Monday, January 30, 2017

Wave Break

"Wave Break"
Image size 8" x 8"

I painted this on a bisque (unglazed) tile.  That should be the perfect surface for encaustic since it is porous, but I think it's almost too porous.  It takes a lot of wax to build up a nice, smooth surface because it keeps sinking into the tile.  I like the square shape and I have a couple of boxes of these left over from a previous craft project, so I'll probably use them for encaustic again.  I think I will begin with a layer of encaustic gesso next time to control the permeability of the surface.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cloudy South Carolina

"Cloudy South Carolina"
Image Size 8" x 10"
We've been having some crazy storms this week.  Well, crazy by California standards anyway.  I always enjoy the rain, but we really need a week or more to dry out now before we get any more storms.  
The reference photo for this painting was taken several years ago when I was visiting friends in  Charleston, South Carolina.  We visited a Middleton Plantation and I took a lot of pictures of the beautiful grounds.  This was one of them.
I tried pastels again this week, but handled them in a different manner.  Last week's painting was almost completely blended and this week, I didn't blend the pastels at all - at least not with my fingers.  There is always a certain amount of blending done when you layer colors on top of each other.
The support I used for this was a rust colored sanded pastel paper.  I'm sorry I don't know which brand,  because I've had it a while in my stash of pastel papers.  I didn't blend with my fingers because I wanted the bits of rust color to come through in the finished painting.  I think that adds a bit of energy and cohesiveness to the painting.  It probably would have looked nice to have a fully blended sky with the clouds, but that will be for another painting.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Untamed Wave

"Untamed Wave"
Image size 6" x 8"
I'm back to waves.  They are so much fun to paint!  This one is done in pastel.  I haven't used pastels for almost 2 years.  I can't believe that!  I really do enjoy working with them and have so many pastels and supports to use for pastels that I should be using them for a painting every week for the next 10 years!
Of course, you know I'm not going to do THAT, but I think I will concentrate on using them more often.  I love the variety of texture that can be achieved with them. 

For this painting, I applied fine pumice gel on a mat board using crisscrossing brush strokes.  The texture doesn't show very much in the finished painting because I blended most of the color with my finger.  Some of the final additions of white and gray are not blended, which gives a bit of variety to the painting. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Vail Creek

"Vail Creek"
Image Size 6" x 8"

I tried working with the Ceracolors again.  This time, I didn't plan to heat them.  I worked on Bristol board with a plate finish, which is a very smooth surface.  I usually don't work on papers with a completely smooth finish, like bristol or hot press, but I do like the looser feeling that I am forced to get using this finish.  It's very hard (for me) to get smooth washes on this surface, which is good, because it forces me to work in a different manner.

It was fun working with the Ceracolors, but I was using them by painting thin veils of color,  which doesn't really show the waxy appearance for which they are intended.   Next time I won't thin them so much and will paint more layers to see what results I can get.  Also, I still need to try mixing them with my encaustic paints to see what happens.

So much to do......

Monday, January 2, 2017

Silver Linings

"Silver Linings"
Image size 6" x 6"

We've been having rain lately with lots of interesting clouds and skies so I was inspired to play with abstracted cloud shapes in encaustic for my painting this week.  As I was working on it, the title popped into my head.  That made me think of how blessed I am in my life.  I plan to keep that in mind as one of my New Year's Resolutions.  It's so easy to let day to day irritations intrude on our sense of thanksgiving.  Staying more focused on the present and appreciating everyone that is in my life is going to be a priority in 2017.

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