Thursday, May 26, 2011

Willow Test

I have an entire series of willow leaves that I'm beginning to pursue in wax. This little painting is a 10 x 10 test for a large 36 x 72 panel. I've utilized too many colors here, and I plan to work on making the leaves more mysterious by melting them further into the background. I'll keep you posted on the development over the next month.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

bubble wrap, bubbled wax and heartbreak

"twigs tangle in feathery tails" 18 x 48

This is a story about lessons learned. The triptych above is from my 2010 'dogs eye view' series. I had it up in my studio for a month. Rather than sending it to another gallery, I decided to put it on display in my home for a while.

I only live five miles from the studio, so rather than bothering with the usual glassine and panel insulation, I wrapped each panel in it's own bubble wrap and loaded them in the car. On my way home, I parked in the shade and stopped by the gym for a quick 1-hour workout. As soon as I got home, I unloaded the paintings, and left them in their bubble wrap until I had time to hang them.

Three days later, I removed the wrap to discover that the wax had melted in areas of the paintings, and the bubble wrap had made serious impressions into the surface.

After the initial shock, I brought the panels back to the studio. My plan was to heat them up in these areas, and scrape them down to the base photo. Then I would rebuild the wax and apply new paint.

But after the initial burn (carefully, with a heat gun), I decided that the wax had smoothed out enough without scraping. The surface is still uneven, but after the new oil glazes are applied, I will live with it for a while and see if I like the new texture.

details of reheated wax surface prior to new oil glazing

I actually feel lucky that this happened now, before I inadvertently pack up a big stack of work to store this way. From now on, rigid foam box with nothing touching the surface!

details of the completed "fix".

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Master Encaustic Artist Betsy Eby

I just returned from a trip to the Winston Wachter gallery to view the Betsy Eby show, "Arrangements". I am always inspired when I see Betsy's work in person, and this new body of work really knocked my socks off.

BradoSonata, 36 x 58

Her colors seem more muted than in past shows, allowing my eyes to revel in the beauty of her surfaces and textures. I just love the depth of the greys and whites.

detail from my personal show favorite: "Soledad"

It was an inspiring, humbling and rewarding visit. You can visit the work in-person until June 16th.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Apres Show Work in Progress

The show is over, and I'm busier than ever. I have 10 new paintings in the works, with lots more concepts banging around in my head waiting to get out. The two above combine the poppies with the grass series. I'm incorporating more of the layers of colored shadows and deep layers of wax.

The photo above shows one of my grass images layered with some of the smokey colors and shapes from the willow paintings. The wax application is about 50% complete.

My plan is to have five paintings out the door by end of May!