Monday, February 21, 2011

Waxing Wonderful!

It's been a long time since I was on the other side of the workshop table. This weekend I and twelve of my new best friends took a workshop from Patricia Seggebruch. We burned, rusted, plastered and waxed to our heart content in a wonderful three days of what she likes to call, "encaustic indulgence." (Trish is the left of Kathy Maple.) This workshop followed last year's class with new techniques and products. We all went home with lots of art and "art starts", shared moments and new friends.
Trish and I will be waxing eloquent again this summer at the first ENCAUSTICAMP. This is the real indulgence! Three days of camp experience--just like the young old days--complete with three full days of working with outstanding national artists who use wax in their work. The best part of the camp is that it is all-inclusive, meaning that you don't have to worry about anything except getting there and making art! Lodging, workshops, food and fun are in the price of the camp. It's the only thing of its kind. Join us for a history-making adventure.

I discovered a few things about being on the other side of the teaching table. I had forgotten how much energy it takes to absorb new information and to put those techniques into practice. I am going to re-think the schedule for my workshops and perhaps edit the number of techniques I demo per day. Hmmm.....if you have thoughts--especially if you have taken my jam-packed workshops, I'd be happy to listen....

There is an ongoing debate among my artist friends about whether I should add anything--including wax to the cast paper. I believe that wax has a place in the process. I used the time in the workshop to explore using only an area of the paper to enhance with wax. I wanted to see the results before I put paint to paper in two larger works. For the most part, I was pleased. I did learn quickly that the working surface has to be extremely clean and that I have to protect the white portion of the paper. I don't usually do figerative work, but this little man seemed to want to be born. Thanks to Ann Marlar's gift of porcupine quills and Laura Beehler's instructions on Lutrador, he was.
I also wanted to explore using only glazes, oil sticks and pastels to color the work. I had less success here, partly because I didn't bring the materials I needed. I have some pan pastels coming in soon. I'm thinking that the soft pastels will work much better to apply soft color. I used mostly oil sticks and found that the work stayed more tacky to the touch than I wanted. I'll wait to see how it sets up. If any of you have more information to share about oil sticks and tack, I'd love to hear it. These two works are fairly small (10"X10") studies. Unless you are an artist, people don't understand how many "studies" have to be made before the "real art" is ready to be created.

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