Saturday, June 30, 2012

Plaster and Wax

I've been posting my encaustic scribble paintings on paper, but I thought I'd give you a taste of what we'll be doing in Plaster and Wax, a workshop I will be teaching at Art Unraveled in Phoenix on August 6, and again at Art and Soul in Portland on October 2. 

I will post another installment of this demonstration, including application of encaustic medium and then drawing on the encaustic surface.  Stay tuned.

Encaustic on painted plaster texture

Encaustic on painted plaster texture, with crayon and ink drawing

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Encaustic Scribble Painting

Here is an update on my Scribble Painting.  I've been working in encaustic on paper, focusing on line. I'm exploring the range of expressive quality of line in various materials that will work with encaustic.  LOVE using the Caran D'Ache Neocolor II on encaustic!  Since these are water soluble, you can wipe off any marks you don't like (unlike oil pastel or encaustic paint).  When you are satisfied with your marks, you can lightly fuse them with a torch and then fix them with a thin coat of encaustic medium.  In addition to the Neocolor crayons, I'm using Pitt Pens, which are India ink, and applying encaustic paint with a heated stylus.

Encaustic, crayon, and ink on paper, 7"x7"

Encaustic, crayon, and ink on paper, 8"x8"

Encaustic and crayon on paper, 7"x7"

Encaustic and crayon, ink on paper, 8"x8"

Encaustic and crayon on paper, 8"x8"

Encaustic, crayon, and ink on paper, 8"x8"

I will be teaching encaustic workshops this summer and fall:

Monday, August 6, Plaster and Wax at Art Unraveled in Phoenix
Tuesday, October 2, Plaster and Wax at Art and Soul in Portland
Tuesday, October 2, evening, Introduction to Encaustics, Art and Soul, Portland
October 13 - 14, Paper and Wax: Encaustic Collage, Guilford Art Center, Guilford, CT

In Plaster and Wax we will explore the many ways you can take advantage of plaster's superior absorbency, as well as its textural capability.

My Introduction tot Encaustics will familiarize you with the basic materials, practices, and techniques of this exciting medium.

In Paper and Wax we will explore encaustic collage as well as drawing techniques on wax.  Since this is a two-day workshop, we'll be able to delve deeper into the material.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Artist's Block

 I've been reading a lot about Artist's Block lately, and I realized I haven't had anything that I'd call a real block in at least a few years.  Lucky me!  But I can certainly remember very frustrating times when I could not seem to get into the creative flow no matter what.  Maybe some artists never get blocked and always have a well of inspiration at the ready.  But I doubt it.
Do you sometimes feel like this?

When you'd rather feel like this?

Have you had artist's block?  What is it?  How is artist's block different from fallow periods in the normal ebb and flow of creativity?  What do you do about artists's block?  What causes it? I created a survey about artist's block to see what the common threads are.

Take this survey.

I will compile the results and post a summary.  I expect that the shared information will shed light on this phenomenon and help us all ride the creativity waves of inspiration and non-inspiration. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Upcoming Retreats

fabric-paper in progress
Just a reminder of upcoming workshops this summer:

In July, I will be teaching at CREATE, hosted by Interweave Press, in Somerset, NJ:
There are just a few spaces left in each of the above.

encaustic with plaster on panel
In August I'm returning to Art Unraveled in Phoenix:
Register here.
I'll be returning to Art and Soul in October:
The above daytime classes are almost full.

Collage Journeys in Vermont
will take place here in Rupert, August 14 - 18 (Tue. - Sat.). This year's focus is on color and abstract composition.  Some of our activities will include:
 I have two spaces left for this workshop.

Later in August I'll be teaching at CREATE in Chicago.  The line-up includes:

visual journal page spread
One more thing:  my next online workshop begins July 25, with Keys to Dynamic Composition.
scribble painting

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Encaustic Studio

I am happy, once again, to recommend Daniella Woolf's new book, The Encaustic Studio, from Interweave.  I talked about her book in a post called "Putting in the Hours" last month, in which I highlighted some of her advice for artists in general, not specifically encaustic artists.

Besides putting in the hours, Daniella talks about the Power of the Container, by which she means setting parameters, limiting your options.
"If I give myself free rein and infinite options with which to create, I can't move... But if I give myself a few limits, I am golden".  
"I have learned to limit my options, perhaps by color... or medium, but there must be some parameters for my work.  I call this having a container".
So, inspired by Daniella's book, and in the spirit of "Scribble Painting", I went to my encaustic studio yesterday and worked with a limited palette on paper, using lines, repeated circles, and repeated squares.

Encaustic on Paper, 8"x8"

Encaustic on Paper, 8"x8"

Postcard 1, Encaustic on Paper, 4"x6"

Postcard 2, Encaustic on Paper, 4"x6"

Postcard 3, Encaustic on Paper, 4"x6"
 Read about the workshop I took with Daniella last January.  She was such a generous, fun, and informative instructor, I'll be working off what I learned from her for months.  The Encaustic Studio includes a DVD, so you can feel like you are taking a live workshop from Daniella too!

I will be teaching encaustic workshops this summer and fall at the following venues:

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Encaustic Conference

I just got back on Monday from the 6th International Encaustic Conference, hosted by Joanne Mattera and Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill.  There were loads of informative talks and demos by very experienced and knowledgeable artists, and tons of art to see.  Fourteen galleries in Provincetown had shows related to the conference, some curated by conference presenters and attendees.  Really fabulous stuff.  If you go to the Encaustic Conference blog (link above), check out all the blogs, websites, and resources in the right margin.  I can't begin to choose which art and artists to show you here, as there were so many fabulous ones.  But I will just pick a few.

Tracy Spadafora gave a great demo on getting maximum optical and physical depth in encaustic. 
Spill, 2010, encaustic, collage, & oil on braced wood panel, 12 x 12 inches

Lynda Ray demonstrated the use of stencils and the "accretion" technique, both of which can be used to create deep texture.
Scuttle, encaustic on panel, 18"x24"

Toby Sisson gave a talk on the art of critique, urging us to use more descriptive language rather than value-laden language when critiquing artwork.  Being a teacher and online workshop instructor, this was particularly helpful to me.  She gave us ideas about asking questions and raising issues rather than "liking" a piece or labeling it "good" or "bad". 
Garden of Secrets, encaustic monotype on paper mounted on panel, 16"x28"

Sherrie Posternak, I discovered, had been involved with PaperWorks in Tucson, where I will be teaching in January 2013.  She does really interesting work in encaustic on paper, fabric, and cotton quilt batting, in addition to wood panel.
Wall + Street, encaustic and photo transfer on panel, 34"x24"
I could go on and on posting images of gorgeous work from websites of people I met at the conference.  I'll list just a few more:  Nancy Natale's Art in the Studio blog; Gregory Wright, who curated a show called "Pollination"; Laura Moriarty, who works at R&F Paints and gave a talk on how to fund your work; Kim Bernard, who curated one of the encaustic shows at last year's conference and offers encaustic retreats in Maine. OK, you get the idea. 

I will be teaching Plaster and Wax at Art Unraveled in Phoenix on August 6, and also at Art and Soul in Portland, OR, on October 2.  I will be teaching Introduction to Encaustics at Art and Soul as well on the evening of October 2.  I'm offering Paper and Wax: Encaustic Collage at the Guilford Art Center in Guilford CT on October 13 - 14.

Thanks for visiting!