Wednesday, July 30, 2008

TexasWAX/Houston July Meeting

Our July meeting was at Suzanne's new studio this past Sunday. Sadly, one of our members and founder of the Encaustic Workshop at Lonestar College/Cy-Fair, Robert McGehee couldn't be there because he is back in hospital. He is having serious problems related to the surgery he had last summer. We all miss him, wish him well and look forward to his return soon. Besides myself, Suzanne Shield-Polk, Cynthia Robertson, Julia Koivumaa, and Alonso Lopez were in attendance. Suzanne was very generous with tasty refreshments....lunch really! Thanks, Suzanne.
We decided to skip the August meeting and get back on our "first Sunday" schedule set for the 7th of September to be held at Julia's house.

Cynthia Robertson and Julia Koivumaa

Suzanne Shield-Polk and Alonso Lopez

Suzanne spoke about the workshop she attended in California. Etsy, she said, was mentioned as a good source for selling small handmade items.
We talked about the June conference and I shared some of the things I learned at the sessions I attended.

Linda Womack's books Embracing Encaustic were hot items. Everyone was eager to get theirs. I have more.
I only have one copy of the catalog for the Diptych Exhibition and everyone wants one of those too. You can see in the picture of Cynthia and Julia looking through my copy. Julia was a participant in that exhibition.

We welcomed a new member, Alonso Lopez to our group. We spent some time browsing his web site oooing and ahhhing his work. Like Suzanne, he does 3/D as well and has a background in ceramics as well as painting. We are anxious to see his work in person and hear more about the techniques he uses. Check out his web site.

We also discussed working out something with Jerry's Artarama in the way of working meetings or workshops there. I have spoken with the manager there and he is very receptive to that idea.
We discussed the collage technique that I saw Nathan Margalit demonstrate at the conference.
I did a very mini demo. More of a description really and Suzanne played around with it some. I did these two in my studio soon after I returned from the conference. One is 12 inches square and the bottom one is 8 inches square.

Here is a description of his method.

Nathan works on a wooden panel substrate onto which he glues canvas.
He primes the canvas with beeswax and medium fusing between layers before he begins to build his collage. I glued heavy paper down to my wood substrate rather than canvas in my collages.

Nathan has an abundant supply of thrown away books at his disposal in the town where he lives. Students at near-by colleges throw away these things at end of semester providing him a great renewable source of collage material. Besides book pages, he uses any papers he finds, scrap, his own drawings, etc., and feels free to alter any of these with paint or markers of any kind that are compatible with wax. (Gouache is his paint of choice.)

No photo copies please! He uses pages directly out of the books as well as his own or others' drawings, also not photo copied.

His collage material is his palette. He prefers to have a stash of materials at hand before he begins to work. As he chooses a fragment of paper he gives both sides a coat of medium before he attaches it to the substrate with the tacking iron. As he tacks, he rubs off excess wax with a silk old silk shirt. (That is what he had in the demo at the conference!)

I used some fabric (used oil paint rag) as well as pages from an old book and hand made paper for material in my collage. I also added some oil bar on top of the surface afterwards.
I don't have an old silk shirt...had to make do with something else.

He is able to work flat or at the easel and can work large formats more easily that one can in straight encaustic painting. (My opinion here regarding working large.)

His is a very intuitive way of working. That speaks to me.

Below is a detail of one of the paintings Nathan had on display at his conference session.

This is part of the "On the Edge" exhibition at 301 Gallery in Beverly, MA taken in June at the conference. Click the images to enlarge.
Artists from left to right: Gregory Wright; Deborah Kruger; Howard Hersch; Nathan Margalit.

Nathan Margalit's painting in "On the Edge." Click to enlarge and see the details better.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Encaustic Conference Report

This is the follow-up report on the 2nd Encaustic Conference that I promised to make, belated though it is. First off, the conference was well worth all the effort it took to plan and attend. Planners should be congratulated on such a successful event. From my standpoint, everything ran like clockwork. The only complaint from most attendees was about the hot temperatures that came upon us half way through the weekend. The planners had no control over that. People who stayed in the dorms suffered most because there is no air conditioning provided in those spaces. We all suffered through however, and managed to have a great time anyway!

The conference itself ran from Friday through Sunday with "early bird sessions" offered Friday for those attendees who came in early. Below are images from the two early sessions I attended.
Above: One of the "early bird" sessions, a demo by artist Julie Shaw Lutts on her take on encaustic collage. I found most interesting her process of using collage and assemblage with materials like metals and wood combined with paper and wax.
Below: Charyl Weissbach on "The Luminous Landscape" described the process by which these artists put together this exhibition.

Sessions during the conference can be characterized in three ways; demos of particular techniques, presentations with slides or videos regarding various related subjects, and professional developmental type presentations. Sessions are not long enough to include hands-on activity by participants.

I attend three conference sessions that included demonstrations; Nathan Margalit's demo (pictured below) on collage, Russel Thurston on large format painting and Sandi Miot on textures.
Nathan Margalit

Below: Russel Thurston at work during his session.
Above: Sandi Miot. Below: Some of Sandi's samples of textures and Below that: Her palette.

This is Sandi's palette. I was told these nice lidded paint pots come from the children's department at IKEA. I was planning to run over there first thing when I got home from the conference to get myself some but haven't done it yet!

Above: This is part of Sara Mast's presentation about working large. I found her work quite wonderful and her presentation very interesting and informative.
Below: Daniella Wolfe's presentation was equally intriguing. She presented work by artists who combine encaustics and textiles. You can find these artists on her blog---Encausticoplis.

Additional hands-on workshops were offered on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday after the conference and these ran the full day. The fee for each workshop after the conference was extra.

In-between all these activities were four exhibitions up for viewing. Three were located in the conference building (the school) and one at 301 Gallery down the street. Therefore & Because: Decoding Norman Labiberte, Hue Again, works by Joanne Mattera and The Diptych Show, collaborative works by artists from IEA and NEW were the three in the main building.
Receptions were held at special times for each of these exhibitions.

These two photo's below are of some of the diptych's from that collaborative exhibition.
All images below are from "On the Edge" exhibition at 301 Gallery. I am missing attribution information for several of these images so many apologies to those artists. I did want to bring attention to these anyway.

Above: Artist Lorraine Glessner
Rodney Thompson
Karen Freedman

Cari Hernandez

Shelley Gilchrist; Cherry Creek

Paula Roland
Kim Bernard: Tranquil Swarm
Russel Thurston: Bang (on left) & Spline on right

Below: Opposite What? by Lynda Litchfield
Opposite What

Above:Christy Diniz Liffman
Landmarks : Watermarks

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Member News and Next Meeting

Both Julia Koivumaa and I have work in this exhibition which is up from July 26 through August 30. If you get to Dallas during that time, stop in and see the exhibition. Janet Wayte
another Houston artist I know, also has work in this exhibition.

This means that Julia and I, if we attend the reception in Dallas, will have a very quick trip there and back so we can attend Sunday's two o'clock meeting at Suzanne's.
Bring some work to share and remember that I will have Linda Womack's Embracing Encaustics books there for sale to those who want them. Robert and I will also report on the conference we attended in June. Other topics of discussion will be demo and workshop possibilities at Jerry's Artarama, other possible locations for our meetings, and possible exhibition opportunities for our group/groups. See you Sunday.
Other news from sister organization texasWAX/Dallas...Some Like it Hot is the title of their up-coming exhibition at Bath House Cultural Center in August.