Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark. -Agnes de Mille

Over the summer, I decided to take a course on encaustic painting. It has turned into a medium that I just love. I think it particularly lends itself to textures, and more loose renditions - though you can still control it enough if you'd like to get more tight and figurative with it.

Starting off then, here are some examples of what I have been doing with the encaustic. I think when I lay them all out like this, I can really see a progression in my ability to control the medium, even though I may not always want to completely control it.

Approx. 8.5 x 11.5

My very first encaustic painting. For me at this point, it was purely experimental, and making marks to get the feel of how the hot wax does, or doesn't spread as you apply it to the board. The same can be said of the second piece.

Approx. 8.5 x 11.5

Approx. 8.5 x 11.5

By the time I got to the second class, I wanted to see how much I could control it if I wanted to get more figurative. The above blossoms were the result.

Next, I decided to see if it would work well as a medium for ACEO sized pieces. I started with one session, in which I did 4 of them. 



ACEO "Purple Pop"


Class was still going on, and we were next asked to do some collage work with the encaustic.

Approx. 8.5 x 11.5 "Falling for You"

Since I seem to just love shiny things, the gold and copper leaf were fantastic to incorporate for both the collage piece above as well as the smaller one below.

5 x 7 This was the first one that I had done on Ampersands Encausticbord

Approx. 8.5 x 11.5

Approx. 8.5 x 11.5 "Day at the Beach"

For this one, "Day at the Beach" we were asked to bring in objects that could be stuck to the painting. I opted to make some fimo fish, dolphins and other sea creatures and objects. 

I then went back to playing with ACEO sizes, and this time did them on Encausticbord. By then, I had also received a shipment of R&F encaustic paints. Within the shipment, was all the metallic colours I had been longing to try out.

ACEO "Royal Stems"

ACEO "Golden Red Rose"

ACEO "Flowering Meadow"

Knowing that we were going to be asked to do a Bas Relief piece in class, I started preparing a cradled Encausticbord with layers of different colours. My idea had been that if I layered the darker flesh tones beneath the medium and then lighter flesh tones, that I could carve away my figure, and have the deepest carving areas be the shadow areas. It was a fun idea, but the reality is that the shadow areas are not always in the deepest carving areas - sometimes they are just on one side or another as the light "hits" the subject. I still need to paint in some definition to the face because of just this reason. As it stands, since the face is not in as much shadow, it lacks definition with just the carving.

6 x 6

I was then invited to take part once again in this years exhibition "Almost Edible". The next three are all on cradled board, and done for that exhibition.

9 x 12 "Summer delight"

9 x 12 "Bubbly Goodness"

9 x 12 "Morning Delight"

I love it when, as Bob Ross used to say, you have a "happy little accident". While I was making the scrapings for the "Summer Delight" piece above, some of the scrapings began to resemble flowers. At this point, I then intentionally did a whole bunch of them, and they turned into this next piece, "Tropicana". I love the 3D nature of this one.

8 x 10 "Tropicana"

Of course, the encaustics are not the only pieces I have been working on. While I have been working on those, I have also been working on new jewellery designs, and some pastels and some Scratchbords. I also opened a stall in an Arts Market here in Toronto - another leap in the dark for me. With luck, I'll see the light soon enough.

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