Sunday, November 6, 2011

Catch up

Lot's of work has happened between last posting and now and lot's of classes as well. Here are some of them. Several were bought before I could get them up and posted. That's a good thing! :-) I've used several techniques in these and in one of them I've recently decided to rework it into a color palette that is more similar to the series. I'll put that up shortly so you can see how effective rubbing into the surface is as well as scraping back. I like the new one even better.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Also part of the Journey series

This painting started out ok with a good idea and some interesting texture, but in the middle turned hopeless. I took an "easy" cliched way out and hated the result. So the next morning I began scraping back, inscribing in, rubbing oil into the incised areas and turned out loving the combinations. Guess it goes that way sometimes.

This one is 18 X 18 and as always, as I learn to paint larger in a medium there is a learning curve for scaling up and minimizing small details so the painting will "show" from across the room. This one does now and I love the warm colors. I've entered this and the last 2 on the blog in the IEA show scheduled for September-October to coincide with their annual conference. Haven't heard yet if any of these have juried in.

As I previewed this before hitting the publish post button, I noticed how this painting (maybe all paintings) seems drabber than it is in real life. The burnt sienna color against the rich creamy wax background just doesn't show that well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

And Another

This painting changed a number of times over the course of the work. I like it now because it contains a lot of pattern in it and the symbols have meaning to me. Also for the first time I tried carving the encaustic wax and really like the effect of it - exposing the other color underneath.

I recently went to an Art Fair and while I was walking around, one of the artists called out to me to come and get a free Rune reading which I did. Remarkably scary for being right on.

I also entered this in the IEA call for artists for September exhibit - hope I get juried in. I've now got 3 more I need to paint by August 12th.

Just as well the weather has been cold and overcast. The forecast is for a bit sunnier weather on the coast here now that the big high pressure over the midwest appears to moving east and taking the wet and cold with it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Power of discipline

Here's one of my latest encaustic paintings. This one is 18" X 18". I've been working larger because I'm entering for shows and so there is some learning curve in scaling up the patterns and designs so they will read well large.

I'm nearly every day in my studio and the ideas seem to be flowing. Sometimes they don't work out and I have to scrape back but this one seemed to come easier. I paint to music and there are about 5 CD's that I like and play over and over. I recently tried some different music that I used to just love but the painting didn't slip into place so I've gone back to my 5 tried and true. I'll have to add more by these artists because I've found it really helps condition my mind to creative ideas and stay on a roll.

I've got 3 shows I'm entering and this one is for a fall IEA show. I'll add at least 2 others to this blog in the next several days and hopefully 3 more by the end of the month.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Latest creation

I got a commission in June to paint a little rocking chair for a new baby boy by his young grandmother who wanted some vintage aircraft and that sort of theme so I painted the patterning of propellers and flight insignias from that era. I did take some license in colors which were the colors from an already picked out mobile, wall colors and crib liners. It came out cute and hope she'll like it. I'm putting the last coat of varnish on now.

In other news, I've got an International Encaustic artist Call for Entries due on July 15th that I'm painting several pictures for, another Call for Entries for a show at Trails End Art Association in August and then another Call for Entries for a themed Icon show -August deadline -at a Seattle gallery which I'm hoping might lead to representation . Lot's of painting coming up, some of which I'll post here.

There are also a few spaces left in my beginning encaustic class to be held at Trails End Art Association on August 20th so if you know anyone interested in a great painting and relaxing weekend on the Coast, send them to Trails End website for more information and to register. Trails End is in Gearhart which is oh so very close to Seaside and Cannon Beach and the weather is typically very nice.

Looks like the weather is going to be beautiful for the weekend and 4th of July down here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

From the studio

Here's another 8" X 8" little gem using the plaster and a more brilliant white background with black and mars teracotta theme. It actually came about because I wasn't happy with my original design so I began to scrape back certain areas and voila, I liked the reduction. As you can see I'm enjoying using the cross hatch motifs and I know I'll be using the reduction of black squares. I've got to be ordering more wax pellets for mixing up new medium in the near future and anticipate ordering in bulk.

