One of my first self-assigned duties at Artist Daily was to
get out in the local American art community and see the kind of work that is
being made all over the country, what kind of art techniques are gaining in
popularity, and how artists are communicating with each other—building networks
of art online, participating in art competitions together, and sharing art
critiques and art tips in person and over the web. And I have to tell you that this
is what I love to do the most—because what I find never gets old and I never
see the same thing twice!
This has always been true when I look at the artistic output
of those working in mixed media, especially encaustic, which has come on my
radar in a pretty strong way over the past two years.
The Crossing by Lauren MacLeod, 2010,
11.5 x 11.5. The works shown here are not featured in
The Encaustic Studio by Daniella Woolf.
Mostly I have been struck again and again at how this one
medium can be a gateway to so many different kinds of work and allows for the
use of so many different complementary media. With encaustic, 'no' just isn't
in the vocabulary. It is always 'Yes, try it!' And that is exciting prospect when
an artist is finding his or her way, or trying for a breakthrough.
Encaustic allows you to work figuratively, abstractly, ornamentally,
and even sculpturally. You can combine it with oil painting, printmaking, and
collage. It can be used to explore texture and a built-up surface, or it can
end up looking almost as smooth and polished as glass. The works featured here are some of my favorites. In and of themselves they are radically different, but they all are created using the same essentials of encaustic.
Vanish Into the Vast Sea by Linda Womack,
2010, encaustic mixed media painting,
12 x 12.
Spring Begins by Paula Stark,
2010, encaustic painting,
What I respond to more than anything with encaustic is that
there is a process involved. The steps you take can get the creative juices
flowing because you can add a new element and end up with something that sends
you off in an entirely different direction or you can just sink into the steps
and let your mind check out, so you can just respond visually to what is going
on in front of you.
That kind of artistic transportation is a gift. I know I
certainly appreciate checking out now and again and just enjoy making art as a
way of using my hands and my eyes, and not necessarily my intellect. The Encaustic Studio is an entire wax
and mixed media workshop in a book-DVD package from artist, Daniella Woolf, whose works illustrate the entire book.
There are techniques galore and the versatility of encaustic really shines
through. It may spark a whole new wave of artistic excitement in you. Enjoy!