Category Archives: acrylic

“New Works ’09” show at Enso this month

winter.lowres.72dpi

I’m happy to share with you all that I’ll be hanging a show of new work at Enso gallery this week, which will run through the month of September. Enso is actually a yoga studio as well, run by an amazingly generous and creative local couple, and they run a very nice gallery space, right by the ocean here in Half Moon Bay. So if you are in the area, come check it out. 

Where:  Enso, 131 Kelly Ave. Half Moon Bay, CA

When: Please join us for an opening reception September 12, 4-6 p.m. There will be light food and drinks. The show will run the whole of September. Check the schedule at http://www.ensohmb.com for gallery availability. Generally, the gallery is open to the public before and after yoga classes. 

If you are coming from out of town, and want to make sure that you see the show, email me directly, and I’ll try to arrange a time to open the gallery for you. 

Hope you can make it!

New Work #14: Acrylic, Etc.

winter9.lowres.72dpi

Challenging work, this. I’ve been trying to translate some of the same ideas I’ve been exploring in encaustic into my acrylic mixed media work. The pieces seem related, but distinct as well. The same problems come up, but I have to solve them with a different language of solutions, as I move between the two mediums. I feel as though each new painting progresses the conversation a bit further, without a whole lot of repetition from piece to piece. 

winter7begin.lowres.72dpi

You can only faintly see the embroidered word “Begin” in the painting above.

winter11still.lowres.72dpi

It is difficult to see in the above image (these are large-ish paintings, and the low res image doesn’t quite do them justice), but I’ve started using tiny dots of paint (the black circles above) much like I use in the encaustic pieces, but to different effect.

I’m off to the redwoods for a week of camping, swimming, sunning, and hanging out with good friends. Have a great week!

Leap…..

begin.1

Sometimes, the hardest thing is simply beginning.

begin.2

And once I begin, it is rare that I want to stop. As I approach a painting session, or a block of time in my studio, or begin a new painting or body of work, my doubts and insecurities often crowd me, beckoning me toward some other soothing activity like working in the garden or reading a book. Baking cookies. Catching up on email. Cleaning the toilet.

No, really, it is fascinating to me that after 20-something years of painting, that I can still have these feelings. It’s like that squirmy, resistant feeling you get right before jumping into a cold lake or swimming pool. After jumping, I always get a little rush of adrenaline, and then have the thought that it’s really quite nice. Wonderful, even. 

How do I get to the other side of those feelings with my artwork? I remind myself to just begin.  Then I give myself permission to do something other than painting in my studio if I just do not feel the flow after a little while. I could tidy my studio, or do some preliminary drawings, I could go outside and photograph, make some color charts, write in my art journal. Whatever. But almost always, I find myself caught up in the riptide of creative momentum, and I paint. 

“Leap, and the net will appear”

-Unknown

Experiments In Wax and White

tablecloth1

I’ve been having some fun in my studio this week experimenting with wax inlay (intarsia). Here are some of the results-in-progress.

tablecloth2

First, I tried putting oil paint into the texture and doing a wipe, but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped, so I tried filling with wax and scraping back, and I’m much happier with it. I like using intarsia in my underlayers, as I like to imagine that they are more stable, and an oil wipe in the last stages of a painting. But, Oh! The scraping- my fingers don’t like it much. I need to do a serious perusal of my local hardware store for a razor holder that works well for this. I took good photos of the intarsia process this time, so I’ll do a technique tutorial on it soon.

whitedetail

Above: a detail of a larger acrylic painting. I’ve been trying some new things with acrylics, too…. laminating milky, transluscent papers into this painting, tracing some of my field sketches, and using a graphite paint that I found recently. It is such a good exercise to try to explore the same aesthetic and formal concerns as the white encaustics, but it a radically different medium. I think it keeps things fresh all around, with each medium informing the other. Well, we’ll see. I don’t think the above painting is really successful in the way I want it to be, yet, but I’m going to keep on playing with it. I’d love for it to segue into a new (and parallel) body of work.

And I’ll leave you with one last image, something I picked up on a walk the other day. I don’t know what my neighbors thought, with me traipsing through the neighborhood with my dog and a dead bush, but I love it- it’s color and form- and can’t wait to take an hour or two and draw it from different angles. 

shrubskeleton

P.S. I’m going to the opening for “Working in Wax” tonight in Walnut Creek (see announcement below) and am so excited to see so much encaustic work!

