Thursday, August 4, 2016

Special offer for Oil/Cold Wax workshop with me in Tuscany next year!

I'm so excited to announce here that my dream workshop in Italy next year is definitely a go!  

Watch the above video to see where you can be and what you can make with me next year in beautiful and inspiring Tuscany!

Mark-Making and Memories
Sept 15-25, 2017 Contignano, Italy

Join me in magical Contignano, Tuscany for an exciting workshop in my favorite medium ever! You’ll have an amazing trip, creating unique art works and touring Tuscany’s gorgeous hill towns. You’ll use your favorite shapes, colors, and marks to create stunning and atmospheric pieces that express your deepest self. You will explore using designs and doodles that have been part of you for many years anmix colors that evoke the places you have felt most at home.
You’ll learn more about your creative process and you’ll leave the workshop as a confident oil and cold wax painter. You’ll also leave with a lot of amazing and beautiful pieces!

Creating abstract art with oil paint and cold wax medium involves taking a journey into yourself and your world -without a map. The process is intuitive, bold and full of discovery. Your pieces will take on lives of their own through the many layers of oil and cold wax you apply, addition of mixed media elements, and the areas you choose to scrape away.
There are many opportunities for happy accidents and unexpected joys. Each oil and cold wax piece is a result of a moment in time and space where elements converge in a one-time- only way.
I’ll show you lots of techniques for adding layers, textures, graphic touches and atmosphere to your work. I let you in on the qualities unique to oil and cold wax. I encourage you to mix and match techniques in your own way and to develop your own style.
You’ll learn several ways to prepare your wood supports and we’ll also play with Arches oil paper, which needs no preparation before you dive in with paint and wax. You’ll learn how to use ordinary household tools to incise and make marks, how to scrape back for a dramatic look, and how to unify your compositions. You’ll learn how adding personal marks with oil bars and oil pastels enhances your pieces.
We’ll also cover adding collage, sand, plaster, marble dust, and collage elements to your pieces. You’ll learn how to use solvents to add unusual and unexpected effects. We’ll explore the creative process and ways to get your creativity flowing. You’ll be able to take inspiration photos on our visits to nearby towns and translate them into abstract works that evoke all that you experience on this Italian adventure.
Special Offer!
Register and pay in full by 9/20/16 and receive a significant tuition discount! For more information on our villa where we'll work and play and to register visit our host Lisa's site.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Waxy Workshops, Cold or Hot, at Art and Soul Minneapolis

I have about four spots left open in my wax workshops at Art and Soul Retreat in Minneapolis. Whether you like your wax hot (encaustic), or cold (oil and cold wax medium) you can have a great time experimenting week after next at Art and Soul. 

Here's the description for my cold wax class, 

Discover the translucent beauty of painting with oil and cold wax medium! You’ll experiment with free and bold abstract landscapes with this delicious medium and Arches oil paper. You can paint right onto the paper, so no need to gesso. Unlike with hot wax, you need no appliances to achieve maximum cold wax goodness. You can add and scrape off layers as you want to, so no need to be concerned about mistakes!
You’ll work on several pieces at once, using tools such as squeegees, bamboo skewers, rubber jar openers, combs, and more. In addition to painting, we’ll explore incising, using paint sticks, painting knives, oil pastels, and adding collage elements. Join me in exploring this unusual and interactive medium. You’ll leave with several gorgeous pieces!

For those of you who want to learn encaustic skills or add to what you already have, I'll be teaching "Express Yourself in Encaustic".
Encaustic is an ancient art that is enjoying a tremendous renaissance in our time. Encaustic pieces have a luminous glow found in no other medium. Encaustic layers are "dry" almost instantly and yet they can be reworked at any time in the future. Encaustic works wonderfully with a variety of mixed media elements and techniques.

This is a perfect class for those new to encaustic. You'll learn to make encaustic medium and encaustic paint, use collage and photo transfer with encaustic, add 3-D embellishments, and more. You'll have fun experimenting with the many fascinating effects that you can achieve by creating with encaustic. If you have used encaustic before but would like a refresher or new inspiration, you'll find it in this class.

