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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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.
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.
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.
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.
The process in creating this cold wax & oil on birch piece took me through many changes. I began remembering the beautiful color clays of Rousillon, in Provence, France and covered the birch board with terra cotta and mixed in sand I brought home from Provence to add texture.
Stage 1: As I continued to build up colors, adding siennas and oranges I began thinking about the earth and the changes it goes through. Some naturally, others perpetrated by man. I remembered visiting an old mall in Baltimore that has since been abandoned and is returning to its natural state with grasses, sedges, small bushes and such springing up.
Stage 2: I began to add other colors in stripes with a brayer. Then began scratching through the colors to reveal what was beneath.
Stage 3: With all the sad news lately; fracking, soldiers in Afghanistan, kids shooting kids, I was moved to add a dark linear object to symbolize the destruction of the natural balance. I also added a block of light with lines for energy that lies beneath that continues to emit positivity. The energy will continue to grow despite what destructive activities man places on the earth.
Over the course of a few weeks, the piece finally made peace with me and a haiku evolved in my mind.
“In a world of despair,
expectations and hope lives,
between earth and sky.”
My completed work at the top is my representation that through wars, devastation, hardships, and even death, the earth & universe will continue to project positive energy and hope.
This new works of art will be in the exhibit, BETWEEN EARTH & SKY, a featured show of works by three Hillsborough Gallery of Arts artists, Arianna Bara, Chris Graebner and myself, Jude Lobe. It is opening at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, NC and will feature guitar music by Knox Engler. It’s held during Hillsborough’s Last Friday event and Artwalk. Come and enjoy the art, restaurants, activities and music.