encaustic n+15


that yellow i used yesterday – toluidine yellow. what a name.

jim has ceased seeing any difference in the picture no matter what i do to it. i must be mostly finished. i’m still looking for the perfect orange for the dark bands. when i look at the reference photo, i can see that the reddish bands are actually glowing orange. it haunts me. how to get it? wait until the whole painting is surmounted with translucent unpigmented wax and then use just that wash of orange on the top layer? the suspense is maddening.

today’s work is remarkable because of the failure of my rational mind to work as an artist. i’ve got this vision of the color i want, i know exactly what it looks like.but i start out by mixing in another entire color into a bunch of dark scrapings on my palette, and it veers ever further from my ideal color. i wonder why i’m continuig to smooth it out and fold it back in on itself.

but then i take a knife tip of the color, which while trying for brilliant orange i wound up with a palish plum, and eventually ended up making it vaguely white skin colored, that is, jaundiced pink.

and then i began to see that same color popping out all over the reference, and areas just begging for me to wipe them with the tip of my knife. (ever see sweeney todd?) so i’m painting with pink. in all sorts of places. and it’s good.

it’s happened twice now, that i would set out to make one color and come up with an off-the-wall not match that happened to be just what it needed.

i spend a long time burning these days. i’m putting one color on at a time, no more than thirty or fourty marks all over the painting, and then i’m going right in and melting only those marks. i get dizzy with the changing perspectives and perceptions that i experience as i watch the wax’s movements. it gets trippy right away.

it takes ten minutes for my vision to come back. even tho i’m wearing welding goggles (sunglasses) my eyes still smart as if i’d been looking into glare. duh. ah but the joys of watching wax melt, ahh.


then i went in with white. i had put pink over where i wanted darker clouds, in the equatorial band of white clouds. and now i went in and put white on top of that, thinking maybe it would blend in the end. i’ve been making that mistake all along. i’m building up a rich texture, but i’m not blending anything, unless i’ve been holding the lamp over it too long.

now i’ve got to go in to the swirly bit to the left of the red spot and make that more three-dimensional. it’s not there for me yet.

and i’ve got to figure out how to do the orange glaze.

i’m about out of beeswax. we bought two pounds frompearl paint a few months ago when i started this, and i’m running dry, so i just ordered 15 pounds of bulk beeswax from a mom and pop (hi mom and pop, want to watch the grandkid?), and a gallon of citrus solvent. that’s my pre-tax refund essential buy. all my discretionary income goes into art supplies.

maybe i can use some quinacridone gold oil paint, because you just can’t buy this pigment, even tho somebody must be making it. i’ll see about it tomorrow.

jim’s building both of ussome panels. he’s got a 4×6 foot and a 3×4 he’s pputting gesso on now, and all i hae to do is decide waht i want to do next.

except that i just got a scarf order, so now i’m going to switch gears when i finish the jupiter painting, and do cheshire cats on silk scarves.

isn’t life fun? there’s always something.


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