July 21, 2006

Encaustics

Etude 6, 18x18, Encaustic, 2000

I'm remembering a medium and process I had to give up because of the physical demands, this image is from a serious run at encaustics a few years back. The fever lasted about three years and I'm pleased with the body of work I managed to do, considering I had no instruction except that which I could find on the web, and most of that was pretty tacky. RFpaints was and is a fine source of info and probably can be credited with the raise in popularity of the medium. I was a step ahead of the curve... it was a time when I even had to explain to my galleries what it was all about. Joanne Mattera was gathering examples for her book and my slides made it to the last cut but didn't get the brass ring for publication. I should push myself more. I have to say, there was nothing exactly like my home-grown technique in the included work. Oh, well.

My method included repeatedly scraping the layers of wax with single blade razors in a subtractive manner, gouging ruled lines along with random implements, adding another layer and doing it again, and again... very labor intensive but the results were most satisfying. I'd like to get into wax again at some point, but I'll have to come up with a totally different technique since my hands will no longer allow that kind of abuse. Not that I'm complaining, I'm in pretty decent shape. But rather than fight with what I can no longer do, I try to make adjustments and focus on what I can.

My challenge, should I decide to accept it, will be to find a personal way to reveal the magic in the medium and retain my personal stamp. That always seems to involve layers of one kind of another, I've got to simplify the technical end of things if I expect to follow through to any measurable degree. But don't hold your breath... I won't start heating my crock pots of wax until winter has a firm grip on my part of the world!

6 comments:

Martha Marshall said...

Loved looking at them on your site again, plus your new series is looking great.

Ed Maskevich said...

This is a medium that has intrigued me for years. Unlike you, I have not been brave enough to jump in. I keep telling myself that when we move and I set up my new studio I will take the plunge. I will watch with great interest to see how your use of encaustics is going. BTW the piece looks great.

KJ said...

I need to update my website in all areas, and especially for encaustics as the enlargements aren't showing. Ed, I have a lot of process info here: http://karenjacobs.com/wax2.html

Onetallmomma said...

I found you through mensoblog. Another tall woman! With wonderful gray hair even! We could be sisters!

KJ said...

Great to have you stop by... more likely, you could be my daughter's sister (another tall one, and a single mom) could really use one ;-)

Ed Maskevich said...

KJ, thanks for the link. You're a wonderful resource.