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My studio is such a mess at the moment. Since returning from my residency in Washington, I have had to dive right back into making art, and my studio has not had the chance to recover. The good thing is it hasn’t stopped me from creating. The bad part is the frustrating mess (paintings stacked on boxes and general chaos).

Lately I have been further developing this series of work with carved circles, textures hidden and revealed. These pieces will hang in a show I will be installing early in May.

This one utilizes string, embedded at various levels in the wax, instead of dirt. I am getting to play with some of my favorite materials here.

Here is an in-progress shot of a special commission I am working on when I have time. I just need to get a proper map of Indianapolis and cut it into that shape.

I am working furiously to get as much done as I can before I leave this weekend for a trip to St. Louis and later Portland.

At the end of my residency, I had the pleasure of taking part in teaching an encaustic retreat for a whole weekend. It was such a fun time exploring the medium of wax with my fellow instructors and students. I even got a chance to teach some elements of sculpting with wax! Here is a little video of the time we spent working and learning together.

After a two-week residency and teaching a weekend encaustic retreat in Washington, I am finally back home in Indiana. My head is full of ideas, and I cannot wait to get to work on all the inspiration I soaked up while I was gone. The last thing I worked on before leaving was developing a prototype for some larger work. It started with dipping paper in wax and delicately sewing pieces together.

Next I wanted to see what it looked like illuminated, so I turned off the lights and set it on top of a light table.

I wanted to go for a slightly crooked, imperfect look, which is why I tore the paper instead of cutting it, but this was a little too wonky. I also wanted more wax and more light. So I set to creating a stencil for a second prototype.

This involved some math (the pythagorean theorem). I might have been called a nerd for this. I cut the house out of one shape, folded it, and adhered it together with wax. This time, the stitches were only visible when lit.

This was getting closer to what I wanted. I didn’t get the look I was going for until I finally turned off all the lights except for the concentrated point underneath.

When I pulled this image off of my camera later, it was an a-ha moment. This is what I wanted. Now I cannot wait to take this idea and run with it. I am so inspired by the meaning held in simple materials like paper, wax, and string.

I have been working nonstop on my circles installation, and today, I finally finished it. This shot is of me hanging the piece after finally stitching the last stitch. Here it is!

After working on this piece meticulously for days, I can’t even explain the feelings I had when I was finally able to see it hung.

See? I am pretty pleased. It is very satisfying to see something that has been in my brain for weeks finally appear in real life.

I spent the rest of Thursday working on something new that I will share soon!

I am a little behind on documenting progress on the many colored circles piece. I have been working night and day on it, and I am getting close to finishing it. Monday I spent the day sewing the circles in each vertical line together. That’s eighteen rows of thirty circles, each painstakingly aligned to create the correct spacing. At this stage they had lovely movement and caught the light in the window.

See the reflection of the circles on the window?

Although the piece is pretty like this, the work is not over. The next step was to sew them all together horizontally as well. More updates to come soon!

I want to be an artist when I grow up. I quit my job to try it. I will chronicle the results here.

To purchase artwork visit kbean.etsy.com.

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