Studio Update

studioshot1

Some new studio shots from this week. I finally got around to cleaning up. I like a good, productive mess, but with my paintings slowly growing in size, and my studio not growing to accommodate, the mess and the art were starting to battle it out in there. So I hung some things up, threw some piles out, vacuumed many a cobweb, and kindly showed some spiders the door. 

studioshot2

Ahh. Much better. studioshot3

And after a short break from my acrylics, I’ve started experimenting again with what might be an extention of the white encaustic series I’ve been working on. After a year of working on two distinctly separate bodies of work (the nests and the white paintings), I decided that since the nests have been slowing down for a while now, I’d try bringing the acrylic work more in line with the encaustic work, and have been exploring some of the same ideas. But, of course, these two mediums are so, so different- my aim is for the paintings to feel related, but to allow each medium to express it’s own unique influence.  I’ll have some photos of those works in progress soon!

Prints, Anyone?

Many of you have asked about the possibility of buying prints of my work. I’ve looked into several options for this, and decided to sign on with Imagekind. Imagekind is a website that makes fine art prints available to anyone, and the buyer can choose the size, and the type of paper, canvas, or finish. You can order the print framed or not. 

http://lisakairos.imagekind.com

I’ve uploaded work from the past 6 months or so, both encaustic paintings and acrylic nest paintings, and they are available in small format prints. 

So enjoy, and please- let me know what you think.

Some Encaustic Goodness

We have a chilly, rainy day here in Half Moon Bay, and I just went out and turned on the heater in my studio. I’m nursing a cold (*sniff*), but am still hoping to get a little work done. I’m working on a larger encaustic piece right now, another in the white series. This one is the other half of that hollow core door that I sawed into pieces a while back. 

wipnewsstrips

When I’m working on larger pieces, I find it helpful to break down work sessions into smaller chunks. An hour, or two. Just getting a single layer on there, and fusing it can take over half an hour. Whew! 

In the background above, you can see some home made encaustic color charts… My next technique post will be about color, and I’ll go over the how and why of making those charts (plus, it’ll get me to finish my own set! )

3ptgs1

And here are three acrylic paintings waiting for some embroidery thread… I am especially happy with the grey one. This is a terribly wonky photo- my camera shoots wide angle whether I want it to or not- and the texture just didn’t show up, but I almost always like what happens when I restrict my pallet. I’m funny about color. I’ll tiptoe my way out on some colorful limb, and then always come back to my neutrals. I hadn’t done a nest yet with such somber colors, and I like the way it turned out. 

For those of you who are looking for information on encaustic technique, check out Malissa Martin Wilkes’ blog. She’s got some great information and photos, some studio shots, etc. Her set up is a little different from mine, and it’s good to see how different people work.

New Work and a Show

Geez!  When was the last time I posted new work on this blog?  It feels like ages ago.  Anyway, here we go… The two nests below are acrylic mixed media. 

And then two new encaustics… continuing to experiment with the same techniques. I am working on some others in this format too, just trying to push a little farther in slightly different directions than before.

All four of these pieces, plus some others, will be in the group show “Wishfull Thinking” at Lark and Key Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The show will be running November 5th through December 30th, and I encourage anyone nearby to go and take a look. Other participating artists are Flora Bowley, Michelle Caplan, Duy Huynh, Kate Phillips, and Osiris Rain. It looks to be an interesting and varied show, and Lark and Key looks like a dreamy gallery/shop. Just the sort of place that I could not resist walking into. You know- “tractor beam effect”. Here’s a look inside- 

Views of Birds and Bees at Enso

Here are some shots from the show at Enso. Lovely, lovely space. Wonderful people there, too. No shots from the opening, as I forgot my camera (!), but it went well, and I visited with friends and family and met lots of interensting, artistically minded locals. Just what I was hoping for…

Remember all of those little encaustics? They pack a punch hung all together like this.

This nest is going to a new home on the coastside. 

And here are some shots of the outside of the gallery/yoga studio. How appropriate- to have an art gallery space inside a work of art! The building feels truly hand made, rustic and recycled, all at once.

As for me, I’ve taken a bit of a breather from art this week, preparing for the new homeschooling year, and getting my daughter ready for her first year of public high school. I did clean up my studio, and have been preparing supports for a variation series on the small encaustics I’ve been working on.  I also have another project in the works, but that’s secret for now…..