Saturday, August 20, 2011

SOLD! . . Two encaustic paintings

I just found out that the two encaustic paintings (below), that I had in an exhibition at River Gallery in Chelsea, MI, have sold . . BOTH!!

No. 1, Semiotic Series
14 x 14 encaustic, oil, and mixed medium on panel

No. 2, Semiotic Series
12 x 12 encaustic, oil, and mixed medium on panel

As a re-emerging artist (relocating from the east back to my "home and birthplace" state) this is just the "shot in the arm" that I needed. I sold work when I lived in the east, but have only been really active (working daily) here in MI for the past year. I've realized that it will take me a while to get the kind of painting I want on oil and cold wax. Somewhow I've been having an "inner urging" to go large in encaustic, and I think these sales may be a kind of confirmation to act on that "inner urging".

I wasn't able to finish the collage and acrylic I had been working on (24 x 24) for entry into another show. I have SO many ideas brewing in my head fueled by viewing a lot of art on the web. I just got a book on using plaster on panel (encaustic can also be painted on a plaster surface) and other surfaces. Paintings with cement have intrigued me. I had thought plaster might be a good substitute. 

So . . back to encaustic. My last encaustic post here will probably be one of a series of at least 4, but I have a BIG urge to tackle the large cradled panels, that have been propped up around my studio, with encaustic (beeswax, resin, and pigment).

Monday, August 15, 2011

New encaustic and thoughts on editing an image

This encaustic was inspired by the black and tan palette sometimes used in kuba cloth. Everything except the circles, which is encaustic paint, are collage elements (pages from an old book, and strips of black asian paper).

Trying to find a spot outside that didn't produce glare on the surface, I put it on a rubber mat near the back door. I really liked the juxtaposition of the "iron gate-like" design behind it, when I looked at the photograph, so I didn't crop it. The curves and symmetry of iron gates have always fascinated me. Perhaps I'll use a suggestion of these curves in a surface at some point.

. . . and a closer, cropped view

Images don't come fast to me. I have to sit with them a while. I thought of putting something else on the surface to break up the symmetry, but I decided to leave it as is. That brings me to another "dance" I have with editing a surface, not putting too much in. I am usually drawn to paintings that have space combined with interesting things, and I am drawn to symmetry. I know this dance will come to resolution at some point as I work.

I have about 23 surfaces on cradled panel with oil and cold wax that I've been letting sit a while. Occasionally an idea of what to do next pops up. Then comes the feeling of whether it will be successful to me if I leave it as it is. And then comes the thought of whether it will be successful to others. I suppose this is where courage comes in . . to forget about others and go with my gut . . another dance (probably originating from art school!). What is enough and what is too much? When does "a lot" work in an image and when does it not?

So when I'm stuck (as with the oil and cold wax surfaces), I go to the encaustic. It's fast (hardens quickly) yet can be removed with scraping and collage elements are easy to incorporate.

I'm also working on 24 x 24 panels with collage (old papers) and acrylic to hopefully finish for a submission deadline to a gallery show. I'm so used to taking a lot of time with a surface . . . most likely, they will not be finished. It kind of feels like something created in a short time is cheating. Where did THAT irrational thought come from?!?!