Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking Forward, Looking Back

Kind of a slow day...contemplating this past year and all the possibilities that could await in 2011. How odd that sounds "Twenty Eleven".

Husband and grandson doing some work around the ranch on the tractor cleaning up some things, breaking up the beaver dam burning, as it is still too dry in our county.

And, happily, me in the studio, even with nothing momentous going on. All work now has the varnish, hangers and wire on it. Some distributed to one venue or another accounted for so I won't send it out to the wrong place..........AND a new canvas with ground drying.

What am I going to do with this new 48 x 48?? Maybe continue on with my 'meandering'. That's as good a thought as any I think. I need to stay away from definate horizons for awhile just to keep from feeling like all I am painting lately is landscapes in whatever form they may take. BUT, my main plan is to let the canvas, the paint and my intuition take over. The most fun is in the start and in the end.....all that 'in between' struggle between me and the canvas is just something that has to happen. I really wouldn't have it any other way.... I trust that it will resolve itself in time.

As most of us are looking forward and looking back, I want to wish you all a wonderful, fulfilling NEW YEAR .... TWENTY-ELEVEN. Bring it on! See you on the other side.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I finally got enough time to actually concentrate on my unfinished paintings in the studio. I started two 24 x 48 canvases before Thanksgiving. I THINK they are both finished now. You never know but I will post them both and if I change my mind....well you know what that means.

I started these both out on a ground of cadmium yellow medium. I don't use a lot of this value of cad yellow that much...........Most of it is covered over but I like the way a little peeks out  now and then in these mostly monochromatic pale gray paintings. I also had a lot of fun making a lot of marks with pencil and charcoal in the early, middle and latter part of the process.

Not really having a title for sure yet...they are tentatively titled........Meander 1 and 2. The bottom image is a close up of Meander 1 on top.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I'm SO happy. Yeah... a lot of energy today for tasks around the ranch and also for the studio.  I wish I still had this energy like I used to all the time. The good part is, I really appreciate it more now than I did when I had it all the time.

In the studio today I had already prepped a 36 x 48" canvas earlier...........toned it and could really get into laying that paint down.

It 'feels' good to me today at the end of the day........And I hope it won't need anything more tomorrow, unless it is just a little touch of a gem or two of paint in just the right spot.

For some reason, I have already titled it in my mind............ Autumn, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

New encaustic paintings

I've been out of the studio the past two weeks almost. Eight days on the road with artist friends making the galleries and a few museums in Dallas/Fort Worth. No pictures I think since we posted off and on through FaceBook pages.

But, when I got home I so wanted into the studio to get back to my WIP of the two encaustic pieces. Today, was finally THE day.

I have been doing quite a bit of experimentation with graphite powder, oil paint, oil sticks and lots of wax. I think I finally have these two 20 x 20 x 2" panels finished except for a little refining, scraping and fusing.

They do still remind me of that day in Todi in 2006 when a big storm blew in. Up so high in the city, looking down, you got such a view of the dark stormy sky with the landscape almost like an aerial photograph. Not a true depiction of the scene, this is my lasting impression of it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Plan or Flow...???

Sometimes you go with the flow and not the plan or intent. I guess you might say I do this most of the time. It is my process.

Today, I decided to do a little work to get started in my 'pretence' to be at Colony. I'm sorry not to be there this fall.......I always get so much out of it.

I had started making collage papers with encaustic on the Hot Box. I continued until I figured I should just get to painting.

I had one 20 x 20 x 2" cradled board out already but decided to work on two at the same time. I applied the last of one jar of  Evans Holy Grail and took a nap while it dried. Well...yeah, it only takes 30 minutes to dry but I only took a 30 minute nap. it's good to have a sofa in the studio.

SO, I started making marks with Conte crayon figuring maybe something would happen to spark something. Before I knew it I was applying encaustic paint and lots more medium, scraping with that nifty scraper I bought from Miles Conrad ( I LOVE that scraper)....and applying more medium.

I took a couple of pictures of the progress and went down to prepare dinner. When I came over to the computer I suddenly realized my inspiration was my screen-saver photo from Italy made in 2008. It was a stormy day overlooking Todi, Italy according to the title of the photo. IF the paintings finish up still looking like the inspiration, I'll let you know. The photo does not do justice to the sky that day though.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A book to enjoy!

