HORSE: Born to Run

HORSE: Born to Run, Oil on linen, 30X30.
 

Michelangelo was quoted as saying ‘Every block of stone has  has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” This painting indeed made that impression on me. 

My intention was to paint a picture of horses running wildly across a prairie kicking up sand. I worked on the painting changing colors and images for quite a while, but it just didn’t seem to work for me. One day I just sat down in front of it and began talking to the painting. “What do you want me to do?” I feel the spirit of the horses joy in and freedom in taking off running while at my friend’s horse farm and want to translate that on this stretched linen.

I got up and grabbed some charcoal and just began making gestures on the canvas with the intention of wiping it all out and beginning from scratch. However, as I sketched, I was compelled again to pick up my paint brush and mix up my favorite colors of siennas and ochres of which Roussillon in Provence is so famous, and a few hours later this painting of horses emerged.

Sometimes you have to stop thinking and just let feelings take over.  That can be a lot harder than one thinks.

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NATURE INSPIRED ART: Tackling a large encaustic

SEEDING

Small encaustic paintings like the 6X6 one above have been leaving my studio pretty regularly. Lately, I’m trying my hand on a large format encaustic. The wax begins to harden the second you remove the brush from the pot, so it is a real challenge to work on something larger than 8X8 or 10X10.

Just to cover the surface takes some time and maneuvering stretching my body across the board. I lay the 24X36 piece on the floor and bring the heating tray to the floor as well. I continue to lay in the wax and colors until the surface is covered. Then I need to fuse it to the layer below.

After 2 days of work and slowly building up layers, textures and colors, I’m left with the image below. Almost done. Now I begging to add the colors I want to be in the main and finished piece.

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I brush on the wax with the colors I want for the finalized painting, continuing to fuse the new layer to the previous layers by torching the wax until it begins to glisten. I intentionally leave the bottom portion deeply textured, but smooth out the top third of the painting. A heated iron works well. Then I finish off by scratching in a few connecting lines and lightly torch. Below is the finished 24X36, Listening to Silence, encaustic on cradled board.

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It is on display at my studio, Osprey Studio, this week-end, during the Alamance Studio Tour. Saturday, Oct. 18, 10-5 pm, and Sunday, Oct. 19, Noon – 5 pm. I’m # 12 on the tour.  DIRECTIONS.

For more information about the Alamance Studio Tour, visit HERE.

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IT CAN DO A BODY GOOD.

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TWO TREES ON HORIZON, 8X18, Cold Wax & Oil, $375 (Click on image to visit website)

It doesn’t matter what time of year, how cold, how hot, when I see birds in a waterscape, peace flows over me. Birds give us so much just in their existing, yet many of us have no idea what their needs are for them to survive. We hear of birds becoming extinct when their native habitats disappear, but apparently it doesn’t sink in that the habitat didn’t have to disappear.

Ecology needs to be taught in school beginning very early so that it is ingrained. Then perhaps our planning boards wouldn’t thoughtlessly allow development everywhere. Perhaps, then, developers wouldn’t consider clear-cutting land to put up concrete parking lots and buildings. They would understand that trees don’t grow there just to be used to provide wood.

Hasn’t it occurred to everyone yet, that trees, their roots, their leave, are protecting our soils from erosion? Do they not understand that roots and leaves are absorbing and using the heavy rains that fall to grow. Haven’t they realized how much cooler in the summer it is to stand under a tree than lean against their car on a macadam parking lot? Please, take a walk in the forest and tell me trees aren’t important for controlling temperatures.

And the next time you take a deep breath remember to thank a tree for providing the oxygen and improving the air quality. Hmm. How wonderful when building roads to include a large medium strip with trees and plants.  Just imagine how that design might have changed the pollution levels in places like Peking and Los Angeles, not to mention making a pleasant drive home from work.

Yes, those beautiful trees aren’t there for us to cut down. Besides being a home for those beautiful birds, one acre of plants absorb six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. Plants filter the air by removing dust and absorbing other pollutants including carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Let’s all go out and plant a tree or shrub. It can do a body good.

 

IT MAY BE RAINING; BUT THE SUN STILL SHINES

IT MAY BE RAINING; BUT THE SUN STILL SHINES, Encaustic Painting, 8X8, by Jude Lobe. $245

IT MAY BE RAINING; BUT THE SUN STILL SHINES, Encaustic Painting, 8X8, by Jude Lobe. $245

The encaustic painting involves using heated beeswax mixed with resin. I have a griddle set up with mini bread pans; one pan holds the medium (clear beeswax & resin), and several other smaller ones hold medium mixed with added powdered pigments.  My hope in beginning is too keep all the pots clean and separate, no mixing the brushes that are each assigned to a particular color. Only mixing on the griddle. But. . . .

just like when I am painting in oils, the enthusiasm and speed in adding paint to surface overtakes common sense, and by the end of the day, all my colored pots look quite different and I hardly remember with what colors I began. The griddle still becomes a beautiful palette at the end of the day, as it is so easy to mix colors on the griddle before applying to the board.

I’m also becoming a great fan of the torch and prefer using the torch to the heat gun. I seem to more easily get lovely smooth surfaces, with which I begin. Toward the end of the painting, though, I like adding texture, and I seem to be able to control the amount of heat and the spacial area that I heat with the torch.

The painting below began with pots of cobalt blue (yeah, that got mixed very quickly), yellow, sienna and red. The painting below is at the Joyful Jewel in Pittsboro, catty-corner from the fabulous restaurant, the Roadhouse.

