First time back in the studio I played around with encaustic painting after being inspired by Robin Luciano Beaty. I ran out of a few colors and had to stop. I wasn’t really getting anything great. Maybe because the medium is so different from my usual poured oil or acrylic. I contemplated just giving it up for good. Then I placed the order for the colors I ran out of so now I’m committed. I’m too stubborn for my own good but sometimes it can really help to get out of your comfort zone for a bit. Struggle is not always a bad thing. The painter Alex Kanevsky said in an interview ” The moment something works well and is under control – is the time to give it up and try something else.”
He explains that concept in an interview – “Once you’ve got it all under control, it’s not terribly creative at this point. The painting doesn’t have a chance to talk back to you. It’s like that idea of bullfights in Spain. Both bull and matador have a chance of hurting each other. Therefore, the spectacle is interesting. Now if you just had a guy come out and have an incapacitated bull and he just kills the bull then how interesting would that be? It would just be bloody murder. So, if you keep on giving up things that you’re comfortable with and are under control, then the thing keeps being alive.” Alex Kanevsky
More of that interview here.
I will probably continue to work on these but that’s what’s so hard about the medium. It’s not easy to work just one area while holding on to something you like in another area. Usually you lose everything while trying to achieve something better than what you had. Once again that brings me to Alex Kanevsky’s work. He has an interesting technique where he reworks a painting everyday and in the final piece you can see a little bit of the other layers. The painting is a combination of all these different paintings of the same subject. He photographs the different stages of his paintings. Check it out here and here. Sometimes the changes are subtle and other times the changes are dramatic with figures coming into the painting and then leaving. It’s like a film when you click through all the iterations. Here is one of his portraits, you can see the progress sequence on his website here
and here is a Wave painting on mylar, you can see more of this series here. I saw them in Philly and they are so beautiful…