11 December 2010

Encaustic Explorations

Sometimes it works, sometimes it's a drudge.  But one can't give up as there are so many terrains to explore in the hope of finding a medium that "works" for you, that helps express the inexpressible --

Today was a "teach myself something new" day, something I haven't been able to do for some time.  Putting the gardens in order, work, the holiday, then trekking up to some awesome Open Studios in the Amhert/Northampton area in Massachusetts have all kept me on the go.

Detail of Solar (6" x 18" cradled panel)

But today was for finally girding up my courage and tackling the intricacies of encaustics.  So, armed with the encaustic medium, heating pans and heat gun, I ventured forth and was amazed at the process and with the encaustic medium as a creative tool.

There's so much to learn, to try, to experiment with that I lost track of time, then ran out of the medium.  The sun was going down but my spirits were soaring.

Vernal  (5" x 5" cradled panel)

What did I find out?  One, that encaustic and oils seem to love one another, that now I can work with oils in layers almost immediately.  Thank the art gods on that one, I say!  Two, that it truly does buff up to a brilliant surface once cool.  I stuck some of the smaller ones in the refrigerator to speed up the process, I was so pumped.

And three, I now have a way to incorporate my shibori silk, dupioni and organza scraps from my days of dyeing scarves. These fabrics are so beautiful, even the "mistakes," and I've been hoping to come up with some way to integrate these with other mediums.  I feel that the encaustic method will be ideal for this.

Terrain (8"x8" cradled panel with hand-dyed silk organza fragment)



Another aspect that I want to experiment with is using wood plaques with the encaustic, especially circular ones. Over the years, mainly due to my own inability to follow through on finishing a project, I've kept my quilting projects in embroidery hoops and hung them around the house. I have one in the living room by the fireplace and find the abstract patterns of the batiks couched within the circle very meditative. Perhaps the same for encaustic paintings? Always something to try . . .

The only rule in art is what works.
Lee Fleming

10 comments:

secret, fragile skies said...

Beautiful medium. Thoughts of Solstice - spectacular. And I do love Northampton - lucky you!

helen said...

Like these too - encaustic is so popular!

Observe Closely said...

Lovely work! I am looking forward to seeing more. You are so right in thinking that fabrics are a perfect fit with encaustics. You might want to look into the DVD Encaustic With A Textile Sensibility, by Daniella Woolf. Or look at her website. Ideas!

La Dolce Vita said...

these are stunners! love the texture!

LauraX said...

Fantastic!!!! keep playing...you are onto something important and magical now...these are wonderful!

Kelly M. said...

Well, you all bowl me over with your enthusiasm and encouragement. Observe closely, I do have D. Woolf's DVD -- very informative and lover her attitude! Thanks so much!

J.G.Nieuwenhof said...

Encaustic is truly a mind/body experience. The fragrance of the beeswax along with painting is very soothing. These images speak to me of your experience. Lovely.

layers said...

I have tried encaustics so I know how hard they can be-- handling all that melted wax-- yours are wonderful.

bicocacolors said...

first one is really awesome!!!
I love it!

Kelly M. said...

Thanks so much for all your comments and visits -- wishing you a peace-filled holiday season!