Friday, July 18, 2014

Going with the Flow

"Blue Sky"
mixed media on paper, almost done...
26" x 40"

Realizing the trees were underdeveloped, I made an adjustment...

I like to work in series, the urban setting that surrounds me daily is my biggest inspiration. I have been focusing on the image transfer process and had attempted to fuse an image onto watercolor paper, but that did not go well. Once I realized the image was not going to adhere properly, I decided to paint without the transfer and ended up free hand drawing the skyline of the city (this is a view from the Lincoln Park Zoo bridge). I added Tengucho paper dipped in wax to create cloud texture, used R&F oil sticks, and Kama dry pigments (copper, graphite, and rouge). 

It was the first time I worked with an oil based paint on paper, it felt like I was side tracked from my original plan, but the process was fun and I finally got to use some of the really cool supplies I bought at the encaustic conference in June.

The first weekend in August I will be at the last outdoor festival I signed up to participate in this season and my motivation has been to have new, city-inspired work. I managed to complete this smaller painting of the Willis Tower, 18" x 6" on cradled panel a few weeks ago, and it is an extension of my Navy Pier painting, the two pieces coordinate and can hang together.

In between the transfer work, I am also working with monotypes. The process lends itself to working abstractly, but I am feeling more of a connection to watercolor washes and hope to create prints with the subtle feel of landscape. I am bouncing back and forth, but I am determined to find a way to connect the dots between these two styles.

A few more monotypes -

Mountain Stream, 16" x 22" on mulberry paper

Both of these are 12" x 18" on kozo (sumi-e) paper. Sand comes to mind, and the beach...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Full Circle

"Kinzie Street Bridge"
18" x 24" 
encaustic mixed media on panel

I completed the painting above several weeks ago. It is part of my series of Chicago locations that continue to inspire me since moving back to the city. Where ever I go, I take photographs, transfer images, and paint them into wax medium, but something new has started to take hold of my creative juices.... encaustic monotypes.

8" x 8" 
encaustic monotype on paper

ghost print

8" x 8"
my first encaustic monotype on paper


I attended the encaustic conference the beginning of June and it's taken me about a month to process what I learned. I had to purchase an anodized aluminum plate (with a larger one on the way) and for the first time in my life I have started making one of a kind prints using wax. I decided to add these new works to my website and included a description of the process -

Encaustic monotypes are created with an anodized aluminum plate. The wax is applied on a hot plate in order to transfer the wax image onto paper. A monotype is one of a kind, a unique piece of artwork. It is the simplest form of printmaking, requiring only pigments, a surface on which to apply them, paper and some form of press.

The printing process is quick and spontaneous, plus it requires advanced planning. In many ways, it reminds me of watercolor painting and some of my first prints feel like watercolor washes to me. It's funny that years later I am back full circle painting and using new techniques connecting with the same old basic principles of watercolor. Composition, color, and translucency.