Thursday, January 13, 2011

After the Storm

"After the Storm", 6 x 6 encaustic painting

Yesterday I was inspired by the beauty of the snow. Today I wanted to try to recapture the stark winter palette of colors, and the brittle branches coated with ice and snow.  

I used the photo above as a reference although because I took it today, the sun was out and the sky was blue. The contrasts were great, but I needed to change the color to black and white in order to focus on using minimal color. When I paint on square panels I crop and change the composition of my photos slightly so I decided to also do an un-cropped smaller version, seen below.

2.5 x 3.5 encaustic painting, another version of the same place

My encaustic "plan" had been to continue working on the ocean and sky paintings that I started last month because I am learning how to use the wax in new ways but there is something very liberating about not sticking to a plan. Often I have to remind myself to continue to "go with the flow".


  1. Robin- I love both of these! I think the 6 x 6 is my favorite, but they are both lovely. You really captured the texture and beauty of snow.

  2. Very nice! I love the depth and the colors are great!

  3. These are both beautiful Robin. You've really created a sense of cold and I love the textures. I have a friend here that does encaustic art and she always encourages us to touch them. The tactile quality of them is really wonderful. Do you let people touch your paintings as well? Yours look like they have things added to the surface which I'm guessing would make them more fragile.

  4. Both pieces are perfect, Robin. I love the minimal use of color in them too.

  5. Pam, I actually thought of you when I posted how liberating it was to NOT stick with a plan! I think you shared some words of wisdom about that a few postings ago.

    Hi Wax Beach, as you know, encaustic is wonderful for creating depth, and what is more beautiful than snow white?

    Nancy, the textures are built up with layers of wax but because there is a hardening agent (Damar resin) mixed into beeswax the wax is not as pliable. I did not add anything to the surface of the painting and I don't think it's fragile, a reason I would suggest you touch the work!

    Autumn, winter really is best captured with minimal color and that was my motivation, thanks for your comment.

  6. Hi Robin, Your composition reminds me of Cezanne's paintings with the big triangle in the background seen sometimes in the landscapes and sometimes in the bathers. I particularly like your subtle variations in gray. Lovely!

  7. The small one makes me shiver. Both are beautiful.

  8. I shivered when I saw the top one. It's hard to describe exactly what I felt, but I'm going to try. I got a sense of being lost, and a little lonely, but I can see some warm colors in the distance which show me that if I push through I can make it to the other side. Like the longing for spring in the midst of the harsh winter. Wonderful!


  9. I am so glad to have found your blog - beautiful work. I am not too familiar with encaustic. I like the impasto effect. It's funny - I have read Don's description, and all of that is there. But I am a Floridian - snow is not in my experience - the painting reminds me of saw grasses at the top of a beach! So if the purpose of painting is to take you away, you have done that. I have gone a couple posts back, great photos, and interesting words (the post about the school assemblies was quite interesting). I look forward to more.

  10. Peggy, what a compliment to have been associated with Cezanne, he is my all time favorite impressionist painter (tied with Monet). My goal has always been to create "impressions" with my art.

    Hallie, glad the work made you feel.

    Don, I actually wasn't sure if adding touches of evergreen in the distance was going to compliment all the white and gray tones so I kept it minimal, love the way you romanticized this painting with your interpretation!

    Hi Dan, I found your blog yesterday, but I have been watching both you and Peggy post regularly on Katharine's blog. Impasto is an interesting way to describe encaustic painting... you do have to work quickly because the minute the wax leaves the heat source it hardens, and it does create 3 dimensional textures, literally, which is why I am so attracted to the medium. My purpose is always to take someone to another place in their mind, glad my painting had that effect on you and welcome to my blog.

  11. Hi Robin! Good to see you and your work! Love the snowscapes photograhy!
    Pretty good job capturing the scenes in encaustics. Your love for that sure has
    taken off. Forever in art,

  12. Hi Renee,
    SOOOOO happy you visited my blog, I am loving this new medium.