Friday, December 21, 2018

More Encaustic Techniques

Happy Holidays to all.

As most of you know, I have been working in encaustic for more than 20 years. Most of that time I was a purist and would only use the hot wax, resin, pigment  mixture to create my paintings. I felt that incorporating other techniques was somehow cheating.

Now I am on a different path. I use encaustic to accomplish the effect I want, and use it  in any archival way to assure my collectors that my work will outlast me and them.

Two of my encaustic paintings in a gallery

textured encaustic

Figurative Encasutic

Here I added cold wax textures over the encaustic

My latest series, Lightness of Being, ink, watercolor, painted rice paper, encaustic

Lightness of Being,  ink, watercolor, painted rice paper, encaustic

Lightness of Being,  ink, watercolor, painted rice paper, encaustic

From the Memories Series, milk paint, ink, oil paint, transfers, charcoal, encaustic

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Process of an Encaustic Painting

This painting started out as watercolor and diluted inks on a couple of layers of milk paint. Then I covered that with clear encaustic. I wanted to keep layering, pushing back the color and pattern and adding more shapes and mark making on continuing layers.

It turned out I wanted more and more white and the only way I could achieve the look I wanted was to paint in white encaustic that had been softened with clear medium.

At the end of each day, I would think, "It is finished", then the next morning when I looked at it I felt "No, it still isn't right" Finally yesterday afternoon I feel it is finished and time to more on to another in this series.

And here is the process:
After the first layer of encaustic medium.

I didn't like the composition with the three shapes in the center and the heavy black shape on the left.

I turn the abstracts around on the easel for a different view. The middle shapes are softened and the heavy black shape is being scraped and layered over.

center shapes are changing; more white over the top black shape.

That shape that is on the left in this view still isn't right

I am happier with it now and call it finished. Lots of white was added.

A horizontal view

Monday, November 19, 2018

I Am Not An Encaustic Artist

Nor am I a cold wax artist, nor a mixed media artist, etc.... I am an artist. I make paintings and use what ever techniques that will convey the message I want to share in my work. I have worked in and taught  encaustic for 20 years and have developed techniques to advance the use of wax in mixed media work.

For several years, I sculpted; wood, clay, plaster, bronze, stone and welded steel. After a divorce, I sold my oxyacetylene torches, tanks of gas, and  all my tools and grinding devises. I did go back to some sculpture and worked in hydrocal for a couple of years. Hydrocal is a white gypsum cement. I enjoyed sculpting and learned to appreciate what it takes to work in 3D.

Then I missed color and paint.

My professional career  started at a publishing company when I was fresh out of art school. I got the job because I knew how to use an airbrush. (My minor was in advertising design)

 While viewing paintings in my home gallery, someone recently said, "It doesn't look like the same artist created all these different paintings" 

After over 60 years of making art, the need to diversify is paramount in making my art. It would be stifling of my creativity to keep making versions of the same painting in the same style.

Below are examples of work in encaustic, oil, acrylic, cold wax, spanning many years and different series.
What do you think about all the different styles and techniques?

Oil with a collaged boarder.

Oil over Acrylic. One of my favorites from a series, circa 1989

Ink drawing from life

encaustic on paper

A Pub in England, live ink sketch. For 12 years I sketched and painted only jazz musicians , while traveling with my musician husband.




Mixed media, My most recent work


cold wax and oil over encaustic

Cold wax and oil 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Wax workshops in Mexico

I have been teaching encaustic workshops in San Miguel de Allende for 13 years. It is a wonderful experience for me to share all the encaustic techniques that I know and use, and In the past couple of years I have included oil and cold wax classes.

The last 8 paintings of mine that have sold were oil and cold wax. I still love painting and teaching encaustic, but since I don't always use the same technique in my paintings, why not offer both encaustic and cold wax workshops here in magical San Miguel de Allende, Mexico?
Of course I have the online encaustic classes where I share 12 different advanced techniques.

His first experience painting in encaustic

cold wax workshop

encaustic workshop, first experience painting in hot wax and resin

adding ink to the encaustic painting 

encaustic, ink, oil glazes, and transfers

studio with anti-fatigue mats for those hours on our feet

The online classes are just like standing next to me in the gallery. They are informal.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

"So, you moved to Mexico to retire!"

A woman who visited the gallery last week asked me if I retired when I moved to Mexico 14 years ago. Retire! I actually laughed. Artists never retire.

Making paintings and selling them is my livelihood. 35 years ago, we were living in Spain, on the Costa de Sol, when my husband, Kai Winding, became ill. I took him to several doctors there and their diagnosis were wrong. As the intense pain in his head increased, I even called in intuitive, spiritual healers. They told me they sensed something like a sausage in his head that was about to explore. They were the closest to the fact that there was a tumor in his brain.

The story is long, but to shorten it for this blog, I will explain that I rushed Kai to New York where we had no medical insurance. Five and a half months later he died leaving me with insurmountable bills. Two benefit jazz concerts were held and half the proceeds were given me. I still ad no savings or income.

Now, many years later I realize that even if it were not necessary for me to create an income, I would continue making art.

The past several days I have been going through photographs of older work, either stuck back in the stacks or that have been sold.

Sometimes it looks as if several different artists made the art since there are many styles, but all of them mine at the time. I have always believed we make art that reflects who we are, and we don't stay the same. Here are some samples.

A Tribute to my late husband, painted a few years after his death. Oil on Canvas

Miles' Eyes, Miles Davis, 1989, mixed media

From the Circus Series, late 80's acrylic on canvas
50 Faces project, 3 years ago. oil on board

Jazz abstract, encaustic o board, circa 2008

Kai and Curtis, encaustic on paper 2016

encaustic on board, from the Mexican Women series, 9 years ago

My latest work, mixed media abstract

Monday, October 1, 2018

Selling and Making Art is A Business

Since there is no internet connection in the Vandiver Gallery, I have been painting smaller pieces with oil and cold wax.

Yesterday, another painting sold; this one a larger oil and cold wax. I realized all 5 of the paintings that sold in September were cold wax and oil; two were purchased while still a bit wet. One was bought before it was finished and the collector came back the next day to pick it up, after I had completed it. I forgotten to photograph it, so I am waiting for her to send a photo of this small nude when she gets back to Boston. Three figurative paintings and two abstract paintings were the ones that sold.

This experience of being in a gallery again, that I am sharing with my daughter, Cynthia Hamilton has made me wish I could own my own gallery again. Cynthia is an art dealer with 18 years of experience selling blue chip art in San Francisco. She is an artist, loves art, understands every technique and introduces collectors to work that will enhance their lives.

The gallery, Artisimo, in Scottsdale  AZ. that I co-owned, was, 10, 500 square feet. I had my own show room and studio, but it was a tremendous amount of work; seven days a week. I learned to respect what it takes to run an art gallery.

Below are four of the five paintings that sold, and some rather fuzzy images of the Scottsdale gallery.

Oil, Cold Wax, Transfers on canvas

Oil and Cold Wax Medium on canvas

oil and cold wax medium on canvas

"The Tattoo" oil and cold wax on cradled board, 20" x 40"

Artisimo Gallery, with my grandson, who is now 27 years old

Artistimo Gallery

We had some wonderful artists in Artisimo Gallery

My space. Loved the light and the size.