Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Online Class

 Figurative encaustic paintings

I filmed an informal session in my studio of me painting a portrait in encaustic. It is as if you were standing right new to me in my studio watching me work.

I found that it is a challenge for me to talk while I work. but it is easier to see my palette layout and the use of brushes and tools to create a portrait.

Here is the first comment on the class: "Excellent. I have the book "A step by step guide to creating portraits in encaustic" by her but this video is way more enlightening. Seeing how she works from straight oil paints with only encaustic medium as a carrier is very informative. Watching her work back and forth through the composition is incredibly helpful. Because it gets to the same stage every painting gets where it looks like a mess. But then you see her work through the same steps in increasing detail until it's done. She uses almost no tools - 3 brushes and a pottery carving tool. And the only colored encaustic she uses is black (and that probably wasn't required because she could have used china marker or black oil pastel stick). It does take oil paints to follow this, just a couple reds, a couple yellows, a couple blues, white and an ochre (if you want to do it the same. but the same results could have been achieved probably with a limited palette of red, yellow, blue, white and burnt sienna) At the end where she rubs in oil pastel was very useful is seeing how to get very smooth skin textures if you want. Well worth the money, more useful than the book and faster delivery than the book."

Here  is the intro video:https://vimeo.com/251554130  

Sunday, March 4, 2018

What's Next?

Even though I have been painting more years than many people reading this blog have been alive, I still go through periods of doubt in my ability. I consider it a honor to call myself an artist and always want to push myself farther and farther. What to do next?

I haven't been able to get back in the studio to work on the last painting I posted since I was traveling in the Yucatan for 9 days and I am in the midst of catching up on postings on my website, blogs, FB page, Instagram, etc., but while looking for a pack of tarot cards that I created from 33 of my paintings back in the early 90's, I found some copies and prints of paintings that I created years ago.
I mentioned to my daughter, "I really could paint!" At this point, perhaps I am trying to hard to be change styles and am influenced by other artists that I admire.

Here are some photos of the tour of the Yucatan. and some old paintings. I
colorful street in Campache

enjoying my stroll by the water

The pelican reserve when 30,000 birds safely nest

Talum, at least there was a ocean breeze

Lots of textured encaustic over oil

a painting I made about 17 years ago, sold

This one is from the 1980's. Stolen . I hope someone is enjoying it.

Another old painting, sold

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Studio Days

I love nothing more than being able to have uninterrupted days in the studio. It has not been possible for a while because of an armed hold up of my daughter with 3 other people leaving the Mexico City airport. Fortunately all the passengers are alive, but suffering stress.

Also  I taught for two days this week and could forget all the problems the robbery created. I love sharing encaustic techniques with eager participants in the workshops. A double delight is getting to meet people I would not have met isolated in my studio. See my workshop blog: http://ezshwan.blogspot.mx/

Here is a new painting I have been working on. I know what I want to create, but I have to struggle with my habit of  loving to paint portratis and not get picky with these faces. Off and on I have worked on this for 5 days. It is not finished and I may get to work on it a bit more before I leave for the Yucatan next week.

Day one. Acrylic washes

day two laying our patterns in oil

day three, more placement

Day four.  I started painting with my hands to soften the figures

Finally getting the softness that I am seeking

oil sticks and more painting with a gloved hand.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Nudes in Art?

acrylic on canvas, 1988
This is the first nude I painted when I was a freshman in art school.
I posted an older encaustic painting on an encaustic Facebook page and it started a flood of comments after my post was flagged as being objectionable.

I have been working from live, nude  models since I was 19 years old. In art school, along with drawing and painting the figure, we studied human anatomy for 2 semesters. We had to know all the bones of the skeleton, and the names of them the first semester and the second semester, the muscles had to be learned and at the final exam, we had to draw them from memory.

Anyone upset about these paintings? The human form is still a thing of beauty for me. Interesting that this painting was upsetting to an unidentified complainer.
Here is that trouble maker..     

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Painting Portraits in Encasutic

setting up the hot palette and preliminary drawing

I have created and posted my encaustic online class, Painting Portraits in Encaustic. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/134921  It is an hour and 27 minutes of instruction, and step by step painting of a face in hot wax, encaustic. It is not slick. It is like standing next to me in my studio and watching me work. The whole class is $75 U.S and can be watched over and over.

If you have no experience in portraiture, you can learn the simple basics of drawing a face; how to measure and lay out the features from another class. https://vimeo.com/ondemand/21068

There is a Face Book page for the participants in the class to post progress, share and ask questions. If you have ever wanted to paint faces in encaustic, here is your chance. After you have purchased your workshop, contact me so I can add you to that Face book group. ezshwan.winding@artbyezshwan.com
Here is the portrait from the class

Monday, January 8, 2018

Like Magic

I had a wonderful 10 day tour of the state of Veracruz before Christmas and took many pictures.
We traveled almost the whole state and experienced different places and energies.
When I got home, I attempted to download the photos to my laptop, but it didn't happen. I tried every tip and trick I could think off, but nothing. Then yesterday, they appeared! I am not a computer geek and I am just trusting that some magic genie removed the obstacle.

My most outstanding adventure was visiting the island in Catemaco at the Reserva Ecologica de Naciyaga. Here witches meet annually for cleansing, and many are living here permanently. I choose to call them healers rather than witches, but make up your own mind. One can have a spa experience with mineral mud or get a shamanic style spiritual cleansing. Ceremonies are conducted, using much of the Olmec or Toltec traditions wedding. 

The 1992 movie, Medicine Man with Sean Connery was filmed there.
This stone god has the traces of black around his mouth, because after a person is cleansed physically and spiritually, this god eats all that has been removed.

This circle is were ceremonies and weddings are held. The church holds no influence here.

The pure mineral water was served to us in a real disposable cup

The on-duty shaman, offering cleansings and magical potions to aid in all aspects of life

The sister triplets. I forgot their significance, but notice the black around the mouth.
The sweat lodge

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

No Honor For Aung San Suu Kyi !

the posting below is quoted from the Guardian newspaper

  The Myanmar leader should be cut from Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, critics insist

It is one of the most popular children’s books of 2017, a collection of stories about female role models from Amelia Earhart and Marie Curie to Hillary Clinton and Serena Williams, inspiring girls to aim high and challenge the status quo.

"But Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, likely to be in many Christmas stockings, has run into controversy because of one of the 100 women included in its pages. When the book was written last year, Aung San Suu Kyi was deemed a worthy subject: winner of the Nobel peace prize and epitome of courage in the face of oppression. But her fall from grace over her response to violence against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims, described by the UN as possible genocide, has triggered calls for her to be taken out of future editions. In response, the authors, Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, are considering removing her from reprints.
Labour MP and shadow justice minister Yasmin Qureshi, who has raised concerns in parliament about the Rohingya crisis, said: “I often wonder how it can be possible to go from being one of the most admired and respected civil rights champions, a symbol of courage, patience and principle, to someone who shows such lack of compassion.
“I have no doubt that history will remember her as the leader who watched on while mass killing, systematic rape and ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands who were forced to live in squalid refugee camps. I’d encourage the authors to consider that there is an entire generation of young Rohingya children who are stateless and hopeless, suffering a miserable existence. Aung San Suu Kyi’s refusal to condemn makes her complicit.”

I had included Aung San Suu Kyi in my "Women Who Changed the World" series, but now I realized who she really is. This painting is removed from my website and Saatchi gallery. I will scrape off her face and use the board for something more deserving.