Show at Chicago Art Source



Chicago Art Source

Chicago Art Source

I am truly happy to announce that 9 of my newest works will be on view at my new gallery:

Chicago Art Source Gallery


New Works by Gallery Artists

The show also features work by Donna Cameron, Krista Harris, Gary Paller, Mark Phillips, Lisa Ridgers & Mary Rousseaux.

I hope you find time to stop in to see the show in their gorgeous space, starting today through April 4.


Chicago Art Source Gallery
1871 N. Clybourn
Chicago, IL 60614

Mon-Fri 10-6pm
Sat 10-5pm
and by appointment

Free parking available


New Workshops for 2015

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park, Montana

Upon returning from a most uplifting hiking trip and art retreat in Montana recently, I am very happy to announce a new series of workshops for the year ahead. These new workshops will give us time to dive deep into encaustic painting for all those new to it, and will share lots of new techniques with those who are already familiar with it. The new workshop page is on my website, over at:

I look forward to sharing the studio with you!

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Blog Hop! Q + A

I was recently invited by artist Alicia Forestall-Boehm to participate in an ongoing series of brief questions and answers for artists about their work and their process.  Here goes!


Ahavani Mullen

Ahavani Mullen

What are you working on?

I am currently working on a new series of work on a larger scale, which will incorporate new media with encaustic. These panels will range in sizes from 36 x 36” to 48 x 60” for an exhibition at Chicago Art Source Gallery in January. I am also preparing for two more exhibitions next year: One is a two-person show with Kari Hall at Brickton Art Center in June 2015. We are exploring the common ground that we have in our art making processes. The second is a solo exhibition in the Dulgar Gallery at South Suburban College. I am also very much looking forward to spending some quality time with Shawna Moore in her Montana studio this October for an advanced encaustic teacher training week.

Why do you do what you do?

Everyone has that one thing they love and they give all their attention to. For me this is art. Making art is something I have always done and I cannot remember it not being part of my life. If there is anything in the outer world that I feel intimately connected with, it is art. We have always known each other.

It is also a practice which is healthy and nourishing for my own spirituality. It constantly nudges me to grow and to cultivate silence as I work. I love how this practice makes the artistic process feel so significant, how the final work of art has this possibility of containing something luminous.

How does your art making process work?

After getting set up to paint, my first task when beginning a new piece is to meditate, to become completely silent and embrace stillness, allowing the work to evolve from that space. This extends from the work’s germination as a seed, through its progression to a fully blossomed piece. From that point on, outwardly, it is about combinations of color, the layering of encaustic paint- adding and subtracting it, and the fire of the butane torch. Ultimately, the imagery I create is intended to be experiential, using color as a vehicle for a moment of contemplation.


– – – – – – –


Now about Alicia Forestall-Boehm, who invited me to answer these questions:

When it comes to making art, Alicia has a special way of working with her materials. She transforms unexpected media like wax, wire and cheesecloth into forms that fascinate me because they leave me with all kinds of questions about what I’m actually seeing. Her works are full of delightful contradictions – how can a single object be both soft and hard, lightweight and heavy, delicate and sturdy? I have no idea but I love it.

Personally, as an artist-friend, Alicia has been extremely encouraging and supportive. She is also one of the pillars of the FUSEDChicago community, of which we are both members.

Alicia’s thoughts about her work:

Alicia Forestall-Boehm

Alicia Forestall-Boehm

My encaustic and fiber sculptures reduce larger images and concepts into elegant simplified forms.  By paring down basic elements of color, shape and movement I am able to acknowledge another kind of space.  Ultimately they become symbols of incompleteness that come together in works of art that are complete and whole.  My work elevates the humble cheesecloth.  When married with encaustic it becomes surprisingly malleable allowing for a broad range of sculptural treatments.  The resulting works are abstract representations of urban history that often explores the physical and mental boundaries of public and private spaces we inhabit.  I am currently working on an encaustic and fiber sculptural installation for a solo show at Art on Armitage in Chicago December 2014.”



