I had the privilege of using a friend’s photo to create this encaustic painting, “And the Sun Still Rises.”
photo credit to Jennifer Jackson. I wasn’t able to do it the justice it deserved, but I think I caught part of the essence :)
This painting will be donated as a door prize at our Alberta Shorthand Reporters Association convention, as that is my career when I’m not painting or volunteering with the Spruce Grove Art Gallery. I hope whoever wins it will enjoy it!
Very pleased to announce “Swamp Music” won 1st Place Masters Category at the Open Art Competition at the Spruce Grove Art Gallery and “Last Stand” won Honourable Mention. “Nested” didn’t win a ribbon, but it did sell.
My solo show is coming up October 10 to November 4, so I’m going to need to finish a few more paintings before then.
It was a great event and a lot of fun.
Allied Arts Council of Spruce Grove Open Art Competition – Submission is Ready
Here we go…my favourite competition of the year. This is like Christmas for me. Three paintings that I think go together rather well, even though it was unintentional. I’ve entered every year since 2010 in the beginners category and this is my first year in Master’s. Tough competition but I love to see everyone’s best work in this show.
“Swamp Music” “Nested” and “Last Stand”
I like what is happening with this nest…although it’s a little too perfect. I think I will try to collage some of my dried grasses onto this. Egg shapes are terribly hard to get right. I painted these four on a sheet of silicone and pulled them off just to play around with placement. I’m not quite sure if I will paint directly on the nest or build these eggs up and shape them as a 3D element and then fuse them. I hope it works out, because I have always wanted to try a nest. The encaustic is perfect for carving the texture into the nest. Stay tuned!
So, I’m fairly happy with this, but I feel I could improve on it. Let’s call it done. I enjoyed painting the nest, but the eggs were less pleasant, mainly because I had quite a lot of trouble mixing the right blue.
Colour mixing is it’s own “talent” I think. It is a skill that continues to elude me, and I feel I often settle for a colour that is not quite what I want.
Practice will get you there, but sometimes you have to live with the colour or waste an awful lot of paint!
This new painting is 16×20,” and it was quite a challenge. I started with a version of the final painting, but it morphed into something wildly different. At one point it was half black. Then it went to more of a pastel floral. I turned it to the portrait orientation and there were shellac grass thingies going straight up and off the top. If you look closely, you can see their ghosts in the middle of the painting from left to right.
My new favourite book, Cold Wax Medium: Techniques, Concepts & Conversations by Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin has inspired my encaustic work. In this book the authors talk about the history that builds up in your painting and how that can show through in the finished piece. In the past, I probably would have scraped this board bare and started over, but instead of doing that, I kept covering it with white paint when I didn’t like it and resolved to keep going.
You cannot see a lot of the history in this painting other than the ghosts of those fronds, but it is all there, 30 or so layers of wax, and it all contributed to where I ended up. I’m very happy with it, at last. I wish I would have taken pictures of the various iterations, but I only have what I started with and what I finished with. It doesn’t look like I travelled far, but I assure you the middle was quite an experimental journey!
You will see this tree in many of my paintings. I love a lovely lonely tree, and this one may not be around much longer as development encroaches ever closer. I have photographed this tree in all seasons but I haven’t seen it yet when the leaves turn colour. I will be trying my best to get it in its full glory this fall. I was lucky enough to capture it laden with frost this past spring! I often play around with these photos in Photoshop, and I fancy I am capturing this tree in all its many moods. I would like to capture it from a different angle but I would have to get permission from the landowner as it is very much in the middle of a field. One day, and I will be heartbroken the day I discover it is cut down.
Two new paintings as I work to incorporate shellac burns into my artwork. I recently took a class with Alicia Tormey in Seattle, and she is the master of this technique, and the large encaustic painting. You can find her here.
I can tell you what it is not…it is not toxic or corrosive, like acid. It’s a very safe medium to use within the recommended temperatures.
Encaustic wax medium is made from beeswax and damar resin, and it is a beautiful, versatile method of painting. “Encaustic” means to “burn in.” The wax is fused layer by layer, giving it a magical translucence and texture.
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