Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In Progress - Another kind of Heat
Since returning from my NY trip, I've been questioning myself about what the wax is doing for my work? An urgency to get out of my comfort zone comes knocking . Working in Acrylic and Wax has been a constant--the wax driving the work. Talking this over with a good painter friend, the question of 'materials' has again jumped on my back -- a nagging dialogue which I am taking on this time.
This new painting, on my usual birch panel (60x24) is calling me out to do something sans the wax. The elimination of wax is a big deal --it changes everything in the painting process. It removes a time consuming setup routine, interrupts a workflow that has been in my practice for over 5 years and takes away a zone of comfort. The wait time for melting wax, making paints with resin and pigments, encaustic medium, and fusing is now replaced with little process -- mixing paint and waiting for paint to dry. I am finding that I can paint faster. Something is happening. A space of freedom that is uncomfortable. It's the wait time with nothing to do but staying with the work...intimacy.
Something happened last week --
I ruined a meticulously beautifully painted canvas (36x36)---prepping it in flat matte black, drying on my terrace sawhorses -- not a flaw after 3 luscious layers, 2 days of waiting and minimal sanding...what happened? i couldn't wait any longer. 99.9% dry, I started to unmask the edges and began sanding paint drips off the 2" cradle...sanding dust landed on the not-yet-dried surface the size of an orange...without thinking, i used my hand to dust it off and ruined it -- making a finger dent that f**ked it up! Lesson #1 learned...waiting for real is key.
The dynamic physicality of working in wax keeps you very focused and moving quickly all the time. Hyper multi-tasking is what it has been for me. Now, the process of painting without wax is much slower. Time to feel what is going on with the work. I'm not saying goodbye to wax, just gotta see what happens. It's sorta like the challenge of trying to eliminate 'black' from my wardrobe -- what's the new black and all that...
An initial thought passed through my mind that taking away a material like wax is simplifying -- but no not really. It's peeling off a layer to get to a new place with the work. Letting the work lead is everything. When a body of work is finished there's more coming that shifts the work if you can hang with that. Can you be true to that and get lost, insecure, frustrated and float along?
No mistake that I'm teaching Encaustic classes every month and just found out I'm booked out through 2010. Teaching is very rewarding for me. I enjoy group dynamics, the process, giving and receiving. I give my students everything, no holding back.
After 2 weeks of hardwork...an invitation came that can't be missed...suitcase packed, in the air after lunch-- headed for LA...an amazing weekend with good friends to celebrating a friend's gallery opening in Pomona -- AC Projects (Andi Campognone). The work is always waiting for me when I return.
Mocha the other morning at Peet's --4th Street/Berkeley....Mocha and me waiting for my friend.. talking Mom-to-Mom about our kids....on the spectrum...another book waiting to be written...
Here she is --- "Another kind of Heat" she'll be called for now....great name for a show...
More to say soon about music, the brain and creativity. My daughter and I did 'music therapy'
called "Tomatis" when she was 4....I heard there was an interview with Sting on CTV about music and the brain...