If you are looking for special uniqueness, a high-level of personalization, and a truly extraordinary customized artwork which expresses our authentichuman experience and emotional connections, or captures the deep history of the subject matter, contact me for a commissioned painting.
I am a storyteller. When I approach a project, I contemplate the story, memories, emotions and sentiments that I want to convey. I want my work to be meaningful, and to start awareness -- whether the artwork is about honoring someone's loved one, a family's togetherness, special events, or a humanitarian cause... Art has the power to steer people toward the truth or to an individual's redemptive identity.
Commissioned art projects takes a lot of hours and hard work. I can spend 8 hours or weeks until I feel that the artwork is right... It's a risky undertaking especially when the art subject is about people... the composition process is a tricky issue.... especially when there's a ton of personal mementos involved. I don't want to disappoint that person and my client... The artwork, motivation, labor and investment becomes so personal... These type of projects are not always easy, but when everything comes together and a piece turns into a voice that challenges me, has the potential to touch someone in heartfelt ways, and reaffirm even one person -- it is truly so rewarding.
Accepting Commissioned Art Projects
I accept commissioned art projects so if you would like something custom made for you or your client, please contact me so we may discuss what you would like done.
If you'd like me to integrate your own photographs into the artwork, they need to have high quality overall -- in terms of what's included in the frame, contrast, balance and size. I will also need the creative freedom to follow my intuition to produce a well-composed mixed-media collage. A deposit is required before I start on a commissioned project.
Please note that unless I expressly sign over copyright to the person who's commissioned the painting or it was done as work for hire, copyright remains with the Artist (me). Owning the actual original painting is not the same as owning copyright and reproduction rights in the painting.
I created this piece in honor of my brother Joelle's birthday which is why it has his birth date at the top right of the painting. The image behind his birth date is a photo of Joelle skydiving on his birthday. In this piece, I wanted to capture his creative talent, dedication as a family man, and passion about life.
Materials: Acrylic paints and Mediums, personal photographs, Relax Magazine clippings, recycled wrapping paper, corrugated cardboard, old film strips, color pencils
Materials: Acrylic mediums and paints, Pastel and Inktense colored pencils, india ink, vintage USA & Liberty postage stamps, original brochure from National September 11 Memorial & Museum (shown through the top lettering), 9/11 letters and newspaper articles, recycled corrugated cardboard from Slice of New York pizza box, pizza sheet (deli paper), Metro’s Best of Silicon Valley Pizza article clippings, and recycled film strips
The paintings will tells the Monaghan's family's history from their Beijing and Missouri roots, precious moments from their wedding in San Francisco, trips across the U.S. and stories about their strong Love and bond for each other.
Materials: Acrylic paints and Mediums, personal photographs and original mementos from the Monaghan's family keepsake box such as their wedding invitation, letters from family, stamps, amusement park entrance tickets, etc.
For the The Los Gatos Christian's 2016 Boys Volleyball Awards Night, the team's parents commissioned me to create this Mixed Media painting team in honor of the Coaches: Miss Nadine Ruhe, Mrs. Virginia Holden and Mr. Doug Rigg. This art piece celebrate the team's 1st Place win in the League in the South Division, as well as their BACSAL Tournament as CHAMPIONS! Congratulations LGCS Lions!
- I was inspired by the team's cheer, so I had used it as the quote for the typography: "LIONS on Me, LIONS ON 3, 1-2-3 LIONS!"
Notice that the words "On Me" is placed above Head Coach Rue's image :)
- On the top left, I placed the Final Score 22-25 on the Scoreboard as an underpainting behind the team's victory image
- I also cut-up, stitched and used the players' original gym clothes and jerseys throughout the piece as an underpainting, with the intention of showing through the original typography on the fabric underneath my own hand-painted lettering ("Property of Class 2016 Los Gatos Christian School" from one of the boy's gym uniform is shown underneath the word "LIONS" near the center; the school's "LION mascot and LGCS Athletics' LOGO" also from another old gym uniform is behind the VOLLEYBALL NET.
