Today we leave for a week with our youngest son and his family at the beach. We mostly see them once a year, and some years twice at best. It’s not easy when the little ones are growing and changing so fast. So we make the most of it when we can be together.
Last year they picked giant lima beans from my garden . . .
. . . and went on a river cruise, and splashed in the local splash pad. Just a normal family vacation at our place.
This time we will both drive for several hours to meet at a central beach location, which turns out to be Wilmington, North Carolina. Jim and I have been there before, and it’s a beautiful place. Should be fun. The two of us like road trips and finding little treasures along the way.
The paintings I was working on are sent off to the gallery, which is always bittersweet for me. I know I’ll likely never see them again. The gallery had recently sold more than these, so I need to start more of them when I get back. It’s always nice to have a “reason” to paint. Although, one never really needs a reason.
Here is a grouping of the complete collection that I sent this time. I’ll show you individual closeups in future posts. You’ve already seen the one with the black spatters, bottom row, second from left, in my previous post. If you click on this grouping and then click again to magnify, you can get a pretty good closeup of these.
Have a wonderful and creative upcoming week. See you at the end of the month.
Something new is slowly percolating. I don’t know whether to just sit back and wait for more signs of forward movement, or to go rushing into the studio and do things with my hands until I figure out what’s going on. But there is a kind of excitement and anticipation of a shift in my art making. It’s starting to keep me awake at night.
I don’t want to bore you, but I need to explain a little bit about how this has all come about. After all, if you’re reading this, you are probably an artist and can relate to it all. So here goes.
For several years, I have been working along two tracks — one in collage . . .
and the other in painting.
The painting side has mostly been very predictable, making pieces for a specific gallery. These paintings are unique and each stands on its own, but they work well together because of the uniformity of size and shape. So far, so good.
The collage half of it is fulfilling, because it involves instant gratification. It even gives me new perspectives and insights about painting. Collage is a great place to start the creative juices flowing.
But a third “way” is intruding into my thoughts. Larger scale paintings have been fewer and farther between, and the existing ones in my studio have felt like a burden due to the physical space that they occupy in my life. I have come so close (yes, that close) to destroying a number of them, but haven’t. They have no homes, and no one has stepped up to adopt them. So there they sit. These are just a few of them.
So I think this is what’s happening: I feel the familiar urge to paint large again. If you’ve been with me for a long time, you’ve heard this before. A possible solution to this is to paint over some of my least favorite big paintings. I’ve already collected them in their own special corner for possible re-purposing. There is absolutely no need to buy new canvases. And in the end, it’s just for me anyway. I have no plans to take that show on the road. There is something very freeing in that.
That is the what. Here is the why . . .
I have declared this the last summer of my big garden. Just saying that out loud has opened up all kinds of new possibilities. Reclaimed time for new directions in art!
This week I decided it was time to create some new collage papers, with the gelli plate as part of my plan. It was a fun morning in the studio, and some interesting collages resulted.
In between collage sessions, I always try to do some work on the panels that I’m getting ready for the gallery. I will add some paint strokes or texture and then they have to dry between coats, giving me time to work on collage.
Waiting is the hardest part of painting. I still tend to want instant gratification, which is possible with collage. Combining the two activities is a good way of working.
Here is one of the finished paintings.
I try not to look at or think of encaustic anything. Especially beautiful encaustic works by other artists. And the wonderful-smelling beeswax. And the delight with just warming up the colored wax and gliding it onto a surface, then when done, just letting it cool down with the brushes still in the individual containers of colored wax, never having a need to clean them. I also love the smell of the melting resin with the wax and making a block of painting medium. So I try not to think about that too.
The reason I try not to think about encaustic is that I am resisting (did you like the pun?) any temptation to pick up another medium. But my memories of working with encaustic have been ones of pure pleasure. Sometimes, on days like today, I let my guard down and catch myself thinking about them again. They’re still in their plastic tub from my move six years ago.
I have several little canvases available for sale in my Etsy shop. For a long time I eliminated small works from that site, but they are the ones that I sell the most of. I’m showing these here on my blog because I am considering eliminating my Etsy shop for paintings, and just keep the one for collage. If I do that, I will have to make a decision about how and where to market the paintings. Meanwhile, enjoy these. If you click on the images, you will be able to see their complete listings on Etsy.