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Healthy Habitat, encaustic collage on paper, 12″ x 12″

If you have wondered why I have been strangely silent on this blog lately, I can tell you why. Friday my new show opens in the Harrison Center‘s City Gallery! I have been too busy to pop in here with regular inspiration and updates on the progress of my work. This show was a race to the finish (being my second solo show in four months!), but I am pleased with the outcome. I will be in the gallery all evening Friday for the opening, 6-9pm. I hope you will stop by and say hi, check out the work, and see Kyle Ragsdale’s show in main gallery as well.


This week I started and finished my very first new piece in my new studio. I thought I would document the process a bit to give you a peek inside how the building of an encaustic painting works. My inspiration came from this photo I snapped last week of the floor of my studio:

I loved how you could see the various colors the floor had been painted in previous years, and I couldn’t help but think about the artists who came before me and made this same studio their own. So I started by putting down some layers:

This green actually came from all the various colors that have spilled out of their tins and onto the surface of the hot plate. It was full of bits of dirt and dust that had collected, making it all the more appropriate for a painting of the messy floor. Next, I added the grey color that covered it all:

Then I had fun scraping back the grey in patches and scratches to reveal the colors beneath:

I gave it the heat gun treatment to make it look a bit more natural and added the white paint (I decided to use white on the solid swatch because another grey would make the piece as a whole too dark):

This is where I lapsed in my documentation of the process (oops). This is also where I nearly scrapped the whole piece. I wasn’t happy with the colors, and that white patch just wasn’t working. So I looked back at the floor and chose another color (visible elsewhere but not in the photo). Red:

Groundbreaking, encaustic on wood, 11″ x 14″

To finish the piece, I did a light image transfer of a black and white version of the original photo. It added nice texture and gave it an authentically dirty look. Obviously this is not an accurate representation of that patch of ground, and I clearly took liberty with the colors and composition, but I am happy with the outcome.

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

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