Sunday, July 22, 2012

Moss Street Paint-In

Yesterday was the Moss Street Paint-In (now known as the TD Art Gallery Paint-In) - it celebrated it's 25th year!  Over 150 invited professional and emerging artists from Victoria and the surrounding areas were there, demonstrating their work on the street.  Moss Street was closed to traffic between Fort Street and Dallas Road to allow up to 35,000 people to see their favourite artists at work and have a chance to meet them.

I am so excited to be one of the lucky artists invited this year!  It gave me a chance to showcase my new encaustic work, and to meet some of the wonderful people who support artists by buying their work.  A huge thank you to all who stopped by my display.  It's so nice to hear from people that they love the work you do - that's the best encouragement an artist can hear!!!

I just painted the blue "Lisa Riehl" sign on Thursday, talk about last minute!

Painting in progress  

People were intrigued by the encaustic paintings I had brought with me.  Many had not heard of encaustics and asked lots of questions.  They have such a different look to them - luminous and textured.  I was happy to talk about my techniques, including the painting I was working on.  So many people stopped to ask questions that I stopped working on it - the acrylic paint on the palette was drying out while I was chatting with people.

I am thrilled to say that I sold quite a few of my encaustics - so exciting and rewarding!  I have a lot of work ahead of me to prepare for my next few art market weekends in August - I need some more work to show...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Experiments in Encaustic Painting

8x10"   encaustic on board

Ever since February when I started working in encaustics, I have been totally addicted to it!  I've barely done any acrylic painting at all (with a few exceptions, I'll post about those soon).  It's been so much fun to experiment and find out how to work in this medium. 

To begin with I tried painting a few landscapes in my traditional style of painting, but that was quite painful and I wasn't really happy with the result.  Well, it ended up not too bad, but I was not able to achieve the look I was after ...

my first landscape attempt ... 6x6"

Then I started concentrating on the mixed-media/collage approach.  I love this type of art, and after not doing it for so long it was really liberating.  And I've always loved crows and birds, so naturally this started to come out in my work.  I mainly used transparent and white wax, with image transfers and come limited colour, and mostly I worked with the surface being pretty smooth ...



And then I discovered the birch trees!  I started experimenting with texture and applying layers of different coloured wax, and cutting back into them when the wax was hardened a bit.  This was so much fun!  I did different coloured backgrounds -  blue, red and yellow, super fun!  


I have so many ideas that I want to put into action - just not enough time!  I'm working a full-time job and really only have time to paint on the weekends.  But I know I have to be patient, it will all come.  And I have a feeling that one day soon I'll figure out how to do the style of landscape paintings that I'm known for, only with wax ...

Friday, July 6, 2012

Encaustic Art

I have been absent for quite a while, I know!  My only excuse is that life just kind of happened, all in a good way.  I am working at a full-time job (not art related) which I love but is keeping me quite busy.  My only painting time is on the weekends, and that is competing with everything else as well - gardening, surfing, camping, any trips away.  And I have been regularly posting about my art on my Facebook page - The Art of Lisa Riehl, so I just let this slide.  But it's time to try this again ...

Just to add to all this "busyness", I've started working in a brand new medium - WAX!  It's called encaustic painting.  I took a workshop on it about 5 years ago, bought supplies, but then everything just sat there.  I was working on too many other things at the time and I decided to just concentrate on acrylic painting.  But recently I've been seeing a lot more encaustic art out there, and I just love the look of it.  I'm so drawn to wax art, it has this amazing translucent quality to it and is super versatile.  So I took a one day refresher with a friend who does encaustics, and presto!  Now I'm addicted ...

"Untitled",    8x8",  encaustic on board

Encaustic painting is basically painting with melted beeswax that has been mixed with a small amount of tree sap resin (called damar) to give it a bit more strength.  It's an ancient art form that's been around for thousands of years (ancient Greeks and Egyptians used it).  See here for more detailed info.  The wax can be tinted with oil paints or dry pigment, or used in it's original translucent state.  And it's amazing for collage, you can add almost anything to the wax (paper, photos, shells, metal, etc...).  So it's super versatile.  I have soooooo many ideas!!!!  (and so little time :-)

I'm still experimenting with it.  I love crows and birds, so I've been playing quite a bit with photographic images that I transfer onto the wax.  And I'm also experimenting with texture - so much fun!  One thing I haven't quite figured out is how to do something similar to my typical landscape style of painting.  But the experimenting part is super fun.

I entered one of my favourites into a big juried art show here on Vancouver Island:  the Sooke Fine Art Show  (July 28-Aug 6).  And it got accepted!  I'm dropping it off tomorrow. Here it is ...

"Triple Murder",  10x30",  encaustic on board (triptych)