This man had a beard at one point, but he lost it during the course of the day. I’ve been to a few art museums where the eyes are always following you in portraits. He’s watching me. Wink Wink #Iseefaces #facesinthings #faceseverywhere
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.
I had my first solo art show last year and these are some of the piece that emerged for the presentation. These came together out of an experience and I’m ready to tell the story.
My Dad was sick and I needed to go home to Albuquerque.
Although I take my camera everywhere to catch inspiration, it’s a good place to hide behind. I took this shot of a plane being de-iced at the airport while heading out west to be with my Dad. It translated nicely to an encaustic on a cigar box.
December 26 getting de-iced
As life goes, my Dad passed and the night before the memorial service, we headed to Sandia Casino to drop my sons off for the night as there wasn’t enough room at my parents’ house. This is a shot from the Northeast Heights in Albuquerque where you can see the whole city below. Those guys managed to stay up all night and win $5000. They both felt like their Poppy was right there with them cheering them on.
A month later I headed home. I made all of my connections and was stuck in the Dulles Airport where I was supposed to take a puddle jumper (literally, as the weather was bad) to Charlottesville, VA. My husband was waiting there for me. Oh, how much I missed him. They kept moving the flight, cancelling it, and finally we all boarded. Prop plane. In a storm. The lady I sat next to in the front row looks at me and says “we’re gonna die.” I answer “maybe you will, but I’m not dying.” So weird. We sat on the tarmac while being de-iced. Other planes next to us were getting their treatment. Ten minutes later…”This is the captain speaking. This flight has been cancelled.”
Luckily for me, my son lives in D.C. where he rescued me from the airport. He drove us through that rainy night like a speed boat. I stayed behind my camera as I did not have on a life-preserver on. The next morning I took a train home. Pretzels and beer can be a complete meal.
We all have a story to tell and this one came out through my art. Who knew?
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.
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.
I love to take close up photos of flowers, mushrooms, and bugs. I translated some of these flowers onto the bottom of cigar boxes using encaustic wax. Encaustic medium is beeswax and resin. I heat up the beeswax and brush it onto the base. I also use a heat gun to fuse the layers and add pastels for the colors. My Flower Series is hanging at Magnolia Foods http://magnoliafoods.com/ until October 1.
I hope you like them as much as I enjoyed making them.