The next time you are having a stressed day, take some time off and go to a local art gallery and enjoy the art. When you walk back out the door, I bet you will find yourself in much better spirits and able to handle whatever it is you need to do.
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.
“To be poor and be without trees, is to be the most starved human being in the world. To be poor and have trees, is to be completely rich in ways that money can never buy.”
~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes. The Faithful Gardener: A Wise Tale About That Which Can Never Die
It happened quite unintentionally. Me creating with encaustics, that is. A friend wanted to know how to do encaustics, as she was considering pursuing it. I told her I wasn’t doing encaustics at this time, only cold wax & oil, but had the equipment and would get it out and show her the process.
And so I did. I pulled out the heating tray, the various small metal containers of mediums in which pigments of color were added, the large container holding the encaustic medium and array of natural brushes, each designated to their own colored container. Oh, and then there is the torch. Some of the colored pigments I brought back from a trip to Rousillon, Provence, France, known for their beautiful ochres. Others were given to me by a friend who brought them back from Peru, where she purchased them in a street market.
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.