Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Night post, night paintings...

Small Matter 
(a story of thinking, being, knowing and not knowing in 12 parts)

A rare evening post to share these space-like-night-sky paintings.  They started out as a group of soft pastel paintings but as I discussed in my last post they were just too high maintenance and messy to handle so I came up with an interesting process involving wax, which allowed me to melt the original image into the wood block.  Then I covered the image with another thin layer of clear medium and pulled the 3" x 3.5"blocks together with image transfers,  incising and white pigment stick.  This little group came out of nowhere but with a full moon rising (technically not full until 8:01 tomorrow morning but still...) it seemed a good time to let them shine. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Not one to leave well enough alone...

I know, I know, in my last post I was totally committed to embracing the dead matte finish of the pastel on wood block pieces I created but they turned out to be quite fussy little things.  I didn't want to use fixative and I didn't want to frame them under glass...I wanted them to be easy to handle and wanted no barrier between the work and the viewer...like an encaustic piece.  So, I created a few more pastel blocks and messed around a bit before finding a way to get my original image, created with the soft pastels, covered and embedded into the wax.  Once the wax was on and heat set I was able to add more detail and color to really bring them to life.  I have five more to do but am not sure I will get back into the studio this week.  My oldest is home from college for Spring Break(yay!), my middle child is in a play that opens on Thursday (and is sick but on the mend), C is gone all week and my in-laws arrive day after tomorrow.  It's busy times here as Spring says hello to the upper mid-west but I'm enjoying having the windows cracked open, switching out wool coats for wool sweaters and seeing the 1st tiniest bits of green outside.  What's making your days these days?


ps:  this is a brilliant piece of writing on a gorgeous song.

Friday, March 4, 2016

a new way to work (or knowing when to say when)...

A few days ago I went into the studio thinking I was going to create a series of pale neutral abstracts and this is what happened. I love the depth of the colors and the chalky matte finish of the rough pastels but once I finished them my brain turned on and said... "Ok, now time for the wax".   In my mind that made sense because I'm an encaustic painter, I love the lush look and feel that wax lends to a piece and wax makes everything better, right?  I created a small mock up piece to experiment with applying wax over the pastel and tried poring the wax and brushing it on and had pretty good results.  There was only minimal smearing and the wax created that ethereal milky look it gets when painted over black,  but I couldn't bring myself to apply it to these pieces.  In the end I decided that this series is going to be left naked and wax less, left with that deep-matte-dead-flat-chalky-pastel-goodness exposed.