Thursday, October 11, 2012

Art is You

Last weekend I joined a group of fellow artists at the Art is You workshop in Stamford, Connecticut.  It's a first for me -- I have attended selected classes at various locations, but I've never had 3+ days solely devoted to classes with various artists of my choosing.  Let me just say that I was in heaven, and I have ever intention of going again next fall.

Many of the instructors at the event rarely teach on the East coast, so I knew I had to find a way to make it work.  I took not one but two encaustic wax classes with Serena Barton. Although I've worked with beeswax before, I've always wanted to learn to work with encaustic medium because the resin mixed in causes it to dry to a much more solid consistency than plain wax.  The first class we took was to actually paint portraits with the encaustic medium -- and since I love portraiture, this was right up my alley.  We brought some photos for inspiration, and though the painting below doesn't look a whole lot like my inspiration photo, I love the final outcome (especially the crackly, crusty finish!):

In the second encaustic class, also with Serena Barton, we took an old, discarded book and enrobed it in wax, lace, vintage buttons, velvet bits, fragments of old papers, and a carved niche with a frozen charlotte doll nestled in a blanket of raw lambswool.  Strands of sari ribbon and pearls cascade from the center of the book.  Can you tell that I'm in love with it?

See the frozen Charlotte doll?  She's not an original -- they sell for anywhere from $20 - $2,000.  But she still looks lovely in the niche, don't you think?  

The pendant on the left page is something I made at Key's 4 Art last February. 
It was perfect for this book.

 This is the back of the book, which is just as beautiful as the front.
I wanted it to look like it was just unearthed from an attic.

I love the texture and color the resin imparts to this piece.

The book was a tome by Charles Dickens, but I couldn't resist 
layering on some vintage Farmers Almanac papers I picked up recently.

Those black diagonal lines are a process called etching. Texture is carved into the
wax with a sharp tool, and oil paint is applied and partially removed.

More etching, this time as faux handwriting.

I will be doing a lot more of this, for sure.  In fact, I'll have a hard time stopping myself from covering everything within reach with encaustic.


Caatje said...

Looks like you had a wonderful and productive time. I'm only a little jealous (oh, who am I kidding, I'm a lot jealous). ;-)

Eileen Bellomo said...

Well, clearly you've conquered encaustics (whereas it has conquered me, LOL). Love both your pieces, and can't wait to see the book in person.
It was a great retreat and I am going to follow Michele's lead and do the early registration too. Yep, she's already registered for Art Is You 2013!

suziqu's thread works said...

Oh what a time you've had!
I can see encaustic wax coming out of your ears!!!!
Your pages look so effective and love your colouring effects!
x Suzy

Rosie said...

Roan wants to know why you keep stealing his dolly.

Janet Ghio said...

Teri-these look like wonderful classes--I love what you did--the book is fabulous!

thepinkrachael said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! The book looks great - I really like the way you've done the back cover!

Jillayne said...

Oh how beautiful! Your work is just wonderful and so full of colour and texture.... love it!
Isn't it great when you get that inspired - I hope you are able to hang on to that feeling for a long while.

Purrplekatt said...

Wow Teri! These pages are beautiful! I ofe the colors and depth.

Holli said...

WOW!!!! I'm so happy you got to do this... how cool Teri... I'm glad you went!

jgr said...

Gorgeous work!! It sounds like a wonderful retreat, also: I checked out your other blog-that house is AMAZING!!

Seth said...

Happy to have had the chance to see you there Teri. And like you...I already have AIY 2013 on my mind!

jaeartworks said...

Very cool! Encaustic is one thing I've never tried. Have always wanted to take a class though. What a great experience!

Serena Barton said...

Teri, it was so great to meet you and have you in two classes! BTW, if the Frozen Doll in your book is the one I gave you, it is an original.

Hope we meet again next year!

Ruth Armitage said...

Your encaustic portrait is terrific! That is very difficult to do... I've tried :) Glad you enjoyed the workshops! Isn't a 3 day art binge just decadent?

craftyM said...

These are wonderful, Teri! I think I, too, could become addicted to encaustic! Your cover is wonderful...