Here are two newly finished nest paintings that I’ve previously shown in earlier stages of development….
Both 24 x 24 inches, mixed media and acrylic on canvas. I just finished the embroidery on these this morning, while drinking my coffee. The top image was painted from a nest that my husband’s parents found in their wood pile. The second, from the nest found outside my studio. I’ve been working so much in encaustic lately that these two poor things have been sitting, forlorn, in a corner, waiting to be finished for a few weeks now. Sometimes I think I enjoy paintings more after not looking at them for a while. It was nice to come back to these after a break, and see that they held up. A little space can be a good thing.
However, sometimes a little space can turn into too much space…. that has been the case lately with my husband traveling for work….. (sigh). Can you tell that I miss him? It’s been several weeks, this trip, but I am very happy to say that his company is flying me to spend some time with him in……Thailand. Yes, that’s where he’s been working, and that’s where I’m going, for two weeks. I’ve never been to Thailand, but it looks like a lovely, wonderful country, and I’m taking my sketchbook, two blank art journals, and my camera and anticipating lots and lots of inspiration. Not to mention my sweetie, and our 15th anniversary. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep up with my blog while I’m away, and share some of this with you all, so stay tuned!
As I was cleaning up in the yard the other day, getting ready to mow the lawn, I saw this….
I didn’t even know right away what it was, and I think I stepped on it. It is a hummingbird nest, about the size of a golf ball. You can’t see in this photo, but it still has tiny egg shards in it. The lining is some really soft fiber, like a cotton ball. I am starting to think my studio is a nest magnet.
I love the way each bird chooses completely different materials, carefully constructing and arranging. This one used redwood from our mulch, and some of the moss that grows on the dead pine trees in my neighbors yard.
Some new work…..
I’ve really been enjoying working in this small format (8 x 8 inches) in such an open ended subject area. The only criteria for them is the dominant color must be white, and that the subject involves repetition. I’ve been playing with different ways of layering the wax, and applying it. I also discovered that paint pens do just fine layered in with the wax, and am experimenting with a fine point white paint pen. I got it for journaling, but it’s opened up another world with the encaustic, being one more way to create precise lines and imagery. Encaustic is difficult to control, and generally takes a lot of deep breathing and letting go from me, because, well, I can be a control freak like that. But that is also what I love so much about this medium- it keeps me on my toes, keeps me loose and open to possibility as I work, and it is such a rapidly evolving medium right now, with artists finding new ways to work with it all the time. Each piece is a wild card.
Here is another piece I finished the other night- sorry this photo is not sharper. It is difficult to see the texture here- one of it’s assets, I think. The embroidered circles are doing a lot for these nest paintings, adding some unusual texture and relief to the image. This, by the way, is the nest I wrote about a couple of posts ago. This is also a small piece. I have been warming up to this painting small business. It used to be that any painting under 3×4 feet seemed like a waste of time, but there is something so satisfying about being able to finish a painting in a relatively short period of time, and then being able to hold it in my hands and look at it….. instead of having to stand back 8 feet just to see it properly. The small pieces are more intimate that way.
Well, I’m off to make more tea, go to a friend’s baby shower in San Francisco, and then come home and paint sets for the play. And maybe embroider more paintings…….Whew!