|"The Last Time I Went Fishing"|
If you're one of the 2.3 regular readers of this blog, you'll know that this is not normal behavior. Usually when I sell anything, I'm thrilled. And of the encaustic pieces I've had up at Local Color over the past year, the ones that have sold are the three that I think are the best. Sure, it's been a little hard getting used to the idea of something selling and then going away forever--with photos, at least you get to keep the negative, so you always have your favorite pieces--but my painter friends have helped me get my head around that.
What's bothering me is the fact that I've been working in encaustic for a bit less than a year. My work is all over the place. I'm still experimenting with techniques, trying out different approaches. I've at least limited the pieces for sale to those that had an actual conceptual underpinning, the pieces that at least felt the most like "my art" to me. I guess I believed, on some level, that the approach that "worked the best" would be the one that would sell. But each piece that has sold has utilized a completely different approach. It's all still experimentation with technique and form.
|"Textures of Fall"|
This is unlikely to make sense to any nonartists out there. You're probably thinking, "you made it, so of course it's your work." That's both true and not true. I made it, yes. It is something I handcrafted and brought into being. But it's missing a consistency, a voice, a recognizable connection with me, an ability to see and portray and represent and comment on the world in a particular way that is not nominally mine, not superficially mine, but emphatically and unarguably mine. In photography, I recognize my work. I capture an image, review it, and immediately know if it's "mine" or not. I have not reached that point with encaustic, although I can feel it getting closer. I am already far enough along to recognize that certain techniques and approaches are not for me, even as I'm working with them.
But there are still things I haven't tried that I'm not sure about. I'm drawn to more three-dimensional approaches, to integration and representation of natural elements in a more elegant way than I've seen in most mixed-media approaches. I'm interested in subtle markmaking and fascinated by the process of revealing surprise hidden elements by using heat to draw back the layers of wax. I'm interested in pure abstraction, and I'm interested in approaches that are near-replications of more formal painting techniques--something I've quite literally never done, largely because I doubt I have the patience to learn. (I made a noble attempt at watercolor painting in graduate school, and it lasted all of one academic quarter--I couldn't get past the total frustration of not being able to master techniques fast enough to transfer what was in my head onto paper.)
|"Hope is in the Body"|