Recycling art

allheartEverything that is old can be new again . . . that’s what I’m discovering as I fall deeper into the encaustic rabbit hole. I’m mining my photo files, revisiting favorite images, ink jet printing them on Sumi rice paper and finally incorporating them into collages.  fiveCollaging onto oversized baggage tags has been obsession. The size limitations (2.5 to 3 inches x 5 to 6 inches) are right in my comfort zone. I found these tags stashed in a drawer with collages on both the front and back of each one (don’t know why I did that). I enlarged and photocopied each one onto Sumi rice paper, torn it into several pieces,  “re-assembled” it and finally collaged all the parts with encaustic medium (a mixture of beeswax and damar resin) onto gessoed encaustic boards. Each board is the size of an artist trading card, 2.5 x 3.5 inches. thereandbackThe original tags are multilayered collages, composed of handmade and commercial papers, iPhone photos, paper ephemera and trash calligraphy (from my friend LeeAnn Clark’s studio recycle bin). The collage was glued and sewn to the tag along with a layer of transparent inks. This encaustic piece shows both the front and back of one tag. The transparency of the Sumi paper, when saturated with the encaustic medium and attached to the white background, makes the collages glow from within.

How fitting that this piece contains a rabbit (iPhone photo of a little iron bunny that I discovered hidden in a grassy curb strip on a Valentine’s Day walk with my sweetheart)as I do feel a bit like Alice embarking on a wonderful art journey.

Home again, home again . . .

Spent the past weekend in Seattle teaching at LOJ (Letters of Joy) and working on a wrapping project for a client. Visited friends, consumed delicious food & drink and participated in “retail therapy.” What could be better?ImageThe students in my class, Tape it Up, Packing tape transfers for collage, were so creative and enthusiastic – the two hour class flew by and they didn’t want to leave. My phone was almost dead so I didn’t get to photograph all 10 student’s work – here’s a collage created by Andrea.

I’m back in the studio – cleaning, rearranging and getting rid of anything I haven’t used in the last year (10 x 14 feet means that everything has to have a “spot” – it’s like being on a ship). Going home yesterday afternoon I saw a guy “dumpster diving” in the building’s HUGE recycle bin. I’d put out a big box of paper scraps (end cuts from invite jobs, etc.) and was glad to know that my trash was someone else’s treasure!

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Encaustic painting is something I’ve been wanting to explore for a while – took a beginning class at Collage in March, but I resisted purchasing supplies or starting on anything until after all the pieces were done for the Maude Kerns show and LOJ. Am making space by the window (for good ventilation) and will soon be ready to experiment with color, beeswax and collage – looking forward to see where it takes me.

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