Sunday, November 26, 2006

Playing with Boxes

I get together with a small group of women artists that I met at San Francisco Women Artists Association. We get together just because we like each other but also because we like to set little projects for ourselves and occasionally have get together art critiques on what we've produced for a particular project.

The current project is this: paint in one color only - blue or red, of an object in your bedroom.

I decided to do a short series of four encaustic paintings on the pile of boxes in my room. I stuck to the rules on the first one, titled "Boxes Scattered" - every shade had blue in it, so it was an all-blue painting (there are specks of brown slightly showing through here and there - from the old encaustic painting I scraped back and painted over but I figured I'd be forgiven for this). Then I decided I wanted to do three more and that I didn't need to stick to the rules anymore (so like me... I like the rules and then I like to break them). I finished the second painting, titled "Boxes Piled" this weekend as well. The group is getting together December 17th for a holiday meal and an art critique, so I'll have time to complete two more in this series. Each of the four are on 12x12" wood panels. I may play more with each of these after the other two are done...I'm not quite feeling like I won't want to re-visit these to work a bit more on them, but if December 17th sneaks up on me, they are done enough to bring.

I enjoyed doing the first two and it just felt good to go back at the wax and continue to try and improve on my technique and execution.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Joanne Mattera Masters Class

On Saturday, I attended a Masters Encaustic Class by Joanne Mattera, author of "The Art of Encaustic Painting". It was held at the Arts Guild of Sonoma.

Joanne offered individually focused Q&A to address specific questions from the artists in the class. Topics ranged from supports to surfaces and edges, to packing, shipping and care of encaustics and much more. I picked up a few great tips and particularly liked the foam core "holders" and hand-made boxes for shipping or even just storing encaustics. I also enjoyed seeing the work some of the artists brought with them (we went around and talked briefly about each) and finally saw a slide presentation on a broad range of encaustic work, with many more examples of representational and figurative encaustic work than was featured in her book. I would love to see the Fayum funeral portraits live. Here is a gallery of Fayum portrait images. And was really pleased to see more representational type of work being successfully done in encaustics.

Here are just a couple of photos from Saturday:

After the class, a group of us with Joanne went to dinner across the street from the Arts Guild building and we got more time to talk and connect with each other, which often is my very favorite time - the social part!

Then it was an epic, almost futile search for pumpkin spiced ice cream for Daniella (she eventually found a pumpkin ice cream of sorts but it wasn't very good), and then - at 9 pm, it was finally time to make the trek back to San Francisco.

On Sunday, I drove back up to Sonoma to do a 90-minute private consultation with Joanne to discuss my work and my career direction. When preparing for this meeting, I was worried about how I was going to fill up 90 minutes, but it turned out I barely got to all the issues I had put in a list to cover. I definitely got some clarity on the direction my work is moving and was able to update my artist bio and resume with her assistance and expertise on this.

I'm tired from the weekend, but now feel very prepared to focus in on what I want to accomplish this year - both in encaustics and in my oils. It's going to be an interesting painting year for me!

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