Saturday, May 24, 2008

Photos of work from May 22, next weeks events

Hi everyone. For this Thursday, our last class, please bring what you want to work on. I'll have our slide show and I'm going to demonstrate how to get a panel with wide sides set up, leveled with wax and ready to paint. Some people were also mentioning celery. Also, bring anything you want to have critiqued and photographed for the blog.

I asked Debbie Callahan about a small encaustic show of our class work for next fall. We'll see what she says.

Here are photos from last weeks efforts - good work.

Kristine - Distant Mountains
Alix - Lipstick on the Lawn
Alix - Beaches and Mountains
Alix - Casual Tension
Alix - Strolling with my Baby
Alix - Green Apple Pie

Sunday, May 18, 2008

wax on wood last week + this week's wants

Hi everyone. Here are the images from last weeks work.

Marco - Free Falling

Kristine - Rodeo Ropes

Alix - Scrifitti

What to bring for May 22 -
- the bar of microcrystalline wax
- tins in which to melt microcrystalline + color
- 2 (or more) pieces of good paper (Rives, Arches or other printmakers paper) to use with the microcrystalline
- a photograph, image or just an idea in your mind of what you want to paint on the paper
- the rest of the usual stuff - pigments, oil pastels, encaustic, brushes, etc.
- gessoed panel if you are still working on it

Monday, May 12, 2008

rabbit skin glue/gesso recipe, class info for May 15th

Hi everyone. Here is the gesso recipe that worked for me. It is kind of put together from a number of them. Below that is what we're doing this week.

1. put 1 Tbs. rsg crystals (Daniel Smith) in the top of a double boiler with 1 cup warm water. Let sit for half an hour.
2. heat double boiler until rsg/water is warm/hot to the finger.
3. remove the top of the double boiler from the heat, sit in a nice place and stir occasionally for 10 minutes or so until the rsg is dissolved.
This is the end of the rsg recipe.
To make this into gesso:
4. add R&F Dry Gesso through a strainer until no more gesso can be absorbed. A small mound of the dry gesso will remain above the surface. This takes quite a bit of dry gesso. You may stir gently occasionally. When the correct consistency is reached no sound should be heard when you drip the gesso from a spoon.
5. set the pan back over the warm water in the double boiler (not on the heat) and leave for half an hour.
The gesso is ready to use. If you wait to use it later, heat it gently in a double boiler. Gesso should always be applied warm.

To apply it to the board:
1. seal the board with rsg, both sides
2. apply a second coat to the top side adding a piece of cheesecloth that has been dipped in rsg. This is to give some tooth to the board so the gesso will adhere better.
3. allow to dry overnight.

4. stipple on 4 or so coats of rsg gesso, rotating the board 90 degrees with each coat. Let dry to the touch between coats. It is best to do the 4 coats of gesso in one day.

What We're doing this Week and What to Bring:
- you may want to draw/paint on your gessoed panel at home . . . or not. At any rate, bring the gessoed panel - with or without marks. We'll mark it up and apply wax when you're ready.
- bring the cradle parts and panels. We'll glue them this week. Also bring a strap clamp if you have one.
- you may bring the plexiglas to paint on. I won't bring mylar until next week.
- I'll bring the microcrystalline wax. We won't use it until next week.
That should do.

If you'd like to bring back the work you did last week (poured and painted wax over prints/paintings) please do and I'll photograph it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

bits for this Thursday, the 8th of May

Hello everyone. Just a reminder of what to show up with this Thursday.

Marco, just bring your electric skillet, paints and a panel to paint on. Brushes and tins also. We'll make medium in class. If you want to cradle a panel bring 5 feet of 1"x2" pine or another wood and the 12"x12" panel it is to go on.

Bill, Alix and Kristine, bring:
- panels with prints (I'll bring your Gingko drawing Kristine)
- panel with or without gesso - if you had trouble (like I did) just bring the bits and we'll try to sort it out during class. If you managed to get the gesso on without a hitch, plan on drawing, painting on it. Don't forget the double boiler if you are not finished with the gesso. And the brush, rabbit skin glue and dry gesso.
- the rest of the usual kit
- also, I have the 12"x12" plexiglas that I will show up with. Think about how you want to use the transparency.

About the gessoed board. I'm going to volunteer the panel I have already done as a place to try things. We can use that instead of my already acquired knowledge.

That should be way too much, see you Thursday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

encaustic work from 24 April, 2008

About this coming Thursday, please remember your double boiler, panels we started last week and another panel you can iron and adhere metal leaf to - this can be one you have already worked on or a new one. Alix, that means 3 panels for you. Marco, if you don't have the medium made yet, don't worry. Bring the wax. I'll bring more Damar resin and we'll make it in class this week. See you all Thursday.

