May 17, 2011

Color Experiments with Encaustic - Beginning another grid made of 6x6" panels

Working with color in encaustic is unlike anything I've done before.  There is a definite learning curve.  It isn't watery like watercolor, but flows like watercolors when you heat the surface.  Most of the colors are opaque unless greatly diluted with encaustic medium, again, the opposite of what I've done in watercolor for so many years, when I used the opaques so sparingly.  Like acrylics, there isn't a lot of time to work, not because the encaustics will "dry," but because they'll cool.  Heat becomes your best friend; I prefer using a torch to a heat gun because it doesn't blow the surface wax around.  There is a vibrancy and surface lustre which continues to draw me in.  It is a constant add, subtract, layer, scrape, gouge, fill in process which I enjoy for its malleability and unpredictability.  This is the beginning of another potential grid of color.  I want each piece to stand on its own, but also want the grid to work together.  My hope is for the panels to speak to one another, as individuals.  We'll see what happens in the next few months!  Above are two panels in warm colors layered over cool.

I naturally gravitate toward cool colors; using warm colors feels a bit out of my comfort zone.  I love Morgan Freeman's narration of "Through the Wormhole."  In one of the episodes, which describe cutting edge discoveries and pursuits in understanding the universe, he references the "particle zoo."  This would be a collection of particles you get when you blast a neutron apart (or is it a proton?  I can't remember, but like the idea of lots of particles!)  This piece reminds me of a particle zoo.  A distant goal is to work really large; perhaps 32x40" panels or so, in encaustic.  Getting the DVD series of "Through the Wormhole" would be a great inspiration for a new series!

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