It is the time of the year that is the most difficult for me in the studio. I don’t think it’s because it’s cold, though today it was 49 degrees here when I opened the door. It is just easier to paint in the summer for reasons I have never known. That is my rhythm as is my liking to paint beginning in the late afternoon. I am here in the studio by 10am or so but rarely really get started painting till much later. I spend the first hours in many ways including reading, drawing, writing, sometimes teaching. Everyday is much the same as I love the creative routine I have established over the years.
So at the beginning of every year I hope for a project to shake me up, get me started, challenge me. Last year it was a series of large figurative oil paintings for a corporate client who had a deadline I never thought I could meet and a solo exhibit out of town. This year it is a series of large scale oil landscape paintings, the largest 36 x 72 inches (so far).
I tell my students all the time to shake things up, do something different. Well thanks to the requested landscape project, I am taking my own advice again. What I find most interesting about this project is the approach I am taking with the technique of oil on canvas. Hard to explain but working all year only with encaustic helped me bring a new energy, a new approach to the paintings this time and try methods that I have never used with oil on canvas. For one thing, the paintings came off the easel more frequently. When returning to encaustic I know I will have gained new insight. I’ve already seen the softness of the images that draw me to them juxtaposed with the “hardness” of the wax at least the way I have been painting. Amazing that you can paint for so many years and learn something so simple that it can lead to a new path. It is what I love about my practice of making art.
Not all the paintings will be oil, so I will have the opportunity to see what happens right away when I resume with the hot wax. How will oil painting inform the encaustic paintings this time around? Will I make more time for oil painting this year?
Happy New Year! I hope 2014 brings creative challenges.
Hi Helen, Love these! What makes it even better is that they’re huge! See you soon, Holly
Thanks Holly!! Love working large and narrow, my favorite. Feb. coming soon.