-The image of Michael Jorgensen (one of the team's captain) spiking the ball in front of the net is shown at the left center. Michael's image has inspired me to place an actual net on this piece... I had a lot of fun integrating the volleyball net to depict that the net is "attempting" to hold both the LION logo and the team, but I "burned holes" in the net to symbolize that it's "impossible to hold-back" the LIONS' courage, resilience, skills, and team spirit!
Materials: Acrylic paints, gels and Mediums, photographs, original clippings from LGCS 2014, 2013 & 2016 yearbook and 2016 Sports Award Night, tissue paper, volleyball net, rusted nails, original fabric from the team's old P.E. and jerseys.
"Scenic Road, Carmel-by-the Sea, 2 of 4: For Myrna-- The Heart of the Family" Themed Commissioned Encaustic Mixed Media Encaustic Painting on 6"x6" Cradled Birch Wood Panel
This is one of the commissioned pieces that I created for a San Bernardino family who were vacationing in Carmel. This particular panel is personalized for a Mother and a gentle soul who is obviously the heart of the family. (See also the other 3 completed commissioned paintings on this page for her husband, son and artist daughter). I sent the family to the beach on Scenic Road in Carmel to "find" objects that are meaningful to them--and they came back with open hearts and special Sea Treasures for me to embed into the custom paintings.
Details: The quote, "A Heart is More Beautiful When It is Broken..." is from my conversation with Myrna after they came back to my gallery from their meditative walk. On the surface of the painting, I added wax "tear drops" from the broken heart Seashell which Myrna had found... There is also a slight hint of a heart-shaped sand drawing in the painting.
"Scenic Road, Carmel-by-the Sea, 4 of 4: For Madison, The Artist in the Family" Themed Commissioned Encaustic Mixed Media Encaustic Painting on 6"x6" Cradled Birch Wood Pane
This is one of the commissioned pieces that I created for a San Bernardino family who were vacationing in Carmel. This piece is personalized for Madison. I sent the family to the beach on Scenic Road in Carmel to "find" objects that are meaningful to them--and they came back with open hearts and special Sea Treasures for me to embed into the custom paintings.
Details: I thought this quote, "Carmel-by-the-Sea is calling me and I must go.... But I will always think of you" is perfect for Madison, as we had formed a special bond in a kind of Artist-to-Artist Way. After I recommended the Artist's Way to her, she purchased the book right away! (Madison and other young women who aspire to become an artist look to me as their role model... What an honor.. Inspiring young people and giving hope to others is mostly why I create, and do what I do... )
When it is time for Madison to pursue her calling and dreams, she will say goodbye to her loved ones.. but will always carry them in her heart...
Scenic Road, Carmel-by-the Sea, 3 of 4: For Blake: The Old Soul in the Family -- Themed Commissioned Encaustic Mixed Media Encaustic Painting on 6"x6" Cradled Birch Wood Panel
This is one of the commissioned pieces that I created for a San Bernardino family who were vacationing in Carmel. This particular panel is personalized for Blake, the young son in the family. I sent them to the beach on Scenic Road in Carmel to "find" objects that are meaningful to them--and they came back with open hearts and special Sea Treasures for me to embed into the custom paintings.
Details: The quote, "When I stop looking, that's when I find Life." is from my interview with Blake after they came back to my gallery from their meditative beach walk. I wasn't expecting that each family member would come back with such deep thoughts and emotions as they were looking for objects. I was particularly impressed by Blake's profound reflection about Life, and openness about his journey.
In this piece, I painted the nautical chart of Carmel Bay on the clouds, and below a silhouette of a man walking on this beach--with the light shining on him and his next step.. The painting depicts a man who is wandering but never lost...