This collection of images is sans Alix because she is in Sante Fe getting married. Happy life Alix.

Kristine - String River
Marco - Texture
Bill - A Brand New Release
Bill - A Warm Day

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The qualities of various colors

Hey everyone, if you want a nice reference for color descriptions go to this page on the R&F site. It has a really good description of all the colors R&F carries. It also mentions if they are transparent or opaque.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

fire and encaustic for April 24, 2008

You need to bring this Thursday:
- 2 panels to paint white:
one of a size that will fit flat inside your frypan or on your pallette - say 6x8 or 6x6
the second panel can be the size you have been using or whatever goes with the size print, drawing you want to use.
- a third panel to begin the rabbit skin glue process
- a fourth panel to collage
- material you want to use to collage: photos, small 3D bits, monoprints to cut up, drawings, magazine photos

A heads up - for the May 1st class I'm going to ask you to bring an inexpensive double boiler to make the rabbit skin glue gesso. I'll bring the R&F whiting for it. I think the whiting will cost each of us about $9. And I'll supply the rabbit skin glue.

Also, thought you might be interested in this from R&F - another wax: Soy Wax. You would use this for cleaning brushes (should you want to do that): " We at R&F as well as a number of our customers have been experimenting with partially-hydrogenated soy wax as a replacement for paraffin. The results have been encouraging. Soy wax is non-toxic and burns cleaner than paraffin. Soybeans are a renewable source, unlike paraffin, which consists of petroleum. Soy Wax is naturally biodegradable. Soy wax is also easier to remove than paraffin wax, so after the color has been cleaned out of the brush, the brush can be washed with soap and water and is reusable in other mediums."

Here are the images from the last class, presented alphabetically:

Alix - Holes In the Story

Alix - Ode to a Wedding

Alix - Rose Violet Scribble

Bill - Mardi Gras Band

Bill - Palimpsest

Bill - Plaid Prototype

Bill - Weave

Kristine - Coral

Kristine - Dissembling Butterfly

Kristine - Maize and Blue

Marco - Abstraction

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

encaustic monoprints tomorrow night

Hi everyone. Just a reminder to bring your bits for monoprints tomorrow night including any markers for after effects - like grease pencils, wax crayons or oil sticks. Or anything else you can think of.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fire's date with monoprints

What to bring next Thursday, April 17th besides your normal encaustic bits:
- everyone bring one or more panels to paint white. It will have your print or painting or blank paper applied to it the following week. I'll bring the white acrylic paint and a brush.
- Marco, your panel you painted yesterday. You may scrape the wax off and experiment again or continue with what you have begun. Or you can spend the evening on monoprints. Everyone else bring what you want to work on or you can just do monoprints.
- either your encaustic medium already melted and formed or your beeswax and Damar crystals and a container to melt the wax in
- torch
- pigments in oil paint, dry pigments or encaustic stick or the other forms we mentioned
- paper for monoprints. I would suggest about 25 sheets of some inexpensive paper. If you want to experiment with some nice Japanese paper or printmaker's paper that would be fine too.

Some notes about making medium -
- it will take about 4 hours. The timing may be different depending on the the vessel you're using.
-set the electric skillet or crock pot to warm or lowest setting
- put in the Damar crystals in a 1:8 ratio - Damar:beeswax - the 4 ounces of Damar to the 2 pounds of beeswax
- put the beeswax in on top of the Damar
- put the lid on, slightly ajar, and let it melt.
Check it now and then to see how it's coming. Pay attention to the odor. It should smell like beeswax. If it smells obnoxious, turn it off.
After awhile - maybe 3 hours - the wax will be melted but the Damar may still be tarry. You can stir it around with a wooden spoon to spread out the Damar or just put the lid back on and wait longer.
- when it is all melted together use a dedicated soup ladle (you won't want to use it for food again) and spoon the liquid wax into the cupcake papers. It is best if you filter the wax as you ladle it. A cheap kitchen strainer should work. Again, you won't want to use it for food once you've used it for wax.
If you have to interrupt this process, no problem. Turn it off then back on later.
Note: this is a messy process. Protect surfaces.

Fire's first encaustic paintings

Hi Alix, Bill, Kristine and Marco. It looks like we're up and running.

Bill - landscape
Kristine - plateau + river

Also, I emailed R&F with your names but you have to mention the class in order to get the discount. They don't automatically know you are taking an encaustic class. Marco, go to the R&F website and look around. They have lots of information.