Sunday, June 26, 2011

Safety Precautions

I made this encaustic piece in Fall 2010 for my friend (and fearless poet) Lynn Behrendt. My sister-in-law had given me bags of old library cards and they soak up encaustic medium in a perfect way. The fronts of the cards were not too exciting to me that day, so I flipped the cards over, pulled some random text from my husband's office that was laying around (happened to be some British car related list of "Safety Precautions"), and I typed some random stuff onto the backs of the cards. The encaustic medium transparentizes the library cards, so you can see traces of ghost text once the cards are soaked in wax. The cards just happened to fit onto a board I had lying around my studio. The text says things like "Always wear safety glasses" and "Be sure the ignition switch is in the off position" and "Keep hands and other objects clear." I used one of my favorite color combinations, indigo and gold (which reminds me of the sky and illuminated manuscripts), and rubbed oil paint into the incised lines.

Safety Precautions - encaustic, oil and collage on wood, 15" x 18", 2010

Thursday, June 2, 2011

OK Mountain

On May 28, 2011, Steve Cotten, Peter Genovese, Kathleen Gilligan (aka, "Tigger"), our dog Einstein and I hiked from the Tibetan monastery in Woodstock, NY to the Overlook Mountain Firetower. When we stopped to explore the ruins of the Overlook Mountain House, it appeared that there was once an interpretive display about the history of the place, and that display had succumbed to the elements. These photos are from that decay, that display. We saw a timber rattler on our way back down. Kathleen wore a red dress that was vivid against the spring green. It was very humid and the gnats chased us up and down the mountain. In typical Tigger form, her inner compass lead us to the best possible rock ledge - the wind blew away the gnats, the air was cool, and we lounged on the rocks with the Hudson in the distance.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Fish Whisperer

Our friends Jamie and Saren have a large pond on their Hudson Valley property filled with Koi. My favorites are the butterflys. With a aged-rum mojito in one hand, I'll watch Jamie feed the koi at sunset until they form an orange swarming. It's magnificent. I've teased him that he's the fish whisperer. I feel like an ancient Japanese courtesan watching an ancient event.

I wanted to make an encaustic piece for them, and made a tons of photocopies of koi drawings (not by me - I'm a thief that way!). I promptly lost the copies somewhere in our house. When I found them six months later, I dug out a wood panel, tiled and glued the koi images onto it, covered it with encaustic medium, scribed into the wax freehand over the koi, pressed oilpaint into the fissures, and wiped it with baby oil. Peter made the hangers on the back. I very much had to stop myself from using my favorite R&F gold oilstick.

Saren hung the piece in their house next to the window where you can look out and see the koi pond. She spells them "coys," which I didn't know at the time. So the art is placed exactly next to the reality in a funny repetitive way.

The Fish Whisperer - encaustic, oil and collage on wood, 15" x 18", 2011