i decided to collect all the art i worked on during 2009 into one post, so that you can see what i’ve been up to in between other things, mainly family, especially at this end of the year. i thought i worked on some other art projects during the year, but i can’t remember them, and don’t have any photo documentation of them. this doesn’t mean i didn’t do it.
some of the things i started and never got far on were my artist smock for my residency in the west of ireland that didn’t happen this year. for more on that, see here. there’s my mom’s quilt, made out of old clothes we used to wear. i haven’t even finished ripping the seams out of all the fabric, so i’m nothing like properly started on it. also, i should have been thru transplanting a whole bunch of dogwoods from around the neighborhood (i have permission, yes), and moving other things, and readying the place for next year (unlike the frozen north, i can dig in the ground all year round, and do most of my heavy gardening during the winter, yay). and there’s the complete inventory of jim’s work(in the attic, in the basement studio, around the house, in friends’ houses) i can only do in the winter because of the temperatures in the attic starting around mid march.
anyway, this is what i accomplished last year:
this is one of the first encaustics i painted, of swarming koi in a feeding frenzy. it’s abstract and yet photorealistic and i just love that. my first encaustics were done in december, so they don’t count.
i played with this one, using a design jim did for my silk scarves, and really playing with the wax. note the blooms between blue and red between the teeth. look at the mane and how the blue disintegrates. it looks so much nicer in person. buff that painting, mikie.
this was done on a raw wood plank, and the texture is rich especially in the paint blobs. my sister the mfa will love it.
in person you can see right into the wax, just like you can see right into nebula clouds. on camera it looks like i did it with crayons. i would apologize for my ignorance of camera techniques but oh well.
my monk friend brother martin got this one, a faithful copy of an eastern orthodox icon. testing what i can and can’t do with encaustic. faithful copies of egg tempera paintings, check.
this is hanging in the spare bedroom. up close it’s really cool. faithful renditions of planets, check.
it started out as a color chart for my students, but i made a batch for people last winter.
in the quest to see what i can and can’t do in encaustic, my new main medium, i try a still life, one of my famous interior scenes, using way dilute wax paste and tiny brushes. it works, another check.
you just can’t see how nice this turned out in a photo. the glare sucks, for one thing. and you can’t get close to see what the wax does, which is all its own thing and very beautiful indeed.
it’s hanging opposite our bed and we watch it light up as each morning progresses. wax is especially well suited for depicting planets, and i have a whole more series planned, as soon as i get back to painting.
sunflowers in north georgia, 8×10, to susie
she never once came down to the studio when she was visiting here for two weeks. so she never experienced my encaustic paintings. my daughter hates everything but my old, tight, style, and my sister may be the same. but she’s getting this for xmas, just as soon as i can mail it off to her.
the radar view of venus, showing height. the white rings are volcanic flows, the blue is the very lowest land.
i did this one out of cotton fiber and string, and painted it just as i would a planet. it’s hanging behind me on the wall of my computer room.
altho the tropical sun would melt it on the walk from the ferry, i decided to do my thank you painting in wax, after we went for a visit with relatives. tho not the most beautiful of my paintings, it has its own charm.
the broken water, the reflections, the exposed rocks, the illusory fish. at once abstract and realistic.
the invisibility of the water, the clarity of the rocks on the bottom, the really neat way you can do this in wax.
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so this is what i accomplished this year.
plus the 9/10s of a novel i wrote over here.
plus a lot of time wasted on swine flu early on.
maybe i can be less anxious this coming year, and produce more.
oh yeah. anxiety is the energy that creativity feeds off of. so the more anxious i am, within limits…
no, that’s not it. the better i can productively use the energy my anxiety gives me, without actually going over into obsession with the objects of my anxiety, the more i can channel that energy into making art.