Monday, May 17, 2010


I've been busy re-filling my artistic well. Life gets in the way sometimes and you have to tend to things, despite what you may have planned. But that's not always a bad thing. A little down time gives new perspective and a chance to experiment.

The top piece is a canvas I just finished called, "Life". This was a total experimental piece. I started with the graphite and colored pencil sketch I had in my sketchbook. I adhered that to the canvas and then slathered the entire background with light molding paste. Then I just decided to see where it took me.

I ran into some problems after adhering the image and trying to paint over the molding paste. But I've learned that this is where things can get interesting. Solving the problems that arise can take you in a new direction with your piece; one you might never have thought to go otherwise.

The coloring in her face got all blotchy because I had inadvertently dragged something over the image while painting the background. At first I was horrified. All of the hard work coloring that face wasted! I knew I should have sprayed it with fixative! Ugh! But it only happened to one I plugged in the hot plate and smoothed encaustic medium over the face. It helped a little, giving it a cloudy look. But then it turned some of the colors above one eye a bruised yellow color. That was different.

I sat for awhile thinking. This face is not going to be pretty. So I started to give her a story. OK, she's having a rough time. Just like in life: she's scarred by the things she's experienced. I decided to age her a little more and paint the one "damaged" side of her face with crackle paint. When it dried I liked the aged look. I even liked the bruised look above the eye. Life has started to take a toll on her looks but she's moving on. I put a steel cage around her neck to symbolize the different pressures that have been choking her. Yet she's determined to go forward. The quote is from Dante and I thought it added just the right touch to describe her Life at this point in time.

What could have ended up as a piece to be painted over with Gesso turned out to be a pretty cool mixed media painting! And I learned some lessons along the way. :)

I've been sketching faces every night just to stay in practice. Some are a lot better than others and I won't use all of them in my art. Here's one I scanned into Photoshop after coloring with different brands of colored pencils. I call this one "Dreamer"

I'm working on a really fun project right now that will be ongoing. But it is time consuming. It can be completed in stages and I hope to have the first stage finished by the end of the week. Stay tuned! This one has me pretty excited! Even hubby doesn't know about it! ;)

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