"Scenic Road, Carmel-by-the Sea, 1 of 4: For Randy -- The Rock in the Family" Themed Commissioned Encaustic Mixed Media Encaustic Painting on 6"x6" Cradled Birch Wood Panel
This is one of the commissioned pieces that I created for a family in San Bernardino. This particular panel is personalized for Randy, a Father/Lawyer (three are currently in progress for his wife, son & artist daughter). I sent the family to the beach on Scenic Road in Carmel to "find" objects that are meaningful to them--and they came back with open hearts and special Sea Treasures for me to embed into the custom paintings... :)
Encaustic Wax Commissioned Painting. The sweet husband vacationed in Pebble Beach and commissioned me to create this artwork to bring home to his wife. The words "Peace, Love & Serenity" mean a lot to him and his wife.
Personalized Father's Day Mixed Media Encaustic Paintings on 3 cradled 6x6" birch wood panels. One of their daughters who commissioned me for these pieces wanted a sailboat and ocean along with their special messages for their Baba. I've included some Arabic notes from the mom, too.
6 - Mini Panel Mixed Media Acrylic Paintings on mini-canvas panels
Encaustic Mixed Media Paintings
I have dabbled and experimented in many different styles and mediums. From creating ocean-inspired décor pieces with fabric and driftwood, to painting with acrylic, and assembling mixed media collages with vintage paper, found objects and acrylic mediums. And lately, I’m integrating all of these things into encaustic paintings with hot wax.
What is Encaustic Painting?
Encaustic painting is an ancient media using natural and pigmented beeswax. Dammar resin is used to help stabilize it. The process involves using both clear and pigmented hot wax to paint, and then heat to fuse each layer.
Because the wax needs to have something to grab hold of, in order to establish a solid foundation on which to build with more wax and additional elements, the surface needs to be absorbent or porous. This means that I cannot use my beloved acrylic mediums and paints since they are not compatible. (I still do very minimally – if it doesn’t impact the integrity of the encaustic artwork.)
With encaustics, the surface also needs to be rigid or hard. The rigidity helps prevent ripples and waves from cracking the surface of the completed artwork. This means that I haven’t been using large stretched canvases for my encaustic paintings. My primary substrate of choice, lately, has been cradled wood art panels. (This creates a need for me to make room in the garage for a table saw, so I can build very large cradled wood panels.)
Encaustic Medium, Paints and Pigments
I make my own encaustic medium (a blend of clear beeswax and damar resin) and encaustic paints used in my paintings. I also use pan pastels, India Ink, watercolor, and oil sticks (which are composed of beeswax, linseed oil, and pigment. I like the Pigment Sticks brand made by R&F).
The many layers give the encaustic painting a translucent, romantic, ethereal and intriguing quality.
My Collage Assembly and Painting Process
I start with an idea sketch, and then mostly go on faith and intuition around the story that I’m trying to convey. I go into a meditative state when creating encaustic mixed media art pieces. The process and completed art work is very mesmerizing. This journey in exploring, discovering, stretching new limits with encaustic artwork connects deeply with my heart and spirit.
Storytelling with Found and Reclaimed Objects
I layer a wide variety of found and recycled materials in all of my mixed media work. I enjoy recycling them into my artwork to help create interesting background and foreground, honor memories, and to add otherwise intriguing effects in the piece.
Found materials that I frequently use are: Vintage paper such as tissue paper, newspapers, maps, letters, paper bags, postage stamps, puzzles, music sheets, travel brochures, magazines, corrugated cardboard, laces, fabrics, cheesecloth, nettings, film strips, rusty metal, screws, nails, rivets, sea glass, sea fans, and anything else to see what would go with the story in the painting.
With encaustic medium, I see, hear and feel deeper meanings into each of my subject matter. Each artwork echoes a narrative. The hidden depths in each art piece tells a redemptive, compelling and powerful story through the embedded materials and multiple layers of translucent wax.
For me, encaustic is very seductive. All the media and found objects that I have worked with come together magnificently with encaustic. This medium opens up, far and wide, the possibilities of creative expression using wax.
