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New Project July 29, 2009

Posted by Beth in Art, Personal.
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My life is currently so full of things these days which could drag me down if I let them: my father-in-law’s cancer, the difficulty of connecting with my teenage son, the prospect of a significant increase in government control of  medical care, and the progressive destruction of wealth and future prosperity due to mistaken fears and “solutions” to climate change. In an interesting reaction,  I find I am drawn more and more toward fiction and art. The former is clearly an escape, allowing me to immerse myself in worlds of my own choosing, but the latter is a rediscovered release–an active focus on beauty, and on my own productive creativity.

Art, as a “selective recreation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value judgments,” * presents the opportunity and the challenge of choosing what I think is worth my time and effort to construct and will provide continued pleasure through repeated viewing. It expands upon the idea of finding 3 good things to balance out the mundane and discouraging parts of life.

I have never put in the time to develop my skills at drawing, so it’s a major commitment to start from scratch and create a visual image I find pleasing. Instead, I find photography an excellent way to capture a piece of reality, with the selection of subject and the composition of visual elements within the photo serving as the aspects which make it creative and a unique expression of my metaphysical values.

After my first attempt at encaustic collage, I tried to make another just using wax. The result was a learning experience not worth keeping and I eventually melted it off the claybord and threw away. My latest idea is to use my own photos as a starting point. Below is the first one of a set of 4 images of a calla lily from my backyard which I was able to capture with the early morning sun illuminating it against the dusky-black of a foggy dawn.

After adhering the photo to a claybord, I used the encaustic paint (pigmented beeswax) to heighten the color and add obvious brush strokes. I like the effect, though I want to try it again with even more use  of the paints to make the contrasts bolder, and just to see how it changes.

Here is the photo:
Calla Lily 001close up 3

and here is the encaustic:
encaustic 002

I am generally pleased with how it turned out and can’t wait to experiment more and to work on the other three photos.

* pg. 19 The Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand

Post series: New Project,   Calla Lily #2,  Calla Lily #3,  Calla Lily #4 Back to Encaustics 



1. Cala Lily #2 « AisA Academy - July 29, 2009

[…] Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)New Project […]

2. Lynne - July 30, 2009

I can relate completely.

We’re starting a painting project in September. Neither one of us has used oils in about 10 years. This means that the rest of the summer will be spent thinking about and sketching the ideas, reserving September for the slow painting process. I hope to be able to blog something about the experience at least, if not the work itself (sometimes my work is just no good – Stephen always comes up with an interesting composition at least).

Depending on the fiction, I may disagree with you that it’s an escape.

3. Beth - July 30, 2009

I haven’t done a lot with oils, but I the bit I did, I really enjoyed working with them—I could draw first and then transfer, then take my time and revise, paint over what I didn’t like. This hot-wax stuff is so-o-o-o totally different. Much more spontaneous and much less control.

Who all is going to be painting? Are you doing this as part of “school” or is something else prompting you?

I look forward to reading about (and seeing!) your experiences.

4. Back to Encaustics « AisA Academy - June 7, 2011

[…] series: New Project,   Calla Lily #2,  Calla Lily #3,  Calla Lily #4,  Back to […]

5. Calla Lily #3 « AisA Academy - June 7, 2011

[…] series: New Project,   Calla Lily #2,  Calla Lily #3,  Calla Lily #4,  Back to […]

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