During my last art workshop in Santa Fe, I learned a technique that everyone in the class came to refer to as “transparentized” the paper. Of course we all decided that it was made up word in the class. It is the process of taking your paper and adding beeswax to create a transparent appearance. So everyone started calling it transparatizing, as in “I finished my monoprint but now I want to transparentize it…” So it was the on going word that we keep using, but always thinking that the word was just created by use in the workshop. It became one of my favorite techniques. So last week will visiting my hometown of NYC, I went to MOMA and there was my word. William De Kooning has a work on display and the info card reads “transparentized”. So of course I took a picture (not of the artwork, just the card on the wall). So the word really does exist
A few weeks ago I attended the Broward County Red Cross Designer Showcase. When I got to the beautiful houses on Las Olas, I was told that the art was all “eco-friendly”. What I discovered was the paint used through out all the homes was a new low-odor, evironmentally friendly housepaint. But I was also told that all the art/painting on the walls are “green”. I think the host was confused as to paint on the walls being this new enviromentally safe product, to what he thought was paintings of seashells and palm trees. But it did get me thinking. All the art in the houses had a nature them, beaches, sand, seashells, ocean views, florals etc. But all the art was made from oil or acrylic paint. All of which use chemicals, mineral spirits, turpentine, mediums, and what is not used is tossed in the garbage or washed down the sink. This is probably why I work in encaustics. The stuff is beeswax and it never goes to waste. Almost everything that I use is recycled. I paint on wood, there is no washing of brushes, the beeswax has no chemicals in it, the damar is from trees, I don’t waste any paint. Once I mix a color, I can just remelt it and it never goes to waste. Wax, to me is the true “eco-friendly” product. The only thing that I really use is electricity, which is generated by some plant that adds to the carbon output. But I can’t eliminate everything. To me the real “green” art is not the subject matter, it is the media.
To keep myself focused, I decided to work in a series. I have many styles that I wish to explore and many times when I work on one piece, I get an idea for another piece. Sometimes within the same concept, but many times very different. Since this “bouncing around of concepts” has been frustrating for me, I have a solution. I have pre-cut 12×12 inch squares and each one can be an idea. Then I can revisit each idea and expand upon it to create a series. So the fist series is titled “Steppingstones” and it is wax, collage and thread, the second series is titled “flowers” and it is wax, encaustic, and tissue papers. Lets hope that this will keep me focus.