Monday, 24 October 2011

Waxing Lyrical

The top priority for the past couple of weeks has been my essay for college. I realised at 1500 on Saturday afternoon that the word count had footnotes switched on - so I suddenly had to write an extra 800 words, that I'd carefully edited out earlier. But now, it's done, posted on the college website - hooray.

And here's a link to the essay.
I'm about a week behind on Judy Wise's 'Hot Wax' class - I've watched all the video's, but haven't had a chance to play with it, due to the essay deadline. I have got involved in some very interesting discussions, and looked various encaustic artists work, and other students (some of them artists in their own right), work.

Cooking up refined beeswax and damar resin on the kitchen cooktop at night was fun but stinky - it went all bubbly! Cooking up natural beeswax and damar during the daytime resulted in the house filling with bees again - all very dopey, but still dangerous for me. Every bee that was out the back on the flowers came looking for the wax - nom nom nom. David had the priviledge of herding them back out.

Mixing Pigments
I'd squeezed out 7 different colours of oilpaints (12 ml tubes) onto paper towels on the Friday night, thinking I would have a bit of time on Saturday morning - yeah, right. I think the extra sitting time actually did them good, because the towel was soaked with oil, while the paint formed long dry strings that were relatively easy to pick up and put in the tins.

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that I got the time to pour the hot liquid medium into the cans - it took a couple of spills to realise that it would be a good idea to put the little cans into a bigger metal tray so cleanup would be easier. Oh, and I picked up at least one can and burned myself - darned if I could find the oven mitts.

Oven Mitts (and missing brushes) found Monday afternoon - in the coloured plastic bins on the scotch chest - labelled them now!

I was originally going to transfer the coloured medium into little silicon pattypans, but found this left a puddle of pigment in the bottom of the cans - grr. Sounds like this is a common problem, as the 'proper' pigments are milled very fine when they make the encaustic blocks. Anyway, I poured all the colours back into their cans, with the rest of their pigment.

One of the group members (Don, I think) commented that if he wants a more translucent colour, he doesn't stir the wax, and just dips his brush in the top layer, and for a more opaque colour, goes right to the bottom.

I realised this evening that I've squeezed out all my coloured pigments, so now can't do 'rubbings' which is one of the later classes. I've rescued most of the tubes from the rubbish - maybe I can squeeze a little more out.

Making Raised Spots/Dots
After looking at the work of Eileen Greenberg, I thought it would be fun to try her technique, which involves lots and lots of white lumps/dots/spots in a grid pattern, with colour washed over them. Sigh. I made a template - the holes were too small, and I didn't push all the centres out, the white medium wouldn't stick to the board, blah blah blah.

Anyway, this is what it looks like:


There are about 7 layers of wax in this. The worst thing is scraping it all back off, and putting it in the 'mud' can for recycling. Not sure if 'excavation' does it for me.

Next thing to try is accretion, which I'll do round the edges as a border.
We finally shifted the big wooden bookshelf that we got from a friend out of the entry hall and into the Studio. This meant untidying, then tidying. There are still a few remaining piles around the edges that need sorting, but it's less worse.

Here's David cleaning the wall where my 'display wall' used to be:

Kama and Tara *Helping*

The untidied version

The tidied version

I now have a 'vege garden'. The waka is overgrown, and needs a massive digging over - metre high dock, and lots of california poppy - and BEES!

I bought some bags of vegemix and strawberry mix, and a few punnets of seedlings:

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