Saturday, April 19, 2008

IEA Meeting - Update

Here is the encaustic from the last post that I partially scraped and reworked. I paid attention to the complimentary comments but had to go with my own judgment and I like it now. It seems less confused.

Our chapter of the IEA met again in Natasia's studio last night and she demonstrated her technique of making "carbon paper" by rolling etching inks out on waxed paper. In this way she can use several colors to trace drawings onto her prepared encaustic background. The photo above shows Natasia getting ready to trace a drawing through the inked paper.

She had several sandwiches of rolled out ink prepared for her demonstration, each of a different color.

Here she traces through the inked paper with a stylus.

And shows us how she manipulates the transfer with walnut oil and Q-tips.

Finally she blots the surface with newsprint paper to remove the excess oil before fusing.

Fusing the line with a heat gun.

Left to right: Linda Womack, Susan Freedman, Andrea Benson, Barbara Greiner and Natasia Chan. It was a great but small meeting; we all got to talk a lot in an informal way and I got to ask for a critique which was helpful.

This is the painting I did yesterday. As you might surmise, I am more of a designer than I am a true painter but I'm always trying to expand my understanding of the issues involved. Art is a huge mystery for me; one that seems simple and obvious at times and one that seems overwhelming at other times. But I love the challenge and the feeling of being lost in a forest and trying to find my way out. When I started the painting above I just started with the first dot on the background having no plan other than to react to the previous mark and to proceed in that vein. I love working that way - you never know what is going to happen.

My mother used to love crossword puzzles which I have never much enjoyed but now I see the similarity between the two activities. You have a problem to solve. You put in one piece after another on the way to a solution. Sometimes you solve it and because it was difficult you feel a deep pleasure. The process is riveting and I keep returning for more. It's a wonderful discipline.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that someone who has made art for a living for a considerable time talks about feeling her way around in a forest, without a real plan... How is this possible? That is precisely what I do and feel, but I have no art training and have very few techniques available. You are so accomplished!

Bridgette Guerzon Mills said...

oooh, nastasia's technique is intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Why do you say you are more of a designer than a true painter? I think of you as a painter. Maybe because I've only known your work through your paintings. And does one negate the other? In certain circumstances, I would say yes...but in yours, can't it be both?

I love how you put it as being lost in a forest and finding your way out. It is a mystery to me too, one that I return to again and again. The process of discovery. The process of constant questioning and seeking.

Leah said...

oo, very cool technique.

and your re-worked piece looks awesome!

as for working intuitively as you describe, i love working that way as well and i often relate it to puzzle-making, with the end result being a fun surprise.

Ms Dragonfly said...

you're right, i like it much better, who knew! :) your words are encouraging. art is a mystery sometimes, or always.

Anonymous said...

Oh- I love the painting ,and both versions of the bird. Thanks for the flower info. I was raised to believe that the bush behind this plant is a mock oragne- isn't that funny?? I wonder what bossy would say?? Sorry I got you hooked!!!

katie said...

your re-workded version of the bird just sings, yes!

i love the taking one step after another, guided only by the step you've just taken, with a curious spirit and abiding trust in the unveiling mystery. i find working in this way is the siren song that keeps bringing me back to the studio each day, to explore the interior world devoid of my preconceived thoughts and concepts.

Candace said...

Gosh, this is incredible. Thank you for sharing the technique with us, Judy. I am always in the forest and if I 'fall', do I too make a noise? Can those trees hear *US*?


Anonymous said...

I haven't tried encaustic work yet (I sense another obsession coming), but I love how you've re-worked the painting. It was pretty before, but it's so fresh and clear now.

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