Friday, February 24, 2012

Start More, Finish More!

I'm getting used to having many pieces in progress at a time. What I like about it is that I'm doing more art than I ever did before. If I get stuck on one piece, I can move to another, or start another one. The danger, of course, is having a lot of pieces started without ever finishing anything, and that is something I am very good at! Today I'm showing two pieces that I've worked on here and there and let them slowly evolve.

I loved this fern image from a catalog, so I collaged it into the background. Then I played around wth some paint effects, using sprayed soapy dishwater. Doesn't it create some great paint effects?

But after that, I was stuck until one day, I decided to add an image transfer of a flower, followed by more painting and this is what happened:

Is it finished? I'm not sure. I want to add more detail in the flower and there's an edge from the collage that I don't like so it will probably take some more work to be complete. We shall see!

Here is an encaustic piece I started before Christmas.

I was pretty happy with it, but didn't like the top part around the butterfly. The beauty of encaustic painting is that if you don't like something, you can just scrape it off, so that's exactly what I did in my encaustic class yesterday. I also added a some line elements by drawing on tissue paper then collaging that into the piece.

I might do some more work with it as well, but I'll take my time. I have plenty of other WIP's to keep me busy in the meantime!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Encaustic Painting: "Eight"

Aside from getting powdered graphite spilled all over me and my workspace by another student in the class, I had a pretty good day in my encaustic class this week. Fortunately, as it turns out, powdered graphite makes some very interesting effects in wax. After years of working primarily representationally, I'm learning to do abstract compositions. It's fun and scary at the same time. One question I wrestle with is whether there should be deeper meaning or if it's acceptable to work according to what pleases me visually. My approach is very process-based. I start with the visual and as I work, more ideas come to me. In this piece, I used stencils for the shapes. I used 8 because it seemed like it would look good and I used the two leaves to balance the composition. Now I'm toying with the idea of adding something more mysterious about the number 8, maybe something from numerology or an astronomy map, which is based on an 8-point star like this.

If I do, I will try to print it on tissue paper, and then collage it into the piece with wax in next week's class.

Thanks everyone for visiting, especially to Paint Party Friday friends! I so enjoy seeing the work others are doing, and appreciate your comments.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Slowing Down with Encaustic Painting

There's something really soothing about working with encaustics. You need to slow down, wait for the wax to melt, stir the medium, fuse the layers, and be sure not to burn yourself or start any fires! I'm taking an introduction to encaustic painting class over the next two months. Today, in class, we got to play and experiment. I'm pretty happy with how this little piece I did in class turned out.

I used a stencil for the leaf design, along with plenty of incising and oil paint to create other lines.

I am not completely happy with the photos here of my work, though. I haven't figured out how to get rid of the glare from the wax. That's why I have the two pictures here, and yet I'm not completely happy with either one of them. Photography is not my forte! I will need to learn more about this if I continue working with wax in my art.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Every Leaf a Miracle

I love leaves. When I'm on the phone doodling, I'm most likely doodling leaves. When I'm out on a walk, I can't help but gather interesting leaves along the way. Their shapes, colors and lines are always interesting. So it's not surprising that leaves make their appearance in my artwork quite frequently.

I recently made some stamps of, you guessed it. Leaves! Here are two examples of my stamps used in small paintings.

I also love poetry and like to incorporate it in my work. This lovely line from William Wordsworth, "With every leaf a miracle.." summed up my feelings about leaves perfectly.

Happy Paint Party Friday to my PPF friends. If you'd like to know more about this friendly challenge, here is the link: Paint Part Friday Thanks to Kristin and Eva for hosting this fun, friendly weekly challenge!