Thursday, March 27, 2014

Encaustic Mixed Media, Boxes and Rabbits

Encaustic Mixed Media
Boxes as Art 
Box Top
Fabric, Ink Mono Print, Paper. Wood and Encaustic
 In the Mixed Media and Encaustic class that I took recently, our mission was to make a box that contained things that we created.  The idea behind this was to think of the substrate on which we are painting as a whole to the finished piece.  That the substrate is more that just something to hold the paint, but it is also part of the whole.

The Box
We were provided the box and off we went to create a mixed media piece.  For some reason, I have bunnies on the brain and that became my theme.

Box Opened and Showing Inside Cover and Contents
 The inside cover are the fabric scraps from the cut out for the stuffed rabbit inside the box.  There are 5 little bunnies, one larger bunny and one book filled with things bunnies need.


5 Little Bunnies and a Bunny Book full of Things Rabbits Need
like Carrots
There are 4 little bunnies made from wadded up brown paper towel and  one white one made with fabric all dipped in wax and bound in thread.  The ears are cut from fabric scraps and bound on with thread.

Hand Sewn Rabbit from Fabric, Dipped in Wax and Gift Wrapped
Book Made with Water Color, Encaustic and India Ink
- more carrots and rabbit holes
Accordion book made with water color, wax and India ink - filled with bunny related things.  Talk about a mind bender for me.  Really fun and really challenging to create something like this.  It makes me want to try more and expand my thinking more. 

Encaustic Mixed Media
Photo Transfer, India Ink and Encaustic Using Hot Pen
 In addition to the boxes, we were working on various other encaustic fun - like the hot pen tool.  I have one, thought it was a piece of junk and hadn't used it since 2011.  Well, its been resurrected as a go to tool on my bench - now that I know how to use it properly!  These two panels are small and just doodles really - I was working on my hot pen techniques for small works. 

Encaustic Mixed Media
Photo Transfer, Fabric and Encaustic using Hot Pen
Can't say it more - take a class, stretch yourself and try something new.   Happy Friday!!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Collage Class, Elements and Cutting Paper

My New Challenge
(like I needed something else to do)

Accordion Book with today's collage work
I seem to be on some kind of a tangent lately that I am just wanting needing to try new things and expand how I'm thinking in terms of artwork.  I took a Mixed Media and Encaustic class about a week ago and now I am undertaking a 6 week collage class. 
Today was the first class - just once a week at the Kirkland Art Center.  The teacher is Larry Calkins who I love because he makes me think way outside of my own personal comfort zone.   And, I will tell you that its good to be outside the lines.. I'm finding that I'm tapping into a creative space that I only dreamed existed.
Our assignment? Cut - cut out stuff and put together an accordion book with 8 pages.  Each page is to incorporate the corresponding amount of elements - Page 1 = 1 element, Page 2 = 2 elements, etc.  Well, I only got to 6 - but what a mind bender.  Thinking of composition, placement, narrative... wow, there's a lot to this.  I cut a lot and used a few - 7 and 8 I hope to finish before next week - when we are to bring "something" to collage on - like a mailing envelope or... well, I'm not sure yet, but I have a week to figure it out.
Page 1 - 1 Element
The Voyeur

Page 2 - 2 Elements
Iron Fist

Page 3 - 3 Elements
Over Time

Page 4 - 4 Elements
Night Owl

Page 5 - 5 Elements
Cool Cat
Page 6 - 6 Elements
Party Animals

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Encaustic Mixed Media

Learning what other things can be done with encaustic.

hot encaustic palette
I took a 2 day encaustic mixed media class at Pratt in Seattle.  Larry Calkins was the teacher and had it had been recommended that if I had the opportunity to take a class from him that I should.  Well, its interesting how things present themselves when there is intention in the air.  With just two weeks before class - I signed up and got the last slot.

It was really stepping out for me, I have to say.  I take a pretty conservative approach to encaustic and really don't experiment nor think about all the different mixed media approaches that can be taken.  I do some with embedding paper and fabrics - but I haven't explored much other than that.  This was a fun class and seems to have come just at the right time for me.  I'm at a point where I am wanting to push a bit, to make things more interesting and to bring in some change.

