I am mad about encaustic. Last night in our second class we put together our torches and made copies of fayum mummy portraits. (that's mine above) Our teacher, Jeff Gunn, is a peach. So personable, relaxed and encouraging. He demonstrated how you add a little powdered pigment (color) to the melted wax (clear) on the surface of the hot plate and then used that as your paint. So that the entire portrait above is colored wax - nothing underneath, no underdrawing to guide you, just *splat* melted wax on birch plywood. And then *whoosh* the flame from the propane torch.
I am in love with my torch. I want to sleep with it under my pillow. Always before in encaustic classes my teachers had us painting out of muffin tins of dense, opaque color (always in the ugliest colors imaginable) and nothing I made ever looked like anything. So I am elated to learn how to make mixtures of color as I go and to be able to keep my colors transparent and alive. I have no idea where this is going. I just see hundreds of doors swung wide open beckoning me to enter. I am the wide-eyed beginner. It is the very best place to be, with so many possibilites before me.
I haven't been spraying much. With only 24 hours in a day I have had to choose. I did manage to mark up my front porch some more spray yesterday though. I know - newspaper. But I'm always in too much of a hurry so now the front of my house is sort of, er, sprayed.
Another mini-me stencil collage to sell at Art & Soul. Next Saturday in Portland. Fun!!!
So today I'm ordering pigment for encaustic and rigging up an exhaust hood for my studio. In my previous studio I made a very clever work area on top of a wood table with just cardboard and glass (arranged like the sneeze-glass at the salad bar). I had a vented fan built into the wall. It was awesome as I was working with very strong nitric acid and KPR Developer and Xylene (nasty, nasty, nasty). I miss that wonderful and safe little hood. So this new exhaust area will be a little funkier but then the fumes aren't quite so bad and whatever I come up with will be better than what we have at school (fan in a window. no hood.)
Here's to new materials, a spirit of adventure and shopping for more art supplies!