Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fun Lesson!

Image transfer with encaustic paint started as a class demo

Encaustic painting, started as a wax etching in class

Stan drumming with a few of my cohorts; these are djembe drums

This weekend I shared my encaustics and art card enthusiasm with my class. I explained the concept of the cards, brought samples of my cards traded and received, and then had prepared art cards with wax medium for teaching how to do image transfers and etchings on encaustics. I love when my passion for making art energizes people.

I did a quick sample of an etching and also an image transfer but had to take more time at home to finish both of these cards... last night I had the time.

The class I am in right now is called Innovative Methods in Education and one of the many art mediums we are learning is the art of "drumming". I am including a photo from the end of class yesterday where Stan Strickland was teaching drumming techniques, what an amazing guy!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Framed Art Cards

When I was visiting my framer a few months ago I saw she had some small wooden frames for sale and noticed the openings were exactly 2.5 x 3.5. In the back of my mind I kept thinking if I ever wanted to frame artist cards these would make for an interesting presentation. Months went by and I discovered encaustics and once I had an assortment of encaustic art cards I thought about those frames again and purchased 4.

I plan on exhibiting these at the 4th of July show I am doing and will be curious to see what the response is. These frames are each approximately 10 x 10. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

practice, practice

"Moonlite", 12 x 9 encaustic panel

I had an unfinished encaustic panel from last week, I had been trying to figure out what to do with it after I added colored layers of wax. I started this morning by etching 2 figures but I was not happy with their faces so I took out the heat gun and melted everything off, then reapplied 2 more layers of colored wax and started over. Now that the panel was clean I felt the need to etch a landscape, something I know well, but even that was frustrating for me today. I could not capture a feeling of light and luminosity with the etching so then I decided to add some gold leaf and lotus flowers... they got muddy, and out came the heat gun, again! I kept trying to fuse the layers of newly applied wax but I kept over heating the layers and melting too much. I was so disgusted that now the flower additions were muddied up and I once again melted off what I didn't like. As I watched the wax melt off the bottom part of the painting I realized I liked what was happening with the details of the top blending and dripping into the blank space on the bottom... one thing lead to another and I am still not sure if this art piece works for me or not. All I know is I like the way it makes me feel.

paper collage break

After spending the past week making about 15 artist cards with encaustic I decided to do a series of collage cards featuring Andy Warhol and Marilyn Monroe. It was good, easy, fun making paper collages on art cards.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

playing with color

It feels like I am starting to understand the encaustics better and I have started playing with color. There is an 18 x 24 elephant board waiting for me to paint it but I am still having too much fun painting art cards (2.5 x 3.5). My next masters class meets a week from Friday and I am going to introduce encaustic art cards as my lesson plan. I hope they are as excited about encaustics as I am.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Crazy Sunday...

"Si Ting"

I didn't expect to spend 5 hrs in an ER today; early this morning my encaustic griddle was heated along with my pot filled with encaustic medium. I had started working on several more art cards, but I had chest pains that had proceeded to get worse over the weekend, and my doctor suggest I not wait until tomorrow for an office visit but to get things checked out today at the hospital. I decided to bring the book I just purchased, "The Art of Encaustic Painting" by Joanne Mattera (I bought the book yesterday at Dick Blick). I figured if I was going to be in a hospital environment I might as well have something to do while I sit and wait all day long. I am fine, my heart is fine, I have pulled muscles in my chest wall. I also had a chance to read the entire book. 

When I came home I had the 2 cards from this morning just waiting to be finished and now that I had read the book I understood a bit more about building layers of wax to create luminosity and depth. The book explained some basics about painting with the wax, information I needed because the workshop only covered collage and image transfers, nothing about painting. I decided to finish the cards before retiring for the day... I think these are a little different from the ones I have done to date.

Friday, June 12, 2009

more encaustics

Now that I have basic encaustic knowledge, I am able to experiment with color but there is so much to learn about using this medium. Temperature settings matter because if the wax is too hot it doesn't fuse layers properly and learning the right balance will take time. 

I did a few more art cards then I decided to rework the small birches and its finished now, its only 6 x 6.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Encaustic art cards

I started 2 of the cards at the workshop and decided to continue working on these as soon as I got home! In addition to collage and image transfers, Tracy also showed us how to use oil paint mediums and carving tools to create texture in the wax and then enhance the design created by the carving tools with the oil based mediums. I used my Sennelier oil pastels here but Tracy used oil sticks by R & F, same company that makes the encaustic paints.


"Birches" - encaustic collage using birch and decorative leaf embellishments and of course, encaustic paint

getting read to add leaf embellishments to "Birches"

image transfer with paint layer, "Birches 2" (this may not be finished)

Tracy Spadafora - preparing for collage/paper demo

Finally, I understand what 'fusing' is, and why it is important in order to build layers with encaustic paintings. I spent yesterday at a post-conference encaustic workshop and learned about basic tools and techniques with encaustic paints. We worked primarily on collage techniques and image transfers. 

The workshop did not cover basic painting using colors but I think I should be able to figure that out just by doing it. Using wax as a medium inspires me to collage, something I have been having fun doing with my art cards. Today I need to get a griddle so I have a surface to melt the encaustic paints on, but I already had a pot for melting the wax medium. This is a whole new art inspiration for me, and I will see where it takes me. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Building Inventory

Time is flying by and my decision to sell art cards has me busy building inventory before the 4th of July show. I start a new class for my master's program this weekend, have a 1 day encaustic workshop next week, and will try and get at least 100 of these ACEO's ready for sale during the next few weeks. I may decide to paint with wax on some of the cards but for now I am sticking to sumi e ink and watercolor painting. The cards are packaged with the envelopes in a clear plastic bag and I will be pricing them at $10 each.

I have made about 30 so far; it seems my common themes to date are Bamboo, Dragonfly, Moon, Mountains, and Lotus.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Art Cards, Editions and Originals

I have spent the past few months learning about artist trading cards, trading them online and offline, and have enjoyed seeing so many different styles of cards. For me, it wasn't enough. I am now making cards, mounting them on blank notecards, and hoping to sell them as small original works of art at my next art show. I have always offered printed notecards of my original watercolor paintings and done well selling them but now I want to see if people are interested in original works of art at an affordable price. Mounting the cards on blank notecards seemed more substantial to me, and by using rubber cement to mount the card it will be easy to detach it. I made 10 cards today and hope I have close to 100 by the July art festival. Wish me luck!