Wednesday, June 3, 2009

TALES OF WAX

Finally. After waiting soooo patiently for the past five months (and patiently waiting is not my strong point), I . . . got . . . to . . . play . . . with . . . encaustics !!! My love affair with encaustic began when I happened across the work of two immensely talented artists: Sandy O'Brien and Bridgette Guerzon Mills. These ladies have vision and an eye for aesthetics like you wouldn't believe. The kind of art that reaches your soul and leaves you breathless.






And so I decided that I had to try it for myself. This would not be something I'd be content just to collect. The textures of wax are too enticing. The colors and depth, too tempting. I had to experience encaustic firsthand. Ordinarily, I'd jump in head first with an instructional book or two and a manic shopping stint through Dick Blick or some other on-line supplier. But after talking with Bridgette and the very gifted Judy Wise, it was clear that my best course of action would be to wait and take a workshop in encaustic. Very important to learn proper ventilation procedures and the properties of the wax. Didn't want to develop any bad habits either.




Thus, in mid May, I set out for the hill country of Boerne, Texas to attend an R&F Handmade Paints encaustic workshop taught by Gina Adams. Without doubt, it was one of the most enjoyable of my little artistic excursions. There were eight of us in the class, all from varied backgrounds. Gina is the kind of instructor you hope for. Warm, open, wonderfully humorous. Her laid back style greatly enhances the classroom experience. Her art is uniquely hers, deeply symbolic and imbued with personal significance. Take a look at her site here and prepared to be wowed.











I cannot even begin to tell you how these pieces were constructed. There are so many techniques and tools used in encaustics and I am but a wee beginner. Laying down the wax smoothly is extremely difficult. Good thing I like rawness, and edges, and brushstrokes because my first pieces are chock full of missed spots, overly scraped areas and heavy handed inscribing. But I loved the process, the gorgeous array of colors and the way the wax melds into each successive layer and leaves you to excavate, scrape and inscribe. The spell has been cast and I'll go back for more.


Ciao for now.

Shelly

P.S. Captions with titles and dimensions for each piece can been seen on my Flickr photostream. I got totally frustrated trying to center the captions under each picture. Blogger would not cooperate tonight.

17 comments:

crafty capers said...

Oh wow wow wow! These are stunning. What fabulous new techniques you must have learned. What fun it looks! Absolutely gorgeous Shelly, well done :-)

Kim said...

Wonderful, Shelly,mmmm texture, love these babies, especially the skelly! (Did he overwax, LOL!) I also usually dive right in, shop till I'm broke then play, play, play but you have me thinking. I'm really keen to dive into encaustic as well but may have to look at finding a class somewhere first to learn a little , then shop & play!

slommler said...

Your wax pieces are amazing!! I too have been intrigued by encaustics. But I will take your advice to heart and wait and take a class. I was going to jump in! LOL!! Thank you for that. Thanks for the visit too.
Good to see you!! And I so enjoyed viewing your work.
Hugs
SueAnn

Viola said...

Fabulous work, Shelly! Love them all! :o)

Anita said...

Boy, you're really making it hard to resist getting sucked into encaustics myself after seeing these beauties! Awesome work! And to think you're just a beginner...can't imagine the amazing stuff you'll come up with as you get more skilled!!!

kelsey said...

So does this mean you'll be doing Judy Wise's "Waxy Layers" class at the Creative Soul Retreat in Australia next March??? It's one that I've signed up for and can't wait!!!

Gaby Bee said...

These wax pieces are fabulous! Love them all, but I think the second one has to be my favourite.
Gaby xo

ArtSnark said...

what fun! very cool & lovin' the skelly

Robyn said...

Great post Shelly. I've also been wanting to try this but would rather not learn from a book. The black and red piece is very striking.

Lori said...

that sound like so much fun! they are all so interesting...you know me I just love layers :)

keep up the beautiful work

Lady Di said...

How gorgeous are these pieces. I've been waiting to see what you created in your encaustics workshop and it was definitely worth the wait ... can't wait to do Judy Wise's workshop next year at CSR.

Seth said...

I can not believe you are a beginner at this. These are amazing...not only the wax but the style of them as well.

jill said...

Congratulations on having your blog showcased in Seth Apter's Inspiration Station! That's super and I can see why!

Shelly said...

Thank you so much, guys, for your support !! It means a lot.
And, Seth . . . I am very appreciative to you for the nod. Jill, tried to link back to your blog to say a big THANKS, but your profile message said not available. Thank you for your wonderful words.
:-)
Shelly

Ophelia said...

These are INCREDIBLE!!! I love what you have done.

Sam Marshall said...

These are amazing, Shelly! The textures are beautiful. Love them all, especially the third.

missblandine said...

Oh shelly,
çà a l'air passionnant l'encaustic !