I'm really enjoying a new book or two lately. Right now......I can read chapters at a time or just one of , Inside the Painter's Studio, by Joe Fig. I had put this book in my Amazon wish list some time back and just now got around to ordering it. reading about the artists, their day in the studio and what inspires and influences their work. I'm on the chapter right now about Mary Heilmann. SO funny...she has fields outside her studio window in Long Island..........says she is painting a lot of green (like me) due to that influence.

Now time for me to get to the grocery store and back to the studio this afternoon.

Have a wonderful autumn day wherever you are.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Green Day, Johnson Creek

It's finished... hauled it out on the studio porch to take a picture. Yes, no, yes, other people find fault with "is it finished?"... when they take them out to take a photo.

After getting out into the bright light I begin to see places that might need a little finessing...but without ruining the freshness and the look that it just flowed with no going back.

I declare this one finished.... 60 x 48" acrylic on canvas, Green Day, Johnson Creek.

ps...if I do anything else I will not tell.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Green, Green, Green,

SO.... green, green, green. Everywhere is green out on a farm or least around here in north east TX if we aren't in a drought. SO, I painted the tone...chromium oxide green, touch of white and a lot of acrylic medium thrown in. Then I got out some black. I rarely use black paint so, why not? Any way I made all kinds of marks and shapes and laid on a few rolls of white, too, for good measure and called it a day. usual, I tossed and turned all night thinking what in the heck am I going to do with that canvas?? What is the next step? Maybe go buy some more rollers and add other colors. I did this...bought some more rollers. However, that will have to wait for another painting as I ended up coming back yesterday and just started in with a brush. I figured the best way to go (to start with) with this experiment was to use some analogous paint blue and other greens and purple violet came out. ( I don't know what happened to my picture of the under-painting.).

Yesterday I left with that whole painting just about complete. I took a picture as that is a great way for me to distance myself from the work and look to see how it's working....especially for large paintings. I decided upon looking at this picture that it needed some more darks in the right side, a little more of the purple and green.......very little. I signed it today but I didn't get a picture.I'll get on up over the next few days when the light is better.

When I came down from the studio. Curry offered to take me for a ride around the place as he wanted to look at some things. I took a few pictures with the I-phone camera. You can see why I paint green so much from looking at these. I can see parts of this from the south facing door of my studio.

The painting will be titled, Green Day, Johnson Creek.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Walk Into Abstracts

I received my DVD, A Walk Into Abstracts,  from Sue St. John recently. I was so flattered to be asked to be a part of her compilation. So I sent her work images and information about my process when she asked.

I believe there are about 58 artists who work abstractly featured in the DVD.......... It takes a long time to go through really looking at the work and the artist's processes. I haven't finished yet myself.

If you want to see a lot of abstract art and learn more about what is behind the process, check out this video at A Walk Into Abstracts. to learn more about 'how did they do that?'

Thanks, Sue, for including me in this great DVD of abstract art.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Busy busy

It's been a busy couple of days with two trips over to Longview. One involved taking work to a new gallery opening up there......yaaay! I'll get you the URL when it all gets set up. In the meantime, the address is 712 Glencrest..upstairs. The grand opening is slated for Oct 2....6-8. I'll be sure and remind you. Paula Davis is the owner...of P's Gallery. I got to know Paula as the events coordinator at the Longview Museum of Fine Art where she worked for many years.

Tomorrow....back to the studio. And it is a little cooler...slated to only be low 90's after all those 100's in a row. Maybe some wax will be heated along with prepping some canvas for acrylic.

The other thing I need to investigate is........where in the heck did all my 'blogs of interest' go from my blog when I changed the template? I just noted that today so I need to try to figure out how to get them back or I will just have to start a new list. AND, why do I have to have all labels showing in a long list like that?  I need a search box I think if there is such a thing for blog posts. I'm not looking to re-invent the wheel here, so if anyone knows these things and can shorten the process for me, I'll be much obliged.

I used to enjoy all this techie stuff more than I have the past couple of years. I guess I just don't have the patience for it now...or I used to take more time and it seems like when I need the techie stuff done I'm in a hurry. These two do not mix for me.

I'm also about to come down with that old affliction....travelitis. I need some of that travelitis. Rome, Paris, New York....or maybe I'll just go to Dallas. I've been down on the farm too long lately.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Some days flow. After all the days of struggling with a painting.....the next one just flows. I think that is deserved payback for all the struggle on some of them. Such was the day the day after I finished the Searching painting.

