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.
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.