Friday, January 25, 2008

bits & pieces-collage

collage comes from the french coller, to stick. a better description would be "glueing together bits and pieces of unrelated images including previously used commercial materials to create something unprecedented". it has a long history although Braque and Picasso and usually given credit for its "invention". between the two, Picasso used a wider range of materials-everything from sand, wallpaper, printed papers to dimensional objects. since the 1920's many artists have explored collage from Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters to Rauschenberg and beyond. a collage artist whose work you might not be aware of is Fred Otnes. his book (of the same name) is available through amazon. his work may be considered somewhat traditional in subject matter but he has a wonderful sense of materials, imagery, composition, color and surface. so why bring up collage? encaustic is great for collage. the wax becomes the glue but with no waiting for drying and it is completely reversible. plus, by building up layers you can create depth and many types of surfaces. once again you might also want to refer back to the master-Jasper Johns-and revisit his interpretations of collage using encaustic.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Art and Science

if you are an artist interested in science (or vice versa) check out the magazine SEED (also online). Their 12/07 issue front cover asks "the future of science is art?". in this article the author, Jonah Lehrer, whose recent book is titled Proust was a Neuroscientist, quotes string theorist Brian Greene about the arts having the ability to "give a vigorous shake to our sense of what's real" thus jarring the scientific imagination into imagining new things.  i also like Lehrer's suggestion that all theoretical physics departments should have an artist-in -residence. there are numerous, thought provoking ideas expressed here that will hopefully increase the dialogue in this subject. read it and see what you think.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


from talking with many artists about encaustics there is still a lot of misinformation on this medium. with more access through workshops, books ("the art of encaustic painting" by joanne matera is a great start with more books coming out this year) hopefully that will change. i teach intro and other specific encaustic workshops at silvermine guild arts center in ct. we just had an open house and there were many questions along the lines of "will my finished painting melt"?
many artists love the look of encaustic but have no idea of the process.  that is why i like the intro class-it gives you a good idea if the process is something that you want to invest more time (and money) into. more on process later...

Friday, January 4, 2008

time to start

welcome to the encaustics process page. i have admired the many blogs created by artists and thought it's about time for me to do one too.  please send any comments and/or questions. for those of you who are new to this fascinating medium i recommend the R&F website and attending the Second National Encaustic Conference to be held June 6-8 in Beverly, MA. the first was informative and fun (i did a demo and will also be doing one this year) and gives you access to people involved with encaustics from all over america. also of interest will be the Jasper Johns show "Gray" coming soon to NYC. Johns has said, when asked if he used encaustic for its materiality and quick "drying"-"I enjoyed those qualities. But it may have helped that when I began to work with it, no other artists that I knew were using it. The events that happened with it seemed discoveries." Today there are many artists using encaustic-hope you are one and making discoveries too.