Sunday, October 20, 2013

Where did she go?

Where did she go, or more like where have I been? Right here at home, working my job and doing as best I can to deal with stuff. I have had a long hiatus from the studio. A lot of stuff has been in my way, but I am looking forward to getting back to work as the fall season winds up and winter sets in.

My home and personal life are too complicated when layered on top of my full time work as a photo stylist to allow much artwork. Actually I have channeled my creative energies elsewhere for awhile; I decided to re-learn how to play guitar (!- yeah that looks like something out of left field unless you know that I used to play as a teen). I found that I could practice music in the limited chunks of time that I get. When it comes to the wax studio, my little time would not be enough to melt my fondue pot full of medium let alone actually work on art.

But I have always known that what I am will not change. I have had other enforced absences from the studio over the years, but it's all going to work out. I always go back into it stronger. I could no more avoid my own reflection in the mirror than avoid returning to painting.

I have been watching the sky carefully and taking lots of photos (often while driving- yeah, that is me with my little Lumix pointing through the window) for inspiration. I have been inspired by the sky for, well, forever. It was the primary subject of my early work after grad school and has continued to inspire long into my adventures in encaustic. The fluid and layered nature of the atmosphere is an easy translation into the fluid, layered nature of encaustic painting. The added interest in science based imagery and ideas is also a good fit to the sky/water/land thing.

I have recently found some interesting paint from the decorative arts world that works well with wax and I am eager to try it out with encaustic layering. Modern encaustic painting is still evolving and developing, so lets see what we can do with it with the new paints, mediums and techniques along with the traditional ones.

Here is my teaser- (taken with my phone):




Sunday, January 27, 2013



This was the sky shortly before dark on the beach in Conneaut, Ohio recently. The jet contrails are unavoidable so I simply embrace them as some kind of emblematic writing or markings. As a painter I make a lot of these kind of marks on my paintings. They serve many purposes both in terms of the content of the art and as formal art elements. I use a lot of science and technology based ideas and imagery overlayed on top of beautiful color fields. I guess you have to look no further than this to figure out where I draw some of my inspiration from!

I always look at the sky- I snap photos from my phone, just to look at them. They are not art, but I have long been inspired by the sky. The sky is the one great eternal thing we all have in common- just look up and there it is- as much mine, yours or anyone's. The clouds in sunset or the dark sky at night both move me, and even during the long periods that I am not actively painting, this looking informs me and keeps the art-fires burning inside.

My hectic life keeps me out of the painting studio for long periods, but I always go back to it refreshed and ready to make new art. That time will be soon; here in the dead of winter I will fire up my encaustic tools, torches, hotpots and hotplates in my unheated attic studio. You'd be amazed at how the tools, hotpots, lights and my space heater can make it pretty tolerable temperature wise. A few more weeks and I will be back in the studio. I have some obligations over these next few weekends, but I am putting in my order to Swan's for wax today!

Here's another recent shot I posted on Instagram:

I usually find myself in parking lots around sunset- the nature of my crazy job sends me out shopping quite a lot, so if I see the evening sun at all in the cold months it is from some parking lot. This stuff keeps me going, creatively.