Saturday, March 15, 2008

The 3-D Kids

Friday I worked with the students in the clay studio. I wanted to give them a grounding in mixing pigment with wax on the hot palette as I did the other groups. For me, this is the foundation for working in encaustic - to be able to achieve the colors you want instead of trying to control the highly saturated colors that you purchase pre-mixed.

I think once you work with your own color mixes it is easier to switch to the commercially prepared colors and to use them judiciously; in other words, lots of clear wax and small amounts of the brilliant color.

After the portraits, I introduced the fun stuff that everyone can't wait to try. Collage, intaglio, cut and fill, transfers, scraping, using clay tools and dentists' tools, all that fun experimenting with photographs and found images.

It was a week that left me feeling changed and strengthened. It was really great watching the successes and course-corrections that come with any new skill.

Overheard conversation:
Boy 1 - "I love it" (my painting).
Boy 2 - "Yeah, like a mother loves her baby" . (implying a face only a mother could love)
Boy 1 - "Yeah. Me and the teacher; we're the only ones who love it."

It was so obvious that the kids were proud and knew they'd made something beautiful. They were so excited about the process, the whooshing torches, the fragrant wax and esoteric history of the medium. All the same things that I love come to think of it.

One more week with the kids. Journal pages coming as soon as I catch my breath.


Anonymous said...

Judy, I am amazed at what you were able to get the students to do. I teach encaustics and have not come close to having my students do anything bordering on realistic. Are you giving them a drawing? How are they mixing thier own pigments on a black griddle? I just can't see well enough unless I use printers tins. Binky

Judy Wise said...

Hi Binky, We're working with copies of a Fayum portrait that I got out of an art history book. Their instructions are to copy the image while looking at it upside down - they are using dry pigments for white, ochre & burnt sienna and oil paint for the black. And yes, (lol) mixing color on a black griddle - I like to challenge them. Seriously, they seem to get it faster than adults. Maybe because they're fearless and young. It's beautiful.

Ro Bruhn said...

Your class is going wonderfully Judy, I think it helps when the teacher is as enthusiastic as the pupils. Great work.

Kelly Snelling said...

i can't decide if i like to look more at the faces of the students or the faces they created. each is so telling, so true and clear. wonderful, judy! thank you for sharing this endeavor. i think it is so special to be able to share your gifts with these students. it is a blessing and it touches me, too. xo-k

misty said...

I have enjoyed this experience of yours so much! I just love seeing the glowing faces of your students. oh to be fearless and young... ;-) xo