If you have ever taken a class of workshop with me, you know sometimes I refer to the not so successful paintings as “dog biscuits.” You also know I usually give the advice to sit with your work for a bit to make informed layout choices and not to rush things. I was in a mood to just get in the studio and paint. And as you will see, it means I make lots, and lots, of edits and changes to the work. I am a full believer in process of planning work out makes the studio a much more productive place.
I didn’t do that here. And I struggled with the work.
This piece has been sitting in the studio since last summer. I really loved the background eco-dyed paper I made and mounted to the background. But it was very dark and the more I added it just wasn’t speaking to me.
This very well may be a rushed dog biscuit. I will sit with this piece for a bit to see how I really feel about it. As you will see in this video, there are a number of evolutions here.
But you still get to see my process, and there is value it that.
I have to admit trying to reconcile this work while also trying to film just got me out of the right headspace to work and became a distraction. There are some steps that I did not film. Admittedly, I was getting frustrated with the progress on this piece and did not need the camera distraction in the mix. I also stopped working on this one to jump to something else as I needed break. I added another flipped version of the photo and added more encaustic and some oil. I’m still not totally happy with the end result, I need to just let this piece hang out for a bit in the studio and see I feel differently in a few weeks.
Moral of the story… not all work is successful, and that is ok and all part of the process, just keep on making work, and keep a sketchbook, it is helpful.
A few of the qualities of encaustic that make it so unique and special is the ability to work at a fairly quick pace (things just need to be cool or warm enough to do what you want) and the ability to build layer upon layer with translucency through not just encaustic mediums and paints- but also other materials such as paper and oil paint.
This video is midway through the building process. I admittedly forgot to take a photo at the start of filming so you could see where it kicked off. I had sized that board as normal, collaged in some papers (both batiked ones I made, as well as old book pages. I topped it off with the image transfer of the twisting mesh design. You can still see it peaking through in areas.
This video gives a peak into my layering process - adding more medium to separate elements and to get that optical depth, as well as the addition of some paint to further hide back some areas. Here is the first video:
This second video shows the process of how I finished up this piece. Layering in an image printed on tissue, as well as removal of areas of the photo, adding marks and oil, and how I finished up the edges.
If you are interested in working with encaustic and paper or photos and encaustic, check out my upcoming workshops this summer and fall here