The last 2 days have found me outside planting spring-time plants from the nursery. Honestly the weather has been too cold and rainy here until the last week and now I'm worried we'll go from cold to hot like the rest of the nation. But I did my planting and transplanting with just a few left to go tomorrow and then I'll be done. And finished before the onslaught of the mosquito pestilence that happens here every year. Still in all, even with the aches and pains of overtaxing muscles I'm enjoying being outside. It feels like I am finally breathing full lung-fulls of breath.

Friday, June 10, 2011

And another one

Here's another one which I did recently and like. Plaster is underneath to create that interesting texture and then I build up from there. Not the typical use of encaustic where you have layers hiding layers, hiding layers but I think there is room in the industry for all kinds of ways to use the medium.

Haven't named this one yet. Also 8"x8" on birch luan. I do like the image element on the upper half of the painting and want to reuse something like this in a larger painting so stay tuned.

The weather is stubbornly cloudy, a cool 59 degrees and has been this last week. Not typically warming weather we see by now but I am thankful it's not the tremendous heat of the mid and east coasts. Global warming showing it's throat. I know lots of people who don't believe it. Here it just seems to be stormier and cooler than normal. My new English laurels are barely getting green. Anyway, out to get all of our new plants into the ground this weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Here's some work

So here is some new work coming out of my encaustic studio. Over plaster with the theme of simple connections and unity of three's.

Our Beginning Encaustic Class was held at The Picture Attic this Saturday and was filled, and we even had a small waiting list. We had a lot of fun and did some really amazing things with wax. We used those new "Hot Wax Sticks" from Enkaustico's and found them to be very small but very intensely colored. In future classes I'll be diluting them with some medium so they will go further.

We are planning a "Return for the Burn" Encaustic Class later in the summer and I'll announce it here as well as at The Picture Attic website. It will be an Intermediate Class and along with burning papers, fabrics, shellac and we'll be dying papers with tea, coffee and watercolors and burning them too. We'll focus on metallics - not just wax but foils, pigments and joss papers and how you can include those in your designs. We'll also go over fabric and paper hangings as well as rub on and sticky texts. So keep checking here for the exact dates.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring Finches

It's so darned nice to see the birds back. This time of year it's the cliff and barn swallows, the goldfinches and their cousins the little purple finches and of course the hummingbirds.

The swallows are so joyful in flight, they are mesmerizing to watch. They build their nests all over our buildings on top of our knoll so we also get to see the babies hatch and learn to fly here. They are constantly zipping around catching insects in flight and I feel like they keep the mosquitoe's at bay for at least awhile.

The finches which normally have plenty to feed on since the grasses grow very heavily here, are sometimes, like this year, a little too early so we subsidize with a thistle feeder and they frequent it heavily. We taper this seed feeding off later in the summer as the natural seeds become abundant.

Here's a look at the feeder with birds. Endlessly fascinating to watch. We had to move it from where we initially placed it - overhanging the bank - because the neighbors cats just got a little too close and a little too interested.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Plaster "thang"

So in my studio over the retreat period I got interested in experimenting with plaster on board and how it would take the heat.

Here is one of 3 plaster pieces I did and it's such a nice material to work with. It dries fast and takes a burn really nice as you can see. I'll be doing some more with this material.

I like the whiteness of the surface as well and the plain encaustic medium goes over the surface and adheres. In keeping with the low color this type of preparation works well and adds lots of texture variety to paintings.

I've got 6 places filled for my Picture Attic class in June now and already 2 or 3 places filled for the Encaustic Class I'm teaching for Trails End Art Association. I'm looking forward to meeting the people who will be coming and seeing what the classes yield in terms of the work - it's always very rewarding. I'll take some pictures too and post them here.

