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Month: April 2012

Encaustic Texture Experiments

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the studio over the past week and I’ve got several projects in progress.

One of the nice things about working with encaustic is that you can have multiple pieces going at the same time. While the freshly fused layer of one piece is cooling, you can work on another and keep the momentum going.

I’ve been revisiting some of my older encaustic works in progress. Last year I spent some time making small, textured encaustic squares in different colors using shellac and Jacquard Pearl Ex Pigments. Each square is 3 x 3 inches. I put them aside for awhile because I was unable to figure out what to do with them. Did I want them each to be an individual piece or did I want them to be grouped together somehow?

Well, yesterday I finally decided that I wanted them grouped together to make a larger square.

 

And here’s a closer view of the surfaces of the squares.

encaustic-squares-detail

 

An Appetite for Infrared Photography

It seems that every spring I have the overwhelming urge to shoot infrared images. I think it’s because after the long winter, spring bursts onto the scene with lots of green, which is perfect for infrared photography.

At the beginning of April I got out my dedicated digital infrared, charged up the battery, and went for a walk. The trees in the park behind the house start slowly, with a kind of soft, green mist. Then BOOM! You wake up one morning and there they are — green leaves.

When I got home I also took some images through the faceted glass in our front door. The glass created some strange — and fun — effects. I call these “Blurred Visions.”

 

Later, while downloading the photos onto my computer, I saw that it had been almost exactly one year since I had the infrared camera out. Time sure flies.

For more infrared photos, including last year’s, check out my Infrared set on Flickr.

Photography & Encaustic: A Match Made in Heaven

I enjoy experimenting with photographs and finding new ways to use them. I’ve used my photos in printmaking, but I really don’t have the temperament to be a printmaker. And since I’m definitely not a painter, using photos for reference is out.

When I started working with encaustic, however, I discovered how wonderfully photography and encaustic work together.

Up until now I’ve been embedding photos in encaustic or making image transfers. Recently I learned a new way of doing image transfers. Turns out I’ve been doing them the hard way!

I’ve been doing what Linda Womack calls “water transfers.” I print an image is printed using a laser printer or a copy machine onto regular copy paper. (The cheap stuff works just fine.) Using the back of a spoon, I then rub the image into the slightly warmed and very smooth encaustic surface. Once it cools, I use water to help break down the paper and rub it off very gently, leaving the toner in the wax.

The water method is good for fine lines, and you can get good details in the transfers, but it’s difficult and slow-going, especially for large transfers. Patience is key.

 

Earlier this week I discovered another way to do image transfers using ordinary kitchen parchment paper. It’s so easy! The process still uses laser printer or copy machine images rubbed onto the wax surface, but it couldn’t be easier. There’s no dampening and rubbing off of the paper. It practically slides right off the parchment!

Today I got back into the studio and tried my hand at the parchment paper transfer for the first time. It was a lot of fun and I’m already planning to do more.

encaustic-transfer-in-progress

 

If you’re interested in trying your hand at encaustic, Linda Womack offers in-person as well as online courses that are terrific. I’ve done two of them online. Her classes can be found at Womack Workshops.

Welcome Home, Voigtländer Bessamatic Camera

On Saturday morning I stopped by Stifel & Capra to hang another piece in the Alcove space. It was super busy on Friday evening during the FIRSTFriday and I didn’t have a chance to look and see what’s new in the shop.

On the way out I saw a camera kit in a glass cabinet and had to take a closer look. It was a Voigtländer Bessamatic in pristine condition. It came with three lenses: 35mm, 50mm, and 135mm. It also came with a leather carrying case and little leather cases for each of the lenses.

bessamatic

This camera is really heavy! We’re talking more than two pounds! It also had a roll of film inside.

I think you know how this story ends. I bought the camera kit. Later that afternoon I took it out for a walk and finished the roll of film.

For more information on the Voigtländer Bessamatic, check out the Camerapedia page about it.