I recently afforded myself the chance to get away for a week and rent a studio space in order to shut the world away for awhile and immerse myself in making some new work, experimenting with some alternative papers, and getting familiar with some more manual alteration techniques.
It has been sometime since I have given myself a block of studio time to just experiment with no set agenda going in. I knew I wanted to push my work with photo encaustic a bit working with some very thin papers and exploring how much I could push and pull visually with background and foreground details.
Mistakes of course where made (like taping over an area that did not quite have enough medium on top - and removing that masking too soon, which ended in some tears to my papers. But at that point I just had to roll with it, as the now damaged paper fit in with the whole look and feel of the work.
This yet to be title piece is 36" w x 24" h. I used a source photo I shot some years ago on the north side of Chicago, and the piece in general is a love letter to my sometime overgrown and gritty city built on the grid system. I printed the rusted paper used in this.
There was originally another piece on tis panel - a work from 2010 that upon pulling it from storage I knew it was nothing that even remotely fit in with what I am trying to make and was not one I was interested in keeping in my catalogue. So with some reheating, scraping, and a few more layers to soften out some color in the background, I had a surface that was ready to go.
It has been some time since I have tackled work that big, and it isn't even that big of a piece, but the physical involvement in working that large always humbles me.
I got a great deal more done over those few short days than I planned, but it is always feels like more could get done. Stay tuned for some of the other pieces from that week and more.