Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Seasonal Inspiration

Finally, the month of May... spring is here, I see fresh new greens in the grass and trees, and flowers finally have appeared. Seasonal landscapes have always inspired my art and recently I decided to paint the same image using different encaustic techniques each time. I was exploring and open to the possibilities.

Lupines grow wild and peak during the end of spring. In Sugar Hill, New Hampshire there is a festival every year and I crave the New England landscape when I think about the blue-lavender flowers sitting in turquoise-green open fields, tucked in between the White Mountains, covered by the warm hues of sunrise or sunset.

"Lupine Sunset" (below) is 16" x 16", encaustic on a cradled encausticbord panel. This piece was the first of the series that recently became lessons for myself.

I started by using an electric tjanting tool to draw directly on the board with encaustic paint. I was consumed by the colors and textures created by continuous motion using the tool and at one point had thought this painting would remain very linear and abstract (2nd image below) but soon realized it did not have enough depth as a drawing. I decided to pour orange tinted wax medium on the sky background, and green tinted medium on the foreground, and was happier with the quieted contrasting colors between land and sky. Pouring the wax also allowed for a greater sense of depth, visually and literally.

The second version, "Sugar Hill" is 24" x 18", encaustic on a cradled encausticbord (below). It was important to me to not loose the abstract, impressionistic details of the wax drawing. I had to create depth using layers of contrasting color.

The 3rd version, "Field of Dreams" 30" x 40" encaustic and oil stick on a cradled encausticbord panel. This time I poured the wax first (2nd image below) and made sure I left the sunset colors transparent, a light wash of colors, a technique very reminiscent of how I apply watercolor washes to paper. I poured color in the grassy foreground, and proceeded to add depth and details using both the tjanting tool and oil sticks. Working large is always a challenge, but after exploring the different ways to apply layers of wax, I feel the wash technique is the most successful.

Nothing can replace the love I have for New England and it's landscapes, and now that I live in the city of Chicago at least I can revisit my favorite places in my paintings.

No comments:

Post a Comment