Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fresh Eyes

It happened again! I worked on an encaustic painting for most of yesterday, thought the work was complete. Obsessive me strikes again (*note to self - when I continue obsessing over a painting through the night it usually means there is something wrong with it) and this morning I had to make some adjustments to the colors in the waves. I woke up with fresh eyes and knew exactly what needed to be changed.

"Tumbling Tide", 12" x 12" encaustic painting

This is how my painting looked at the end of yesterday -

I have definitely been focused on encaustic paintings and image transfers this summer. It feels like I am doing 2 completely different things using the same medium. I have been trying to decide if one way is better, or should I write, requires more skill, than the other. Should I be developing my free-hand painting skills over encaustic image transfer skills? Do you consider one technique more of an art form than the other? these are just a few of the questions I have been asking myself lately. I know it's not always good to have to define one's art, (but for reasons I am not ready to share at this time), I need to define where I am at with encaustic art and I need to choose one use vs. the other. Which would you pick? why? any input would be truly appreciated!



  1. I like what you did to finish Tumbling Tide. Nice job.

    As for your dilemma, I don't feel that you have to choose one style or method of creating over the other. I currently find myself working on three different series, with very different methods of creating, and have found that each fulfills me in different ways. In fact, I find that how I work in each series helps to inform how I work in the others. I compare it to taking three different courses in college. I'm working towards the same goal, but have three different subjects to focus on which broadens my horizons and keeps me from becoming bored and complacent. (Maybe the fact that my alma mater is a liberal arts college has something to do with this mentality.) Anyway, I'm not saying my way is the right way, I'm just saying it works for me.

    I hope my ramblings help...


  2. I agree with everything you said, Don. The problem is I have to pick 5 pieces in the same medium/style/genre to submit to the Copley Society (I did not want to mention the place because I will be sad if things don't work out and I did not want to share my humbling experience in the blogosphere unless it worked out) so even though Copley asks to see 5 to 20 jpgs, the first 5 have to be a series and they are the only 5 jpgs that will be juried. I also have to bring in 1 of the actual artworks from my first 5. Which series do I pick? The Water Life series (freehand encaustic paintings and something I am still exploring and learning) or the Encaustic Image Transfers, something I have been doing the longest amount of time and feel most secure doing? I honestly still don't know which to use.

  3. i also like what you did with tumbling tide after sleeping on it. Generally, that's how solutions come to me as well. I empathize with your dilemma. it is only recently that i began to work in a series and it has been very difficult to stay focused enough to produce 10-12 works but i am learning and it is getting easier to create something from something else once i trained myself to look at the concept from different angles. Does this make sense? I like Don's explanation.
    Good Luck with your choices.

  4. Carolyn, we all need fresh eyes to find solutions, I think that is always the best advice. I am not any closer to choosing between the water paintings or the landscape image transfers but there is a meeting on Aug. 4 at Copley where they offer suggestions, guidance, and explanations for people needing help. If I haven't figured it out by then hopefully attending that meeting will help.

  5. I couldn't give you any kind of intellectual answer on this one, Robin. I really like your image transfer encaustic pieces. I guess ever since I saw that tree piece a few posts ago (I think you said it was an older piece) and you mentioned it was an image transfer, you've had me hooked.

  6. Thanks Sherry, any thoughts or input you give (as you just did) is helpful.

  7. I love this new piece. The roll of the waves, the roll of the waves...the feeling is there! As far as your dilemma, I personally like the pure encaustic. I do image transfers, I paint over them too and I feel that a pure piece is more challenging, at least to me. They all have their challenges though and I truly do love your landscapes, the one of the snow forest still jumps up front to my memory because I thought it was so magical. I think that since you are gaining national recognition with the landscapes (Dick Blick) that you should pick those for the 5 series and throw the water ones in with the 20.

  8. Thanks for you input, Connie. You defined the exact way I am thinking! I am leaning toward doing exactly what you suggest, at least that is how I feel at this moment but it could change in an hour.

  9. I love those times when I wake up and know exactly how to improve an artwork--I guess it's tapping into the subconscious (and that must be the authentic part).

    Wax Beach Artist's suggestion was very logical.

  10. I wonder if logical is a bad thing and restrictive for people that art making art, Hallie. I am still leaning toward image transfers, just finished a new one to be posted later on.