Monday, May 22, 2017

Stormy Beach

"Stormy Day"
Image Size 11" x 14"
I painted this on an unprimed, cradled board so that the wood could show through the wax in some areas.  I love blue and rust together so that is what I chose for my color palette this week.  This has a little amber shellac and white shellac as well as wax.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Powerful Crest

"Powerful Crest"
Image size 8" x 8"
I love the colors in this painting.  They are soothing, happy and are perfect for my obsession with waves.   Obviously, I love painting waves and I hope you're not getting tired of seeing them because I'm sure I will be painting quite a few more.  In the past, I've enjoyed adding a lot of white to the waves by flicking the wax onto the surface and lightly fusing so that the end result is very textural.  I wanted this painting to have a softer effect so I fused the white dots of color until the surface was smooth.  That makes the white specks have softer edges and they are more translucent than opaque.  I'm happy with the result and for such a small painting the totally smooth surface makes it look like a glazed tile.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Image size 12" x 24"

I didn't get a very good picture of this painting.  The white blotches are reflections from spotlights.  I started this painting on a cradled board that had a base of encaustic gesso.  I planned to start the painting with watercolor so I painted the gesso on with a lot of texture hoping to have that show up through the watercolor.  Unfortunately, unlike regular acrylic gesso that becomes permanent when dry, the encaustic gesso is reactivated by water so the texture went away when I used the watercolor. 

 My base of watercolor was a dark blue that I dripped onto the board and some muted green in the background.  Then, I added a layer of clear medium.  Once that was fused I started adding oil paint, encaustic layers and some inks.  I love the colors in this painting and the soft background colors which were done with the oil paints.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Image size 15.5"x 15.5"

There are many times when deciding on a title for a painting is very difficult, but this one came to me easily.  As I look at these colors and the movement in the painting, I feel very tranquil.  Most of the textures in this painting are from various layers of wax, but the white paint was added as a shellac burn.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Below The Surface

"Below The Surface"
Image size 12" x 12"

I wanted to work more with layers and textures this week and get a sense of atmospheric depth.  I used a variety of transparencies of wax and some layers of alcohol inks in the lower part.  My surface was an cradled board that I didn't gesso. The unfinished wood gives a bit softer look than if the background had been the bright white of a gessoed surface.

The striations in the top light layer in the bottom portion were achieved by using a cheap, thin brush that is missing half of the bristles.  That gave a nice texture that shows more in person than in this photo.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

California Oranges

California Oranges
Image size 6" x 9"
Watercolor on TerraSkin

Several decades ago, we moved into a house that had 12 mature Valencia orange trees.  Where the house was built was originally an orange grove and they left many of them. I was so excited to start juicing fresh orange juice every morning (I was young and much more motivated then).  It was December and the oranges were a beautiful, deep orange color so I was sure they were ripe.  I picked a bucket full and with my new juicer I was able to fill a large pitcher of fresh juice.

I filled a glass with ice, poured my fresh juice and took my first sip.  YUCK!!! It was so sour!  I started adding sugar as you would with lemon juice.  As I was doing it, I was a bit concerned that my healthy fresh juice was becoming a sugary mess.  Also, I was wondering what I was going to do with so many trees full of horrible tasting oranges.

I found out that even though the oranges look ripe and ready to pick in December, they actually aren't fully ripe and ready to juice until about June.  I'm not sure why the flowers and new fruit, which are on the trees in early spring, are on the tree at the same time as the orange fruit, but that is how my reference pictures show.

Now, I have 5 very small valencia orange trees that I'm hoping to get fruit from this year for the first time.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

This painting was done on TerraSkin, that surface that is a mixture of stone dust and non-toxic resin.  The paint sits on the surface and the paints mingle in interesting ways.  I love this surface, but haven't worked on it for a very long time.  I simply forgot about it.  That is a sure sign that I have way too many art supplies.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Stormy Canyon

"Stormy Canyon"
Image size 21" x 4"
Encaustic and ink
I used the OSB (I call it chipboard) as a support for this, hoping that the texture of the layered pieces of wood would show a lot.  I put one layer of clear medium and then rubbed burnt sienna oil paint onto the surface, filling all of the depressed areas.  I left several areas with very little wax so that the wood could show, but it really doesn't as much as I had hoped.  I do like this color palette and the layers of wax and ink though.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Metal Threads

"Metal Threads"
Image Size 5.5" x 6.5"
I experimented a bit more with the metallic leaf pieces that I have and I added some gold threads as well.  The first layer of thread doesn't really show, so I added the second layer as the last element of the painting and coated it with a thin layer of clear medium to protect it.  I have several layers of the metallic chips and they give a very nice sense of the layering in the piece.  I also did a little bit of shellac burning which ended up as the little dots - a different effect than usual, and added some alcohol inks for some transparent color in the early stages.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experiment.  It's nice to work small to try things out, but I think I need to do a large abstract using these techniques.

Monday, March 27, 2017


Image size 8" x 9.5"

I didn't intend to paint another wave, but that is what came out of my paintbrushes.  I do so love to paint water.  I also like to play around with the spray from a crashing wave.  My finger is a little bit burnt from doing that, but it's temporary.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Image size 11" x 14"
Encaustic, oil, ink

I really love the textural quality of the paint and the colors mixing in this painting.  I worked on a cradled board and didn't put any gesso on it so I applied the wax to the unfinished wood.  Some of the wood is peeking through the colors and I think it gives a softer effect than having the colors sitting on a bright white surface.  

After applying some of the leftover color from my palette along with clear medium, I rubbed some oil paints in some areas.  Then I applied another layer of clear medium and heated it to move the oil paint around.  This is becoming one of my favorite techniques in encaustic painting.  I also added some alcohol inks in the lower portion including some gold ink, which gives just a little bit of an accent.  I also did a little shellac burn with amber shellac, but it doesn't really show and didn't react as I wanted.  There is also a bit of oil pastel in one of the layers.  

A little of this and a little of that makes for some interesting results.

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