Tag Archives: encaustic

A Week of Encaustic Collage

WOW!  The fall got away from me.  It’s been a really busy September, October and November, with many classes and exhibits.  December’s been a great month so far, with even more classes and notifications of being accepted into some wonderful shows!  More about those in later posts!  😀

So last Saturday, I taught at the Plymouth Art Center for the first time!  It was a fantastic class, one that I had never taught before for a group – Encaustic Collage.

I love encaustic collage!  It takes collages and adds so much versatility and so many more possibilities for layering.  I had stations set up – one for the colored encaustics…

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…one for collage materials…

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…and one for the initial encaustic process – taking encaustic medium “beads” and melting them on to the collage with a crafting iron.

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The class-goers were fantastic, and made amazing collages!  I am always inspired when I teach, because I always know I’ll learn something as well.  But in this class, the inspiration was over and above what I expected!  Check out these gorgeous collages!

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When I teach, I take my supplies with me in big bins.  (I always include all supplies when I teach.)  I had created two encaustic collages as samples:

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But since the bin was still not put away, I thought I’d do some ATCs (artist trading cards) for our upcoming live trade in Milwaukee!  I spent wonderful hours making these little guys, and I can’t wait to trade them in January!

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Incidentally, if you’re interested in taking the Encaustic Collage class at Plymouth Art Center, I’ll be teaching this class again on March 25, 2017!  You can see the classes here sign up here!  😀  Thanks so much to Flossie McKeown and the Plymouth Art Center for having me teach!

Still in the groove….

Whoa.  Here we are at Friday!  Yesterday was another fantastically productive day.  Now, a little insight as to how my (and I know many other artists’) brain works – I started to feel the “I’m out of ideas” feeling yesterday morning.  It’s weird – I have this abundance of supplies before me, yet my first thought is, “I can’t make anything with this.”  I think it’s because we get into this routine of what we’re SUPPOSED to create, and if we can’t see that idea in front of us, we default into surrender mode.

NOPE.  I wasn’t going to let that happen, not when I’m at this amazing place and I have the entire day stretched out ahead of me.  So I grabbed one of the paper pulp pieces I made on Monday and started applying some encaustic medium, and then a teensy bit of Shiva paint stick.

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To me, it looks like waves crashing against rocks.  At least three people told me it looked like cake!  I’ll admit – I was a bit deflated after those remarks, because I didn’t convey what I wanted to.  But I still love it!  Onward!

After this project I still wanted to experiment with my encaustic supplies, but because of something I saw Ricki (the other artist-in-residence this week) doing, I wanted to try that – using my Lutradur as a stabilizer for my emboidery, especially on the very thin muslin that I used to rust-dye.  So I put some behind a square of that fabric and just started mimicking the markings in the fabric with some dark blue thread.  Afterward I just used encaustic medium over the top.  I was REALLY pleased with how this turned out!  😀

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At this point I needed a break, so I went down the hall and visited Claire at Fox Valley Found + Collected, which is the super-cool shop attached to Standard Projects’ workshop.  It’s got SUCH a great vibe in there – it’s instantly calming.  She’s curated it so beautifully, with her own fantastic leather accessories and other makers’ work as well!  And she’s also got this amazing, tiny “gallerette” right in her shop called The Vault, because, well, it’s in an old vault.  😀  I LOVE it in there!  😀  She’s open Thursdays and Fridays from 1-6 and Saturdays from 10-3.

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So after my break, I tried yet another project that I’d actually been wanting to try for over a year but never did – a weaving on this tiny loom pendant!  The pendant itself is so adorable, isn’t it?  So I searched through my box of fibers that I’d brought with me and got going.

