I have an accountability partner. Shari Sherman. We’ve been checking in with each other for the last six years. This week I committed to making an encaustic piece a day. Today I worked on a small piece today. I love those lone trees in the middle of a vast field. I call them witness trees. Who knows what they have seen as they’ve grown over the years. Imagine a 200 year old lifespan.
A lone tree guy was here cutting down the rest of the poplar leftover from the crew. This guy cut down this giant tree by himself. A matter of physics, spatial relations and just plain genius. Lots of chain sawing.
I have a plan for this witness tree piece. More to come…
Connection stayed in my mind the entire time I worked on this piece. Not just because of these trees, but because of crows. I learned from a dear soul friend that when crows gather on your house after someone has passed, it is a sign of your ancestors. Every time we head south the trees at the LYH airport stand tall and pose for me. I anticipate them and I hope for a good shot while we’re moving. I imagine their root systems touching each other like their branches do. Very magical.
I’m connecting with my encaustic medium again and it’s speaking to me.
This is a photo transfer. I got it right this time. Many many layers in this. #encaustic #connection #artist #Photography #Phototransfer #Ineeddeadlines #successhabits #discipline #makingarteveryday #Inthegroove #crows #ancestors
Trees at the LYH Airport by Lillian Brue, 4″ x 8″
Trees at the LYH Airport, 4″ x 8″ unframed, encaustic medium (Beeswax and damar resin)
It’s finally done! This project took a little over three months to create. The best part about finishing and delivering these posters are the smiles I leave behind. It gives me so much joy….and I deserve that after the sleepless nights thinking about arranging everything to drawing all day. I got so focused that I had to put a timer on to walk during the day. I have a quote written above my computer monitor, “Movement is Life.” It reminds me to have balance.
I draw each building separately and then place them in relation to each other. There were graphic challenges along the way…rearranging some buildings towards the end of the project, redrawing some, adjusting colors. I also learned a lot. All part of the process. Life is better with good challenges. My favorite part is drawing the people. The fisherman is my husband who inspired me. He’ll get that whale some day.
Fun Illustration of the City of Lynchburg, Virginia. 24″ x 36″
Paul goes for the whale!
Painting upside down
My mind couldn’t put the perspective right, so I painted upside down
Final version of The Draw in Acrylic
Encaustic Gesso applied
First Attempt with rocks uniform
Final Version with rocks corrected.
This is a short story on how this painting got its’ name. It began in 1981. When photos were taken with film cameras.
While some people might think that New Mexico looks like a great big brown baked potato, I think otherwise. Colors in the rocks, the sunsets, and landscape. Magnificent.
The painting started out as “The Draw” based on Blackwater Draw in New Mexcio. It landed on the canvas in 2011 with a monochrome under painting of burnt umber. I started it upside down because the perspective was challenging me. This way my brain would only see shapes. Other colors were going to be added, but we moved. And moved again. I kind of liked it with the one color.
2015 – This painting wanted attention. Encaustic wax called to me. I brushed the wax over the top very lightly and only heated it enough to adhere the layers. The sand is silica from those little packets that come in pills. In writing on the very last layer is “New Mexico is a great big brown baked potato” in oil pastels. This piece flowed out of me and I enjoyed the process.
Alcohol Wash and vine charcoal drawing
Alcohol Wash of sky and vine charcoal drawing
The branches and back trees go in
The final version
Chinese maple close up
Well. This wasn’t the first time I ever painted outside, but it might have well been since it had been 30 plus years since my college days. It was the most satisfying and wonderful experience. The birds sang all day. The sun was shining through the trees. I was connecting with this Chinese Maple tree and its’ surroundings.
An interesting side note:
It’s funny, when you are an artist people say whatever comes to their mind. It’s as if you belong to them. They have no filter because of that. It’s as if you’re pregnant and everyone wants to touch your belly.
When other artists saw this tree, they said things like “I had no idea you could paint like that.” I’m on a journey and exploring encaustics on cigar boxes and painting night scenes with pastel. This is a good reminder not to judge others by what you see.
I painted this tree during the Paint Out Lynchburg in the Old City Cemetery this past May. I’ve been hooked ever since.
First Attempt Swirls
Swirls with objects
Beginning of Tadpoles
Texture of tadpoles
Texture of tadpoles
I drew and painted as a child all the time. I drew and painted in my art courses at college. Broadcasting got a hold of me and two or three television stations later and I stopped painting.
Twenty years later I picked up a brush again and didn’t know where to begin…again. The first attempt was to throw paint on the canvas making swirls and adding objects, it seemed so flat otherwise. The colors popped! It didn’t mean anything. It was happy, but just a bunch of doodles.
Gesso is an artists’ friend. Goodbye swirls, hello circles. Still…flat. Some of those circles looked like breasts with the objects in the middle.
As I am always photographing micro shots of critters, I posted these tadpoles stuck in a tide pool on Facebook and a friend inspired me with “You should paint them”. The colors were vibrate, the composition flowed. A 3′ by 5′ painting of tadpoles emerged. Right over all those swirls/circles. I experimented with pastels combined with gel medium. Acrylics. Overall, it was a satisfying experience. This is the journey.
The Asphalt on my walk
Asphalt on the easel
Close up of the Citrasolve National Geographic paper
Another close up
The Asphalt final
Abstract art requires work and thought. This is the biggest encaustic piece I’ve ever done. In walking around my neighborhood, it had just finished raining and I noticed the pattern in the asphalt. This pattern intrigued and inspired me. I would go to sleep thinking of this piece, creating it, dreaming of it. I gesso’d the panel and drew on it with a charcoal stick and just filled the pattern with paper. I scraped and painted. So mesmerizing. The paper is from National Geographic magazines pages soaked in Citrasolve. The patterns and hidden pictures came alive as I built the layers.
It’s a little brighter than this picture. 20″ x 36″ encaustic on a panel.