You can add and scrape off layers as you go, so no need to be concerned about "mistakes". Come express yourself freely and boldly with encaustic!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Esprit de Collage at Artiscape

I recently invented this class after trying some experiments on my own. I brought many mats with me of varying sizes and openings. Most of them were purchased at second hand art stores. Some I painted with craft paint or Annie Sloan Chalk paint. I challenged (nicely) the students to create a collage the size of the mat opening, rather than create a mat to fit a collage. I had done this on my own with some old mats that I had and found it really fun and educational to create collages in a predetermined size and shape.

The theme of the class was finding inspiration in the look and exuberance of the early 20th century collage makers. The class rose to the challenge and found they found creativity enhanced by the limitations. I brought lots of vintage papers and fabrics and emphasized the use of original rather than commercial materials. We used Ceracolors in addition to collage elements.

When we ran out of mats for the second collages, (this was a big class) students tended to create their own predetermined spaces for their collages (see above.)

Here they are: participant works in the esprit de collage!


To see some splendid work from my "Paper., Oil, and Wax class at Artiscape, visit my other blog, "Cold Wax and More."

Monday, April 4, 2016

Sharon and I Love Ceracolors!

"Fayum Memory"  by Serena
Not long ago I received a call from a talented painter, Sharon, who wanted to create a series of portraits of friends and family in the style of the Greco-Roman-Egyptian painters of the first century BCE to the third century CE. These paintings were discovered centuries later in the Fayum area of Egypt.
Most of these paintings were done during the sitters' lifetimes and then after the person died, were affixed to their mummies. The paintings are done in a variety of styles, but all are haunting in their beauty and in the sense we have of seeing into the face of a real person who could be someone we know. One of the chief characteristics of Fayum paintings is the dark, large eyes of the subject.

I had done several Fayum inspired paintings in encaustic, but I wondered if Ceracolors wouldn't provide more flexibility in painting.  I used a heat tool to fuse and incise in much of the painting to replicate the look of the Fayum paintings. These ancient painters used both encaustic and some form of cold wax. Ceracolors is a water-soluble wax paint which can be used in many ways. 

Below is a still life done with Ceracolors and Ceracolors Fluid Medium. Below the apple you'll see some of my other Fayum experiments.

"Glowing Apple" by Serena
"Ethiopian Girl" by Serena

"Fayum Memory # 2" by Serena

Sharon came to my studio to experiment with Fayum portraits. Her first one was done in encaustic, see below.
Sharon's Encasutic Painting

Sharon used the same heat tool I had with her encaustic painting--you can particularly see it on the hair on this piece.

After the encaustic experiment, Sharon started a series of Ceracolor Fayum portraits.

By Sharon, after Fayum Artist
Sharon really took off with the Ceracolors. When she paints family and friends, the pieces become really alive and individual. 

By Sharon

By Sharon

By Sharon

By Sharon
I find Sharon's Fayum style paintings as hauntingly beautiful as the originals.

Ceracolors can be used for abstract painting as well. My piece below looks much like my oil/cold wax paintings.

"Smuggler's Cove" by Serena

I'll be teaching "Ceracolor Still Lifes" at Artiscape, sponsored by European Papers, in Dublin, OH later this month. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wild Work in Oil and Cold Wax

Shelly's painting in oil/cold wax/graphite on Arches Oil Paper

Wild women met recently at my studio for "Expressive Abstraction in Oil and Cold Wax." They produced wonderful completed work and work in progress. 

Very early stages left to dry.

All the students were experienced painters but had not used cold wax before. They had to learn to let layers dry and not to overwork the pieces in the early stages, which we all tend to do when we're starting out in this medium.

The trick is to work on a lot of pieces at once to let layers dry and also to become looser.

By the second day, all the artists had loosened up wonderfully and explored a lot of options in color, composition, incising, scraping back, and texturing. Thanks to all of you for a wonderful weekend!

Adding collage elements using cold wax medium as the glue

Adding and spreading paint and wax with a palette knife

Using a brayer to spread paint and texture

 A beautiful and dynamic finished piece.

Closeup of above
More of the lovely finished pieces from the class:

Detail from the piece at the top of the post. The piece was inspired by a painting of a young woman carrying another on her back.

Gold transfer leaf makes this piece sing, and the next few as well.

Covering over a piece in progress, then scraping and incising back produces complex simplicity.

Lively works in progress: