Sunday, February 15, 2015

cold wax in a tube

One of the minor problems i encountered with leaning to work with cold wax is that it comes in jars. Which is ok in the studio but I found myself contaminating the clean wax with color when digging it out of the jar with a knife. I also didn't like the big blob of wax on my palette. Again, i was contaminating it with color as i try to use it to mix with paint. When painting on location, the jar is really inconvenient. Bulky to carry, easy to contaminate the entire container, you need two hands to open and close it, it dries out if left open and I'm sure there are more. So here is my solution. Take an empty toothpaste tube and cut the bottom off, rinse it out well, dry and use a knife to load it from the bottom with cold wax. Tap in on the bench to force the wax to the "business" end of the tube. Roll up the end and clamp it shut. Now it's easy to lay out a line of wax on the palette in small, or just the right amounts, as needed. Clean and fresh wax every time.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Oil And wax

This next series of posts  are going to be about a workshop I am taking  with Cindy Walton in the use of cold wax medium with oil paints. First step is to buy or make panels. So I bought a sheet of quarter inch birch plywood and cut it up into 8 by 10s and 16 by 20 pieces. I gave them two or three coats of Liquitex gesso.
The studio in Asheville
Cindy Walton and one of our classmates

Getting started. the name of the game is to mix the cold wax with the oil paint and put down layers of paint that we can then dig into or texture
It's all about layers.  I didn't want to get my phone full of paint so I didn't leave it out to take a lot of pictures of the step by step

This became
this which became
this   "Ankle Deep" 8 x 10 panel
I had a little bit of trouble wth the layers not putting them on thin enough.  but I kept trying and kept on going on
there's probably three layers on this one now with the dark blue on top.
With more paint this  became
this which then became
 and finally this

I worked on this one above and on the  right below with several layers and carved back to get the line
Which became this
 these are the same level of completion but shot in different light.
I finally finished it after several more steps

the one below has only 3 layers and the center was textured area was a blending of the first 2  the blou and the green are on top of that. 
 I did some finishing touches back at the studio.  I don't like the lack of contrast and detail in the green area.
 this blurry shot is the only one I have of the early stages of this 5 x 7
 It progressed to this stage. these are not as abstract as I was really shooting for and I was sort of breaking Cindy's rule of "don't make the unfinished pieces too precious. just keep layering and removing, adding and subtracting, " I failed in that regard because all my "finished " pieces look like landscapes to me
In fact, this one is inspired by my memory of the river across the street from the studio.
But I think everyone is going to use this medium differently and I love the way it feels under the knife so I plan to explore it's use in the field as well as some more abstract studio work.
 This is another 5 x 7  I managed to get shots of more of the steps in this one. Later in the day I started to get more confident in my ability to just experiment and not think of a finished piece or to even see a finished piece as I went along.  Just looking at it and thinking " what does it need "

I did sign it and shot it in this frame but that doesn't mean it's finished . in fact I did work on it some more and change the orientation to portrait.  it's now framed in a black float frame

ryone's screen is different so there is no telling what colors you are actually seeing compared to the real color in daylight.  all these pictures were shot with the Galaxy s5 so if you are viewing them on that device you are seeing the closest I could come to the actual color, saturation, and contrast using the on phone editor. ( my desk top is way off, my old ipad is close)
below is a shot of pork loin being a grilled in the fireplace. It came out great what a cool idea for a winter grill. It was a great trip and I learned a lot