Meet Lola Baltzell, one of our newer NEW members who joined us from Brookline, Massachusetts in 2018. Otty Merrill got to interview her for us!
Lola’s background reaches back to time spent with her Russian grandfather who ran a junk yard in Albert Lea, Minnesota. She loved to roam around the junk yard and collect interesting things, a habit that continues to this day. He also influenced her love of language and text. She studied Russian in college, and language/ephemera/collage has always been a part of her life and art. She loves languages, and in her psychotherapy practice uses Portuguese daily with her mostly Brazilian clients. She is always on the hunt for old books and interesting scripts to use in her work. She keeps a sketch/collage book which is a repurposed Arabic text book. Unfamiliar languages really get her attention – the mystery of the meaning.
Her life, she says, is a balancing act. She is a psychotherapist, a self- taught artist, a singer and a Blue Grass guitarist! She maintains a daily meditation and yoga practice and in the summer trains for a century ride (100 miles on a bike). Oh, and did I mention her passion and accomplishments as a “craft cocktail maker”?
Lola initially worked with black and white photography in college. Then spent many years making huge oil paintings. From there she moved on to collage, and eventually was introduced to encaustic after an Open Studios event in Boston’s South End a few years back. And she never looked back. She took a workshop with Tracy Spadafora. Read Joanne Mattera’s book. And began to explore on her own.
Lola’s artwork is completely intuitive, with no pre-planning and lots of reworking from a sketchbook. Her art is often collage-based. She loves to carve and play with shellac burn effects.
Her home studio is in Brookline, Mass and she splits her time between there and Western Connecticut. She says she is proud to be a member of New England Wax as it has raised the bar for her, allowed her to sell some work, enjoy new venues and the community of active and accomplished artists. We are so happy to have you with us Lola.