in my hands went away, I got my heart palpitation under control, I gained tremendous flexibility and strength. I’m a sworn believer in Bikram style yoga.

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Fruit Party – New Paintings

Apples Party smallApples Party edge small

Every now and then I paint up a batch of fruits or vegetables for the Orange Arts Center in Orange, Virginia.

Blueberries Party small     Blueberries Party edge small

They are 9″ x 9″, painted on stretched canvas. The sides are 1-1/4″ deep. The photos show how I extend the image around the sides. They could be framed, but they don’t need to be.

Cantaloupe Party small     Cantaloupe Party edge small

I titled the group “Fruit Party”.

Cherries Party small     Cherries Party edge small

So, individually, there is ‘Apples Party’, ‘Blueberries Party’, ‘Cantaloupe Party’, ‘Cherries Party’…

Grapes Party small     Grapes Party edge small

‘Grapes Party’, ‘Lemons Party’, ‘Peaches Party’, ‘Pineapple Party’, ‘Pomegranate Party’ and ‘Raspberries Party’.

Lemons Party small     Lemons Party edge small

With the ten of them finished and grouped together, they looked like a bright festive party!

Peaches Party     Peaches Party edge small

They are definitely more contemporary than traditional food still lifes…

Pineapple Party small     Pineapple Party edge small

painted in acrylic with the addition of texturing compound on the fruits…

Pomegranate Party small     Pomegranate Party edge small

and a little embedded painted paper in the background.

Raspberries Party small     Raspberries Party edge small

Here they are sitting all together on the floor, ready to go –

fruit group on floor small

 having a party!


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