To backtrack.... My studio is getting a little crowded in the storage department so I went looking for another old canvas that had been there waaay too long. I found one from my early Little Pieces of Land series..........40 x 30 and no varnish on it so I just painted over the whole thing. It went from a horizontal to a vertical this time around.

This picture was just made quickly with my new I-phone camera so I will have to make another later with my SLR. 

All I can think to title it at the moment is .......Blue Skies. If you have any good ideas for titles, let me know.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Searching, acrylic on canvas......72 x 48 x 1.5"

This painting is done........

I hope so, unless there are tiny little adjustments upon more viewing. It sure came a long way from a gestural, wild, red under-painting. It seems that some work just demands a lot of searching with the paint, layering, scraping and trusting in your own mode of expression to come out. That's really always the key...trusting and no fear.

Another thing I noted that sure was a continual problem working on this whole painting is the way the paint would dry up on my palettes before I could get very far. AND, if you know me, or have observed me at work, that takes some fast drying.

Due to the 'search', I am really considering the title to be "Searching" least it will hold some meaning to me if not to anyone else viewing it.

As you might notice.... I changed my blog template playing around with the new stuff with blogger...not sure about this...what do you think??

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Struggle Struggle Struggle..........Some days and weeks are like that and this is one of them. I had high hopes when I started this 36 x 72 canvas and toned it all with red. Only thing is, it suddenly just went south on me and became tired looking all over the center area. So I turned it in a horizontal and proceeded after thinking on it for a long time......just painted all of it out with more red. And we're talking a lot of cadmium here folks.

SO, today, back to the studio to make marks or just DO something with this thing. I made marks, I added started looking like I am surrounded by forest or something plant like.. I don't want to know what this is. I am not wanting to paint SOMETHING, I want to paint a good painting without a known subject.

I think it might look better here in my I-phone pictures than it does when I see it in the studio. So happy I added in all that violet. This is waaay too busy for my taste. NOW....where am I going to paint out and what color and value, that is the question.???  Sometimes looking at process pictures gives you some thoughts on what you have done right or wrong, or will tell you that you don't need any more or that you need a lot more. Sooner or later it will come to me but right now it's hot and I'm tired.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Working with the Hot-Box

I finally got to spend a little time with the Hot-Box I bought from Paula Roland. I really don't now what I'm doing here, but it should be fun to experiment around. I have a lot of paper in the studio from other projects. That was another reason for wanting to try this technique of encaustic monotype.

I heated up the box to the approximate 160 or so degrees for working. I decided to use some of the new Evans Encaustic colors I bought at the the wonderfully subtle colors of Hylla's hen's eggs. I did add a few other colors ..that beautiful Cobalt Aqua from Encaustikos is the stronger color...and a green from R & F Encaustic.

Anyway.... I had some printmaking paper torn up into small sections, so I used it. I took a couple of pictures of the three pieces I think might work out into a piece I can mount on a panel possibly. These are just straight monotypes. I haven't done anything to enhance them other than brushing some plain clear medium on top to make a good surface.

I'll just lay them aside for now...and consider how I might work back into them. They make me think of sand and sea.

This is a picture that takes in one (first one) and a little of the bottom of the second one.   Strange but it makes it look like a lovely little land/seascape arranged in this manner.

The second picture denotes the third monotype with a section of the middle one below it. It also has another feel to it with this arrangement.

The last is a picture of all three monotypes stacked up...If used in this manner, they will need some more work to unify all three into one design.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Trying to set up the encaustic studio

I'm spending part of my Saturday trying to re-arrange my encaustic set-up in the studio. With an 80+ inch door topper to a table and a small porcelain topped cabinet for the Hot Box from Paula Roland lined up under the window, I'm wondering where in the heck will I set up my panels to paint on there is so much 'equipment' with power cords everywhere. I have a fan in the window for trying to vent out the vapors from heating the wax so that limits where you can set the melted wax paints. All those short power cords from so much kitchen equipment is also making a hazard to stumble or trip on as you work. I put a couple of crock-pots away as I think I may not need them all the time when I'm working now I have the 'skillet'. Whoa...did that skillet make short work of making medium. ..yes yes yes...I love it.

When I started working larger I brought in an old wooden drawing table...about 48 inches wide and raised it up way high so my neck/back wouldn't hurt from bending over so much. SO, that must be the only place left to paint on. I have it set up perpendicular to the table wall.

