It’s funny what inspires a new painting. Sometimes it’s a scene your viewing that speaks to your heart. Or maybe it’s a quirky expression you hear or a feeling from a book you just read.
These hot summer days bring me back to a vacation we had in France a few years ago. Two of the weeks were spent in Provence where lavender was around every corner. Whether the lavender was growing in the fields, in scented oil at the farmer’s market or decorating a tablecloth, it was ubiquitous.
So last week I heated up the griddle and began working on a few little encaustics. They are done on a 2X4 cut to about 7″ long. Before I begin the painting with encaustic I attach the hook on the back. It’s usually a piece of copper that I forge into a swirling shape and tack onto the back.
Then I tape the sides so the wax doesn’t drip on the sides. I would still have the option to wax the sides if I wanted to when I finished.
Now I have several options; I can gesso the front, attach a canvas piece to it, or leave it bare. Once I decide that, I begin putting layer upon layer on to the block, fusing each layer to the one below it with a torch.
Then it gets more free flowing as I will sketch, scratch and/or paint with the colored wax back and forth from one technique to another until I am happy with the result.
I have to admit, sometimes I start a piece with no real intent and as the colors and layers go on, they remind me of something and I move in that direction. It’s quite fun. If you haven’t tried, please do. If you’re local, you can call me. I do one-on-one sessions with all materials provided.