studio workshop and a day of mixed media
I just finished an Oil and Wax studio workshop with the group above--some of the most intensely focused artists I have worked with to date. Quiet, serious concentration on painting prevailed throughout the three days--plus good discussions and many interesting questions raised. Of course we had our share of fun and laughter, too! Thanks Caron, Jim, Eduardo and Barb for your wholehearted plunge into the cold wax and oil process.
Brazilian artist Eduardo Recife
had arranged awhile back for an additional workshop day in order to explore my use of mixed media on paper. He had seen some of the paintings
on my website that I did with mixed media during my 2008 residency at the Centre D'Art I Natura
in Catalonia, Spain, and was curious about my methods. (My project for that residency was to use mixed media, largely unfamiliar to me at the time.)
Though willing to oblige him, I was feeling a bit rusty with my mixed media supplies. So last week I brought them all out, including a few new things I purchased (it always helps to have new toys!) I started several paintings in order to reacquaint myself with the possibilities and to explore some new ideas. My materials for mixed media work include watercolors (which I use full strength); various acrylic mediums; chalk pastels in stick and pan form; powdered charcoal, graphite and pigments; acrylic paints in tubes and liquid form; and assorted colored pencils and crayons, mostly water-soluble types. I keep a variety of surfaces on hand for these including Ampersand Claybord, watercolor paper, and paper made for mixed media. I use the same tools as I do in my cold wax and oil paintings--brayers, squeegees, palette knives and the occasional brush, and many of the same techniques and approaches.
My approach is all-out experimentation, using any and every combination or technique that comes to mind, gradually building up the painting surface. I also selectively dissolve back through the layers with rubbing alcohol or water (this effect is more subtle than the similar process I use with solvents on my oil and wax paintings) and scratch and scrape away at the surface.
I did not feel that I "taught" in yesterday's studio session as much as simply painted, along with some commentary--my mixed media process is far less defined in my mind than is my oil and wax approach and I do not feel that I can explain it in a logical sequence. However this approach seemed fine with Eduardo, who went back and forth between watching and working on his own paintings. For myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the excuse to get back into this mode of painting. I've worked at it sporadically off and on since my time in Spain, but yesterday I felt as fully engaged as I had during my residency--a great feeling.
Below is one of the paintings I did yesterday (Bronze
, 10"x8" mixed media on paper.)