This is not something that I really notice right away unless I just drown myself in it, but this past year or so it's really been apparent to me. I've been through a black and brown phase when I was so depressed about my mother's condition, I emerged into a blue and green period when the stress and anxiety were lifting and then I found myself in a dark red and orange state when I began to feel much better about life in general. Apparently I'm back to being even lighter and brighter than I thought I was because I can't get enough of pink and red. Wow! The Little Woman and I have been together nearly 25 years so it's not a new love affair, but to judge by my palette, it's spring and I am passionately embracing the whole wide world.
Actually I'm embracing a new method of working in the studio. I have slowly begun using the old books and papers I've been collecting and begun collaging them in various ways with encaustic and other materials. This process began with the rubber and copper I started using a year ago and now it's morphed into books. I've previously shown in this blog the book pieces that will be included in Wax Libris II, the library show that Joanne Mattera has curated for this year's encaustic conference in June. (Note that those pieces were pink and red!) Now here are a few more recent pieces.
Still untitled, 12" x 12", encaustic over paper collage
Bumpy Red Ride, 12" x 12", encaustic and mixed media
The second piece does not include books but has my standard things embedded plus some larger, cruder hunks of wax and a lot of red/pink colors. The pink blur in the center is a color called Opal Rose that is transparent and iridescent - very pretty. The reason that I include this piece in this post is that I thought I might make a diptych from these two.
Here's the diptych. I think the dots bring it together, but we'll see.
And here are the first pieces with book collage I made:
Library I, encaustic over collaged parts of books. I think it's about 32"H x 18"W or something like that. This is still pretty dark.
Library II, encaustic over collage parts of books, same size. You can see the red and pink creeping in there even though there's a lot of blue.
I am getting a kick out of working with these materials because they're so rich all on their own. I've been struggling to discover how I can make them my own, and now I think I'm working my way into it.
This week I also made a few collages on cut off book covers, thinking about the small works show later this month in Fairfield, CT. They were fun to do. Here's one of them.
Untitled in red, pink and black, about 9" x 6" or something like that, encaustic over collage.
It always surprises me how much my emotional state is affected by what happens in the studio. When I have a good day, I'm just exhilarated and when it goes badly or doesn't go at all, I am in despair. It's the life of an artist.