Monday, May 20, 2013

Eancaustic Abstract in Landscapes and Architecture

The addicting nature of  encaustics has driven me to try lots of new techniques. Maybe that's the draw. 

 A recent piece I've been working on is in with oils or guache and the beeswax mixtures, sometimes working with layers of oil or guoache first, then adding layers of tinted beeswax.  I find it works beautifully in abstract landscapes or architecture because of the depth of the lower levels in the traditional paints and then the luminosity offered by the colored beeswax layered over white beeswax.  I've painted a few mixed media oils in abstract architecture styles, but find the beeswax as an added medium not only adds texture but that illusive far off in the distance mystery which I like in abstract work.
Like with other medium, I know nothing about the rules of abstract art, but Patricia Riddle, one of the artists at Les Beaux Gallery, as well as a staff member, has been helping me with some basic points.  Never in a million years dd I think I'd be learning about abstracts. I just thought my earlier pieces were distorted architectural pieces. So the learning curve takes another twist.
What's so unusual about beeswax is that it gives a very ethereal look to any art which is what I was seeking in Bell Towers. When smooth  and polished the wax shines and glimmers like a transparent metal.  And when textured it adds depth to a piece.  I was pleasantly surprised with the paradoxical combo of these effects on Starbirth such as in the rough texture of the earth and the glimmer of the glass buildings of some unknown planet.  
My inspiration comes from real places in my past, places I've glimpsed in dreams or fantasy, film and other artists. Wendy Farrow is one of my favorite artists.  She does a number of styles - all very ethereal. And Julie Shakbee Hughes inspired me with one of her pieces of France for Belltowers. I loved her image of spires in the distance.
I tend to work on two or three at a time if using oils to give each layer a chance to dry before adding the next layer or wax.  I can finish a background in a day but then it takes a week or two to add the final layers of painted wax and then the tweaking with color balance, line or even composition.  Some of the simpler appealing pieces such as Hampton Marsh may take longer than the more complex pieces. This piece is one where I'm trying to catch an area near Hampton Village in New Hampshire where one could see marsh for long distances and during hide tide the marsh would fill up and glisten during sunset. I've even taken a piece to hang in the Gallery at Les Beaux Arts and once seen in the lighting there noticed an area that needed to be changed and take it home again for more tweaking.
It's a constant ongoing process.   

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