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I LOVE how it turned out!  I think I’m going to add tassels on the bottom when I get back up to the studio this morning.  😀

Speaking of pendants – here are the other seven that I completed on Wednesday!  The one on the far right is already sold (YAY!) but the rest are now available at Found + Collected for $15.  🙂

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I’m off to enjoy my final (WHAAA!) day of creating at Standard Projects, and I’m also REALLY looking forward to the Deconstructed Collage workshop tomorrow!!  I can’t wait!  😀

 

Looking ahead to 2016

I love the week in between Christmas and New Year’s!  Maybe not as much as when I was a kid, when I would gleefully spend my mornings playing with my new toys and then watching the Paddington cartoons on PBS, but there’s still so much fun and promise in this week.

On January 2, I will be celebrating SIX years as a full-time artist!  It’s the longest that I’ve ever held a “job” in my life.  (You can’t really call what I do a “job”, or even a “career”; it’s more like a “pursuit”.)  😀  And every year, I like to reflect on the past year and think about what lies ahead.  New ideas/opportunities/techniques always pop up, and it’s exciting to me to think about what may happen, even though one can never fully “plan” as an artist.

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Last year, I made a goal for myself to carve a lino block a week and print it, and wound up creating a print exchange for myself and about 6 other people.  Well, we got about halfway through before other things took over – mainly, I got super busy with my own Individual Art classes and other art-related activities.  And while I’m sort of bummed that I didn’t finish, I still made 23 new little carvings that got me interested in other ways of utilizing my press and my prints.

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This year, I am going to try something new – a watercolor a week.  🙂  That was something else that I tried (and LOVED!) in 2015 – working with watercolors.  My friend Nicci and I made a trek to Jack Richeson back in February, and to my surprise I wound up purchasing a beautiful set of watercolors that were on sale.  (It helps to be good-quality paints right off the bat.)  I was also VERY surprised how much I loved making these little paintings and I would also like to explore this further.

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As I was cleaning my studio yesterday, I was inspired about 20 times by the monoprints and offset prints that were cluttering my desk.  I want to make more with these prints, too, as I did with this piece, called “Limbs” (which SOLD at my solo exhibit at the Langdon Divers Gallery this month! YAY!).  It’s just a matter of working with different collage pieces, much like a puzzle – something I learned from my friend Suze, who is extremely good at composition.

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And speaking of composition, here’s a piece I created during one of the Individual Art classes I was holding (I can’t say “teaching”, because I really don’t “teach” my “students” anything – I guide them and let them play with my toys, essentially).  It’s an encaustic collage, which is something else I learned this past year. I had done encaustic pieces like this before, but after I took a class led by Matt Luther, everything fell into place.  I love how this piece turned out and want to do more of these!

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Probably MOST surprising to me this year?  That I actually created some honest-to-god paintings!!  And it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. 😀   One of them actually was accepted into the Contemporary Views show at my alma mater, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, this past fall!  It was surely a highlight of my year.  This piece is half of a diptych called “Lead-out Scrawl” (acrylic, 18″ X 24″), and it’s a representation of a film frame in the leader film that’s sometimes shown before a countdown in a movie (here’s a great example of some of these little bits).  It essentially captures 1/24 of a second in time (film runs at 24 frames per second, or 1440 frames per minute).  I want to try more of this particular type of painting, because it combines three of my favorite things – film, ephemera, and making art.

Here’s to a new year of making more art, entering more shows, holding more classes, contributing to more books, curating more shows, and having even MORE fun!

 

Encaustic Fun!

As an artist, there are a couple of scents that fuel my desire to create art – block printing ink, glue, old paper – and beeswax.

Oh, that delicious, warm, inviting smell!! I LOVE that natural scent.  And right now, I’m in the thick of it, because I’m taking an encaustic class at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield!  🙂

I have my second of four class sessions tomorrow.  I can’t wait!  Last week was my first and it was fantastic from the first minute I got there.  The instructor, Matt Luther, is one of those instructors who immediately put you at ease.  He has an easygoing style that’s just so conducive to creating!  I strive to be that way when I teach and I hope I succeed.  He’s one to emulate, for sure.

Here are the two pieces that I made during our first session!  I haven’t felt this free during a class in a LONG time.  It was 100% enjoyable!  I’m so looking forward to tomorrow – we’re doing portraits and landscapes!  😀

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