Sunday, January 22, 2017

Evolution of a Creative Process

It's funny to me, that I have paintings from several years ago and at the time I thought they were completed, satisfying art works. A few years go by, and what was once successful now looks incomplete or unsuccessful. Maybe this is typical of an artist as we are always evolving.

Because the process of creating is just as important to me as the end result I can go back and re-work a painting without being inhibited or worried about "what if I ruin it".  I often say in the classes I teach that the worst thing that can happen to your painting by trying something new is you ruin it, but you will learn from the process, and you can always paint another.

The Buddha paintings are part of an ongoing series (Buddha) and a reminder to me to be kind, tolerant, and open (to change and differences). Below, the paintings on the left are the new "improved" versions. I have incorporated a heavier use of oil sticks, they fuse beautifully into wax medium and add a softness to the bold colors I had originally chosen for the bright red and bright green faces.

Classes resumed in January and one of my weekly demonstrations was the use of combining powder pigment with shellac, then fused with a torch into encaustic medium, creating organic textures. I love the color intertwined randomly to form various patterns. There is a combination of control and lack of control. 

I completed the piece below without thinking about anything but color and pattern, and as I had time to look at the end result I realized it was very similar to a watercolor painting I had completed over ten years ago! The first piece below is a demo from last week in class, the painting below it is from A Year of the Full Moon.

It made me smile to think even though I have immersed myself with the encaustic medium for the past ten years, the core of what inspires me hasn't change. I have learned and continue to learn about the wonders of painting with beeswax (encaustic) and I continue to experiment with new techniques and materials, but the true vision, sensibility, and style of my work is the same as the years I spent engaged with impressionistic watercolor techniques. It feels to me like I have gone full circle and my love for impressionism shines through.