Thursday, February 28, 2008

Heated Palettes

nowadays there are a variety of palettes to chose from for the encaustic painter. still many artists just starting to work with this medium would like other, less expensive options. one choice is to make your own palette-i often talk about this in my workshops as this is how i started and many of my students seem interested in also starting this way. in its most basic form-
purchase an electric hot plate (hardware stores or the large chains with kitchen depts.).
find a metal shop in your area and ask them to cut you a square of anodized aluminum sheet 1/4" thick ( i started with 12" square, kind of small and it wasn't even anodized which prevents a black film from forming on the heated metal surface). also have them drill a 1/4" hole in each corner.
get a 1"diameter wood dowel. measure the height of the hot plate and add 1/4"-this is the measurement to use to cut the dowel for the legs.
use screws from the top to attach the legs.
set over the hotplate and you are ready to start. 
it is also handy to have a small level to check  your palette-if it is not level the wax will run over the side and burn on the hotplate.
one more thing-you should use a surface thermometer to monitor the temp. of the palette-very important for safety and health reasons.
i used this palette for about five years and did many large paintings during that time although now i do use the r&f palette. every artist has different needs and i would suggest looking into the other palettes that are now available.

Monday, February 18, 2008

coming events

so many artists working with other media are investigating encaustics to add to their process and work. i will be having a one day workshop on encaustics with photography on 3/15 at silvermine guild arts center. if you have not seen the two combined take a look at the recent work of the Starn twins.
microcosms, a show of my encaustic work and that of friend and fellow artist Roger Mudre who works primarily with acrylics (but he does have an encaustic set-up so one of these days...) will be at the Kershner Gallery in fairfield from 3/30-5/18. the opening will be on saturday, april 5 from 5-7. I will also be doing an encaustic "show and tell" sometime during april. my work in this show will be an expansion of my "elements" series-this time focusing on h2o.
another talk will be at the second encaustic conference in beverly, ma on june 7. more about that to come with images. the talk is titled "warp, weft and wax".
and finally i was selected to have a solo show next september at silvermine arts center. tentative title-"mapping the genome".
ps: at times encaustics seem to have a mind of their own. in regards to that i like this quote by Tanguy "i found that if i planned a picture beforehand, it never surprised me and surprises are my pleasure in painting". so let yourself be surprised.