Mixed media encaustic
Mixed media encaustic by Larry Calkins
I learned a bunch of new techniques and interesting things that can be done with wood glue, India ink, shellac and not to mention the idea of thinking outside (and inside) of the box. 
Our project was to create a mixed media box - incorporating the entire box inside and out as our final piece.  Intimidating for me?  Absolutely.  But, I took a hard swallow and sucked it up and got to it.  I will share my creations from the class on Friday. 

Larry brought a bunch of his mixed media artwork to inspire us to have fun. 

Mixed media artwork by Larry Calkins

Mixed media encaustic creativity by one of students

Mixed media artwork by Larry Calkins
Mixed media encaustic creativity by one of students
We even created a mono printing plate to make prints to embed into our artwork.  Lots of new tricks and tips to propel me into the spring and summer.  Its good to take classes, to get out of the studio and out of the comfort zone.  I have so many new ideas floating around in my brain that I have to write them down so they don't flit away. 
Mono printing plate

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Announcing: Upcoming Show!

Art Show

So exciting to be one of four.  The best part about this show is that we all are so very different in how we use encaustic.  If you are in the Seattle area - I hope to see you for the opening reception night.  April 3 is the Burien Art Walk evening and there will be lots to experience in B-Town.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wonky Bowls, The Pomegranate and Fabulous Cubes - Making Encaustic Art with Plaster Gauze

View 3
encaustic mixed media 4 x 4 x 2.5"

What do balloons, florist foam and plaster gauze all have in common?  A lot of fun, and a great start for 3D artwork for encaustic.   

Plaster gauze - the stuff we used to make casts for broken arms.  It is sold by the pound and is one long continuous strip about 4 inches wide.  I bought a 5lb box at the art store.  I also picked up a couple of bags of balloons and some florist foam at Hobby Lobby and I went to town.  I rolled up my sleeves, and wet strips of gauze in water and started wrapping around the balloons and foam forms.  The result was a lot of wonky bowls (big and small), one pomegranate and some fabulous cubes that I'm really excited about.

encaustic mixed media 5 x 4 x 4"

 My sculpture skills are a bit rusty.  The last time they were called upon was ummmmm - 7th grade art class and paper mache.  So, I have several wonky bowls in my collection now.  I could pass it off as character - but really - nope... just wonky I'm afraid.  But the cubes - oh yeah - love those.  Seems that I can wrap around a block and have it come out OK.  I can even add little spit ball like things as feet.  Seems I had a little experience with spit balls in that same 7th grade art class :)

encaustic mixed media 4 x 8 x 2.5"

So what's so exciting about the plaster? - well, its the perfect ground for wax.  Its porous and formable, sculpture-able and allows for 3D form.  It dries over night and its as simple as that. 
Being that I am exploring more mixed media stuff- the blocks are lending themselves quite well to that.
Cat & Mouse
encaustic mixed media 8 x 4 x 2.5
(side opposite mouse)

Cat & Mouse
encaustic mixed media 8 x 4 x 2.5
(side opposite cat)

  Speaking of mixed media - as you read this, I will be in a Mixed Media and Encaustic class at Pratt School of Art here in Seattle.  The class is taught by Larry Calkins and I am over the moon excited about attending.  So, next week, I'll give you a little peek at what came of the fabulous two day workshop. 
Happy Birthday to Paint Party Friday - Thank you to Kristin and EVA for hosting the past three years.  Its a wonderful place for artists to come together and share each week.  Happy Friday Everyone! 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Ones That Got Away, Hummer and Friends

encaustic mixed media 6x6
The ones that got away.  Got away in the sense that they have found new homes and have flown the coop this week. What a good feeling to have paintings move on and out into the world.   I paint for me, I paint the things I love - yet, having them move out and bring happiness to others - wow, that's huge in my book.  One of those hidden benefits of being an artist I guess.  Maybe next time when I am asked what I do for a living - I'll just say:
I bring happiness to others

encaustic mixed media 6x6

The Paris Bunnies
encaustic mixed media 6x6

encaustic mixed media 6x6

Next week - wonky bowls, the pomegranate and fabulous cubes :)  Happy Friday everyone!

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