One of the fun parts of this project was to highlight the work of three other artists whose work I deeply admire.  Now I’d like to ask them to answer the same questions in their blogs next week. The three women I chose create two-dimensional work in oil, encaustic and mixed media:


1. Amy Van Winkle

Amy Van Winkle is an artist from the Chicago area who works primarily with encaustic. What I love most about her abstract work is found in the tiny details, which can only be fully appreciated in person. Her paintings are lush with color and beautifully minimal, but contain tiny details that enchant me. Amy has been a great, supportive friend, and it is a pleasure to share her work here. In Amy’s own words:

Amy Van Winkle

Amy Van Winkle

It’s simple; I create art because it makes me happy. My paintings aren’t complicated, but yet they’re full of memories and emotions. My art begins intuitively. My inspiration comes from retrospection, song lyrics, a quote, a color and, of course, the sweet little moments of everyday life.




2. Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews creates large scale mixed media paintings that I absolutely adore. Her use of color is spectacular, and her works give the sense that they have effortlessly fallen there on the canvas, though I know that is certainly not the case, and actually quite difficult to achieve. About Casey:

Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews

Casey Matthews creates rich paintings with multi-media surfaces that are both visually intriguing, and full of energy; incorporating expressive color, movement, and strong elements of design.  The work combines emotional content, observation, technique, exploration, and reinvention. It is a form of vague communication and contradiction in an attempt to achieve balance and beauty. This award-winning artist attracts collectors throughout worldwide, and works from her studio on Amelia Island, Florida.



3. Liz Tuckwell 

Liz Tuckwell is an artist and friend who paints primarily in oil and shares gallery wall space with me at Sacred Art in Chicago. Her works are able to be both bold and subtle simultaneously, and emanate sublime points of light throughout. About Liz:

Liz Tuckwell

Liz Tuckwell

Liz Tuckwell is a painter currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She states, “ I truly began my painting career while living in Amsterdam with little more than cheap oil paints from a local Dutch market, a potato knife and paper.  Later, I discovered the use of brushes, I discovered the canvas and the story begins to write itself from there. My paintings are stories that burst forth from within me, often times telling me a story about myself. If we see art as an investigation into being, then my paintings are my investigation into my being; I paint what I feel, or rather what I am feeling comes through on each canvas.”

Many thanks to Amy, Casey and Liz for offering to share your work! Please check in with them next week to see the artists they are highlighting.

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Studio Visit Magazine

In the hallowed temple of the cosmic gods all my being dances, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 16 x 12", 2013, Ahavani Mullen

In the hallowed temple of the cosmic gods all my being dances, #1 of 5, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 16 x 12″, 2013, Ahavani Mullen

I am thrilled to share that my work was selected for Volume Twenty-Seven of Studio Visit Magazine by esteemed curator and critic Carl Belz. Studio Visit is a series of juried artist books, and each volume contains approximately 150 artists who have been selected by professional curators. It is published twice yearly, and is a sister publication to the annual New American Paintings.

I am grateful.

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Wax Effects

Art Central Gallery in San Luis Obispo, recently hosted a national exhibition juried by Eileen Goldenberg called Wax Effects, featuring the work of 25 artists made with encaustic paint.

I am so happy and honored to share that I was awarded Second Place for Tenderly. Many thanks Eileen and Etty. I am so grateful.

The exhibition will be up through the month of August, so do stop by if you are in the area – it will be a treat!

Tenderly, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 20 x 16" , 2014, Ahavani Mullen

Tenderly, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 20 x 16″ , 2014, Ahavani Mullen

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Unbounded Opening Tonight



Hope you can make it to the opening tonight of Unbound(ed) at Morpho Gallery in Chicago from 6-9pm!

“Unbound(ed)” is a juried exhibition featuring work from artists from around the country who work in encaustic. The title refers to the term “Unbound” and all of its meanings. Each artist has approached this theme in their own way, resulting in an exhibition filled with different styles, techniques and new takes on this ancient medium. Please join us!

