Friday, November 6, 2009

Learning Curves

My life as a visual artist has been relatively short when compared to my chronological age. As a result of starting later in life, I always have this feeling that I don't have a lot of time to waste. When confronted with new learning, I tend to really dive in the deep end. First I read obsessively, then I order the materials (too many), and then comes the long process of experimentation. That's where I am now with encaustic. I'll remember October as the wax month.

I've certainly run through a lot of encaustic medium and I've learned quite a bit from my experiences. I try not to worry about the end product in the beginning stages because needing a product makes me work more cautiously, and that is not what you want before you've found your stride. I've been working on small boards mostly and trying all kinds of things, some successful and some not. I've found out that I like using wax for its transparency, and when I use colour is is applied in glazes rather than full strength. It is the delicacy that appeals to me most. Last week I completed a piece that I am satisfied with so it's time to share. Today I drop off this work and four others for a group show at The Leyton Gallery which opens on November 13.

Moments (10 x 24in.) encaustic with photo transfer & paper on board
(Only my photography is skewed )

I like the fact that I am finding my voice in encaustic. Even though this is a new medium for me, the result is still recognizable as my work, but it seems to be more delicate and ephemeral than my acrylic work. These are photo transfers from shots I took during my stay at Birr Castle Demesne. It is so much easier to do a transfer from a photocopy directly onto the wax. It give such a floating effect and I think that is why my work is looking more delicate.

Below is one of my mixed media acrylic paintings from my Reading a Garden series that is really saying the same thing, but it has a very different look. I even used one of the images in both works.
Ephemeral (2009) 10 x 24 in.
photo transfer, paper , acrylic mediums and paint on board


layers said...

it is interesting to see the difference between your encaustics and your paintings--- different mediums of course-- I went to a gallery opening last night and talked to an artist who had been experimenting with different mediums for years and coming out with different looks and finally found copper and metal embossing with acrylic paint-- and loves it-- said she finally found her medium.

Kathy said...

Margaret, both paintings are beautiful and appropriately titled. I like the sense of motion that both convey, and the delicacy of the flowers is more pronounced because of the field textures. Also, I agree with your practice of keeping a good supply of materials on hand for experimentation. If we become stingy, our work looks stingy. I'm glad you brought this up!

Margaret Ryall said...

I think my work has different looks because of the difference in the media. I hope it still looks like it fits with my current body of work. Thanks for dropping by. You must be full of inspiration since your return.

I will never be accused of being stingy with materials. I sometimes feel I give materials too much control over what I am creating.

ArtPropelled said...

Inspiring post, Margaret. I also get that feeling about not wasting time. Interesting seeing the results of the two different mediums. Both pieces are beautiful in different ways. The second piece is bold in comparison and yet also delicate.

HeartFire said...

Those are both beautiful pieces. I love the softness of encautic and the higher contrast of the mixed media piece. I think experimenting with different media is good, lately I am playing with mixed media & acrylics and it seems to give me fresh excitement to paint again.