Thursday, August 23, 2012

Under Every Painting There is an Abstract Painting

Acrylics Texturized Mixed Media ~ 12 x 12 ~ Still Life
Acrylics ~Texturized Mixed Media ~ Abstract ~ 12 x 12
Here's how that paradigm worked for me.  I did the abstract in a workshop and was not really thrilled by it, even though I folloowed the instructions pretty much as the instructor gave them.  For me, it lacks heart or "honesty."  I like absracts and I like trying to abstract [verb] my work sometimes, but this missed the mark a bunch. 

So, over the course of July and August, I have been doing classes I have called Art Camp for Seniors, in which we "played" with paint, gels, mediums collage papers, texturizing "tools," and, of course, buble wrap!  I told the students at each class, to think of these pieces as underpaintings until we arrived at a place where we were happy enough with the results, that they were no longer underpaintings, but "finished" pieces.  This gave everyone permission to let go of their expectations to leave each class with a finished piece, and to loosen up.  It worked very well for most everyone. 

As we neared the end of the series, I chose to do a set-up in my classes of fruit, wine bottles and glasses that they could do, only if they used some of their previously texturized surfaces.  I used the one above, and the results are at the top of this post.  I am pretty pleased with my fruit and bottle on a texturized surface, with the addition of a wine label, also texturized and "patina-ed" with Quin Gold and Quinacridone Burnt Orange.   Along with my students, I am beginning to really believe that a painting is indeed an underpainting until I say it's done!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Another Encaustic

Flirty Lady ~ Encaustic ~ 12 x 12

This is yet another experiment with my encaustics.  After priming the board with a couple of layers of medium, I burnished the start of a pen drawing onto the board, and finished my little lady with layers of encausitc wax paint and fusion with a heat gun.  Not as easy [at least for me] as it looks!  I need a lot more practice, but it's a start and I am enjoying the process.  Again and still, it's all about "What ifs." 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Now you see it, now you don't!

Two Pears ~ Encaustic ~ 6 x 6
Well, I really did like these little guys, and did them as an experiment in the first place.  I was happy enough with them, but needed to continue experimenting.  Although I liked the texture I had created, I would have liked the piece to have been a tad smoother.  So, I had bought a second-hand iron at the thrift shop and tried to level the painting off.  Oh, the iron worked, and I was trying to get the hang of the iron on the wax, and got carried away, and I melted the whole darn thing off the board!  I am being brave about it, and not too upset.  I am getting better about pushing the envelope to see how far I can go with these new experiments.  So, this time I went too far, but will know the next time.

Just so you know, there IS a "special" iron for encaustics.  One brand is $40, and the other is $50.  Since I am on a steep, self-taught, learning curve, I am trying to keep "investments" to a minimum, so a $3 iron is what I am using for the moment.  I have read a bunch of blogs and instruction sites, and have seen most of the YouTube videos on encaustics, and some artists use a regular iron, and others say you MUST use the encaustics iron.  Do you think this is like other mediums, in that the better quality of materials and tools impact the results?  I am not sure ... yet ... but will let you know!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

It's been too long ...

I know, it's summer, and so many of us are taking a break.  I have been taking a break from blogging, but have been keeping busy with my art ... evolving, I hope, or shifting a few gears.  Do you find that happening to you in your work occasionally?  There should be a support group for that!

Although I still teach and love teaching so much, I have gotten in a little rut with my own work, but have been "detouring" around "what I do," or what I used to do, which has been pretty traditional watercolors and acrylics.  Occasionally, I teach a one-day workshop in Watercolor Batiks, which I so enjoy, and have found myself gravitating toward other wax works.  Have been messing about in encaustics and loving it, but have been shy about sharing what I have been doing. 

I started by watching a few How-toYou Tube clips and setting up my studio annex in my kitchen, and loving it!  But I haven't shown my new work publicly, so here it goes!

Poppies 2, Encaustic Painting, 12 x  12 on Board

Poppies ~ Encaustic Painting 12 x 12 on board