Friday, August 3, 2012

Processing with Practice

Since last week I have been reviewing several new encaustic techniques I learned at the workshop I attended. I have not decided if I will continue in this style of encaustic painting or if I need to step back and re-assess the best direction for me to find the balance in nature I constantly strive to create with my art. This is such a new way of deciphering a landscape composition that I am sure the challenge is healthy.

Incorporating simple lines with inlay techniques help to establish essential landscape composition elements in these abstract paintings.

"Horizon Lines", 8" x 16" encaustic on panel, diptych 

It happened by chance, the 2nd 8" x 8" piece I completed at home this week pairs up beautifully with the first one completed in the workshop (shown together above), the horizontal inlay lines were placed at almost identical heights. 

Each of these paintings is 8" x 8"

Our first "assignment" during the workshop is shown below. We were limited to color choices and the primary focus was building up layers to allow for more interest when we scraped them away. I added the light yellow color a day later when our palette choices weren't limited by using the inlay technique. These linear additions changed an unsuccessful painting into something successful.

5" x 7" flat encausticbord 

At the end of the workshop I visited the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and saw the Motherwell exhibit. For someone that has always had a hard time connecting to abstract art, it was the first time I felt a strong connection to the simplicity of the line. I could relate to the openness of Motherwell's work, and the abstract shapes and color associations that represented tangible images. 

I continue processing thoughts of the simplified landscape and will see where it takes me. It's funny that when I was an art history major in undergrad school I avoided contemporary art with a passion. Now, 30+ years later, it's the one thing I am drawn toward in search of a better understanding not just in art but in life. 


  1. What we didnt understand years ago are easier to decipher when we get older, wiser and more mature, and that sure is a sign of positive growth! The 2 pieces seem like they were meant to be, there is so much of intuitive patterns that relate to each other very well, beautiful Robin!

  2. I'm with you on the abstract art thing...but am still not drawn to it in the slightest. I enjoy seeing your color play with these encaustic pieces but I really love your landscape encaustics.

  3. I do think we women get better/wiser/more mature with age, padmaja :)

    Sherry, I am intrigued with a new understanding in the abstract approach to expressing a non-abstract idea, and I will definitely make this new understanding work for me. These new abstracts were mostly about discovering what the wax medium will allow me to do with it, then adjusted to find the landscape within.

  4. I have always loved abstract art. When I first started doing art, I painting numerous abstract pieces. Again and again and failed miserably. I think it is hard for some people to see the 'work' in abstract simply because it can appear random.

    But a well done abstract piece- like those YOU do- are full of beauty and spark a core emotional resonance (in me). I ooh and ah and feel it. Keep doing it woman!

  5. These are really engaging. They are quite map-like and reminiscent of the Google Earth shots I deal with. But I've also been reading a lot about how the brain experiences the data we feed it. There aren't any landscapes in your head--just electro-magnetic impulses, chemistry and so forth running along nerves and such. These look like a perfect expression of this. One active the other at rest. It's also very cool how you mention the wax medium influencing the "landscape within". My apologies if none of this fits, but I couldn't resist.

  6. I so much appreciate you sharing your connection to these abstract works, William. I think there is no wrong way to interpret them and find what you've written to be very stimulating. I am anxious to continue studying this abstract technique but have to wait for new panels to arrive... hopefully some time this week.

  7. These remind me of looking out the window of a small, low-flying plane--makes me want to "find" the houses, ponds and roads in these works. I look forward to your abstracts.

  8. Hi Hallie,

    It's interesting to hear everyone's comments. Laura Moriarty, my workshop instructor from last week, uses wax to create geological interpretations of earth, life, and death and their non-existence; maybe the encaustic medium is meant to be tied to the earth.