Since teaching Drawing on Encaustic Wax, I have been playing around with approaches to the still life in my studio. What I mean by this is that I am reawakening my love of drawing still life. As artists we are so bombarded with imagery today- much of it someone else’s imagery: historical imagery or found imagery; and we forget that a portion of an artist’s time used to be just drawing or painting a still life or model in one’s studio.
I mean sometimes you just get sick of drawing from photos or pulling up google images. Well guess what- there’s a whole world of artists working from small still lives every day. But it’s the oil painters and the die-hard pencil artists. It’s just not the encaustic artists. Why?
It’s just not the way we usually approach encaustic painting. Last month, my student Jacob commented, “we should have a live model to paint!” and I said “Yes!” I totally agree. But it seems tricky somehow, juggling our hot griddles, gloves, paints, ventilation, and working out our ideas in a chunky brush, while we keep our live model happy and our eyes darting back and forth-model to painting-model to painting. But I think it is do-able! Why not?
Since then, I have been engrossed in researching Flemish Oil Painting, and working to transfer these concepts into an encaustic approach. I thought the way the Flemish approached underpainting and layering was particularly applicable to the way we encaustic artists use layering, glazing and burnishing.
So I’ve taken the pear as my current subject (being March that seems the best option for organic form choices) and taken to daily charcoal drawings and encaustic paintings of them. I have started to share my ideas and teach a few friends my approach; and being a documenter, I am collecting a variety of processes that I hope to compile and share in a book of some sort.
If this sparks anyone’s interest, let me know with a comment. I tend to run ahead of the curve- I am pulling in ideas that are old school to oil painters and applying them to this slippery, changing landscape of encaustic art. We’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted. Happy Creating!