Thursday, October 29, 2015

Encaustic Painting, Rust Paper, Local Birds and Freya

encaustic mixed media on birch 6x6

I finally used some of that rust paper that I have been accidently hording.  I have a set of drawers that I keep fancy papers and stuff in.  I was digging through for some inspiration and came across this paper.  I had totally forgotten about it - its been over a year ago that I made it.  Isn't it fun to come across a hidden treasure?

I've done another big push on the bird paintings.  Christmas is coming fast and it seems that these little ones are flying off to new destinations as quickly as I can paint them.  Its keeping my busy in the studio.

Freya here is a common yellow throat warbler.  I've seen her at the Union Bay natural area near the University of Washington.  Its my favorite place to find birdie subjects.  Without really meaning to, I'm sort of becoming a bit of a bird watcher.  I'm wanting to keep my bird paintings to the local characters.  However, in my yard the selection is pretty slim with my dear cat, Ming to blame for his ever presence in the yard.  Luckily he is a bit chubby, so actually catching a bird is not his forte.  But, he does manage to keep them away by just being present.  So, I rely on my friends with lovely bird feeders, and my afternoon walks to provide my inspiration.

Happy Friday and Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Encaustic Painting, Memories and Wind Swept

Wind Swept
encaustic mixed media 18x24
This encaustic painting has been sitting in my studio for almost a year.  I started it, but never finished.   I didn't want to paint over it for some reason, as this scene has great meaning to me.  I finally finished it this past weekend and it finally came together with relative ease.  I realized today, that it has taken me almost a year to get the skills I needed in order to finish it.  I needed to be working with India ink, carving with an exacto knife, filling with oil paint and using caran d'ache neocolor in my work.  These are not things that I was doing a year ago. 

This scene is from our family beach house.  It is where I spent summers and every weekend of my childhood years.  The house was sold this time last year.  An end of a chapter, but one that had to come.  So, I wanted to have something that reminded me of those years and that place and those memories.  That's why this painting came to be.  I realized once it was finished that this is the first time in my life that I have not visited this place in the world in a year's time.
Below are details of the painting and I have come to realize that a series of these lovely trees may be in my future :)

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Encaustic Painting, Practicing for Something Bigger and Blue Flight

Blue Flight
encaustic mixed media on birch 10x10
I'm practicing for something bigger.  I wanted to see what it would be like to carve in feather detail in and encaustic painting.  I keep thinking of a painting of a really large feathered something in the future.  I've always hesitated to paint a big bird painting for a couple of reasons - the first is the wonder if a really large bird painting is a bit scary, meaning is it creepy to have a really big bird hanging on your wall?  And secondly, painting small means I can cheat a bit on detail, but on a large painting I'd have to step up and really get the detail right - no fudging.  So maybe the answer is like Blue Flight here, where there is no actual bird, but just a feathered something.  Each of these feathers is carved in with an exacto knife which in itself is very meditative.  And, I'm finding that I really love French CafĂ© Radio on Pandora.  Its really nice background music and I learned of it from a good friend and her lovely French dinner that she made for a small group of friends.  It played in the background as we dined on marvelous food and visited over candlelight.  Now as it plays in the background in my studio,  I can dream of going to Paris again whilst carving bird feathers.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

I'm also wondering about putting words into paintings.  For me there is a fine line between looking good and being a bit kitschy.  I like the idea, but pulling it off I think is difficult.  Maybe its the choice of words? 

Au revoir all, back to work - and happy Friday! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Encaustic Painting, Carving, Graphite and Last Dance

Last Dance
encaustic, graphite and oil on birch 10x10

Fall is here and my walks are full of rich colors and layers.  Encaustic painting really excels in allowing beautiful layering in paintings.  I have been experimenting with using powdered graphite recently.  It really does some amazing things on the wax.  Although it is kind of messy and sticky to everything, the ability to shade and create interesting depth adds a new dimension to things.  Plus, I really love the subtle grays it produces.  I'm also finding the fine lines I can get using an exacto knife in the wax is adding another aspect to getting more detail with a medium that tends to be a little cranky when it comes to fine lines. 
For those of you interested in the process - the background is laid in with graphite and the fine drawn graphite lines are actually done on tissue paper and added to the painting.  The colors are wax and the white leaves are carved with the exacto knife and the line work highlighted with oil stick. 
I hope those of you in the Northern hemisphere are getting out and enjoying Mother Nature's amazing display of fall and all its beautiful colors and layers.
Happy Friday everyone!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Encaustic Painting, Chickadees and CeCe

encaustic 6x6
I never get tired of painting chickadees.  They are one of my favorites and the ones I see the most from my window.  I truly wish that I had the same energy as one of these little ones.  They are forever active and flitting from branch to branch. Think of all the things I could get done in a day.  But, I do love to settle in the mid afternoon over a cup of coffee and a good book - taking a break from all the commotion even if just for a few minutes.
October is here, fall is starting to show her lovely colors - my favorites - the yellows, oranges and reds.  I've begun to start thinking of making soup and wearing sweaters.  Although, we are having a glorious Indian summer here in the northwest which means no sweaters yet.  
Happy Friday everyone! 

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