What I really think I need is a big huge U shaped work area with lots of electric outlets on different circuit breakers and a venting system coming down from the ceiling. What a pipe dream that is. I do have a vent from a dryer that used to be installed there on that wall with the long table. I keep wondering if I can have some kind of contraption made that will let me vent out through that vent...but I haven't a clue on how to do this. the other part of my to the grocery store.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

It's been a quiet holiday here so far. I spent a good bit of time in the studio today. Don't ever put your finished work away without painting all the edges (if you paint edges)....what a pain it is to go back a month or so later to do it. I even had to mix up a whole new palette of paint to try to get the bottom edges to look reasonably like they were painted at the same time as the paintings......and I had to sign them. Later I will varnish and put hangers and wire and put them away until a gallery wants them.

While I was doing all this I started considering .....where am I going to place the HotBox from Paula Roland when it gets here in about a week? I moved the rolling kitchen cart over and moved the drawing table around there in the space I use for encaustic painting (the kitchen of the studio). I'm sure when it gets here and I actually use it I may have to do more re-arranging.

Then that got me thinking it was time to get back to doing more acrylic on canvas work. I still have some larger canvases to work on.......SO, I brought out the largest one...36 x 72" and started applying some texture. I got just about finished when Curry came to the studio wondering where the hot dogs were. That was a good time to quit and go back to the house to get something to eat and take a break.

I do have an idea what I might do with this tall canvas... I'm planning on a tall one here. If it works out I'll tell you all about it.

In the meantime, I hope you have a wonderful Fourth of July.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Blog Feature

Yesterday was a great day for me. One of my online web acquaintances featured me and my work on her blog.

Lynne Taetzsch and I 'met' through us both being artists represented by the same gallery in the hill country area of Texas. She was in Tennessee or somewhere like that at the time and I was in Longview, TX. She then moved off to New York state and we kept up our online friendship through groups, blogs and Face Book.

She is a wonderful, experienced artist and so generous to feature me on her blog. Thank you, Lynne.

The post she made can be viewed here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

My work from Daniella's workshop

I finally got the pictures taken of the small pieces I worked on at Daniella Woolf's workshop at the 4th Annual Encaustic Conference. Although Daniella gave us some real in-depth information about the techniques she uses in her own work, the main focus was using type and words in your work. The first thing she wanted us to do was to just write for a short time anything we wanted to write...not to be seen by anyone else but ourselves.
After that it was ....start working on the panels you brought. Some people made a great panel of the new techniques they were learning.....others like me just painted using something that we were learning to use...type or a few of the techniques along with our own style of painting.

Off the top of my head and wanting to be positive, I thought of  "some days are good, some not, this will be a good day". I scribbled that across the three 5 x 7 x 2" wood panels I brought with me. They had already been coated with Holy Grail (Evans Encaustics encaustic gesso). The colors were just the colors Daniella gave us to work with or we could use any others we might have brought with us. I just used what was at hand. Funny how these are such 'southwest' colors and me being from Texas. I used collage papers in small amounts and even used some of the little 'dots' from the demo and stencil Daniella gave us.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Some conference pictures and such

I am SO bad. Not taking pictures at the 4th Annual Encaustic Montserrat College of Art, Beverly MA. I will say that I had difficulties as I mentioned before. I got all my stitches removed today and hope I am well on my way to totally mending.

I signed up for a workshop with the phenomenal Daniella Woolf on Tuesday after the conference........emphasizing words and text. The workshop was called A WAY WITH WORDS.  She had so many tips for using encaustic and words/text in you paintings.  I got carried away with painting and did my own thing using some of her methods and mostly just my own.

Thea Haubrich, a wonderful Canadian artist, and a member of International Encaustic Artists (IEA) was more objective than I and remembered to take a lot of pictures.

It's wonderful she even has some captions for a lot of the pictures. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. It reminded me of things I would have forgotten.

Here's one of the images of the work she collaged on the hot palette and then lifted up. THIS gives me lots of ideas.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the Encaustic Conference

Hi guys... Did you think I had dropped off the edge of the earth?  A funny thing happened on the way to the ,not so funny! The taxi texted at 3:15 am that they were on the way to take Carolyn and me to the airport. We hurried to get all the bags down the stairs of my daughter's condo and close up............heading to our wonderful adventure of a first time at the 4th Annual Encaustic Conference.

