Friday, April 29, 2011

Staying Unruffled

The latest wax emulsion painting. I am completely taken with this medium; meaning to post here, having so much to share (lots of announcements coming soon) but wanting every possible moment to work in the studio. I am so booked up this summer that I feel like I have to make use of every moment now.

I'll be attending the Encaustic Conference in Provincetown, Massachusetts in a month, teaching Painting from the Hot Palette encaustic at EncaustiCamp in July and of course presenting the Plaster Online Workshop with Stephanie Lee beginning June 13th.

I've been formulating a recipe to use in plaster projects that will stand up to vigorous water media brushwork and take a crisp intaglio line - yes, there will be things in the class that aren't in the book and vice versa. So add to my list of upcoming events a trip to southern Oregon to check in with Stephanie, plan the online book launch party, stay up late, cook up future plans and make a bunch of messy art. 

I want the whole world to get excited about making art. Then everyone's hands will be too busy for the mischief of war, competition and other such tomfoolery. A simple, good life. Good food, loving families, cooperation, community, time for friends and a slower pace. That's what I'm all about. Hug your neighbor. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Seeking the New

I am so impatient. This is a slow process; adding a few strokes, staring a long while, pondering, making judgments, reminding myself that I am not making this for others to judge. This is for me, a search for what I find compelling and a language that is my own. (This one 12x12")

This 2nd image was done before the one preceding it and I like it less. I like the more nuanced, the more ephemeral. But that's today. Each time I go into the studio I find another clue in my search. (8x8")

And then there are the insistences of daily living. Those promises you made. The demands of the body for meals, maintenance; that stuff. You lose the thread. 

The next time you enter the studio things have imperceptibly changed. Still you pick up the tools and begin again. Down the rabbit hole. 

I don't want to to anything right now but paint.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cold Wax

I spent 3 days on this little painting; 3 days of glorious fun. It is 8x8"- cold wax and dry pigments.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Never Say Never

This is cold wax. Years ago, when I cleaned up my studio after 12 years of oil based zinc plate printmaking (etchings) I swore I'd never let oil back into my studio. But then encaustic snuck under the door. And one thing always leads to another.

So here are the suspects. Dorlands cold wax. CitraSolv. Dry pigments and oils - tools, gloves, rags, ventilation, the whole wonderful, stinky, gosh-awful business.

The hardest part is waiting for things to dry. Overnight!! my friends. While I tap my little toes. The images above were where the little canvases were at the end of day one.

And at the end of day two; still not finished, hardly even started but I wanted to share my pain. What you can do with the cold wax is so similar to some of the plaster painting techniques that I am in a frenzy of experimentation and manic happiness. Then I will try some of the techniques with slow drying acrylics. One of my mentors told me to slow down and focus but if that were possible I wouldn't be who I am. I am just not product driven. I am a girl who still likes to play in the "mud". 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Plaster Face Book

Remember the plaster book I started to make here? Well today I sat down with the pages and painted 11 faces in the book.

I love the way pencil and watercolor look on the plaster surface so that is what I painted the faces with.

I love the way different people paint faces. The fact that none of us paint them like anyone else.

I got 3 sets of vintage watercolor tins off eBay and used the colors in them to paint these.

The colors were really grubby and old but there were two gorgeous shades of red that I kept returning to.

I know I need to paint from models but I am lazy. These were all drawn freehand from various sources around in studio.

So many of them end up looking like people I know that it's unsettling. 

As the day wears on and I become more tired I think the faces get better.

It's been a long time since I've done watercolors.

But I still like to try one now and then.

I waxed over the lace and plaster cover.

But the pages will stay chalky and plastery. I like them dry and porous. Such a beautiful surface on which to paint and draw.

I'm getting myself pumped up for the online plaster class. Stay tuned for more appetizers.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

EncaustiCamp Preview - My Class

Just a little reminder that I'll be teaching at EncaustiCamp July 13-17. My class is entitled "Painting from the Hot Palette" and will cover the techniques of adding colorants (dry pigments, oil paint) to encaustic medium and then painting with those colors just as you would paint from a palette of colors in oils. The difference is that wax hardens immediately so there is no waiting for paint to dry. In addition, the texture is yummy!

I'll be throwing in some transfer techniques (the above painting includes a transfer) and some collage tips. This class is suitable for beginners as well as experienced encaustic students.

The way the retreat is set up is that you'll choose 3 instructors for 3 days of intensive wax study. After hours there will be extra-curricular activities on schedule as well. Trish has worked hard to make this event affordable as well as inspiring and we hope you'll consider joining us for a weekend of intense creativity and fun.  

Welcoming Spring

April is a very good month.

The tomatoes are coming along.

The peppers are sending up determined energy.

A slumber party with some dear ones in a cabin on Discovery Bay near Port Townsend.

Where rocks were collected.

And journals written in.

A ferry was taken across the water to Edmonds.

And a class was taken with an admired colleague.

Everything was recorded in the journal.

These sketches were made after brayering color on the page.

After staring at the page for awhile little figures begin to emerge.

I capture the figures unquestioningly.

I think John Cage would approve.

Weird gifts from the beyond.

Perfect for calming the restive spirit.

Captured words while doodling; Clarissa Pinkola Estes on CD.

The year is gathering steam.

I am paying attention.

And I am happy. Really, really happy and grateful.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

And the Winners Are...

For the book - Cindy H. From the blog Polka Dot Possom. And for Mary Beth's painting - Marit. Please contact Mary Beth and she will send out both prizes.

We are both in a cabin by the bay in Port Townsend tonite. I'll post more later.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Anatomy of a Painting

When I whined to my friends about how I've stopped painting they challenged me to create 4 paintings based on my trip to San Miguel.

It really clicked for me that having that goal would get me moving again.

So these are details from the painting I just finished.

I started by painting the beautiful Vermillion Flycatcher that I kept seeing in the big tree overlooking our patio.

I've been loving my watercolors again both in my journal and otherwise.

After I painted it I cut it out with a knife which gave me a stencil as well as the painted positive.

Scraped the plaster and paint off an older cradled board that I deemed not worth saving.

And glued down the watercolored image as well as walnut ink spraying the stencil onto the plaster. Glued down collage papers, then a layer of encaustic medium and some pigmented medium. This is how it looked when I went to bed last night.

This morning I made more medium and worked to unify the elements. I put in the hornizonals remembering the warm ochre wall that surrounded our casa.

Little by little I added more elements. Clear shellac tinted with powdered pigment and gold, incisions, oil glazes.

This is the finished painting: 20 x 24 inches on a deep cradled panel. Gold foil went on last.

My favorite parts are the yellow post-it notes that John wrote out for me before our trip trying to teach me some Spanish phrases. So painting #1 is completed. Ruth and Jenny are proud of me!