It’s amazing sometimes what happens by chance. In this instance, I needed to have an exchange painting, 8 x 8 inches for the 8th International Encaustic Conference to be held June 6-8, 2014 in Provincetown, MA.
I don’t work that small generally speaking and I guess I could have done something on paper BUT I decided to work on a small 2 inch deep cradled panel. I hated to ask the panel people to make ONE, so I got a dozen.
I had an idea to work on all of them and give one in the exchange. My idea was to take some of the bits and pieces of the shapes and colors I see in the area here where I live on Johnson Creek. I determined to limit my color and just concentrate on the shapes.
I wanted half of them to start light, the other half dark. As they progressed I got excited that they would all look great hung all together as a group.
I will still choose one (not determined at this time) to be wrapped for the exchange but I will let that person come exchange for one of the others if they want to do this. Then I will hang all the others with a blank spot where the missing one would have been.
This plan is not written in stone, but I think it will be an interesting departure. The work is titled, Johnson Creek, Field Notes.
The whole grouping will be shown and available at the Hotel Fair at the Conference, Sunday, June 8, 2014
I went to Houston last week to freshen up the inventory there at Jack Meier gallery. Now that I am home, I have to re-arrange all the work I brought back and think about where some of it will go in the next round of rotation with galleries. AND, it is Spring Cleaning time.
This painting is titled Meander 13 and is an acrylic diptych, 48 x 48 inches hung vertically. I have a couple of these paintings …or this one is larger and another is 30 x 30 inches.
I was thinking that when it was painted a couple of years ago, I was really getting into the line, mark-making and more nuanced additions to the paint in a painting. I have continued to be intrigued with making these varied marks in my paintings ever since. Some are made with graphite, or charcoal or india ink.
This one just might be one of the paintings I show at a museum show I am invited to opening mid summer. The second painting is one I did first… the 30 x 30 inch, Meander 12.
More layers and more layers over the past two days. These two 30 x 30 x 2 inch oil paintings are essentially finished. Having so much red, it will be a time before I can add some clear cold wax medium over them but I don’t think they will need anything else…or at least not much.
These are two of the new series I call Annotations. The exact titles are not determined yet.
After being missing in action in the studio through the holidays, I got myself back in the studio the past few days. Ahhh, it is a wonderful feeling to be there. I have been starting a couple of new oil paintings that will finish up in the new year 2014. OMG, 2014. I just know a lot of good things will come with this new year.
I know you get tired of hearing about all the layering, editing, mark-making, and then covering up and scraping back. But what can I say… that is what I do as I try to find my bliss. I didn’t say it was easy but it is such an unexplainable feeling when something finally comes together and you know this is what it is all about.
HOWEVER, I am not there yet with these two 30 x 30 oil paintings. Oil is a lot slower process for me……harder to get the paint down, messier, longer drying between all the layers….but such a wonderful, velvety richness when you do get through it all.
Here is what I have after a couple of days of layering, editing ,etc…. I will pick back up on these in the New Year. Thank you for tuning in while I talk to myself about my work and what is going on in my life that affects my work.
Happy New Year…..2014 is going to be wonderful.
Everyone, including myself is tired of looking at this painting. I think it may finally be finished. At least I feel much better about it after all the struggle.
It is going to be some time propped over in a corner of the studio so i can see it with my peripheral vision before I will know for sure. At that time, rub some more plain cold wax medium over it to seal it up and buff it.
I do not plan to get out any blue paint for the next couple of paintings…………..
I waited a bit to let the oil on that painting set up a little more……….and it was way too blue. That said, I worked back into it with other values, etc. and I see some promise. I have determined that this board was just way too textured for me and it is giving me fits. I like texture but I like perceived, optical texture a little more than actual overall texture. I keep fighting it…. I need the contrast of some smooth area. I need the contrast. I need some large shapes extending from the picture plane……….hum. I turned it horizontally and it worked better for me.