After some very dreary weeks of late rain it looks like the temperature is climbing here into the high 50's and even a day or 2 of low 60's. The wind has turned to a more warm weather pattern and people are planting their gardens up. Two nights ago though it was still 37 degrees out. Spring may be around the corner and people here are breathing a big sigh of relief that outdoor activities are too. I got some gladiola bulbs and dahlia bulbs into the ground and look forward to some nice flowers this year.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Here is a new encaustic I did from my retreat last month. It's another one of my Little Gems (8" X 8" on self framed birch panel for $150).

This one is called Red Gold Seal and I used a texture devise, a stamp, a fabric ribbon and wax plus my new Iwatani torch which helps make things much smoother than I have been able to do before.

I found out about this torch at the last years Encaustic Conference in Beverly Massachusettes at Montserrat College - this years Encaustic Conference is going to be held in Cape Cod at Truro Art Center there - if you're interested in this go to this blog and find out all about the great presentations and activities they are having this year :

Doing new work energized me to get my website renewed and updated so back into that well I went. Go to my updated website (website address is the same) and check it out here: I do have all of my recent encaustic work here so you can see the new directions I'm going.

I use a template driven website from Network Solution and it works very well and I can update it myself without knowledge of programing or program language.

You'll notice on my website that I have now joined the Trails End Art Association in Gearhart Oregon. I've missed having a cohesive community of artists to interact with and I have found them here at this great place. They own their own building which houses a gallery for the members and functions much as a Co-op Gallery and another space which functions for general meetings, art classes and just general daily meetings of artists doing great art work together. I feel right at home. Come by and see our member exhibitions which hang all month - the gallery is open Wednesdays thru Sunday 10-3 and starting in June it will be 10-5.

My teaching schedule for this summer is also posted on my website with contact and registration information but just so you know I'll be teaching these 2 Encaustic classes locally:

  • 1 day Beginning Encaustic on Saturday June 4th at Long Beach, WA
  • 1 day Beginning Encaustic on Saturday August 20th at Trails End Art Association in Gearhart, OR

I also had a playdate last Sunday with a friend who came over to work in my studio with me and we had a fun time waxing and experimenting. We'll play again soon Jean :-).

The weather this Spring has been pretty horrendous - we are still getting winter-like, soggy, rains and wind, with daytime temperatures running mostly in the low 50's. The advantage is it has allowed for more inside painting time without the distraction of too much gardening and yard work. So have fun in your own studio!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

After the Retreat

Boy that felt good to go to my studio and be able to work pretty solid for 3 days straight. It was really more like 2 1/2 because I had to clean out the studio first, reset up one of my tables, find where I'd put all my supplies having just moved them to brand new shelves, and then just generally get into the groove of hot wax. I blew a switch and had to reset and now know what my limits are. And I'm loving my Iwatani torch. It does in fact do a better job of smoothing my layers of wax though there is some show of the underlayers of plain medium through my colored waxes overlaying. I haven't quite figured out why yet nor how I really want to deal with this opportunity to problem solve. I'll put some images up shortly from my retreat.

I also discovered that as much as I'd like to sit down to create in more comfort, it makes more sense and is physically easier to do the laying on of medium and color and the fusing standing up. Now I must think how I can alternate so I have some chair time and standing time -- and not forget the stretching time either.

Also, I'm going to be teaching an one-day Encaustic Class at Trails End Art Association/Gallery in Gearhart in August and I'm gathering some new material to teach, especially ways to incorporate representative wax drawing into paintings which often tend to be wildly abstract or collaged. Look at the sidebar for information but give me a day to get it up!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Season Retreat

So what do you do when you're brimming with ideas for new series of works and want to explore some imagery? That's the best time to get into your studio and work. Call it a retreat and work just like you do in a retreat - that means put out the dog, let the cat do what cat's do, put aside every other "To Do" on your list, get some great breakfast and lunch supplies on hand with tea and cold water and pop available, and order dinner out. Time to immerse yourself in the art you create and let it take you.

For the next 4 days I'm all about encaustic. Sleep, dream, think, do and do and do! Tune in for some new works going up in the next week after my retreat is over.