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.

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