Facebook event page



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The Bridge


The Bridge ahavani mullen encaustic painting

Ahavani Mullen, The Bridge, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 36 x 24″, 2014



“Art is the wonderful convincing bridge between the sweetest harmony and the most perfect rhythm”

-Sri Chinmoy, Eternity’s Breath, 1972

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The Diptych Project

Peek a Boo, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 16 x 16", 2014, Ahavani Mullen

Peek a Boo, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 16 x 16″, 2014, Ahavani Mullen

As part of a project between two encaustic groups, FUSEDChicago and New England Wax, artists from each group are creating works in response to each other in what we are calling The Diptych Project. I am working with Willa Vennema. Willa created 30 Days Free Trial pictured below on the left side. My panel Peek a Boo, the more solidly lime piece, was created in response, on the right side below. Each panel is 16 x 16″.

This project has been surprisingly delightful, and has forced me to stretch the ways that I work. I found myself playing with it as an exercise, as an exploration of new ways I can work out of my comfort zone. There is actually a comfort zone.

My work Peek a Boo, responds to Willa Vennama’s 30 Days Free Trial, from her Word Windows series. I was drawn to Willa’s exploration of shifting perspectives, depths and focus. Divided by right angles, and layered with pages from antique books, it speaks to the passing of and measurement of time. Peek a Boo responds to these shifts and explores the archaeology of her work through the layering of antique symphony scores with encaustic, navigating the seen and the unseen.

Thank you for collaborating, Willa. This has been an expansive experience.

Diptych Project. Each panel 16 x 16". Left panel: Willa Vennema, 30 Days Free Trial, Encaustic + mixed media on panel. Right Panel: Ahavani Mullen, Peek a Boo, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 2014

Diptych Project. Each panel 16 x 16″. Left panel: Willa Vennema, 30 Days Free Trial, Encaustic + mixed media on panel. Right Panel: Ahavani Mullen, Peek a Boo, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 2014

Details below:

ahavani mullen peek a boo detail 4

Peek a Boo, detail, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 16 x 16″, 2014, Ahavani Mullen

ahavani mullen peek a boo detail 3

Peek a Boo, detail, Encaustic + mixed media on panel, 16 x 16″, 2014, Ahavani Mullen

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Two Openings +

Good news and events to share! 

First, there are 2 Friday night openings of encaustic work coming up that I will be showing in below. Both shows look excellent, and I hope you are able to make them:

Light, Encaustic + mixed media, 2013

Light, Encaustic + mixed media, 2013


Fri. March 7, 6:30-9pm

Encaustic Nature in Art,
a juried exhibition of works in encaustic on the theme of nature

1957 Sheridan Rd, Highland Park, IL 60035

Untitled 4, Encaustic + mixed media, 2013

Untitled 4, Encaustic + mixed media, 2013






Fri. March 14, 5-8pm

Green, an exhibition of encaustic works by FUSEDChicago artists

410 South Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605 


Where we live together, Encaustic + mixed media, 2013

Where we live together, Encaustic + mixed media, 2013




Also, I now have 15 works available at Sacred Art in Lincoln Square, if you’d like to see the work in person. Like this one.

Sacred Art
4619 N. Lincoln
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 728-2803
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Silence Speaks

I’d love to share some photos of the installation of Silence Speaks, my recent solo show at Morpho Gallery. Many thanks to all who showed up despite it being winter in Chicago. A very special thanks to my sister Bridget for her assistance with installation, as well as David Leigh at Morpho Gallery. So grateful to you both! Many good things have come as a result of this exhibition. Here are a few of my favorite shots:

morpho show one side all infoahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show main 13ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 2ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks show 7ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 10ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 14ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 9ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks show 5ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 16ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 12ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 11ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks show light 6ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 15ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show breath 4ahavani mullen morpho silence speaks solo show 3

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