Sunday, September 26, 2010

Waxing Poetic

I made it into the studio and was able to play with my encaustics! I did manage to work on two pieces. The top piece is called "Waxing Poetic". It is 5" x 5" x 2" on cradled panel. This is totally inspired by my favorite encaustic artist, Daniella Woolf. I just received her recent book and DVD called Encaustic With a Textile Sensibility. And I highly recommend BOTH if you are into encaustics. I show the cover of the DVD at the bottom of this post and will talk a little about both in a minute.

The top piece was modeled after some of  Daniella's work. She has some phenomenal pieces where she does this exact thing. These are journal pages that have been run through the shredder. Then they are laid onto the wax and adhered with the encaustic medium. The middle strip is tissue paper with writing on it and then silk organza overlaid on top. Both are covered with a layer of encaustic medium.

The brown spots that you barely see are on the very bottom layer. Those are burn spots. I used my torch to just burn different spots randomly. I love that look. That was another of Daniella's ideas.

This next piece I call "Billboard". It is 8" x 8" x 2" on cradled panel. I love the look of old billboards that have layers and layers of paper on them. I tried to get that feel in this piece. This is many layers of encaustic paint and collage. I had some journal strips left over from the first piece and decided to use those as a border around a fabric piece of symbols I had picked up in a thrift store a while back.

Here is the cover of Daniella's DVD. The book has a different cover. These are two different items. The book is actually a wonderful collection of different encaustic artists' work and a little about each artist and their technique. It is filled with beautiful inspiration and gorgeous photographs. The DVD is full of Daniella's work and instruction on how she achieves her results. Both are totally worth the time and money. She is awesome to watch and her work is amazing. It's like sitting down and visiting with a good friend. You actually get to see her go through the steps of the techniques. I loved it!

Now that I've reacquainted myself with the hotplate and have a supply of new wax paints I am ready to start more paintings this week. The weather is cooperating: no more unbearable hot studio! So stay tuned for more wax!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Three Things: An Art Journal Page

This is a journal page I did for an art journal group I belong to online. The prompt was to use our favorite color. I picked purple. I thought it was interesting that when I went to work on this prompt a piece of paper fell out of the journal that had a poem printed on it. It was by Mary Oliver, one of my many favorite poets, and the poem was, In Blackwater Woods. These lines really spoke to me as I read the poem so I typed them up, put them on some colorful paper and pasted them onto the page.

Considering my last post, I thought this was an appropriate follow-up. And so timely! My Muse must still be working on this theme. I had forgotten that I put the poem in the journal. I had planned on using it for something else but I thought it would work for this prompt.

I liked working with the paint again. I just smeared it all over the page with my fingers. I find I am doing that more and more now, not even using any of my brushes. Then I took some scraps of CitraSolv paper that I had in my stash and glued those on, covered them with more paint and then added the word strips. The heart is made from CitraSolv paper that I cut out using a wooden heart as a template and then smeared a little paint on it after it was glued onto the page.

After I scanned this photo into Photoshop I added a few shadows here and there and then my initials but that's about it. It was fun to just "get my hands dirty" and play! And speaking of play, I am going to be able to break out the encaustics this weekend. Looks like the temps will finally be cool enough to open the windows and plug in the hot plate. Hope to have something to show by Monday!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Let Go

I put this together over the last couple of days. I think of it as a digital art journal page. This is another digital/drawing combination. I drew and colored the girl lightly with colored pencils and then scanned and painted over her in Photoshop. The rest is all Photoshop and digital kits. I call this Letting Go because this is how I love to paint when I do get out the easel and paints. Splash it on, splatter it around and let it drip. I love that look, the freedom that comes with it and all the release!

The words are lyrics from a song by Mutemath called Spotlight. This verse always gets to me. It reads: "...the one thing you're fighting to hold, will be the one thing you've got to let go" Those words are so true for so many things in life. I think you are probably still learning this lesson from the time you start to rebel as a youth, up until you die. I know I am still struggling with it at times.

But I am a stubborn person and it takes me longer to learn lessons than others. Could be the Taurus in me. ;) Regardless, these words rang true for me this week and I wanted to journal about them. I did in my written journal; for pages and pages. But then I wanted to make something visual and this is what I came up with after I drew the girl. That helps. Now I can move on to the next issue my stubborn self wants to hold on to...