Well...klutzy me did not remember or see the two steps in the foyer as I don't go out that door much. Fell full down hard of my left knee on Mexican tile and got a resounding bang of my ribs on the left side. Bruises are still appearing. We got to Love Field and I found a gaping 1" hole in my knee cap. I ended up in Beverly ER about 3:30 that afternoon. I'm still feeling it a little but I have been so busy day and night that I fell down on blogging and taking pictures. I hope I will be able to remember some of this whirlwind trip and make a little bit of a report later on.

I can tell you without reservation that these people here in Beverly and Boston are just as wonderful and friendly as I have met anywhere I've ever been. The Beverly ER is also a wonderful place to go if you really have to go.......and the pharmacist at Rite Aid, as well.

The shows here looked wonderful. Joanne Mattera has been wonderful to work so hard for all these four conferences. We have all made wonderful friends, learned so much from the demos, workshops and lectures. I definitely want to return.
Love from "Gimpy".

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gearing up for the Encaustic Conference

Coming off a little break in the studio. I've been really busy for the whole of the spring getting ready for various juried and two person shows. I had so much going on I needed a little break.

Now, it's time to get myself back in gear to attend the 4th Annual Encaustic Conference to be held at Montserratt College of Art, Beverly, MA.

I've never been to this part of the country before, much less the Boston/Beverly/Salem area. I am SO looking forward to meeting many artists from around the country..and beyond who are coming to attend this conference. I, also, signed up for a post conference workshop with a much admired artist who will be teaching there.....Daniella Woolf.  I use text or writing in my work now and then and would like to investigate this sort of additions to my encaustic or other paintings. This workshop addresses this subject in more depth.

I'm sorry my only day off will be a Monday when so many art venues are closed. OR, maybe this is good and I will get out of my art 'looking' and just be able to look at other interesting aspects of the area. it all leads back to art anyway for me....whether I intend to look at art or discuss art or absorb experiences that come through in my work at a later time.

I DO hope it is cooler there than it is here in northeastern TX at the moment.....mid and upper 90's.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finished Encaustic demo painting

I was headed off to Mississippi Art Colony right after returning home from the opening of the show at the Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX. .......SO no time to finish up the final touches. It did take very little to finish this painting. I am thankful to the powers that be that I could do so much in such a short time to make a painting I am happy with.

Here's the link again to the video...... 37 minutes so be prepared.

Here is the completed 12 x 12 x 2" wood panel encaustic/collage painting I titled Overlook.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Demo at the Encaustic Center

This is a large file so I hope most people can see it. You will have to have a good connection as it is 37 minutes long.

Peggy Epner and I both did short videos at our opening reception at the Encaustic Center in Richardson, TX April 16, 2010. This is an unedited video of my demo.

(note ...this was first linked to Flip Video but the time expired so I have linked it to a file on my website)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Invitation to upcoming show at the Encaustic Center

Friday, April 16th 6:00 to 9:00
Show continues through May, 28th

Peggy and Cheryl will be doing a demo on their intriguing techniques at 7:00 and 7:45!
We so look forward to having you here for an evening of art, food, wine and music!


                    Peggy Epner "The Red Thread"  

Peggy Epner
Throughout human history, there have been cultures that have regarded trees as having spirits.  It is not difficult to imagine why.  Trees live, grow, adapt, and die, subject to the same forces of nature that rule humans.  On a cellular level, humans and trees are made up of the same essential ingredients.  We come from the same source, whatever you believe that to be.
My work assumes an interconnectedness of the world's life forms, particularly of man to the forest.  Throughout my life, I have played, explored, and slept in the forest.  It always feels like coming home.  It is a spiritual connection that goes to the root of who I am as an artist and a person.
In my evolving visual vocabulary, wood and reference to trees have come to represent the bodies, spirits, and intentions of people.  Sometimes mine.  Sometimes yours.  Sometimes everyone's.  Does it really matter?  It is all the same.

                              Cheryl D. McClure "The Green Heart of Italy"

Cheryl D. McClure
I have always been influenced by nature and the land. Living on a ranch in northeastern Texas for the past two years has moved that influence up a notch. I am surrounded by trees, pasture lands, sky, pond and a meandering creek. Looking out my windows in the house or the studio is such a pleasure...even in bad weather; I find something I never noticed before.
With all this said, I don't set out to paint what I actually see in nature. It just comes through as I work through my process. Whether in acrylic painting or the wonderful encaustic medium, I strive to let the painting speak to me. I make revisions when I see that is where the painting is going. I have a conversation with the paint and the process.
Without a social or political message, surface quality, color relationships and design are what I am most interested in when painting.
The Encaustic Center:
580 W.Arapaho Rd. #271
Richardson, TX. 75080

Monday, April 5, 2010

Packing up for shows

I've been busy in the studio all day with putting on all the hangers, wire, polishing, cleaning edges and finding boxes or not for work that is going to a show in Plano (see previous post on the Art Centre of Plano). tomorrow. I confess, most of the cleaning of edges and wiring is for my two person show with Peggy Epner at the Encaustic Center than opens Friday. I'll post more later on that.

