Saturday, July 9, 2011

Listening to my instincts

"Tempest", encaustic painting, 12" x 12" 


The ocean has been talking to me lately. And my encaustic paints are begging me to paint seascapes, so the Water Life Series (thank you to Casey Klahn for naming the series) continues. I learned a valuable lesson with this piece.


I had several photographs from my most recent beach outing and wanted to recapture fluid motion, something I believe the encaustic medium lends itself to doing when properly fused. Yesterday I spent way too much time looking at the photographs trying to re-create details and ended up with a stagnant interpretation. I felt like I was forcing the paint because I was caught up in controlling the pigments and for me that is never a good thing. Luckily, I had recently revised my artist statement and during the night I reminded myself why I paint...


My current artist statement:


"Landscape painting allows me to experience the flow of nature. I create fluid, organic shapes by trusting the creative process rather than forcing it and I respond to where the paint naturally flows. I build a greater sense of depth with each layer of new color and the result is a dynamic, three-dimensional artwork.


There is an essential connection between seeing and capturing the composition through a camera lens, then re-interpreting it as visual art. I translate nature using primitive form combined with pure color and then add composition details enhanced with pigment. My use of colorful, impressionistic brushstrokes leads to comprehending a greater reality within each of my paintings.

My newest body of work consists of encaustic painting focused on the ocean and sky. I feel the medium lends itself to the movement of the water. Creating transparent layers with wax captures the depth of the sea. Fusing color variations with heat allows for a permanent, charismatic interpretation of nature’s beauty.  I love painting with wax!"

So after a sleepless night (talk about obsessing) I woke up this morning and decided to make changes, my primary motivation was to create flow and muted color in order to capture the mood of "Tempest". 


This is how my wood panel appeared after adding the first 3 layers of clear medium, and a fourth layer with shades of blue.



Additional pigmented wax (above), combined with more layers of medium and the introduction of yellow tints in the sky.




I wanted to create a storm sky, the reason for the yellow, and the motion of waves crashing in the foreground.




Last night I thought this painting was complete (above) but during my sleepless obsessing, I decided the colors were disturbing, and the waves felt too contrived.



This morning I could hardly wait to mute the colors and create greater depth with wax medium. I added additional layers of pigment with the end result (first image posted) providing a more subtle, organic storm approaching... Tempest. 

17 comments:

  1. Great post! I loved seeing your process and reading your artist statement. Your painting is wonderful and definitely met the expectations of your statement. In other words, I love it!

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  2. Yes! I read your statement, and it could also be my statement. This is exactly what I've been doing--following the natural flow of the materials, and letting the experience present itself instead of fighting it. The results of all your efforts--the sum total of all the 'call and response', is stunning. Keep this up!

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  3. Connie, I was busy editing this post and received your comment, thank you!

    William, I think when an artist finds the natural flow of their materials, paintings are more exciting and actually translate more realistically. That's probably why I love seeing your newest mixed media works. Thanks for your support.

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  4. You "translate nature" beautifully.

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  5. Whatever the process, the end is sure beautiful!

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  6. Thank you, Hallie and Sherry. I am still learning about encaustic painting, probably will be endlessly, it is a dynamic, beautiful medium.

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  7. I'm really enjoying your new series Robin. I agree that the encaustics lend themselves well to this subject. Thanks for posting the work in progress photos. It's nice to see the process.

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  8. Robin this piece is wonderful! Maybe your best one so far. I love the free organic movement of it. Thanks for sharing it and all the work you put into it!

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  9. Glad you are curious about the encaustic medium, Nancy... maybe it's time for you to give it a whirl!

    Thank you, Eva. Every painting I do, I learn another new thing about the encaustic medium.

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  10. It is gorgeous Robin! Your obsessing was obviously the right thing to do.
    I love it! And I really enjoyed reading and seeing your process.

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  11. It's good to hear from you, Pam. Thanks for your wonderful comments.

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  12. I love the way you handle the horizon, here! Awesome energy.

    Good name for the series ;) Also, I want to compliment you on the banner on your blog.

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  13. Thanks, Casey. I have had the time to revise things lately - my blog appearance, website too. Glad you like the name of my new series in progress, I appreciated your input.

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  14. Your work is breathtaking! Thank you for sharing the process!

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  15. Thank you for visiting and following my blog, Katherine.

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  16. I love how your own artist statement - directed to the public - redirected you to your purpose. It is lively, exciting and muted all at once, and it is uniquely you. I am pleased to have found your blog.

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