Sunday, July 30, 2006

Darwinian Fish

Okay, maybe my koi fish painting is not evolving as Darwin would understand it, but progressing it is. I worked on it Saturday and got most of the color in. Those grey circles are eventually going to be bubbles, but their "evolutionary" stage is still currently just grey circles.

On Sunday, I spent 5 hours on the golden field of my old red barn painting and only got the part of the field in the sun complete, which is really only 1/3 of it. 2/3's of the field in the foreground is in the shade and I only began that section before I pooped out for the day. But I'm happy with how it is coming out so far. I also added some highlights to the barn itself. Barn paintings bring me such comfort. Like returning to my hometown in New Jersey, but how it was 25-30 years ago, and I head out over to the Bowers farm in Pittstown, New Jersey - with the smell of dairy cows and freshly cut hay bales. The barns in California are different, but call to that spot inside me that remembers.

No encaustic work this weekend (though the temperature finally cooled off and the fog is back), but that will be my goal during the week.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

More Was Hot Than The Wax

It was not necessarily a great day to do encaustic art work but that was my goal for today so I plunged ahead. It was very hot and I had to deal with remembering to avoid having the sweat dripping off my forehead and temples drip into the wax, because - well, water and wax are not on the best of speaking terms.

I painted black edges on two 12x12 wood panels, put painter's tape around two other 12x12 panels and painted in 10 layers of clear wax medium. They will be ready for my color stage next time I work on them.

Finished up two other 12x12" encaustics on wood panels. Nothing special but a series I continue to play around with exploring various conceptual images of "connection".

This one is called "Leap of Faith":

And this one is called "A Light in the Room":

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Saturday, July 22, 2006

Born to Wax

Today was the monthly meeting of the West Coast Encaustic Artists (WCEA) group, up in Novato. It was hot hot hot but its always so great to see people from the group and have a chance to say hello and re-connect.

Today was the day I was ready to tell the group the new website for WCEA was ready for its 'coming out' party. I have been working on developing this website in my spare time for quite some time and I knew some members were getting antsy to have something up but I just 'stayed the course' (as papa bush would say, thousand points of light and all that...) and kept working on it until it was something I would be pleased to have represent the organization online. Simple (no fancy flash or shockwave stuff) but professional - that's how I like to do them. I've never been a fan of websites that utilize such fancy advanced stuff that the load time is either too long or it is not available to some portion of the online population who may not be able to utilize those advanced features. But that's just me. I know there are MANY paths to great websites with good functionality.

It seemed to be well received and several people said it was "well worth the wait". I was quite pleased that people seem to like it. (WHEW!!! I thought...) Now I'll be their webmaster and maintain the website and keep the calendar, the newsworthy items and the artist profile pages up to date.

Here is the url if you want to take a peek:

At the meeting, we also talked quite a bit about the continuing planning on the Mill Valley O'Hanlon "Wax Works" exhibit in October, and about the Paula Roland Encaustic Printmaking workshop (which you can read about on the WCEA website, under the menu item of "workshops").

I had a lovely smoothie with Adele after the meeting and then headed home to the city to work on more art.

I continue to make progress on all the pieces I am preparing for Open Studios. And I'm starting some new 12x12" encaustics and laying down the 10 initial clear layers that I like to start with. I'm working on a simple short series exploring the idea of "strange horizons". Stay tune for work-in-progress photos.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Swimming with the Fishes

I was able to get a little art work done on the long weekend. Would like to have done more but am glad for what I was able to do.

I worked on the background on my 24x30" koi oil painting. Here it is - obviously without the fish painted yet. It is called "Seven Koi" (simple enough...)

I also almost finished a 24x30" red abstract painting. I like how it is coming out. It will need about one more session after this layer dries. I have come to enjoy doing abstract paintings just as much as my landscapes. It feels like my abstracts speak to my internal landscapes (which I am getting better about exploring on canvas) and my landscape paintings speak to the external environments I find so much comfort with in Northern California.

I started two new 24x30" oil paintings - both landscapes. The first is of an old red barn in a golden field. I was able to complete painting the sky and the background mountains. The second one is of a Sonoma vineyard in the autumn (from a picture I took last year, when the vines were really orange), which just happens to have a barn in it, too. So I guess I'll have two barn paintings. I also worked on just the sky and background mountains on this one as well. Both of these are laying flat to dry and are too wet (I paint around the edges of all my canvases so even the edges are all wet) to stand up and take a photo of for the blog, but I will as they progress a little more.

Finally, I took just a couple of hours on my encaustic paintings, and laid down 2 layers each on 2 12x12" wax paintings. These layers are of deep cadium yellow (has a slight orange tinge to it, definitely one of my favorite colors to paint with). I didn't have a dark brown wax color I needed for the next stage, so the rest of these pieces will have to wait until I go buy some more wax. I am doing a series of 4 12x12" wax paintings, all of which will be abstract and explore imagery around the idea of connection.

I was able to see the San Francisco 4th of July fireworks out my back window and the fog stayed away long enough so it was quite beautiful.

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