I hate putting off stuff like wiring panels/canvas but it's one of those things I do. It's especially bad if you have a lot of them to do at one time and your studio is so cluttered you hardly have room to work.

I still don't have a good box for two 24 x 48" panels with encaustic so I just put glassine on the fronts of them, topped the top and bottom of each panel with bubble...and wrapped all that clingy wrap around each end hoping they won't move and cause any damage. If I ever ship this painting off anywhere I will have to have boxes custom made. In the meantime, they will go like this.

My little panels work quite well in the Uline literary mailers. I wish they made more sizes of these boxes. Others can fit in more standard size boxes. I can tell you that shipping, packing and hauling is the pits.......unless you are hauling something that someone purchased :>)

The work table is so crowded my two new 30 x 30 panels are still there from when I put them together last week. SO, I just worked on top of them.  I won't show you what the other two rooms look like...disasterville!

In these photos I have a one piece I hope will get in a show soon and I'll be very happy to get the notice when ever it comes. All the rest are going to The Encaustic Center or the Plano show.

It will be SO nice when all this work is out hanging in shows so I can get a little room to work on more. Soon I may have to build or rent a climate controlled space for finished work if someone doesn't swoop in and say........ "I love your work and I want to buy it."

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Melting Point - Art Centre of Plano

Texas Wax - Dallas has a new juried exhibit opening at the Art Centre of Plano, April 9.. 6-8pm. Come by if you are in the area that evening. If not, the show will be up until May 8.

Fifteen percent of sales from this exhibit will go to the Red Cross for Haitian relief. Come out, buy a painting and do something good for Haiti all at the same time.

I will have three encaustic paintings included in the exhibit.....among them, Almost Winter, a 48 x 48' diptych on wood panel.

Almost Winter
48 x 48 x 1.5" encaustic, paper on wood panel

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

4 panel Encaustic painting, finished!

It's finished....I think!. As far as I can tell it's finished although I might come back in a day or two and see little places that might be adjusted for some reason.

I had to remove one quote in the upper part. ....I decided since this was turning into an Umbria/Tuscany trip painting, I would title it, "The Green Heart of Italy", so I put that in the top over the other writing. The finished painting is 4 panels, 36 x 48" total.

Monday, March 8, 2010

4 panel Encaustic painting progress

I'm finally making progress on the 4 panel painting..........collage, mixed media, encaustic. As mentioned earlier I noticed the panels are actually about 1/4" off so I can't turn them every which way to line them up as I thought I might be able to do. SO....they are definitely vertically oriented although the finished piece will  be horizontal.

Last time I worked on these before the week-end, I left the studio thinking it was a good thing the last work flowed for me since this one is being a little more contrary. I really don't know where I'm going. Sometimes I like that...well really, I mostly always like that. BUT, some parts of some processes don't and they demand you either know what you are doing, or be ready to go with whatever happens...and heck, cover it up if it doesn't work out. SO, I'm giving it up to all the higher powers to guide me through this work.

I first just put medium on all the panels after I marked here and there all over the pieces with Conte. I had been rummaging through my junk, collage stuff and found some quotes that sounded interesting to include. So I added them to the panels...two of them, anyway. This is best done before adding the medium as you can't write with the usual pencils or chalks on top of the medium. (This is what I mean about knowing where you're going). Of course, as I applied the medium I changed my mind where the two with the writing would go.

I started tossing out a lot of papers..and pieces of junk I collected on trips. I just kept tearing and cutting the pieces of paper out and laying them down. Now...nothing really looked good or showed promise at all in my estimation.


This is a section of the farthest left panel before I applied medium to the papers lying there.


These sections are the ones to the farthest right. Yeah....there is my Umbrella pine again....I've used it several times...this is the first time I've used my photo as a transfer and I also added some to it. I have some other collaged elements from that same trip.  So far there is not much encaustic paint on TOP of the collaged elements. First I lay down the pieces and then I have to just decide to add the medium over and fuse them. If it doesn't work out, I can heat it up and move it or paint over it later. I have to say...working with wax and collage elements is easier in that they don't go blowing and moving around quite so easily as doing them on paper with acrylic medium. BUT you can easily almost cover up what you want to remain so you have to be careful in some areas.....or do a lot of scraping back.


