Friday, July 27, 2012

Encaustic Zentangles, Inspiration, and the First Week of Playtime

Encaustic Zentangles
a la Allgra Hicks
What a week.
I don't know about you, but I really look forward to PPF because there are so many talented people who participate.  Fortunately, many of them share techniques as well as their wonderful artwork.  Personally, I find huge inspiration each week by seeing what everyone is doing with their different mediums.  At first, I often think that it really doesn't translate that easily to working with encaustic - 200 degree wax.  But, with my new playtime outlook for the month, I have a new perspective.   Last week, I walked away from PPF with some great inspiration.  Over at Tracy Fletcher King's blog, she walked through her process. She talked about using a micro pen to tidy up her artwork from the ugly child phase to finished in the end. Well, micro pens are not on the encaustic workbench, but... with a cup of coffee under my belt and full brain synapses clicking away... aha! an exacto knife can make some very precise lines that are then filled with oil paint thus simulating a micro pen - OK, I'll give it a try!   I set to work to try the zentangles that I also see on PPF.  And, to top off my inspiration gathering at PPF last week, I even started a 21 day meditation challenge over at Deepak Chopra's place. What a week! And... gee, thank you all for sharing so much wonderful information that we each can take and make our own.

The first week of no agenda, studio play time is now behind me.  I actually did pretty good with my goal.  I'm not going to say that it was easy for me.  I'm can be a little uptight, in that I feel I have to paint SOMETHING - anything, but something recognizable.   I have to admit that its been a bit hard to end my studio time with really not much to show.  Its been a new hurdle for me to climb over, but its getting easier.  I have stumbled on some pretty cool stuff.  But, in the end, I'm not really sure what to do with this cool stuff I'm discovering.  It doesn't seem to fit into what I do - or should I really say - what I think I should do.  However.... its cool and its fun.

I'm intrigued by shellac.  Its totally unpredictable, which is what makes it interesting.  A light touch with the torch works best.  Its easily over done, so I have to be patient.  I am discovering ways to slightly control it by scoring it with lines before I put a wax layer over it.  I'm loving tinting it with powered pigment and/or graphite powder.  I'm finding ways to recreate the bokeh effect that I so love in photography by using shellac.  I've been playing with embedding some really cool handmade Japanese papers cut into shapes and then tinted shellac over them.  Lots of good stuff going on around here.  This is all stuff I know, but never really spent a lot of time getting to know.  There's a difference. 
It's interesting... not so long ago, I never would have shown these paintings.. the play, the not so perfect, glimmers of good stuff but not really kinda photos.  So, this in and of itself is one step closer to scaling that wall that I talked about last week.   Party Time - hit the button and see some greatness.


  1. I love these explorations Marji. They are both wonderful pieces, and even though you don't know how this play time is going to serve you in the future I have no doubt it WILL serve you. Your creativity will continue to grow as you play and explore. I'm so inspired by what you are doing! Happy PPF!

  2. So you are trying lots of things! I call my blog "Scattered" because that is what I am. I think trying new things stretches your brain and a little exercise can't hurt it. I look forward to hearing more about shellac.

  3. Love the encausitc zentangles!
    Your idea of using an exacto in lieu of a micron is a great idea!
    Like you, I always look forward to the inspiration each Paint Party Friday, too!
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  4. Oh my goodness I am loving that shellac piece!! It's incredibly beautiful!! Now that IS a piece my friend would love in her powder room!! So unique, and incredible really!! Your zentangles are unique too, so cool!!

    I agree ppf is so supportive and inspiring. I learn something every week and get excited about visiting blogs!! Seems we were on the same page with Tracey this week, she is such an inspiration, but so are you!!

    Hugs Giggles

  5. Love your work, it looks so nice.

  6. Magnificent work! I love all the details in this!

  7. How cool that we are connected through our blogs... and love that I inspired someone... made my day to read that... especially as all week I have struggled with my work.... I hate weeks like that.... but maybe it is time to take a cue from you and loosen up a bit and see what happens...and I will be interested to see where you head next...xx

  8. The bokeh and shellac affects are spectacular!!!

  9. what fun! encaustic zentangles! they have an awesome look for sure

  10. I think these are really cool! Playing with new techniques is always fun. Enjoy!

    Caitlyn (ladyphlogiston)

  11. Its fun learning what everyone else is doing. We can be inspired by everything we see even if we are using another medium. Thanks for your comments and keep up the good work. HPPF.

  12. I love these. And I love that you talk about your process. You have intrigued me about shellac and encaustic, now I want to try, and I like the line work in your top one.

  13. I do wish I could see these in person as I love encaustic art, but I don't think photos do them justice. So I am imagining the wax effect and loving your designs and hearing about your uses of various tools to make changes and enhancements in these terrific works of art!

  14. I really like these paintings a lot, they have a meditative quality that must be from your 21 day challenge.

    Speaking of inspiration, your post sent me on a journey to track down a meditation guide, and I found an old friend I'd lost contact with because if it!


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