The 30 / 30 Challenge

A friend asked what I learned and enjoyed about this challenge. I learned some new techniques in encaustic, and in painting and collage. I enjoyed having an excuse to go to the studio every day, with a specific purpose. The most valuable lesson learned was to let go and allow the materials and the process to take me in an unplanned direction. The process was similar to writing at that moment when the muse takes over and the writer becomes a conduit for a shared universal concept. And, as a photographer, it was good to loosen up a bit.

I'm ready to move on. I want to return to photography and begin to explore some of the issues that came up through the processes of the past thirty days, with greater deliberateness and a looser process. Thanks for visiting!


Day 30 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This painting began with several layers of encaustic medium, fused between with the heat gun. I used oil sticks to get the vibrant colors, fusing while the oil was still wet enough to move around the composition. I used the letter set to place the text, and metal stamps for the crown likeness. These were all filled with oil stick, then the excess was wiped away.

This is my little "me too" painting. Thanks for visiting!


Day 29 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

I wanted to make something in response to the concerns over our national parklands. This is a small weave of two parks under consideration for oil drilling. I put them together on the ground and then wove the two where they overlapped. I coated the weave with 4-5 layers of clear wax medium and then embedded the pastoral landscape from an old dollhouse a friend of mine built. Finally, I added some grass-like string for texture and balance.

I enjoyed making this piece; it allowed me to think about some important issues and feel a tiny bit of control over an unfortunate situation. Thanks for visiting!


Day 28 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This piece began as an experiment in alcohol inks. I started with a gesso'd ground - a clear white surface. I painted a design with the inks but had difficulty getting the effect I was after. I lived with the painting for a number of days and then decided to coat it with about 8 layers of wax medium (fused in between with the heat gun). Some of the design showed through and the colors reminded me of a map-weave I had on hand. I pushed the weave into the surface, then added a couple of other strips of map. Finally the piece was coated with medium containing a rose hue, which I matched with the pinkish twine. 

This piece reminds me of a frosted cake; the texture is everything I hope for when I set out to delve deep into the wax. Thanks for visiting!


Day 27 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This is a simple, straightforward celebration of a photograph I took several years ago on a friend's porch. This beautiful and intricate spider's web was captivating. I changed the color photograph to black and white and then printed the image on transparent paper. It was floated onto a white-gessoed ground with seven layers of encaustic medium (fused between each layer with the heat gun, of course). One thin layer of clear medium was painted over the image to give it a creamy look.

Sometimes simple is best, and the image speaks for itself. Thanks for visiting!


Day 26 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This piece was composited by layering several coats of wax medium over the ground and then pressing the objects into them. Stamps were used to embellish the composition, and oil stick was rubbed into the impressions, then the excess was wiped away. A final two coats of medium went over the piece.

I enjoyed making this piece; following my intuition, with no set plan always delights. Thanks for visiting!


Day 25 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This is a photograph that I printed on rice paper and floated onto molten wax to give it a transparent look. The image was embellished using my favorite wallpaper stamps and then filling them with oil stick. A final coat of medium was layered over the top of the piece to pull all of the elements together.

I love this simple tree photograph, and, though it was manipulated to maximize the eeriness of the scene, the image appropriately communicates the feel of that place in time. Thanks for visiting!


Day 24 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

I printed this image on vellum a while ago, intending to use it in an encaustic piece. This is the third in a series using this pair of hands. I mounted the photograph over several layers of encaustic medium, fusing in between layers to create a smooth surface. I used wallpaper stamps to create the lacy cuffs, filling in the depressions with purple encaustic oil sticks. I painted the fingernails with crimson wax and then carved a lacy ring on a finger. This was also filled in with an oil stick: orange/gold this time. The entire piece was then coated with a final 2 layers of medium, carefully fusing in between so as not to move around the oils too much.

I like the final effect: the white, white hands with the red, red polish remind me of my mother's hands in the 1960's. Thanks for visiting!


Day 23 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This is a small map weave. I chose 2 colorful maps, cut them in strips and wove them together. I mounted the weave to the ground with wax after coating both sides of the weave by dipping it into the medium. Next I added the rusty object. The colored twine has the same palette as the maps so I secured a "bouquet" into the little pipe.

This was a fun and colorful little piece to make. Thanks for visiting!


Day 22 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This piece is a re-worked map assemblage. I re-used the ground, with the map adhered to the surface. Several layers of encaustic medium were built up to create a surface that would hold the heavy elements of the tile, bottle and rusty object - all found at Dead Horse Bay last spring. The elements were assembled and then more layers of clear wax were added to bind it all together.

I always enjoy working with rusty and found objects; I love the color and the patina. Thanks for visiting!

Rust Belt