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Eyes On Fire

I haven't done any sketching for a long while. I have had my sketchbook and my drawing board sitting right beside me for months, glaring at me, daring me to pick them up. Hmm... Finally, yesterday I did it. I thought I'd try sketching a model from a magazine (one of my favorite things). So I got the basic things drawn in my sketchbook and then colored her in with colored pencils.

After I scanned her into Photoshop then I had fun putting her into this piece. I "painted" her some more with Photoshop and added other elements from the Stark digital kit that I mentioned from the previous post. I was listening to my iPod while working on this and "Eyes on Fire" by Blue Foundation started playing. This verse stuck with me:

Eyes on fire
Your spine is ablaze
Felling any foe with my gaze
And just in time
In the right place
Steadily emerging with grace

I especially like the first and last lines: Eyes on fire... steadily emerging with grace. And there was my lady!

I worked on this piece all morning. I guess I was pretty engrossed with it. And since the ear buds were blaring I couldn't hear if hubby was saying anything from downstairs. I noticed my phone lit up beside me on the desk. I had a text message. It was hubby: "I'm having soup...are you going to eat today?" LOL! Pretty sad when you have to text each other to talk!

Funny how you know you enjoy something and yet you don't do it. I forgot how fun it is to just play with sketching faces. I'm not perfect but I like to do it. I like to exaggerate certain features, giving them my own twist. Then I like to place the figures I draw in a really cool background and give them a story.

Now my pencils, drawing board and sketchbook aren't glaring at me anymore. We seem to be getting along just fine!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fuzzy Feelings

I was really drawn to a couple of digital kits that I saw recently at Deviant Scrap. They can both be found there at Holliewood Studios. One was called Stark and the other was called Void. Today I started playing with the all-white images of the Stark kit.

The title for this piece came from a poem by Alice Fulton called Fuzzy Feelings and goes with my mood today. Here is the part of the poem that inspired this piece:

"Does grace mean alive and lucky
to be not writhing?
Or the ability to hide it
when you writhe?
The fissures == vacancies inside."

Some days you just go through the motions and do what you have to do. You're lucky not be writhing; or, at least you can hide it. But you do go on. I am fortunate that I have my husband, my art and my volumes of poetry and fiction to turn to in the dark times. And the dark times are not all bad. And they aren't really sad for me, just reflective right now. I'm okay with that.

So these fuzzy feelings are floating in the back of my head and I'm even doing some writing of my own. I used to write fiction and poetry years ago. I'm starting to dabble in fiction again. I went back and read some old stories I had started and never finished. I felt a little tug when I revisited the old characters and plots I had created. Now I'm playing around with their worlds again. I see it as just another form of creativity; another outlet.

I even used to write stories when I was in junior high school. My sisters would read them and then show them to their friends. They would then come back asking for more and I found myself writing mini soap operas because these girls were so involved with the characters I created. It was fun and even now one of my sisters still writes her stories. So maybe when she comes to visit again next month I will have some to trade with her!

I like how I can be inspired by poetry or music or even other images. It's funny how you don't even realize that something is inside you waiting to come forth until you see an image and it breathes life into it or a song moves you and wakes it up. Or maybe a poem evokes a fuzzy feeling that eventually manifests itself into a piece of art that is exactly what your soul would say if it had a voice.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Where I Hide

This is a digital piece I did this morning. It may seem sad but it's really not to me. Again, I was inspired by another poem of Matthew Zapruder's called, "The Artist Must Incline His Head Just So". The complete verse I quote from this piece reads:

"There is of course the question of fate,
and whether it can be angered.
Example: when not overpowered by grief
there are proper and improper ways to mourn.
In such cases my gestures are shadows
cast far from myself..."

I call this piece, "Where I Hide" because I tend to retreat into this dark area of myself when I want to think or just be alone. I like to put the ear buds in, crank up the music on the iPod and just let my imagination go. I've been getting a lot of ideas for this darker art lately. I like it and that's where my mind wants to be right now.

When I first read the complete poem it just took my breath away. So many of the verses struck a chord with me. Another one: "...Some art may be good, some dishonest." and another: "...My lack of compassion astounds me, and must not come to know itself." I've said before how much I love the poetry of Matthew Zapruder. I love it more every time I read it.

It's funny how the poetry I'm reading lately has fallen right along with my dark theme. Or maybe it's just that the poems I notice are those with this theme. Regardless, I'm loving the synchronicity. It just feeds the creative cycle.

I look at this piece and I feel like the fairy. I'm in a dark place but there's this swirling pool of mystery. I think I'll just jump in and see where it takes me...