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 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 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 14 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This painting began with 4 coats of wax medium over a ground of encaustic gesso. The white background was painted over with titanium white wax pigment on a cool surface to create texture. The red oil stick was applied and rubbed into the textured surface. The heart shapes were incised with a pin tool, and oil stick was also rubbed into the channels. Finally I added the text using metal letter press punches.

This was a quick, fun little piece. Happy Valentine's Day, and thanks for visiting!

"Be Mine"

Day 10 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This is a very simple image I created with a stencil to honor Street Art. I have a photograph of this figure, from the street in black against a white brick wall. I wanted to do the opposite and appropriate the character in white against the raw wood of the base. I did coat the ground with four layers of wax medium, fused between each layer with the heat gun before taping the stencil to the piece. I used a titanium white oil stick to color in the stencil, fused it lightly, then let it sit for a while to cool and dry. Finally, the piece was coated with clear wax medium to seal the image.

I knew I wouldn't make it to the studio today because of the snow forecast so this was created in my kitchen with a suitcase full of materials and tools. Thanks for visiting!


Day 8 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This construction was made by cutting up pieces of old maps and music manuscripts along with some other decorative papers I found around the studio. The background was glued directly onto the wood panel. Next the paper pieces were dipped in wax and pressed over the glitter paper. Two-three coats of wax medium were added, fusing in between coats with the heat gun. Finally, the wax was scraped away from the background to give the glitter its full voice. The title of the piece is "Moonrise".

This was a fun little collage; at one point I painted in some details, but decided to wipe them away. I like the simplicity of the design and the combination of papers. Thanks for visiting!


Day 7 of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge

This little painting is adapted from an image I took at Dead Horse Bay. I love the bottle green color, and I wanted to play with it in encaustic.. The colors are so luninous. It was painted with oil sticks over 6 layers of encaustic medium, then covered with medium and fused between each layer with the heat gun. That's it; simple and fun.

If I had more time I might add some design elements in the background like little white stars.. Thanks for visiting!

Bottle Green