I carve wax away as often as I apply it when creating an encaustic painting. That wax is gathered in a ball. And when it gets large enough, I melt it into a wonderful neutral that I couldn’t have mixed in a million years. Recently I looked at some of my carvings and thought, “I can make art with these instead of melting them down.”
The circle just might be my favorite shape. But then, I’ve always been a grid girl so maybe it’s the square. It’s not a triangle. But I think a variety of triangles together is really interesting. Oh, and I love ovals! But aren’t they elegantly squished circles? And, really, the tricks a square can do are impressive; rectangles, parallelograms, trapezoids, rhombi. And don’t you just love the word “isosceles”? Oh, no, this could lead me back to triangles.
And the word “circuitous.” Man, I love that one.
A few months ago I posted designs for a new alphabet inspired by a Zanders calendar. It took me a while to wrangle this piece but it was finally finished in April. And the alphabet acted exactly how I intended! What? Already started another one.
Well, some of my art is anyway!
If any of you would like to download a VIP ticket that gets you into the opening party and fair, please go here: http://artmarkethamptons.com/tickets/jenniferford-vip
Thank yous, best wishes and cheers to finding every piece you carried cross-country a home in New York to Jennifer Ford Art and her wonderful team and collaborators. Here are a couple of my pieces that will be shown there. This a silkscreen on a reclaimed press sheet from the manufacturing process involved in making paint chips that you find at a hardware store.
And this is an encaustic. This fair has a design bent to it I think that my sensibilities will be well understood.
In my next post I plan to show the progress of five encaustics that are ready and waiting for the fair to open.
I will never forget getting dressed up and going to my first art opening in a gallery. I had been to museums and the College gallery but not to a “real” gallery event. I was in my sophomore year at St. Francis College (now University of St. Francis) and my professor, Maury, had a one-man show at Artlink Artspace on Broadway. I learned so much that night; how to act at an opening, how to yearn to afford a piece of art (a lasting craving) and what a true artist is and does.
Decades later, as Maury and I discussed his art, I learned something new that should have been evident. His work is influenced by outer space and the night sky he gazed on as he left his office after teaching late art classes. What’s in that sky? All the television and radio towers! For four years I, too, gazed at those ever-blinking towers. His work will always remind me of the once-in-a-lifetime, life-altering collection of experiences that college provided me.
I am a fortunate person for having Maury in my life. He taught me to watercolor, to airbrush and, most importantly, by his example, to do. (Oh, and he’s no slouch when it comes to craftsmanship.) Artlink Gallery is having a retrospective of this amazing man’s fascinating artwork. He continues to teach me and I can’t wait to see the show and find the lessons it holds.
I was invited among a number of his former students to show a piece at his show. Here it is, humbly and thankfully:
His Example; Her Wings, Encaustic, 24” x 24”
Please see the show:
Maurice Papier, A Retrospective
Fort Wayne, IN
September 11 – October 14
Opening September 11, 6 – 9 pm
Much of my work’s subject matter is an idea, or concept, rather than a landscape or still life. A few years ago I endeavored to portray the government’s confiscation of hard-working people’s hard-earned money. I learned that this topic had been addressed decades ago by American economist, Milton Friedman:
I made letters of wax caught in the process of melting away. UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher summed it up, “The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”
In getting ready for the show I struggled to price the piece. Then, it hit me. Make the work free! That gesture ensured that I got my idea across. After all, isn’t other people’s money always free?
If I have multiple pieces in a show, I make a new version of “Other People’s Money” and it’s always free. And the first to “sell.” At one show people ran to the gallery director to be first to claim it. My advertising background assures me a real kick when a concept works. I don’t run laughing to the bank but I do laugh!
Three final thoughts: 1) this is the only piece I have ever “sold” before a show opened. 2) All art is political.
3) A friend and businessman in town calls “other people’s money” OPM. Yep, a clever guy.
Again, trying something new. The first two images are how things started and the last two are how things turned out. I have been collecting lids for awhile (years, honestly; feel like I am fessing up to a bad habit) and have a number of these small, interesting shapes. I placed them in wax and some cool things happened. The palette is interesting to me as much of it is heightened in saturation and very commercial.
One of the many great things about working with wax is that if it doesn’t work out, you heat it, scrape it off, and start again. Here are some pieces that survived my current round of explorations.
Before I color my wax or paint with it, I make an encaustic medium. Three ingredients go into it; 8 parts beeswax, 1 part damar resin, and 100 parts work. I changed beeswax vendors and ordered a 28 pound block. What was I thinking? To mix the beeswax and damar resin I have to melt them both. Out came the old school hammer and chisel. And, yes, my shoulder still hurts.
And that was just the beginning: Weigh and melt wax.
Crush up the damar resin and add.
Stir the gooey resin, keep stirring.