Well, hello there.
It has been far too long.
I apologize for my long absence from here. I have missed posting images, art, and cataloging the process of the creative life. The reason I’ve been gone so long, is that we moved.
Yes. Me, my husband, my daughter, my pets and ALL my art packed up and moved from North Carolina to our new home in Dallas, Texas. It has been a whirlwind of a summer, packing with a toddler not being the least of all my challenges.
But now that we are here, I’m delighted to share some new work with you.
This is actually the encaustic piece I have been working on for awhile now. It’s the first of what will hopefully be many years of working with encaustic, as I fell in love with it. Encaustic, in its most basic form, is painting with beeswax. It was also a painstaking exercise in patience as I forayed into a completely new medium. Complete with days of total euphoria and utter, bewildering frustration as I learned how to use it.
Encaustic is an ancient process that is experiencing a kind of revival by current art makers. What was once an almost-forgotten technique is now being explored by the contemporary art world as an exciting and seemingly limitless medium.
The way I created this piece was by melting a combination of two types of wax, so that they became liquid. I then painted the hot wax onto my surface. After it cooled (almost instantly) I painted another layer of hot wax. I then took a blow torch (Seriously? So fun!) and gently used the heat of the flame to fuse the two layers of wax into one. The entire piece of art is created this way, so that by the end of it, it is one large piece of wax held together through layering.
Encaustic is remarkably versatile–one can color the wax, carve into it, pigment the surface, or imbed objects into it. It is endless in its forms and such a joy to work in. The studio smells like honey, and I leave feeling immersed in the art making process because the creation of it engages all my senses.
In addition to building the surface up layer by layer, I also created paper sculptures which I imbedded into the final piece. I simply cut shapes of paper, dipped them in wax and manipulated their form. I love the light, organic feel they bring. Almost as if they are growing from within it, or about to take flight.
The wax takes on different qualities depending on its treatment. In some areas it is rough and textured and deeply colored. In others it is light, and almost nude, with a shine to it. Cared for properly, the work of art is archival and can last hundreds of years.
I’m so excited to finally share this piece with you–it’s been a labor of love. I’ve also been keeping a new body of work up my sleeve, so stay tuned.
As I slowly un-pack my house, figure out where the grocery store is (and the rest of my shoes) I’m looking forward to art making in my new city, and sharing all that I discover here.