On Saturday, I participated in a four hour encaustic workshop at a local art store. It was such fun! The teacher from Encaustikos was wonderful and she had us try many different techniques. This was painted while the board was on the warmer so the paint flowed very easily. Then I added the collage pieces and a final layer of clear wax. I hope I didn't put the characters upside down or backwards.
I know the last thing I need is a new medium to learn but this is such fun. Today I mixed some of my oil paints with clear encaustic medium so I'll have some colors to use without a huge expense. The pre-made encaustic colors are expensive and I already had a lot of oil paint so it seemed like a good way to save money and use up some of my extra art supplies. I'll try using my homemade colors first until I see if I want to continue with this medium. I know they won't be as intense or concentrated as the professional ones but I know I'll still have fun with them.
Image Size 6" x 6"
Encaustic with collage on mat board
Twenty years ago, we went to Puerto Vallarta and I took this photo at the hotel where we stayed. I've painted it several times using either watercolor or gouache but this is the first time I've used oils. I need some new inspiration for paintings if I'm digging up twenty year old photos, don't you think?
I had never seen a flower like this before I found one blooming at Sherman Gardens in Corona Del Mar, CA. It was so perfect and sturdy looking, it didn't seem real.
It is a bromeliad - Aechmea "Del Mar", which looks nothing like any Bromeliad I've ever seen. I wonder if these flowers last as long as typical Bromeliad flowers. I think I need to search for these in the local nurseries so I can add them to our garden. They are very showy flowers and I love the color.
My plan was to paint this in a looser fashion like I learned in Karen Frey's workshop but I had done the drawing for this painting several weeks ago on 300# Arches paper. That is a very thick paper which sucks up the water and makes it hard (for me) to control the paint action so it ended up being tighter than I wanted but I am pretty happy with the results anyway. I used to really like 300# paper but I find that if I'm trying to mingle colors, they look really nice while they're wet but because they stay wet for so long, the colors lose their individual properties and blend too much. I have a lot of this thicker paper but I think I will be using the 140# paper instead for awhile.
This is a small painting, only 3" x 15" but I really like the format. Long, skinny paintings and square ones are my favorites. I used a scrap piece of dark green archival mat board that I coated with pumice gel to make it like a sanded pastel paper. It was fun to work on this surface because it grabbed a lot of pastel and it was nice to have the background color there before the painting was even started. The color in this photo is a bit washed out. It's more vibrant in real life.
I've cut my own mats for years so I have a lot of scrap mat boards that I just can't seem to throw out, even when they get this small. But see, there is a reason for keeping them! I'm kind of crazy about recycling and it's hard for me to throw an object out if I think it can still be used for something. No, I'm not a hoarder, except maybe with art supplies. It feels good to make something creative using what would be considered trash by a lot of people.
What a fun week! I attended a three day workshop with Karen Frey, an incredible watercolor artist and teacher. I've always admired her work and been amazed by her control of water and paint in her paintings so I was thrilled to be able to learn from her. Check out her website. She's also a master in encaustics and works in a realistic style that I haven't seen any other encaustic artist achieve.
She's a little dynamo with a lot of knowledge to impart but her techniques will take me a lot of practice to master. She made it look so easy but I know that comes from years of experience. This was my painting that I worked on during the three days. It's a lot looser (in the background) than I'm used to doing and I am really happy with the runs and softness in it. I can't wait to try another painting using her techniques. As I was finishing this at home, her voice was in my head coaching me and I hope I will still hear that as I'm painting my next painting. Timing and the ratio of water to paint are very important to her technique. There is so much to remember and I hope I can retain that as I paint in the future.
Soft Yellow Clivias
Image Size 15" x 22"
I work in just about every art medium I can get my hands on with my favorites being watercolor and silk painting. I love to experiment with different mediums and styles of painting. I try to paint every day and will post my paintings here as I finish them. I really appreciate any comments you may have on the paintings. You can sign up below to receive the postings automatically by e-mail. If you would like to see my artwork divided by medium, visit my website. If you would like information on purchasing one of my paintings, please send me an e-mail at email@example.com