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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Encaustics; Second Class

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!

17 comments:

Sharon said...

I am enthralled with your encaustic. Thank you so much for giving some details. Your first piece in unbelievable that you did that with splat of the hot colored wax. I want to play with you.
Oh and about the paint on the front porch....I usually have on my best clothes too. Never learn. Love the layers on your stenciled piece. How can we find more than 24 hours in a day. I need more.

Kelly Kilmer said...

Oh yum yum yum!!
I second what Sharon says. I wanna play art with you! ;)

Ro Bruhn said...

Can I come too? Encaustics sounds fascinating, I love your portrait, no pencil first, wow.
Love your stebcil work Judy.
Ro
xo

Carolyn said...

I love reading you words about encaustic: they are so uninhibited and joyous. I love this feeling when discovering something new... it's like being in the beginning stages of love: it's all you can think about, it's all you want to do!

annie said...

judy...i love this man! he's beautiful! i have been wanting desperately to take an encaustic class...i have alot of the materials...but, they just sit here teasing me! if you have a party...count me in!

Pilar said...

I love your encaustic portrait! What a great technique to learn how to mix as you go along vs. letting the colors stay liquid in the tins. I abandoned my encaustic pursuit years ago because the colors seemed so muddy. I am looking forward to see your next piece! xoxooxoxoxo

Christine DeCamp said...

Hi Judy,
I have been looking at your website & your blog. I love your work!! We share some common themes. And I was delighted to read that Inez Storer is a favorite artist of yours---she was my neighbor for many years--I now live a few miles away....and I have known her & Andrew for a long time. I am very intrigued by your journals & would love to try doing something similar. Are you making all of your journals from scratch? Or do you sometimes use a ready-made one? I am trying to figure out how to get started. I am in a big transition stage---am trying lots of different things & learning more internet stuff & business stuff. I just started a blog---you can see some of my work there or at my website, if you are interested. http://passionforpainting.blogspot.com or http://christinedecamp.com
Thanks for any info! And happy painting! Christine

Paula McNamee said...

Judy, your encaustic work is incredible and what fun you're having learning the process. Kudos for your art being on the cover of Teesha Moore's zine Art & Life. Way to go chica! You're on a roll with your art this year. I'm looking forward to seeing you at A&S next week. Paula

Carla Sonheim said...

Really great work! I'm looking forward to taking YOUR encaustics class at AF 08!!!!

Daris Judd said...

Hi Judy, Oh yes I understand what you are saying about encaustic. I would wear the smell as perfume. Working with a torch and fire is a incredible feeling, but under your pillow, funny. We did a trade many many years ago at the Bellvue show. Back then I was doing hand shaped porcelain jewelry. I have been working in encaustic for about 4 years now. web site www.darisjudd.com There is so much to do and never enought time!

Amy Stoner said...

Congrats on that fab painting and your encaustic class - so jealous! I was all ready to sign up for that one myself but with the money and my pregnancy/fumes I just thought I better control myself. But I can't wait to see more of what you have done. yay!

Deb said...

Everything will fly out the door at A&S! I love the encaustic painting, but then I love everything you do.
I tagged you today - sorry, but your name begins with a "J" - if you care to play along. If not, keep up the wax!

Deb

katie said...

Love, lOVE, LOVE it judy!!! what a fascinating technique your learning, and your man piece is gorgeous. yes, i see the open doors for you...have a blast choosing which one to go through!

patty van dorin said...

All I can say is WOWZERS!!!!
My copy of Art and Life arrived in this afternoons mail. Congratulations on being the Cover Girl, this zine is always a treat for the eyes and your amazing piece made it even more spetacular.

dianeclancy said...

I'm impressed! Encaustics are fun - it is the venting that I get stuck on.

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

Lucy said...

I've just started learning about encaustic paintings and find it fascinating as well. You've done a wonderful job with yours! Thanks for the technique explanation and giving us a peek on how it's done :)

....I laughed at how you want to sleep with your torch under your pillow! LOL

Molokai Girl said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE those encaustics you did! Who taught?