Sunday, January 16, 2011

working it out

"Purple Haze", 11 x 14 encaustic painting

I spent most of today adding pigments to the birch panel I prepped with wax medium yesterday. I used to think prepping the panel was the hardest part of encaustic painting, but painting without an image transfer is still such a challenge for me. It requires so much thinking because of the constantly changing dynamics of this medium: how much pigment to mix with beeswax, how high or low heat on the griddle should be, how do I keep the heat from the torch even on the surface, not letting the wax bubble over ... just to name a few. 

I forced myself to paint another sea and sky scape and I think it's the best way for me to learn. I am still thinking about the storm photographs I took this week and I want to spend more time painting winter scenes; it almost feels like I am painting with wax 2 very different ways and I am not sure if I have found "my way" yet. So for now, I will just do it any way that happens, and keep learning.


  1. Robin, Did I ever tell you I use to dye fabric? Luscious fiber reactive dyes on gorgeous cotton fabric. The colors would send me to the moon! But the time, my gosh, the time spent doing this activity and the time learning how was enormous. So many steps, so much experimentation, all worth it for the end product, but a LOT of work.
    And your post today brought back this memory. Wonder why???!!! :-)))

  2. Great title Robin! I like the texture and the colors you selected for this piece. I love abstracted pieces like yours. The textures and subtle colors just make me want to meditate and look for awhile!

  3. Oh yeah! I like this very much.

    Acting funny and I don't know why,
    Excuse me, while I kiss the sky.


  4. Looks like a winter storm, still beautiful!

  5. This looks a bit too random to me. I'm not sure if it's sea or sky because the blue is intense. I look forward to see the results of your growing mastery of the technique. I was reading today that research indicates that trying new things naturally increases happiness. The joy of art then, is change and the learning that comes from it.

  6. Pam, I keep telling myself there is a learning curve with all new (and old) mediums, when we stop learning then we stop growing.

    Thanks, Peggy. Abstract painting has always been a challenge for me, I have to tell myself "less is more" all the time.

    Don, you are a lyric-master!

    Thank you, Sherry.

    Mark, in my mind I saw sea and sky when I was working on this but if a sense of place doesn't translate to others it means I have more work to do. I keep bouncing back and forth between 2 encaustic techniques - painting freehand and more abstractly (like this piece) and painting with image transfers as a base, then working toward impressionism with details. I have always been challenged with abstract painting and I completely understand your comment. I also think the joy of art is in each piece we paint; whether we are successful or not with the end result is not as important as the actual process that took us there. I appreciate your critique, very much.