Monday, April 24, 2017

Below The Surface

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

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"
Encaustic
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

Spray

"Spray"
Image size 8" x 9.5"
Encaustic

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

Musing

"Musing"
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.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Chilis

"Chilis"
Image size 7.5" x 11"
Watercolor

I worked on saturated paper for this painting and played with the push/pull of color and value.  I got the background too dark so I used white watercolor to lighten it up and really like the effect.  I don't usually used white watercolor because that is considered a no no to watercolor purists and that is how I was taught to paint, but I don't think we should be constrained by such rules when creating.  It was very freeing to do something that goes against what I was taught to do.  It makes me feel like such a rebel. 😉

Monday, March 6, 2017

Arid Landscape

"Arid Landscape"
Image size 8" x 16"
Encaustic and Metallic Leaf

This is another encaustic and metallic leaf painting.  The layers of metallic leaf looks a bit like rocks to me.  It was another fun experiment.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Ribbons

"Ribbons"
Image size 8" x 12"
Mixed Media
We have a local art supply store that has classes and demos each month.  Last week I went to a demo for Akua printing inks.  I am not a printmaker, but had heard about these inks and wanted to learn more.  We were able to play with the supplies and we each made a mono print.  Once I got home I added to it with colored pencils.  I don't really need another medium, but I can see that printmaking could be a really fun artistic outlet.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rondo

"Rondo"
Image Size 22" x 20"
Watercolor

Rondo is a beautiful town in Spain that is perched above a very deep gorge.  These buildings are right on the edge, which is so dramatic.  Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable being inside one of them, but this town has been around since the 15th century so I guess the buildings are not likely to fall off of the cliff.  Still, cliff dwelling is not for me.

The white buildings probably look too white to be that old, but in every town that I visited, I saw someone painting a building white.  The towns were so pristine!  I've never seen so many white buildings!

I drew this over 5 years ago and decided it was time to finish it.  The actual size of the painting is 22" x 30", but after painting it, I noticed that the tree was right in the middle of the painting.  I am usually aware of placing something in the middle, but it's amazing how many times I end up with a major element right in the middle, which is a no no.  I don't consider the tree to be that major, but because of the value contrast between that and the white buildings, that's what happened.  Below is the actual painting so you can see what I mean.

If this was painted on a canvas, I would be stuck with it, but since it's on paper, I can crop it to any size I want!
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