Now I have some encaustic paints starting to build up on the far right panel and some into the one to its left.


Parts of the far left panel.... nore work to be done and medium and fusing to do here.


I got back and held the camera up as far as I could. I was tempted to climb on a chair but my good sense returned and I put the chair back...nothing like falling down and then hurting myself for a picture of a work in progress.
This is how I left it at the end of the day. Can't keep working as hubby will be wondering if I've deserted him...and especially his dinner......Humm..what's that dinner going to be?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On to the next painting session

On to the next painting...and a snafu or two. Today, I turned the old wooden drawing table over to see if I could raise it up a little more..............yaay, it seems I can. This is a lot better for collaged encaustic work...or any collage for that matter as it is much more exactly for placement of the elements.

I opened up my last box of panels... 4, 12 x 36" ones from CheapJoes. They are the extra deep prime panels and I like them a lot. However, in this instance, I noticed a snafu here when I laid them out on the table. I thought I would line them all up and work as a whole multiple...either verticle or matter. However, lining them up I began to see other possibilities UNTIL I noted that the one on the end placed vertically lined up next to the other three laying out horizontally didn't line up exactly. Finally, I measured and these panels are all the same size but they are 1/4 inch short of 36" SO, I can't play around with all the arranging I thought might be fun to do.  Bummer. Guess I'll just go back to the first impulse and line them all up going the same way.

This is something to remember in case I ever do want to do the other arrangement sometime to make a little change-up in panel orientation in the future.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Encaustic Diptych Finished


Some days, things just work themselves out. Today was such a day. I added some more paint, wax, papers, fused and decided it just didn't need any more work.

The title of this piece is "People Say". The reason for the's part of the quote included in the text/writing on the painting. The size is a total of 24 x 36" for both panels.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New mixed media diptych started

Today I started working more on the new encaustic mixed media diptych. I got out the panels yesterday...both 24 x 18" the two will measure 24 x 36 like the last piece I did....only in two parts.

I laid out some papers I had after scrounging around in all my papers. Then I decided I didn't want the color of the wood to interfere in the relationships of the color or non-color. So I got out the encaustic gesso again......Holy Grail and then had to wait for it to dry. Today in the humidity, it took longer than usual. I fished around in all my mark marking crayons and pencils and found some pastels and that sort of thing. I made marks randomly after taking some papers off the panels. I did a little writing that might or might not be there when I get through across the tops of both panels. I don't like to be able to read the whole thing although I don't mind a few words here and there.

After taking all the papers off I hit the whole surface of both panels with clear encaustic medium and fused them. Then I got the papers back out and laid them down again. they never go back where you started...but that's okay in this instance. As you note the pieces look light. When you start laying the medium to them they will darken. SO, although I know they will be darker, I just go with it and put them down anyway. I will have to work with the relationships of the values and colors as they develop.

I went looking through all my papers again and found a drawing I did a gazillion years ago of an old elm tree. I don't remember if it is charcoal or graphite but I tried the transfer method and it worked great without having to wet the paper........I just rubbed the dickens out of the back of the paper and it went into the wax.

By the end of the afternoon, I had this to show for all the relationships and fusing...........

SO...I'll be back tomorrow to work on this some more....

Better photo of finished encaustic

I think this is a better photo of the finished 24 x 36" encaustic I posted yesterday.   Title will have something to do with Colors....I think.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Winding down on the latest encaustic painting


I've been back for two more sessions working on this latest encaustic painting. Before today I was a little concerned about too much texture over all the panel. Now I have heated carefully, let cool a little and scraped over and over (thanks, Hylla, for the tips). I think now it has smoother areas to play against the least when you run your hand over it. This photo makes the sky look a little light to me now. I will just have to get more accurate photos later. There really is a touch of that ochre in the upper plane along with the pale, grayed blue violet.

Another thing that had been bothering me (and still does as a small thumbnail).......the greenish ochre areas in the foreground looked too much like big splotches. I now have and smoothed them out some and spread the color a little more across that plane. It might could do with a little more coolness possibly but it works okay this way as well since the warm advances.

