Thursday, March 7, 2013

Inspiration, Getting from A to B, and The Couple's New House

The Couple
This is their house - on the back side of their cedar block
encaustic and oil on cedar block 6 1/4 x 11 x 5 1/2
 Remember The Couple from last week?  Well, they have a house now.... and a picket fence.
I decided to leave the sides with only the fence for fear things would get too complicated and busy
encaustic and oil on cedar block 6 1/4 x 11 x 5 1/2
Ever wonder how it works to get from A to B? How does the creative mind work to get from the concept at A to the finished piece at B? I thought for fun I would show you all the inspiration that went into how this 3D piece of art came about and some insight on how my creative brain gets from A to B.

I saw Kathy Taylor's 3D encaustic art blocks Here

Kathy Taylor Fine Art

My cedar block came from a friend's scrap pile.  I went to Home Depot and cruised the knob selection and landed on the silver knobs for the feet.  I had two critera - smallish and ones that would sit flat once attached to the bottom of the block.  The selection was a little slim - but I decided the silver ones would work.
Next came the power tools - the drill and also the dremel.  I had to sheer off the top (head) of the screws for the knobs so that I had just the threaded portion left.  I used the dremel for this, but a hack saw would also work.  I drilled 4 pilot holes into the base of the block and screwed in the threaded screws leaving enough of the screw exposed to then screw the knobs on flush to the wood. Taped them for protection, then started adding the wax coating to the block.

Next, I needed a subject for my 3D block.  I tried a few horses a la Kathy Taylor, but they weren't working for me.  So, I turned to some other inspiration.

In my studio, I keep the art of others that I find inspirational.  Diane Culhane, a local Seattle artist, is one artist that I have a couple of her paintings.  She tends to add cute little couples in her artwork.  I have this painting of Diane's which put me on to the tangent of painting a couple.
Artwork by Diane Culhane
The Couple then, just sprouted from my imagination.  I set in their shapes and just painted from there.  But, I'm not well versed in painting men, so I searched Google images and found this couple for inspiration.  I really liked his suit and the 60's vibe.  Although, my guy looks a little like Mr. Bates on Downton Abbey.
More about them Here
Then, I needed a house - so, once again I turned to Diane's work - my other painting of hers has this darling red house (and a cute little couple). 
Artwork by Diane Culhane
Plus, I found this house in the newspaper the morning I was going to launch my house artwork for The Couple. 
Photo by J.D. Pooley
I still needed a little more house inspiration so I also found this house
Artwork by Warren Kimble
and this one
Artwork by Michael Holland
The picket fence also needed a quick reference to Google Images.  I searched on white house picket fence and found exactly what I needed.  I also remembered that David Hockney had a painting with a house in it - so I went on that tangent and oogled over Hockney's work on Google images.  Love his stuff and it was a fun distraction to spend some time enjoying it.

It's an interesting path getting from A to B.  Sometimes its straight forward and simple with one reference photo and other times, it takes a lot of little pieces to make the complete picture come together.  I'm curious to hear how you get from A to B.

Also, a big heartfelt thanks to all of my PPF friends and the lovely comments left on Eva and Kristin's site last week.  It makes me happy to have shared my story with you.  I'm away at my encaustic class this weekend - so please forgive me for not getting around to visit everyone this week.  Can't wait to tell you all about what I learned!!


  1. It is fantastic! Loved your journey, too! Valerie

  2. Marji your blocks are great, I especially love that little house one, so lovely!

  3. That is a fantastic piece, love the idea and you have created it beautifully!<3

  4. Fantastic, love the house and the couple together. Loved reading this post. HPPF!

  5. What a perfect match for the couple! The house/cottage fits them to a T. And the white picket fence is just icing on the cake. Thanks for the step by step introduction to making one of these blocks. It really turned out beautiful.

  6. How original format 3D block, it seems a good idea to your work. Saludos

  7. Loving your 3d Block and for sharing your inspiration. Enjoy the weekend.
    Happy PPF, Annette x

  8. Gorgeous artwork!
    Love seeing the process behind your piece, too. :)
    Happy PPF!!
    Mixed-Media Map Art

  9. Oh my word - I love this!! The cedar block is a fantastic 'canvas' for your art and those little silver feet are perfect - you must be pretty handy at DIY as I'm not sure I'd have a clue how to do what you described!
    The little house is adorable - picture perfect!
    Hope you have fun at your encaustic class weekend - you already seem to be an expert from what I can see so it'll be interesting to find out what you learn.

  10. I love the cedar blocks and they work perfectly with your style, and loved seeing where your inspiration comes from and having a little insight to your process... xx

  11. This is incredible. I think it's one of the most charming things I have ever seen! Hope you have a great time at your encaustic workshop, and come home with lots of great stuff to show off.

  12. Fun post. Love the house..not sure how the wax and painting works but you do make it look great. HPPF

  13. Dear Marji, it is so good that you found such beautiful inspirations. getting from a to b or even further, now your art will be inspiring for someone else seeking for inspirations. Beautiful process and beautiful art. Thank you for sharing

  14. I love the finished work, and really enjoyed seeing your process for getting there. I hope you have a wonderful, inspiring time at your class.

  15. wonderful! thanks for sharing your inspirations, it's always fun to see how things developed!

  16. what a wonderful eye opening post to your process-fabulous block!!! Happy PPF!

  17. I really appreciate all the research and inspiration that went into your work - which is stunning. I love the limited color palette. Thank you for sharing it all. Happy PPF!

  18. You are such an incredible inspiration to all of us!! Wow this is a fabulous tutorial of your minds process!! Very generous to share....I love that it's still all your style...a classic piece and ageless!! I can see this in an art show...and it tells a beautiful story!! Thank you so much Marji!! We are so fortunate to have you here at paint party Friday!!

  19. Wonderful to read your whole journey from start to finish! Thnx for sharing!

  20. Wow! Fun to see your process in action! I LOVE the outcome! My A to Z is simply looking, as I do not draw from imagination, but on site, real people, although when I'm done they look like I made them up! LOL

  21. Very Creative...the couple and the house with fence...nice look!
    I do keep inspiring artworks too...
    Just finished reading your last week's interview...Your work is brilliant Marji. I got to hear about encaustic from you...later I checked it out at Youtube.
    It's a pretty interesting technique!
    Best wishes for all the upcoming events!
    HPPF Marji :)

  22. I love this and painting it on a block gives it all kinds of narrative possibilities as we look at it. Thanks for sharing your process.

  23. How interesting to do all the research and find the appropriate house. . . that's the part I love (research) and it also leads to other ideas. Blessings, Janet PPF


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