The Layers of My House-Love

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in About me, My techniques, My Work, Workshops and Classes | 6 comments

I write about houses, dream about them and paint them. This is an interesting thing, since I normally espouse non-gimicky and trendy approaches to art, but on this subject I fall straight into the abyss. Houses appeal to me as a metaphor for the body, as a symbol of comfort and family, as a small unit of a complex system, and for so many other reasons.

One of my many favorite and collected house songs is sung Rosemary Clooney (written by William Saroyan and Ross Bagdasarian), who happens to be the aunt of hunky George Clooney.  I love it because it is playful, and forward, a little pushy and so linguistically illustrative of yummy things. This song has been mentioned on this blog before, as have houses, but as I stated, in this category repetition does not matter. House house house house. I may love it so much I have to marry it. House.

Here is a list of what you will get if you come to Rosemary’s house: candy, Apple a plum and apricot-a too eh, Figs and dates and grapes and cakes, everything, Christmas tree, Marriage ring and a pomegranate too, Peach and pear and I love your hair ah, Easta-egg, Everything – everything – everything. Here are the lyrics if you want to learn the song and bribe your own crush to come on over.

Here is a house I painted. I has many many layers of paints and inks. There are words all over and under those layers.

This is the whole piece.

There are layers of wax, but not encaustic (I know zero about encaustic). It is thin layers of Dorland’s wax, which also has a bit of resin in it. The luminosity is greatly enhance by these layers.

The edges are enhanced with soft pastel. The red is colored pencil. The gold is metallic paint.


The white writing is gel pen. Not just any gel pen, but my go-to-never-buy-any-other gel pen, the Uni-ball Signo.

The bottom layer is writing done with sumi ink and a ruling pen.

We will be working this way in at my Taos retreat, minus the house imagery, October 21-27, 2012, next month! Here is the link to that info.

Taos Retreat Info Link


Do you love houses? Stop by and tell me about it!


  1. absolutely gorgeous. I am very attached to the house symbol myself!

  2. I love houses too, and I sometimes dream of them as well. I have read that when you dream of houses, you are really dreaming of different parts of yourself. I love that thought. I also love this beautiful painting! So simple and complex and meaningful all at the same time.

  3. Jill, this is beautiful. I am in love with the house symbol and often feel like it’s too trendy. But it really speaks to and about me. I have some of that wax … I’ll try it out. Sorry I’ll miss you this weekend in San Diego.

  4. This song was popular when my late husband and I were dating in 1955. Fun to sing it again. Beautiful painting. Check out Wolf Kahn pastel paintings. Quite the colorist.

    • Carol, Wolf Kahn will be in my next set! His work is magnificent.

  5. Jill what a beautiful house it looks warm, welcoming, gentle but secure. I love the metaphor of the house..I drew one recently.An idealized cottage from where we lived 20 years ago and planted flowers at the front door and my chickens and added all my favourite things. it made me feel so much better.

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