Thursday, November 20, 2014

Encaustic Collograph, Pomegranate Art and Pulling Prints

encaustic collograph print 8x8
I feel a bit like a giddy school girl with a crush.  I just took a class at a Portland print studio - Atelier Meridian.  The class was taught by master printer Jane Pagliarulo  - Two half days of pulling prints -  I am totally hooked.  Jane is brilliant at combining monotype printing and encaustic collograph and was a great instructor.  And the studio is a wonderful place to work.  Granted I have A LOT to learn - but I'm kinda pleased with my first attempts.

3 Poms
encaustic collograph print 8x8

Collograph printing is about using collage or wax in this case to build a relief design which is then inked and run through the press.  We used Akua water based inks as they work well with the wax and also are a non toxic ink.  The textures the wax provides are incredible and beautiful.  I spent my time experimenting with an encaustic hot pen and seeing if I could get raised line on a flat background to work.  It did and it didn't, I lost a lot of detail, created halos and I learned a lot and have a ways to go to get it right - but there are a lot of good things happening within the prints.  Below are the plates that were used to create the prints.  They are beautiful in their own right with the remnants of ink still on them.

encaustic collograph plate for "Poms"
These plates were created on encaustic board.  We were also using plexiglass as our substrates.  These encaustic boards can now be mounted as paintings when I am done with them - double benefit.  Love - that's all I can say.  Going back for more print time when I get back to Portland. 

encaustic collograph plate for "3 Poms"
Happy Friday everyone!
And - my friend Nic over at gave me the most amazing gift - you have to go have a look.  I am over the moon grateful - thank you, Nic!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Art and Stereotype, Encaustic Painting and Franie

encaustic mixed media on birch 6x6

I just left a long winded post for a good friend, Kat Sloma, over on her blog - Kateyestudio  She was pondering the concept of labeling in the art world.  She is a photographer.  Now, I ask you.. does that conjure up a picture in your mind of what her art might be like?  I know the label photographer definitely brings up images of traditional photography in my mind.  Yet, her art is beautifully altered photos done digitally.  She is really good at it and her art is beautiful.  However, her question is - is what I do photography?  That's where her roots are and where her artwork starts - as a beautifully taken photograph.  Yet, after she works her digital magic - her art looks more like a painting.  It brings up a really good question of labeling.

So, I label myself as an encaustic artist - yet the representational work that I do in encaustic is the minority of what is done.  Most people conjure up the idea of beautiful textured abstract work as the stereotype for encaustic.  Yet, as a medium it is hugely diverse... There is encaustic collograph printing, encaustic over clay, rich beautiful monoprints  Its endless what can be done with the medium, yet is there a stereotype?  An expectation if someone says - I am an encaustic artist?  Is there a label?  How about other artists - oil painters, acrylic painters and watercolorists?  Is there a stereotype with these mediums?  Or have these been around so long with so many different representations done that people are open to and curious about what it is versus planting a stereotype?  Its an interesting subject to ponder. 
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Produce Produce, Encaustic Painting and Getting My Fruits and Veg

Produce produce - that was the request.  And here they are:
Five encaustic mixed media paintings that are all 8x10. 
When I say mixed media - although they don't really look it - their starts and under paintings are begun with layers mixed with paper, fabrics and book pages: tissue, patterns and whatever interesting things I can find to put into the works. 

Rabbit Food

Waiting for Smoothie
Red Bells

Heirlooms II

Green Fig

This was a fun subject for me to paint and try and figure out a way to do it that was interesting for me as well as hopefully for others.  Since I was happy how these turned out, off I went off to Whole Foods and bought another round of interesting subjects that will include egg plant, yellow beets, red pears, tri color carrots and I'm hopeful to pick up a turnip or two.  They will be round two of the produce produce paintings.  Happy Friday every one!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Encaustic Landscape Painting, Texture and Unsticking the Stuck

Somewhere Between Here and There
encaustic mixed media on birch 30"x30"x2.75"
Encaustic lends itself to painting landscapes quite well.  In fact, encaustic + landscape are meant for each other.  Imagine being able to just slash away at the wax to create all kinds of luscious texture, melting and dripping and more gouging to create the beautiful textures of nature.  How fun is that!?

Landscape art is new to me - but somehow I couldn't resist the want to try it. I actually started this painting the early part of summer and it got stuck in the ugly teenager state and ended up kicking around the studio for the entire summer until I just got tired of looking at it and tripping over it.  Its rather large at 30x30, so it was hard to ignore it.

After a late summer visit to Eastern Washington and a drive through apple country, the landscape of the great wide open with billowing fields of grasses stayed in my mind.  I roped in a couple of good artist friends and got their opinions on how to unstick the stuck painting.  Lucky for me their guidance was what I needed to get at it again.  Can't tell you how important it is to have artist friends to discuss arty things with.  I mean who else would listen to the woes of stuck paintings, color choices and the benefits of diagonals in composition?  Definitely need these people in my life.  *thank you - you know who you are :) 

I pulled out all the stops for this one - paper, fabric, oil paint, pastels, and Plej radio on Pandora - anything and everything to create texture.  I figured it could only get better from where it was, and if it didn't then it would become an under layer for the next big idea.  This big guy takes up my entire work table and its hard to reach the entire surface from my usual spot.  So, I hopped up on my little step stool so I could be above it a bit and went at it with pokey tools, ice pick looking things and scraping tools.  Heat, oil sticks, paper - more heat, more wax.  Standing it up and heating it til it dripped - laying it down and scraping away.  I just let the creative process take me away.  It was fun and nice to be loose.  A little of this, more of that and so here you have it - the first of many landscapes to come.

Happy Friday everyone!

PS - the Art Walk last night was well attended for an October evening.  Thank you to those who came to share the evening!
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