Tag Archives: new encaustic paintings

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!

Cruel To Be Kind

Sometimes, you have to almost kill something to make it work right. 

I had that thought last week, staring at my oregano. Meet my oregano:

oregano

Last year, I planted this in my garden. It did well, growing tall and blossoming late in summer. By fall, it started to turn brown and sickly looking. With my kitchen scissors, I trimmed it back, hoping this would be enough. And still, it continued to get worse. So I took a deep breath and cut it all the way back to the ground. Not being a very experienced gardener, this always scares me when I do it. Sometimes the plants love it, and sometimes they just die. All winter it seemed as though the oregano was dead. 

But spring arrived, and it came back about eight times bigger than it was before my hack job. I’ve just been amazed, and as I stood the other day looking at it after clearing the weeds away, it occurred to me that one of my paintings was in a similar state of need. 

I’d put hours and hours into this painting, and it just wasn’t working. It bothered me every time I looked at it, and every time I looked, I found something else I didn’t like. This painting was sitting in my studio, daring me to do something about it. And I’m a pretty experienced painter, but it always scares me to risk destroying something to try and make it work. 

encausticdoover

I reminded myself that I had nothing to lose , because, though I loved parts of it, I didn’t love it as a whole…

Here it is, with it’s new layers obscuring the parts that bothered me, and ready for new imagery to be put on.

drawingwithpencil

I like it better already.

New Work #10: Encaustic

 

"Subterranean", 2009, encaustic mixed media on panel,

"Subterranean", 2009, encaustic mixed media on panel,

I just finished this itsy-bitsy piece the other day. It is for a project directed by  Saije Bashaw, at The Creative Gym 5.  The idea is to create an art work inspired by a word or words, and taking between 1-8 hours to complete the project. Very simple, very fun. The words this time around were “hidden” and “change”.  This little piece took me a few hours, and got me to do some visual problem solving, and felt refreshingly different from other recent work I’ve made. The deadline isn’t for a while, so I haven’t seen other’s work yet, but I’m looking forward to it. 

I’ve also been working on more “White Series” paintings…

onedotatatime

One….. Dot….. At….. A….. Time.