Materials used in Original Painting: Encaustic medium and paints, watercolor, rusted nails, burned corrugated cardboard, sea fan, nautical chart of Pigeon Point Light Station's maritime location, and customized postmark with the date when the Pigeon Point Lighthouse was first lit. The whale stamp depicts the grey whales that are seen regularly from shore as they pass Pigeon Point.
This artwork is part of Lighthouse Art & Design by Jocelyn Cruz’s “Journey to the Lighthouse” Collector Series
Materials: Encaustic medium (a blend of clear beeswax and damar resin), encaustic paints, pan pastels, India Ink, watercolor, and oil sticks, metal mesh, rust, vintage envelopes, burned and dyed old book pages
Materials: Encaustic medium (a blend of clear beeswax and damar resin), encaustic paints, oil sticks, India Ink, rusted key, and found "Sea Treasures"
Materials: Encaustic Medium and Pigments, Oil paints, Burlap, Stitched Denim, Vintage Lace and Chevron Patterned Fabric, India Ink, Nails
About Magnolias in March:
"And the day came when the risk to remain a tight bud was more painful that the risk it took to Blossom."
The first panel on the below left painting shows magnolia flowers in tight buds and I painted the denim with encaustic medium--which makes the fabric very rigid. While the second panel on the below right shows magnolia blossoms opening up as if they are brighter and more joyful, and I did not encase the denim with encaustic wax this time -- so that when you touch the denim fabric -- it is very soft and flexible. I also intentionally added flicks of black india ink on both panels to acknowledge that the creative life can be messy but also beautiful. I thought that these two paintings portray visually and texturally my own life's transition when I realized that the risk to remain in a tight bud was more painful that the risk it took to blossom.
Includes: Encaustic Medium/paints, pigment oil sticks, water color, film strips, dried flowers and grasses, burlap, lace and denim fabric underneath the wax.
Materials: Life is a Beach Word Art, Sand and Sea Treasures such as sea stars, starfish, sea shells, coral, sand and pebbles -- and also my own painted "Carmel-by-the-Sea Post Stamp"
Acrylic Mixed Media / Inspirational Word Art
Materials used in Original Painting: Entire artwork collaged with blue dyed vintage pages as the underpainting, and the sunset was painted on recycled tissue paper with acrylic mediums, paints and watercolor. Word art created with chambray denim burlap, lace and india ink. Other reclaimed objects and elements integrated in the painting include: fishnet, corrugated cardboard, cheese cloth and lava textures.
Mixed Media Painting on Canvas for 65 Degrees Magazine Passport App Artwork
Materials: Acrylic medium, gels and paints, Stitched and Distressed Leather, Nails, Reclaimed & Found Objects (Vintage Monterey Peninsula Postcards , Theater Tickets, Letters, and Nautical Charts, Pebble Beach Del Monte Forest - 17 Mile Drive Entry Plate Badges, and recycled tissue paper,)
Materials used in Original Painting: Acrylic medium, gels and paints, Stitched and Distressed Leather. Reclaimed & Found Objects include: 57 Degrees Magazine clippings, San Francisco Chronicle Newspaper, Vintage Letters, Stamps, San Francisco Nautical Chart, nails, screws and recycled tissue paper.
Word Art/Quote: “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” (― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)
Other Details: Artwork was commissioned and published by 57 Degrees agazine for its Fall 2015 Issue Cover
Word Art/Quote: “Life is really generous to those who pursue their Personal Legend” (― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist)
Mixed Media Painting on Canvas for 65 Degrees Magazine Fall 2015 Issue Cover Artwork
To view the magazine cover online with the 65 Degrees Logo, go to:
Materials: Acrylic medium, gels and paints, watercolor, dyed vintage book pages, recycled tissue paper, india ink, stitches
(Quote by Pablo Picasso! :)
Materials: Acrylic medium, gels and paints, vintage stamp, dyed vintage book pages, corrugated cardboard from starbucks cup sleeve and paint drips!
Materials: Acrylic medium, gels and paints, india ink, vintage stamps/book pages, and and a whole lot of mess!