Thursday, March 27, 2014

Work and Thoughts

I continue to work on these symmetrical pieces. Since the way my pieces develop is very gradual, with many layers of collage, then paint, then wax and over again; my thoughts wander.  An artist is continually making decisions in the process of making, but also I find myself thinking about what prompted me to work with these shapes - and as I work and think, my intent strengthens and an explanation emerges.  

I wanted to work symmetrically as a start, and find the ideas and uses of the Rorschach ink blots intriguing, so mimicking those shapes was my start. Personal identity has become the central concept of this work.  I'm enjoying thinking too of the BuzzFeed tests - "WHO ARE YOU?".  Something has made those tests a national addiction and they seem to be based on random choices -  such as which picture do you like best? 

Am I making work which reflects the following facts?  I'm southern, female, right-handed, and white.  Maybe.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I think this is finished!  The final touches were oil paint and a little carving.  I was able to include some of the client's house plans - after watercolor and a bath in vinegar the wax permeated the paper well.  I'm adding a few detail images and hopefully this will be my last post on this project until the installation.  Working this large has me excited and I will do some more large scale pieces. 



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More Paint

I'm using oil sticks (R&F) to further enhance the symmetrical paintings here.  Notice some of my marking tools include old kitchen and sewing tools.  Anything to make an interesting mark - (I have some favorites). 

And, I'm still hoping to use some of the building plans for my large triptych.  It's possible that staining the paper with watercolor will relax the paper fibers and make it more receptive to the wax.  Fingers crossed.

Maybe this is a good place to mention the compatibility of the paint.  I am able to use any organic based paint with the encaustic - NO synthetic paint which means no acrylic.   One of the benefits of encaustic is its versatility.  I can add wax, remove, paint, wax over paint, scrape away paint, rewax and on and on.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Working in Series

My favorite way to work is in series, making multiples with a consistent set of parameters.  This series has a constant size (10" x 10") and I'm using symmetrically cut papers for the collage.  Because I'm working on several pieces at the same time, my paper palette and my paint palette also stay fairly consistent.  I find that once these choices are made, I'm able to work with abandon, making decisions quickly. I know that some of these will be more successful than others and probably it is that acceptance that allows me to approach the work in such a carefree manner. Good studio days; sunshine, warm air and free flow. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014


Everything was melting yesterday after an overnight snowfall.  I'm changing focus a little to continue work for a show at Mica Gallery in Bakersville which opens in  May.  All the pieces are 10 inches square, and I am playing with symmetry for a change.  This body of work is about visual cues which we assimilate into decisions about identity. I will have at least sixteen pieces in this series.    

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Vertical View

I've created quite a mess in my studio, partially shown here.  A few new elements are added as I look at each panel separately and work toward an interesting composition.  The middle panel was weakest, so I'm adding a few new circles - and using yellow gold encaustic as prompted by the gold bond stamps.  Yesterday I decided I needed to see the piece hanging, which resulted in a rearrange of my entire studio and some badly needed cleaning and sorting. It's exciting to see the work vertically, and now I enter a new phase of painting.  

I even got out the vacuum.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Gold Bond Stamps

I discovered a stash of household savings stamps from the days of my youth and these Gold Bond stamps are beautiful, rich in color and pattern for collage use.  I remember S&H Green Stamps - you had to meticulously paste the stamps received usually at checkout at the grocery store into little booklets.  Enough booklets might get you a free toaster.  

You can see where I use these stamps - I like what they bring to this work.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Red Orange

I want complex layering in this piece, so I'm still adding new shapes and lines.  This work will be glazed with oil paint, so I want to add some bright color which will peak out underneath that layering as the process goes on.  Although the red orange added here may seem garish, it will continue to be modified. 

I use the landscape screening once again to create a gridded texture, using a light blue-gray and orange.