I'll have to think about a title  although this is making me think desert, colors of the southwest, etc. Any suggestions? I  hate to title something too explicitly without a real gut feeling about it that is authentic.

Back to Hylla.......she is Hylla of She is a peach and gave me some tips for the smoothing down of some of these textured areas. She also makes gorgeous encaustic paint and medium. Give them a try, I think you'll like them. Oh yeah....and it was her Holy Grail encaustic gesso I used at the first of this painting.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Encaustic progress

I got back to work on the 24 x 36" cradled panel after a break for the week-end trip to Dallas.

I just couldn't leave this as a tree.......I love trees, and they appear all the time in my work ever since I started painting. However, I am not planning to revert to any manner of realism and this was going that way........IT IS NOW GONE.

First round in the studio I brushed on every conceivable color and range of red and orange, purple, golds......... Just covered pretty much all of the previous image. I started turning it all around and I need to remind myself to do this often so I don't get locked into a design that isn't going anywhere. OR, keep myself from doing something a little more out of my current box and comfort zone.

Next session........adding wax takes an enormously longer time that wiping out an acrylic under-painting....My back can testify to this.

Now the thing is horizontal and it starts looking like a landscape...(after adding a lot more color besides red). So much for getting out of the comfort zone, huh.  The handling of the encaustic pigments IS out of my comfort zone for this size work.

This painting is beginning to mesmerize me with all it's little nuances of color. IT SUCKS. It is not a painting, it is a lot of color nuance. When you get away from it, it dies from no distinct value contrast.....anywhere. SO, I take it out to take a photo at this point.

Then I just bite the bullet and paint a whole 5" across the top WHITE.

Hum.... I didn't see this picture before I did the white....looks better outside...However this painting would not be hung outside.  I may have made a mistake with the white...but what's done is done and I will have to work with it.

Here it is with the white across the top.......darn it, it looks crooked and I even measured.  Oh well. It will not stay this way long......but that will come later as I have to run to the dentist, pick up a painting and make a run into the grocery store.

My thoughts are running toward putting that violet back in the top where the white is but this time it will be a paler, grayer value/hue which I hope with give more contrast without the lack it had before.  We'll see next session.

Friday, February 19, 2010

New encaustic painting in Progress

Back up in the studio today to start doing something with the 24 x 36" panel with the coat of Evans Holy Grail on it. If anyone doesn't know...this stuff is like gesso for encaustic painting. You cannot use regular acrylic gesso or anything acylic under or with wax or it might or most likely will pop off at some point.

This is a size panel I've never worked on before for encaustic painting. If I continue to work with encaustic a lot, I will have to have larger pieces as working on all these little ones is just not for me. I worked on the two panels for the 48 x 48" diptych and it was no more of a problem than a couple of small ones I thought other than the physicality of applying all that wax. Same with my other paintings....I like to make big gestures.

Well......this ain't gonna happen with encaustic.....the big gestures. It's dried and cooled by the time I can get it to the no fluidity. (Unless I learn some way to remedy that.)

SO....with that nice white ground, I set about laying out some color all over and making some gestural marks with oil paint. I've never done this before as a beginning for encaustic. I didn't use any medium other than thinner and just painted a lot of it on. This took a gazillion years since I had to heat and unscrew all the dried on tops of the tubes. SO, I didn't use many colors being lazy as I am.  I had it in mind to make a 2010 winter painting....don't know how and why but I had it in mind. Of course, I had to start with color though so I used violet, magenta, cad red light...kind of analagous, gorgeous colors.



Hum.... started out looking like my layout for lots of land inspired work....then I add more paints and squished them all around with a paper towel so they wouldn't be wet or have any thinner left when I added wax medium  I don't know if this is kosher or not but I do know you have to have a ratio of a lot more wax than oil paint in your encaustic paintings if you want them to dry and fuse properly.  Then I just added a good layer of a lot of medium all over this panel and fused it gently.

It's a toss up what this might become is my reasoning...thought about getting out some papers but then figured I'd just wing it and see what happened. I got out the flow tool, wax crayons, oil sticks and turned the whole thing around a few times.  A real mess.

Looks like a tree or some other type of  organic shape is emerging.  I just kept adding paint, medium, marks and fusing until at the end of the day I had this going.......light is not good...all the clouds have rolled in again.

Taking photos does a lot to tell me that the black is too prominent in the photo...there will be scraping and fusing and more paint added...maybe another plane but this is looking like the old pecan tree I gaze down on from the studio...