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.
Turning my attention to the studio once again has created a kind of awakening. It feels as if I’ve been dreaming all kinds of artworks over the past several weeks (months?) but couldn’t quite make them happen in real life. There have been plenty of other places to focus my energy: all that work in the garden, and other creative distractions — yes, lots of them have been creative, like this:
and this new adoptee from across the river at my sister’s house. Actually there were two clumps of these irises that I plopped into a hole in my flower garden late in the spring, and this one graced me with a bloom! There was just the one bloom, but they will fill out by next spring. Best I can tell is that they are Black Gamecock.
and the last turnips of the season!
. . . and a mural in progress on the wall of the church youth room. Wonder how they figured out that I might be able to help them with this. Someone blew my cover, no doubt. And I’ll be helping the little kids’ teacher in the craft room next week at Vacation Bible School.
Meanwhile, back in the studio
I finally dug in and resumed work on the panels that are in various stages of completion. I can’t work on them for very long at a time, because the nature of them is that they require spontaneity. That’s why I work in multiples. If one starts to hit a snag, I simply move onto another one.
But some days, total snags. At times like that, I may just chalk it up as a frustrating day, or I might shift gears and work on collages.
Yesterday, though, I hit the mother lode. Happy things were starting to happen with the panels (the four on the right, top and bottom, are considered finished) so I stood there as long as my feet would permit, and then I felt inspired to sit down and do some collages. The joy of it is that the creative “juice” was still working, and I was able to have some success with those as well. I think you can tell from these images that things underground and growing are part of my consciousness at the moment.
It was a good day.
note: you can click on the collage grouping and see all of these newest collages in my Etsy shop.
The gardening has finally slowed down. A little. A couple of weeks ago I overdid the weeding and ended up with a painful back. I knew better, too, which is the sad part. But thankfully, it lasted only a few days. Learned my lesson — I hope. After hiring a wonderful helper for a day, I’ve finally gotten things ship shape for now, so that I don’t have to be out there for as many hours a week. The weeding will always be there, but now that the temps are climbing, I tend to just toss on more mulch and run back inside.
All that effort will be worthwhile when the tomatoes start to ripen. In the meantime, I’ve earned some days in the studio, which makes me happy. I’ve started on ten new 8×8-inch panels. Here’s a peek.
Whe I’m painting and need to deposit excess paint somewhere, I love to make new collage papers from the paint residue. Like these:
Which always inspires me to make more collages.
I love the amazing variety of quilt patterns and styles, and the grand tradition of quilting that has been handed down to us through generations of mothers and grandmothers, created first out of necessity and frugality, and now celebrated for its sheer beauty and creativity.
My friend Betty Hughes is an accomplished quilter, who happens to be my over-the-fence neighbor. So when Betty has something new to show me in her sewing room, I drop everything and go see. Every single time she shows me the newest quilts she’s just completed or is working on, I get bitten by the bug to get a sewing machine and have a go at it myself. But then I get over it, because, in all honesty, I have years and years of accumulation of every other kind of art-making equipment and supplies that a person could want. I don’t need to start on a new art form. So I just allow myself to enjoy her creations.
As you’re viewing these images, I have to tell you that Betty is a very traditional quilter. She likes order and coordinated colors, and follows all the rules of the honored traditions (well, she doesn’t take it as far as hand piecing and hand quilting, but not many others do either.)
These images are photographs of squares she made for a fun quilt for Project Linus, a kids’ charity that she participates in regularly. In creating this quilt, she has used very small saved-up scraps and put them together in what is called a “crumb quilt”. The quilt top is finished, but it was the individual squares were what blew me away. Each one could be a painting, therefore I have “framed” each one. I love how the color combinations are sometimes so unexpected, and that the shapes reveal bits of a larger pattern, adding mystery to the compositions.
I hope you enjoy these. They have me excited and inspired to do some new collages. Thanks, Betty, for giving me permission to show off your abstract art!