This is a guest post by Michelle Belto; the first in a seven week series. Each week one of the seven EncaustiCamp instructors will share their story, process and progress in our collaborative exhibit for EncaustiCamp 2015.
Michelle does a fantastic job of helping to introduce the overarching goal in this collaborative exhibit process~
Working as I do is very much like walking in the dark. I don’t see a clear path before me, so I find myself looking backward as I walk, checking with what it is I already know about this series:
- IKNOW that I will be working on handmade canvases and that most of them will have windows
- I KNOWthat I want to explore the contrast of waxed paper and un-waxed paper.
- I KNOWthat all of these canvases are to be vertical with a specific color theme (restrictions from the project).
There are also some things that I think (and hope!) will be part of this series:
- I THINKI will be manipulating paper in a sculptural way.
- I THINKI will think outside the box with these windows.
- I HOPE I find my way into cohesive meaning with this series.
This is the point in my process where I don my cloak and dagger in search of something to steal!
Connections 2, Wei Lin Yang Roots Expo Ersi Marina
In my Pinterest boards I came across two art works that somehow feel right for this first panel. I print them off and set out to the studio. I’ve decided that for this piece, I will cover the panel with layers of wax and oil and contrast the panel with some type of paper addition. Both of my Pinterest steals will allow me to work in that way.
Since this panel will need to match the Alizarin Orange color I had chosen last summer, I begin the work in cool colors. I often use graphite to draw or write on the white paper and spritz water color or diluted inks before I apply wax.
This is an image of the work early in the process. I continue with marks in the wax, layers of oil, images with stencils and oil pastels until I build up a lovely surface.
This close up of the nearly finished canvas has ten or twelve layers of wax. I like that I can see, to varying degrees, the history of where I have been.
In a break from the encaustic process, I do some research on the artists who created the art that I have pinned on my image board in the studio. Sometimes, the research will provide clues to my next step. It surprised me that both of these artists were international and both of these images come from a body of work on “books.” Wei Lin Yang is an award winning artist and educator from Taiwan. I discovered that the material she used in the image, titled, Connection 2, is actually fabric and that her lovely marks are created through intricate embroidery. The second image is from Ersi Marina, an artist from Spain. Her work is lovely in its simplicity. She often using fiber arts processes with paper. Neither artist has a website, so I am not certain which images on their sites like Flicker and Pinterest are actually their work…another good reason to have a personal web site, blog or a page on a group site, like IEA, for your work.
I felt drawn to Wei Lin Yang’s work and asked myself, “What is the draw?” I liked the idea of wire and a long vertical hanging piece, so those elements became my jumping off point for my own work. I isolated a center strip, added my own calligraphic marks, wax and stitching.
Close up of the paper work and the paint chip which will define the color of the finished work.
At this point, I put away my inspiration images and become immersed in seeing where the art making process takes me. I’m including images of the finished first work in this series, but the title and even the direction of the series is not yet clear.
Front view: finished work Side view finished work
To see how the next art work built on this one in a surprising way, stay tuned!