Saturday, March 31, 2012

Behind the Scenes Week 3

Oh week #3....I was afraid you'd almost not happen.  We had so much going on at night this week that I had to squeak in studio time!  I hate squeaking it in because I don't always do my best work that way.  I like feeling no pressure to be in the studio, but rather to just be in there as an escape from reality and place and time to let my mind wander creatively.  I rarely ever think about anything while painting.  I like to listen to music and escape to creative world.  Yeah, I am a freaky artsy type.  I admit it wholeheartedly.

So this one is called "finding my heart".  When you see the process you can physically see where the name came from, but behind the scenes it is a personal inner finding as well.  I have found so much love in my life.  Through my kids, husband, work, creating....but often I find myself lost and scared of the life I am in.  I get so bogged down with living that I don't truly live.  I let my head lead me, which can often spew out words that are not from my heart.  This was not a good week at school for Mailey and her friends.  I'll tell you, being a mother is the hardest job in the world.  And she broke my heart this week with her actions.  I am still trying to find my heart to put it back together and move on.  We lead and we love and we nurture our children.  But ya know what, they are going to make their own decisions...some good and some bad.  And it sucks when they are bad.  She has a lot of me in her, a lot of passion for people and life.  She's a leader.  And she is a good girl.  She just made a bad choice.  So we are mending some hearts in the Horne house this week and are very thankful it's Spring Break week and there is NO freakin' playground time (I've decided nothing good happens on the playground).  
Originally I started this on Sunday.  It was going to be a ton of lines and whimsy on top of the color circles and the natural wood.  I am really liking the natural look on the canvases for some reason.  And then it sat a few days, so I changed the plan.
 Here are my dreamy waxes flowing effortlessly on the heat element:
Whether in layers of paper or layers of wax, I like starting my work with a grounded base.  Here I chose a patterned bottom of warm and cool colors.  The top 3/4 was covered with white.
The hill was added using about 10 different greens made from letting the wax melt into one another.  I added a bunch of fun lines to the hill as well to give it a very patchy affect.  And of course a bird, my favorite subject to paint.  I then added the heart....but didn't like the in-your-faceness of the heart on a stick.  So I added petals around it to protect it almost.  You have to look to find it now.  I love the symbolism of that.
Oh, and I gave up and let Lily sit with me and let the heat gun take the floor.  As I type she's in the same position as above.  Geesh she's a Momma's girl!  So this week we are headed into Spring Break.  With an art show in less than 2 weeks I am beyond thankful for this time off.  And so are the kids!  We plan to do a bunch of enjoying our home and each other.  And after the week we've had, no one is wanting anything more.  My heart is very thankful as well.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Canvas #3

Finished this up last night.  Yep.  I am like a painting maniac right now.  LOVING painting.  In fact, I'm jumping from canvas to canvas not really finishing anything because I've just got to get the ideas out!  But I did squeak this one in last night.  This morning I took photos real quick with the Iphone and emailed them to school to post this.  And I'll be danged if the full view ones aren't all blurry.  Now, it could be my eyes because I am beyond tired (All freakin' week I've been like this peeps!!  Like the first trimester tired.  And since I know better and know there is no bun in my oven am quite perplexed as to the state of my body.)  Anyhoo....I did manage some cool behind the scenes photos which I'll show later this week.  Because looking above I am giggling as to what is under all that gooey wax.  hehehe...

This one is called, "finding my heart". 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Behind the Scenes Week 2

There were plenty of on lookers and crowd cheers this week in the studio.  See:

Yeah, I know.  But in all seriousness, I had Mailey on top of me every time I went to the studio this week (sometimes annoying, sometimes not).  She even made her own little encaustic.  I swear, when she starts High School art classes her teachers are either going to be totally annoyed with her advanced abilities in strange mediums and not know what to do with her or just let her do her own thing and pray she doesn't burn the building down.

With wax you can do a multitude of techniques.  Prior to making the #2 canvas this week I messed around with layering.  Some made it to the sell in shows pile, others made it to the what the heck was I thinking need to paint over pile!  But all a learning experience nonetheless.  Here I started with a paper doily as a mask.  Then made this crazy organic green center.  Then started doodling....then layered more medium on top of everything...then doodled some more and added color.  The stepped back and said a-ha!  I think I am figuring this out a bit.  Then messed it all up with too hot a medium and had to fix, then repaint, re-carve, a said, a learning curve week.  But I love the end result.  Because it is so off the common thread.  It's a freeing feeling to do something out of the norm.  So the question will I keep up the doodle abstracts?  Not sure.  But I did enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Canvas #2

Here I am, week #2.  Woohoo!!  Part of this experiment, and a rule I gave myself, was to experiment with as many mediums as possible.  To expand the vocabulary a tad you could say.  This week, although not new to encaustics....I did expand the subject matter.  Well truth be told, these images have been lingering for a long time.  Hidden deep in sketchbooks, sidebars and Church bulletins.  Yep.  All those doodles I make have made an appearance.  It was super fun to finally let them be front and center and not a part of the background, or sitting idle on the pages.    No real deep thought about the images, just letting myself be free in the studio to create what I want and not what I think will sell .  Which was a huge step in a positive direction.
Probably one more week of encaustics and then the acrylics will be back on the studio table.  Long story about where they are.  I'll be sharing that over on the other blog.  So be sure to check back and forth for a spin on all that's going on in the creative journey!  Oh, and later this week more about the process of the painting!

Friday, March 16, 2012

At the Desk Week 1

A little sneak peek at behind the scenes this week.  I always love seeing how artists work.  So here's my behind the scene!  Woohooo!!

