The month of August has been full of adventuring. I shipped five small paintings to Atlanta, GA. Bid farewell to a member of the Octopi Collective as she goes to UCONN, celebrated my largest body of encaustic work showing at the National Steinbeck Center with the Octopi Collective, juggling my relationship with my family, making new connections with people, preparing new work for show at the West End Celebration and the NSC "What the Deck" exhibition.
If you are following my work and progress you know the ups and downs I battled while making this body of work for the National Steinbeck Center. For a quick history here we go:: The Octopi Collective was given the task to read John Steinbeck's 'The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights' and much like Steinbeck to the work of Malory, the Octopi was to take Steinbeck's book and interpreted it in a 21st visual form.
This body of work was challenging in a varity of ways. I have recently moved out to Steinbeck Country where my morning run and color palette absorbing walks incorporate a view of Castle Rock.
I am in a simplifying and minimalistic stage in my life. From the supplies i had at hand I was able to create six 2'x4' wooden panels for this project. I was not exactly sure what i was going to be creating after I set up my first outside studio, but I knew my journey through the book and new landscape would have ample inspiration and ideas to feast on.
One of my favorite parts of the book is about the characters in the forest. I love the interaction of the characters with each other as well as the interaction they have with the land. I titled my piece, "Rolling Sweet Grasses in Her Tight-Woven Cloth to Make a Rich Soft Pillow." This title is from the book and directly relates to what the characters did in the book and what I did to make this body of work. This work spans 12' x 6'.
The work will be showing until November 2nd. The work is for sale and a portion of the sales goes directly to the National Steinbeck Center. This is a GREAT opportunity to support the National Steinbeck Center. This work looks great on a large wall.
Here are a few images of the opening reception and of my new work. Email me for any questions.
The Octopi Collective female artists.
This work was inspired by John Steinbeck’s “The Acts of King Arthur and His Noble Knights.” My work focuses on a continuing scene in the book, the forest. In the setting of the forest there is a constant unfolding of human interactions and emotions. My personal setting parallels the setting in this book in addition to the setting of John Steinbeck himself.
I utilized three different heating tools and varies techniques to create this large scale body of encaustic work. I use the heat gun, blow torch and iron to achieve my surfaces and fuse the wax. I use a masking technique to create the hills and valleys in the background. I embed natural materials into the wax and fuse. I then use the iron to create the milky sky. I discuss this work as having three different elements. There are skies, hills and valleys, and dirt or land sections to the work. Since most of the story in the book takes place outside I use those stories and descriptions in the book. The sky piece incorporates many descriptions about the milky blue sky and the cloud formations as knights prepare for a duel. The hills and valleys portion uses Steinbeck's descriptions of the rolling green hills and the golden valleys that the knights and damsels could see in the distance as they adventure. Some characters spend many days and nights in the forest sleeping on the land. The dirt or land piece of this work incorporates strong knightly elements. There are sticks, rocks and tough seeds that are embedded into the wax. One of the characters finds some grass near by and fastens a pillow together with the natural material found in the forest area. Although the forest is never the destination it is where all the adventuring happens. I invite you to engage with the work from afar taking in the green hills and golden valleys feeling the wind blow the grasses. Walk towards the work and look at the detail of small found objects placed in the wax.
This work was created in Steinbeck Country.