encaustic

Someone long ago had painted “ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW” on a sidewalk at the University of Michigan. I don’t know if it was something I walked over once or everyday while I was there, but it was forever etched into my memory.

Struggle against the flow. Go with the flow. Fight. Surrender. I don’t have the answers. Some days it’s one. Some days the other. 

Making art is a struggle. Sometime you find that flow and go with it. The painting comes easy. Some days not.

But I understand the game. “Don’t fall in love with the background!” The “ugly teenager” phase. It’s temporary! The “click” when it starts to come together. And  I know the materials. I feel competent that I can make them do my bidding. No big surprises. And then I started painting with encaustics, and the unknown is as vast as an ocean. I am a beginner here. Any sense of control that I may feel is false. With heat the wax becomes fluid and unpredictable. The lines move. Too much heat and you melt through to the wood panel underneath all those layers. You blow a hole into the painting. And you have to remember what you learned in printmaking – “you can’t go back, you just have to roll with it”. Go with the flow. damn.

I really struggle when I work on an abstract piece. I need the painting to “be” something. I like a narrative. Even if no one else sees it. I started this painting 4 months ago. People who saw it said it was great, but I knew it wasn’t finished. And I was stuck. Didn’t know where to take it next. So I would walk by and doodle on it out of frustration. Carve into it, or draw more lines on it as I explained encaustic painting to visitors. It sat on the workbench and I would glare at it. And then a couple weeks ago I started working on it again, found the story and was able to finish it. finally!

IMG_9499

Ophelia” 18″x18″

Of course I have started another encaustic painting. Another struggle. I am letting it sit. Giving it the stink-eye as I pass. In the meantime I’ve been making encaustic monotypes. A printmaking technique that allow me to make quick and easy prints with wax on paper. I had been using thick printmaking paper, but picked up some rice paper after attending the last Sierra Wax Artist meeting and seeing a monotype demo by Barbara Nilsson.  I must say I am really loving the results I get with this thinner paper! These are all 6″x9″ encaustic and graphite.

monotype001

Photo Aug 11, 1 04 27 PM

Photo Aug 11, 1 41 39 PM

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Wow. The Big Names, Small Art event at the Crocker Art Museum last Thursday night was a blast! Saw a bunch of friends, was out-bid on all the pieces I tried to win, and met people who were actively trying to win my piece! It sold for $185. sweet. But the best part of the night? Going inside the museum and seeing this:

silentauction

 Yep. A really bad cellphone pic of my print hanging on the museum gallery wall!

TriptychandMe

Pretty freaking awesome! oh and even thought the auction isn’t until June 6th, you can bid online here!

And my encaustic painting “Holy Wound Five” went to it’s new home.

HolyWoundFive

 

Friday was a day of rest (read: headache) and then Saturday we got the keys to our new house! Greeting from the pool. :)

Photo May 24, 10 32 35 AM

And believe me, that pool is mighty nice after a day of moving garage stuff in the 95 degree heat!

 

 

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Happy New Year!  (just a couple weeks late – not too bad considering my blogging track record)

Christmas is over and so is the club volleyball season. I would do a “no more volleyball” happy dance, but conditioning for the high school season starts next week. So yeah… the volleyball, unlike the holiday season, never ends. It just changes uniforms.

Hey, here is some great news for the new year – Chris has finished his last class and is getting his Masters Degree in Financial Services!! More alphabet soup to add to his business cards. CFP and MSFS – so proud of him!

I’m still working on my 20+ year AA plan. One of these days I’ll take that damn Speech class. Really! But this semester I’m sticking with Printmaking. Class starts on the 28th. Can’t wait.

In the meantime, thanks to Santa, I have the supplies to work in encaustic (painting with pigmented wax) at home and am trying to find my groove with this new medium.

Finished a piece I did at the Wax Works West class last Nov:

Photo Jan 03, 5 16 29 PM

And the new pieces I created:

Encaustic on 6"x6" cradled wood panel

"She Called Down the Moon" Encaustic on 9"x12" cradled wood panel

"Generic" Encaustic on 12"x12" Encausicbord

I also did a small mixed-media painting and have another panel started.

"Bull" Mixed-media on 9"x12" cradled wood panel

So yeah, I would say 2014 is off to a good start!

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