Working some days now in encaustic, I suddenly had the urge to paint with oil again. I got all the supplies I needed set up and started adding layers until I just couldn’t add any more since they were too wet. I did make a lot of marks by inscribing into the paint and just playing around with marks and the brayer.
Today the work had set up some so I set out to add more paint…. same old, same old….. you add paint, you make marks, you cover them up and you make more. If you aren’t careful (and even if you are) you make mud. Well……….there is good mud, beautiful mud and just mud.
I was afraid I had the ‘just mud’ without enough contrast or spark there. SO it is time to take a photo with the handy i-phone and go back to the house. These are the pics I took without any lighting on them…just the light from the windows coming in but not strongly….. the full painting and a top and bottom detail shot.
36 x 24 x 2 inch oil on wood panel
I’ve been in the studio heating up the encaustic medium and paint again. I kept thinking of what I might take to The Encaustic Conference , in Provincetown, MA so I am playing with encaustic on paper and the hot box………..but I am also thinking of ways or concepts for using the theme ‘7’. I dreamed of ways and got it half way in my mind……….then I would think about it again and think my concept was too literal and not really like I paint. SO……..I just set it aside.
That said…….I did set up of this idea up on a small 12 x 24 panel. Within 30 minutes I could tell, this just was not going to work for me although I had some of it all drawn out on two panels.
I just started mixing paint and before I knew it, I had the 12 x 24 covered with my landscape oriented work again. The encaustic really slows me down. That has it’s good points and bad points. By the end of the day, I decided that next session I would just add a bottom to a multiple panel or diptych piece 24 x 24 and see how that went.
It’s a nice painting….fresh and not over-worked. I’m still looking for something to challenge me but not in such a way as it is not my work. I want the slower evolution of my work to become better and better.
If I come up with something for the ‘7’ show to enter, I’d love it, but if I don’t I will at least have a whole lot of new encaustic paintings in the studio.
This is the untitled diptych painting (taken with i-phone camera)………36 x 24x 2 inches on wood panel, encaustic
Yesterday I finally decided that I was finished on the two 30 x 40 x 2 inch encaustic paintings. As I mentioned before they are painted on cradled wood panels. My goal with these works was to be able to get gestural drawing into the mix with all the beautiful surface that encaustic paint brings to a work.
This is probably more drawing than I usually use in my acrylic paintings since I spent a lot of time concentrating on the drawing aspect over the shape aspect. When my other paintings it is more the opposite.
While these are considered fairly large for work with encaustic, they are not large compared to my other work. SO, this was also a goal of mine to make larger paintings. It is not as quick a process as with application of acrylic or oil since you are working with heavy panels and a medium that will run all over everything if you pour it on………I ended up not doing any pouring. I do think I will continue to use India and Sumi ink in some of my work. It lends a watercolor like quality to the work that I like. I think I need to go see if there are other colors of India ink though as not always will I want it to be this black.
There is something to be said for the slowing down of the process. You can get really lost in the process. Although you can get lost in other media as well, this is somewhat different in that I am mostly painting horizontally and having to put the panel up at the end of the session on the wall to come back later to see what I have. Working between the two panels therefore took a good bit of time. A LOT of viewing and determining if there was a need to add or subtract more. I’m hoping that I have edited out enough. When I got to the point where I didn’t want to take anything out, soften something or add something then the painting is done.
With my next paintings I plan to use the hot pen to see where it will take me mixed in with the ink and wax………Stay tuned.
The titles are not set yet………. These remind me of my work called “Johnson Creek Summer” but they also make me think of the one called “Beneath The Surface”.
UPDATE: I am considering the title “Efflorescence”, although efflorescence is more of a white or pale growth…for my purposes, black and gray can do……………