For now, here it is…. there is more work to be done.
Okay… I am just procrastinating about working on that last painting. ….You know that one I talked about on FB a few days ago. I know I SAY that all layers are good and sooner or later the ‘painting will tell me what to do’…. but I am impatient lately. It now has quite a number of those layers of encaustic paint…. and I have to admit they were not planned layers or glazes. I don’t like the colors and I don’t like the shapes… and I sure don’t like them together.
I have finally decided to just let it all go and melt that sucker down on the top and make a new layer to start fresh on. I am even confident that having those old layers will add to the pentimenti and richness of what will finally be the finished painting.
Okay… lying to myself or just psyching myself up…………I am determined. OK… went to studio, heated up an encaustic iron… it didn’t all iron into a smush as I thought so I am smoothing it all down and will paint with R & F Pigment sticks on this piece as a ground. I have used wax before as a ground for pigment sticks. In fact, they move better than on a very absorbent ground like when you prepare with gesso. http://rfpaints.com/resources/pigment-stick/item/282-pigment-stick-grounds Looking at this hodge-podge you can see why I am covering it all up.
OK… so that didn’t work so well………….I now have a BLUE painting layer going. that is what I am doing to call it anyway… just another layer. BUT that R & F Provence Blue pigment stick is sure a glorious color. Tomorrow is another day.
Titles are not usually easy. I tend to find one right away or mull over every possible word from a dictionary, thesaurus, words and phrases from books or music. Recently, some other artists have written about the same thing in their art practice.
Today, was not on of those days. The title, HELP, My Fence Is Falling Down, came to me as I got half way into this painting. If you have been here to the ranch this past year you might know where this came from. LOL
Anyway, I did not set out to paint a blue and green fence picture. This was a canvas I prepared and put a blue tone on . I even made all kinds of marks that I painted over with dark, drippy paint. I then left and went to Colony for part of a week in Mississippi, attended a show opening in Dallas, had dental surgery, and finished two other oil paintings.
WELL… you know if you are an expressionist, intuitive painter like I am, you just do not always connect with something when you come back to it after all that time. This one just had to be painted though as it had started to stare back at me. So I started mixing all my usual palette. I just let it go from there….after all it had a blue ground. Painting is all relationships… only which ones will it be for this one? If it didn’t work out, so be it. I can paint over it easily with acrylic.
I don’t know or care if someone else can visualize a chain link fence protecting a driveway from cows in a pasture or not, but that is what popped into my mind half way into this painting. AND, my husband has fixed it now anyway.
This IPad picture looks a little too ultramarine but it might be finished unless I decide to tone down some of the staccato brush marks.
The first six months of 2013 have been exceedingly busy for me. I have reveled in it. For too long I have just lazed around here on the ranch. Of course, I paint and sleep and stay on the internet FB pages too much, too. I look out my windows or walk down to the mailbox. BUT, it was so energizing to have so much to do to prepare for the conference as well as a show in Houston at Jack Meier Gallery.
By December 2012… I figured I better heat up the encaustic and get out all my paints and panels. I had not worked with encaustic for many months and needed to get my hand back in. I had no idea what kind of show opportunities would come up, the themes, the sizes or anything…………just paint and see what comes. I even decided to do a few small works on paper and panels to take to the Hotel Fair at the conference.
Work did get made… I liked some of it better than others. The themes were announced with sizing. OMG, I had painted some work way too big. That’s okay… I took it to the Houston show. I was fortunate to get a painting into the juried show, SEVEN, chosen by Shawn Hill and held at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill, and another in the A Gallery show titled RED, chosen by Adam and Marin Peck, owners of the gallery. I was really pumped with getting into two great shows during the conference.
Besides the exhibition opportunities accompanying the conference, there were SO many lectures, demos or workshops you could choose to attend. It is impossible to make everything. Not a one was a dud, I promise you.