WHY HANG ART IN YOUR HOME: Small paintings like these are great for hanging in small rooms, like the bathroom, kitchen, or mud room. Art has a way of inspiring you and lifting your spirit. Consider having a work of art to look at while washing your hands. It makes it a lovely experience.

Carolina Country, encaustic, 8X10

the ART OF FRAMING

MOORED, Oil on masonite by Jude Lobe

MOORED, Oil on masonite by Jude Lobe

An artist’s hardest decision is deciding on a frame for the artwork. For a time, I didn’t frame paintings and they looked pretty good as long as they were deep canvases. However, I always thought the frame enhanced the art and brought the viewer’s eye more directly to the painting.

Why frame: Frames make the artwork look more professional. They protect it and make it more sturdy. A proper frame can enhance the visual allure of the artwork. And finally, what would convince most artists is framed art sells more easily.

 An easy no-brainer for deep canvases is the Floater Frames. They are fabulous for canvases and cradled boards, like the ones I use in my cold wax and oil paintings. The have a clean, contemporary look and don’t fight for attention with the art. 

My quandary: My dilemma  comes when I’m looking for a frame for a oil painting, like Moored, the oil painting of a boat moored at Hilton Head pictured above. It was done on masonite. I don’t want a too decorative frame that will detract from the artwork, but I also don’t want it too plain so that it doesn’t add anything. There lies the perplexity. And then there is the consideration of who would buy the painting and would my expenditure for an expensive frame pay off in a sale.

Why to not Frame: Then there is the idea that perhaps the frame would effect the viewer negatively. Suppose the viewer is a light maple wood person and dark mahogany has them running in the opposite direction.  It is certainly impossible to find a frame that matches every decor. And if an art buyer wants their frame to match the decor, well, that’s money the artist spent paying for a frame that flows down the drain. 

What to do: Well, for the art above, I’m asking you to give me your opinion of the three considerations I have above for the frame for Moored. Which do you prefer? I really want to know.

WISHING TO SLOW DOWN TIME

SEEING SIMPLICITY, Cold Wax & Oil, 18X24, by Jude Lobe

SEEING SIMPLICITY, Cold Wax & Oil, 18X24, by Jude Lobe

If someone were to ask me what I did last week or even yesterday, I couldn’t tell them. The day and week were filled with a host of extraneous errands that keep me from my list of want-to-do’s. But there isn’t any one thing I could actually say I did that made me feel I accomplished something.

I have goals and things I want to accomplish. My ultimate goal is to declutter, down-size, simplify my life and complete an artwork every day. But little extraneous “stuff” always seems to pop-up keeping me from achieving my goals. I truly think that if Einstein were still around, he would have proven that time is, in fact, moving faster. There seemed to be so much more time when I was in school, to think. To just sit and read and think.

So what does all that have to do with this cold wax and oil painting above? Well, I had turned off my cell phone and headed for the studio the other day. This cold wax and oil painting began as just basically playing around with drawing and coloring. Several layers of varying colors were squeegied on the board. Usually I alternate a light layer and dark layer. Then I began by taking a potter’s tool, a stick with smooth, somewhat pointed end, and drew lines with no pre-meditation of thought. Afterwards, I picked up my brush and  mixed different color oil paints with wax and painted in the shapes. Feeling quite relaxed with no real theme in mind, I continued adding textures, designs, and after awhile I hung the piece on the wall and I noticed the window.

It seemed to me to illuminate my feelings of late, where I have the sensation I am so busy but can’t really enumerate my accomplishments. The mood of this painting exactly expresses my sense of being overloaded and engaged in many activities that do not yield me the satisfaction or triumph of accomplishment. Oh, how I would love to be able to turn off the incoming traffic, ie: cell phones, daily routines of preparing meals, and so on, and just read, paint and garden. Like that crow peering through the window, I’m seeking simplicity in my life.

I wonder if anyone else has those feelings of wanting to escape to a quieter environment.

LAST FRUIT: cold wax and oil

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LAST FRUIT: Eye on the Prize, cold wax and oil by Jude Lobe

This piece entitled, “Last Fruit” grew into thoughts of how man has misused, unappreciated, devoured, drained, wasted, worn out (well, you get the picture), the fruits of nature. But then as it neared completion, the unanswered question of ‘what do we do when resources are limited’ appeared. It perhaps will lead to a new companion piece.

When beginning a cold wax and oil piece, I have no thoughts or ideas in mind. I begin by laying down layers of color onto a prepared cradled wood panel. My palette is drawn from nature. I love the colors of the ochre clays found in Rousillon, Provence, France. I lay a few layers down first so I have a cushion in which to impress textures. Then I leave it overnight and come back to it the next day and continue adding layers of color applied with a brayer, squeegee or palette knife. Along the way I add more textures, scratch and scrape the surface and at some point it starts interacting with me. An idea will begin to form.

Working in cold wax and oil has so many benefits. For some reason, the oil paint mixed with the cold wax has less offensive odor. The finish is a lovely matte, that when buffed has a silky look to it. And the most wonderful thing about it is it dries to touch in 1-3 days. When I finish a painting, I can take it to the gallery in 3 or 4 days, rather than 3 months waiting for an oil painting to cure. The cold wax and oil painting will continue to cure, but it is dry and odorless in a few days.

The cold wax and oil painting, Last Fruit, is now in the exhibit 22 SQUARED at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, NC. 919-732-5001. Come GET SQUARED. Jan 27 – Feb 23.

Click image to visit site.