Yes, I thought. I might as well be creative and keep an optimistic outlook during this time of trouble or else start working at Burger King for the rest of my life - but I'll go down making art, by gum.
So in a non-Burger King and self-pleasuring mode, I've been casting a critical eye at the stack of work taking up space in my studio and thinking about reworking it.
This prime target was Lewis, encaustic and mixed media on three panels, 24"x66". I always really liked the two end panels with horizontal stripes, so I decided to take them away from Lewis and use them in other works. (Don't ask what I'll do with the center section because I haven't decided.)
This is the panel that appeared at the right side of Lewis after I repainted the top and bottom to make them more monochromatic. This panel is 24"x12" and I'm going to add a 24"x24" panel so the new diptych will be 24"x36". My plan is to make the new square mostly white(ish) in the center with color top and bottom so it will be the reverse of the panel above.
This is the section of the end panel that I'm going to copy to put in the center of the new square.
And here I am making the beginning of the new piece by cutting circles into a thick layer of white encaustic with a couple of layers of medium underneath. I'll paint over this to fill the circles, then scrape back and work the surface with some oilstick to get a mottled effect like the section shown above. (This square panel, by the way, was scraped back from another piece I didn't like, and I built up the depth to match the 12"x24".)
Here's the second panel. This one appears to the left of Lewis and I've also repainted the top and bottom of this one.
This is the section that contains the part I'm going to focus on in the new square - those dark circles. But of course I had to reinvent the wheel somewhat by building up the circles into more dimensional areas.
This is what the square panel looks like now. The top and bottom are masked with newsprint and yellow tape to protect them. I made two areas of lumpy circles that have quite a lot of wax on them and then black oilstick rubbed in and partially rubbed off. I'm waiting for the oilstick to firm up before adding more layers of white wax on top. The center area contains the same felt circles I used in the original 12" panel.
This is a (very vague) idea of what this diptych will look like. The center of the new panel will be mostly white with color top and bottom and the horizontal lines of white/color will carry across through both pieces.
At least that's what I'm planning now but we'll all just have to see how it turns out, won't we?