I went to Nancy Natale’s Bricolage two day workshop before the conference started. I have a better understanding of how I might can add other elements to my work in the future. Nancy is a very generous, talented teacher as well as a nice person and a wonderful artist.
The other workshop I attended was Post-Con, Understanding the Curatorial Process, with Barbara O’Brien, director of the Kemper Museum, Kansas City, MO. I can say unequivocally that this kind of workshop is of the most value to anyone who has been an artist for a long time. Of course, it would be for someone in the earlier stages of their career as well as anyone wanting to challenge themselves. A time comes when it is not the technique you need to dwell on (unless you need a new one) as much as the inner journey you make as an artist. Sometimes you have to be forced kicking and screaming into do the thinking that goes with the art making………….the why, the why not, the who cares, the … you get the drift.
I was terrible at documenting the conference. I just had way too much going, doing and listening to do to remember most of the time to take pictures or make many notes. What I do have are disjointed. I leave you with a few photos and a heartfelt thank you to Joanne Mattera and Cherie Mittenthal for hosting such a wonderful event for all of us to come to every year we can.
My apologies for not finding more photos right now… and I have to give credit to someone ( I know not who) who made the two pictures with Joanne in them. Let me know and I will post your name. Photo of me in the hat at the restaurant is by Helen Dannelly.
There is a lot of excitement building around here at the ranch and in the studio. I have several exhibits coming up in the next month.
The next one is a two person exhibit, Texas Women with Brushes, at Jack Meier Gallery, 2310 Bissonnet, Houston, TX on May 4, 2013. The artists reception will be 6-8 pm on May 4, with the exhibit continuing through May 25. Please come by and say hello if you are in the vicinity.
Between the two of us you will see a different perspective on the land of Texas. LaNell Arndt lives on a farm in the hill country, and I live on a ranch/farm in the northeastern part of the state. She is a realist and I am committed to abstraction. It will be interesting to see the juxtaposition of the differing views of the land.
The largest painting I will be exhibiting is titled, Renewal, 48 x 96 inches, acrylic on two canvases.
Some interesting information about numbers, numerology, astronomy, the earth, time and landscape have been occupying my mind lately. In this encaustic painting I have been using some of this information to address some of the symbols of numbers, and the counting methods used in megalithic astronomy. Just one interesting site is Sky and Landscape.com. At one point I found sites and books that tell you so many things about numbers you can become very confused……….especially since they do not all agree.
For my purposes in this painting I used the color green and a coppery hue sine I remember reading that was a metal associated with the number 7. My style of painting usually has a land or landscape feeling so I wanted incorporate the land/landscape and symbols of time, numbers, etc.
I used the previously mentioned colors on a 24 x 24 x 2 inch cradled panel and used encaustic paint, medium and some oil paint sticks. Since in the megalithic times, time has been counted by using stones and tally marks used as stones, etc. to mark periods of time (day, month, year). The 7 small rectangles represent 7 of these time periods and the tally marks also the same.
Of course, no one needs to know this information about the symbols in this painting, they might just appreciate it for an abstracted landscape. Apologies…this image is a little too blue but the other one was a little too pink…it’s just too cloudy today and this is a photo from my phone. It also has a haze over it that is not there in person…maybe needs more scraping and polishing and a brighter day.
Counting Time encaustic/oil 24 x 24x 2″
We explored how an artist can screen print into waxed surfaces, make collagraphs to use in waxed paintings or all on their own. I don’t know if I will use the collagraph process that much since it is one that needs a press and I don’t have one. I do plan to see if I can gather my own materials to use the screen printing process into my work…….whether in acrylic or encaustic. I think his methods will work well for my own personal art/painting personality.
Jeff processed some line drawings/images for us before the workshop from our own work………..and showed and gave us instructions to do this on our own in our own studios in the future.
Here are images of some of my work from the workshop………….The ones with the green are 12 x 12 inch squares on wood panel…others are small panels or paper.