Hot wax is such a yummy medium.  I realized when pulling the wax out that I just use them once a year around this time.  Must be my hibernating medium of choice!

Once I set up for this medium I start painting and can... not....stop.  It's addicting.  The canvases just fly out of my head and into the wax.  I love it.  And then just like that, the tap runs dry.  I neatly pack it all up and put the cold bricks of wax away.  It's crazy how my viewfinder brain works.

Oooooo... look at my cutey patootee studio helper!  She kept trying to get in my lap.  Since I was using a heat gun she wasn't allowed which really hurt her feelings. (On a side note, somehow I stuck my toe in the dang heat gun....OUCH!!...The story:  I put it in the seat beside me until I need it.  I also sit with my left leg bent up under me, always.  Evidently the heat gun is hot inside the mouth when off.  I tucked my leg in and stuck my toe into the mouth of it while still toasty.  Seriously I think I am the only human being that can burn her toe in a heat gun while sitting in a vintage desk chair.)
Working in the wax is amazingly fast.  Mostly due to the medium.  There are drawbacks that only I see, and thus why I don't always paint with the wax.  But the end results are dreamy. Basically you start with layers upon layers of wax medium that I personally heat in a vintage crock pot.  After coating the board and fusing the layers I move to my art desk where I have the wax bricks neatly set in muffin tins, brushes and an electric skillet.  I melt the wax bricks onto the hot surface to make the color melted enough to coat the brush and move to the canvas.  You have to move quickly since it dries immediately.  All layers have to be fused as you go with the heat gun.  My favorite stage is carving all the outlines and doodles with a clay tool.  Last I fill the lines with oil stick and rub like the dickens to get it looking like it does above.  The hat was collaged paper and a tiny pearl button attached with glue.

To see more of this medium be sure to check my regular blog...I've got a dozen made for an upcoming show!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Canvas #1

It's done!  Canvas #1 is done!  It was fun...and yet a little nerve wracking.  Why you ask?  Well the pressure to make a perfect little canvas for #1 was a little crazy (of course all self inflicted).  I don't usually worry when working, I just go with it.  And since I have a million little sketches and ideas in my head at once the ideas come running out the brain, not skipping.  But it's done.  Whew.  Now the pressure is off and I can start running again! 

So the thoughts behind the painting....I wanted to paint my favorite little blue bird Mattie.  The little bird that started this creative journey.  She's under an umbrella.  It's her birthday....and it's raining.  Just in case you don't live around my parts, it just happened to be raining Monday, on my special day.  So yep, symbolism in it's most simple form.  Plus I like painting umbrellas and birdies. But there's more.  Did you notice the drops in the bottom?  They are little upside down hearts.  I just feel a lot of this lately....puffy hearts, love, emotions, all bundled into one gaint cloud.  Last week I literally let it ALL fall out over and over again.  And perhaps that's why I painted the umbrella too.  I was sheltering myself from the rain.  And from my heart breaking.  I really love being a teacher.  But quickly I've come to realize that I absorb every child, and all their emotions and all their angst and all their fears and all their problems.  And I want to fix the problems, hug their hearts and give them my umbrella.  But I can't.  I just can not keep giving out the umbrella.  Because it is soaking me to the bone and making me worn slap out.  I'm not saying I'm not going to keep teaching with all my heart and soul.  But I am going to let go a little.  And be an amazing example of living a joyful life.  Because I firmly believe that being an example to these children may be what they need to see.  These little visual learners absorb so much all day.  So much of which is crappy.  If I can present myself daily as a joyful, spiritual woman who embraces life with whole heartedness, maybe.... just maybe, they'll pass the umbrella along one day. 
In case you were wondering what the medium was.  I'll be sharing some behind the scenes later this week so check back!  For now, enjoy, "Raining on My Special Day".

Monday, March 12, 2012

It's Partay Day!!!

It's here!!  It's here!!!!!  The day has finally arrived.  My 40th BIRTHDAY!!!  Woohoooo!!  So let the painting begin!  Here a few highlights from the past decades that have lead up the the 4th decade.  And why I am thinking this is going to be a good one.  Because I've learned a lot of lessons in the past 4.
-I'll skip all those younger years, I basically lived in a bubble my ages 0-20.  You don't want to know about how blissful it was.  Seriously.
-My 20's were spent graduating from art school, planning a wedding, working a crappy job, building our first home, getting married to Billy, getting certified to teach art, loving that job, having our first baby William
-The 30's were packed with having Mailey, my Dad being shipped off to fight the war on terror, my parents getting divorced, fighting depression, leaving teaching, opening an art studio, Billy becoming a State Representative, hitting rock bottom financially, adding a retail store to the studio, leaving that retail store and deciding to become an artist full-time, selling our first house, buying a new house, finding financial stability, going back to teaching full-time

Whew.  It's funny how things go full-circle.  And the older you get the more you find a rhythm that works for you and your family.  How things that were SO important in your 20's, become frivolous in your 40's.... that sort of thing.  Like how shopping becomes a chore instead of an escape from depression (thus the financial stability coming into play).  How working a job you truly have a heart for can change your attitude about life goals.  How being at home is more important than anything.  How loving yourself  (even the frikin' thunder thighs) can change everything.  Everything.  So yep.  The 40's are destined to be wonderful.  Not perfect mind you.  But full of crazy potential.  Because I've got 40 years under my belt of mistakes, good decisions and decisions yet to make. 

I do hope you'll follow this journey through my 40th year and join me in Birmingham, Alabama this time next year for the gallery opening.  It's going to be an amazing showing of work.  And for such a wonderful cause.  I love the support you all give to my creative journey and can not thank you enough for being here in this little world with me.  I puffy heart you.  :)

xo Jenni