May 29, 2010

Wax on, Wax off.

No, not the Karate Kid (either original or New)

I have always had a love of arts, crafts, painting, collaging--basically anything artistic and creative. 3 years ago I started taking classes at the local ArtsCenter in wheel throwing. I had always liked playing with clay in art classes at school, and therefore thought this was the perfect chance to get back into it. I have taken pottery courses since then, and would say I have gotten markedly better than when I started.

In doing these classes though, I had the chance to meet a great teacher and a wonderful potter, Ronan. Being a professional potter he had several openings at galleries, sales and shows. It was at one of these gallery openings that I was introduced to encaustic painting.

And I must say, I fell in love with it. To sum up what exactly encaustic painting is: applying heated, pigmented beeswax to the surface, then heating it again, carving into it, scratching it, collaging into it...basically doing whatever moves you. More info on encaustic painting can be found by clicking here, or by just google-ing "encaustic". Since then I had seen a few other encaustic shows or displays, and was always amazed at the quality of work this medium presents. No two paintings look the same, some are glass smooth others are just raw with energy and motion. It's an amazingly versatile substance.

I always thought to myself I wish I could find a class on this. I wish, I wish I wish...and then in October of last year I was flipping through the spring catalogue of said ArtsCenter, and low and behold, there was an encaustic workshop.

Sign. Me. Up!

I took the two weekend workshop, and loved it. LOOOOVED it!!

I went home and converted my office into an office/studio, and bought the very basic supplies to to encaustic painting at home. I was lucky to find on etsy.com an artist who sells the medium for way cheaper than some other brands, and have been playing around ever since. It's one of the most fun, unusual, interesting artistic mediums I've ever played with, and I find myself day-dreaming about what I can do in the next piece I create.

So far I've been pretty safe in my painting, not throwing a lot into the wax to add texture, but I'm hoping after this weekend I will have some new pieces that are a lot more involved. I have added paper and like the results, but I want to do more. I'll try to get pictures posted at some point.

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