Here is a mounted piece that I made in July during an encaustics workshop. It is entitled Surfacing and has lots of powerful meaning, intention, and love in its creation.
To begin, I want to say how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE working with encaustic painting. I love how messy it is, how the results emerge on their own as the wax moves and blends, and I’m never afraid to experiment and ruin my work. There is something incredibly freeing about working in this wax medium and I cannot wait until I can set myself up with encaustics in my studio.
In the meantime, I take every encaustic painting class I can sign up for and so far I’ve taken three with another scheduled this fall.
Here is my piece entitled, Surfacing. This piece is an experimental mixed media piece including encaustic wax, fabric, sand, fibers, and gold leaf. I love the colors of the piece and how I mounted it on top of an old frame I found. Let me explain the art and process of Surfacing.
In my encaustic class I was experimenting with adding all sorts of textures into my pieces. I had some blue colored sand and decided, “What the heck…I’ll put some in the wax and see what happens.” As you do with encaustics, I used the heat gun to seal the wax and was mesmerized with the sand melting, moving, and embedding in the wax. I am in LOVE with texture in my work and the sand added and unexpected and thrilling dimension. Here is a closeup of the corner where I left some sand in its original state. You can also see the added thick, heavy fibers that were added to represent the net the fish had just freed itself from.
The fish itself is a fabric scrap I salvaged from a local recycle store. I had been saving it for a while to figure out just what to do with it in my artwork and when I started on this piece, I knew it was a fit.
Surfacing is so deeply meaningful and symbolic that it embodies myself breaking free and coming up for air. This past year has been tumultuous for me while I’ve gone through such periods of self reflection, growth, and decision-making. In the past few months I have finally decided on what direction to move in my life and I do feel as I am no longer drowning and AM coming up to the surface again. I see that fish is me…breaking to the surface and no longer being restrained. Ahhh. What a feeling.
Did I have these ideas in mind when creating this piece? Not at all. I was drawn to the colors, textures, and theme subconsciously and just allowed myself to play. Now as I step back and reflect on Surfacing and my inner state at the time I created this piece, I recognize the significance of the symbolism in my life.
I recently decided to gift this piece to my sister who is a avid fisher-woman. I am still vulnerable and careful about sharing my artwork with others…and gifting it to someone is a big step for me. My Inner Critic is wondering…”What if she hates it?…What if she tells you she hates it….What if she wants to hide it and never hang it in her house?….She will think its ugly and either tell you or keep you guessing….She won’t think its art…She won’t understand it”…. and ON and ON and ON.
Phew. That critic is a pest. But not one I’m going to let me hold me back. I am going to gift this piece to my sister and like it or not…she will have it. I will give it with a condition that she won’t have to love it, hang it, or even share opinions on it. It is a gift and she can do with it what she wants. (But I hope she won’t trash it or give it away). I think she’ll hold onto it for when I’m famous. Yea, that’s it!