Saturday, May 1, 2010

Learning Lessons

Happy May! Later this month New England Wax will be exhibiting work by 33 members in a show juried by Laura Einstein at the Fairfield Arts Council gallery in Fairfield, Connecticut. In conjunction with the larger show, there will be a group of small works in encaustic shown in the Director's Office. These pieces will be a maximum of 12" in size and priced at a maximum of $100 each. Unlike work in most shows, these paintings can be taken off the wall and brought home right away - perfect for our instant gratification culture.

Little Chain, encaustic and beads on 6"x6" panel

I started making some of these little paintings in between working on larger pieces and had a good time with them. I find that I can be a lot more abstract than I am able to be with a larger piece. Why is that? I wish I could translate it into larger work, but it doesn't seem to work out.

Little Islands, encaustic, beads and felt on 6"x6" panel

These are really fun to do because they are so immediate. I used up all the 6x6 and 6x8 panels I had and ordered more.

Little Dance, encaustic and felt on 6x8 panel

It was fun to make gestural marks like this. I shy away from doing it or obliterate them when they are in a bigger context. Let them live!

The Sleeping House, encaustic and book page on 6x8 panel

This piece probably has too much going on for such a little painting. It changes the palette that I used in the others by bringing in the dark red/orange. Is it all too much? I can't tell. This image also doesn't capture the shimmer of the iridescent paint I used in places.

Little Bouquet, encaustic and mixed media on 6x8 panel

(You can tell I wasn't too inspired in my naming process.) This piece really changes up the palette. I began it when I was teaching my Smith class and showing them some techniques.

So now that I'm experimenting with these little guys and have received a new supply of little panels, I have dug out all the odd colors I bought as impulse purchases at conferences or online. I have had some of them since I first started painting with encaustic and have never even opened the packages. I get stuck in such a color rut that I need to expand my horizons.

Sometimes I feel that the longer I paint, the more I have to learn - both about the process and about myself. Do we ever stop learning?

Just in case, you thought that in fact there was an end to the learning process, I present to you Alice deBoton who recently passed away at the age of 103. Possibly you have seen her already if you have "encaustic" as a Google filter. I just love this image of deBoton with the torch. If you want to read more, here's a link to an obituary which tells of her remarkable life It says that she took up encaustic as a medium in the 1980s, which would have been in her 70s. Now that's inspiring!


Donna said...

Thanks for the reference to Alice deBoton. I am nearing 70 myself and just getting started. It's great to read about someone like her! Give me hope.

Nancy Natale said...

Thanks for commenting, Donna. As long as we're alive, we can keep on learning. Not too much action in the grave.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I hope I am having fun creating at 100 too! I love small works - they fit in, and they are affordable. A great combination!

layers said...

your small encaustics really do look like 'dancing' shapes, and colors.