Thursday, March 22, 2012

An addition to my "Semiotic Series"

I was invited to be in a show called "Homage". This is one of the two that I created for that show.

24" x 12", encaustic & mixed medium

My rather "loose" homage was to Sean Sculley (stripes). I had decided on a composition of stripes, and it evolved with additions of symbols (semiotic = signs and symbols). I had another encaustic painting in this show which was a homage to Jasper Johns . . also a "loose" homage (circles, numbers, and letters), and it will be an addition to my Semiotic Series. I finished the two pieces on the last day of the submission deadline to the show. To my mind, the other painting needed a little tweaking (rubbing more oil pigment stick into the surface, that I wasn't able to do, as the oil, even though it is a very thin rubbing into the surface, it still needs a day to dry before protecting with the wax medium) . . talk about last minute!! Although there is nothing like a deadline to motivate me. When that is done I will post that.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to you, but what "my taste" and "eye" says can be "ok" and "work" isn't always to my complete satisfaction . . (not this piece above, but the one I'm not posting). I work, internally, to say . . "ok . . this isn't totally up to my "eye's" standard, but it's ok. And I can bring that "it" to the next piece.

That's the way I was with the last painting I posted. That was also finished with a deadline, and it was juried into an encaustic painting show, that will be in Detroit's Scarab Club, called "WAX." I like to take time to look at a piece, before I decide if it's totally finished. I'm not speedy, when it comes to me accepting that a piece is finished. There are a few more "touches" I will put in it . . after the show.

It's an evolution, through time, for me . . in finding a "middle ground" with my inner critic. Letting the three pieces "go out" into the world, without a feeling of "totally finished", is finding my middle ground.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Encaustic Painting

"Babel Series, #1" Encaustic & mixed medium
24 x 24

I finished this yesterday. The CD of this painting was submitted to a juried show in Detroit today. The two others I had finished were off to a gallery the day I finished them, so no pictures of them to post here yet.

This is my largest encaustic painting so far . . LOTS of wax when one goes larger. I go through the paint and medium very fast, so this means making more encaustic medium (melting damar resin crystals with beeswax in weighed proportions .. very slow process, as the damar needs higher heat and the wax lower). I would say I went through a pound of encaustic medium (different than just beeswax).

I feel drawn to use some shades of orange and burnt sienna. In my regular life I don't like orange. There is not one piece of clothing or item in my home that is orange. But I just go with what "wants" to be there. It is really useless for me to "struggle" with it. So much more fun to "go with the flow" of what wants to be there. I do love real rust (it's organic and seems almost alive as it changes and weathers). Perhaps that's where it comes from.

I  plan on continuing with my Semiotic series (signs & symbols). I had been planning on a series called "Babel" which reflects all the different manner of written and verbal communication (and perhaps confusion) around the globe. As I never know where a painting will end up when I start, I decided that this one would be the first in my Babel series. The one above has numbers and Chinese, Russian, and English characters, and the vertical is a quote in French. Besides circles I am drawn to script . . any script, and many, many signs and symbols from many cultures. What takes a while is deciding on not only the symbol, but also the technique I will use; whether to use wax or wax with oil, charcoal or graphite rubbings on the wax, or collage embedded in the wax.

Each time I do an encaustic painting, I learn new and subtle techniques (the effects of different temperatures on the surface and fusing with the torch when oil has been rubbed into the surface), so that I don't lose my intuitive intention. There is dance between control and spontaneity with encaustic for me. And the other dances I have are: combining geometric and organic; neutral (B&W) v.s. color; and space in my painting. I think that (space) will come slowly. I have a pinterest board that has "2D art with space." 

I had been going through a rather dry spell with my art, so I'm glad I can post something. I'm learning that "just doing it" starts my art engine running. Then it is humming.