Fish Orient

Fish Orient
Encaustic & Image Transfer
Loading...

Pages

Friday, May 21, 2010

Conrad Wilde Gallery

I donated three pieces to Conrad Wilde gallery in Arizona and saw today that they sold all of them. It was a strategic move for me here in Australia to get my work seen over in the U.S but also it's nice to help fellow artists.
The piece up above is one of the ones I sent.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making Encaustic Gesso

This week I decided to make encaustic gesso. I really wanted to buy some of the R&F encaustic gesso in a tub but the price is extortionate here...$68 for the mid sized tub. So after talking to the helpful chap in the art shop I decided to give it a go. So first you need these things...a pack of rabbit skin glue which comes in crystal form,whiting and white pigment. and cold tap water. I followed Timothy McDowells recipe from Joanne Mattera's art of encaustic book. First you make the glue size by mixing the crystals in cold tap water. To each quart of water add two to three tablespoons of glue crystals. Soak this overnight or till it becomes to a jelly like consistency. Once this is done you can warm the glue size ina double boiler till it melts...make sure the size does not boil.

Now to make it white you mix 9 parts whiting to one part pigment in a large bowl. Slowly add mixture to one quart warm glue size. Heat in a double boiler, I used this pyrex jug in an old pan(do notuse these for food again!) about 15 mins until creamy, stirring constantly.Use a chopstick to stir the mix and when the stick has a fine milky coating its good to go.Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and use warm on your panels.

This week I decided to make encaustic gesso. I really wanted to buy some of the R&F encaustic gesso in a tub but the price is extortionate here...$68 for the mid sized tub. So after talking to the helpful chap in the art shop I decided to give it a go. So first you need these things...a pack of rabbit skin glue which comes in crystal form,whiting and white pigment. and cold tap water. I followed Timothy McDowells recipe from Joanne Mattera's art of encaustic book. First you make the glue size by mixing the crystals in cold tap water. To each quart of water add two to three tablespoons of glue crystals. Soak this overnight or till it becomes to a jelly like consistency. Once this is done you can warm the glue size ina double boiler till it melts...make sure the size does not boil.

Now to make it white you mix 9 parts whiting to one part pigment in a large bowl. Slowly add mixture to one quart warm glue size. Heat in a double boiler, I used this pyrex jug in an old pan(do notuse these for food again!) about 15 mins until creamy, stirring constantly.Use a chopstick to stir the mix and when the stick has a fine milky coating its good to go.Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and use warm on your panels.




So I did all this which was pretty easy and came up with this. This is the gesso when it was cooled ater the first making up and board coating. I kept it in the fridge and then warmed it up again to use again. I am not sure how long you can keep it for but it still seems okay.


Here are the boards as I had coated them(middle one got a bit of shellac on it). Timothy McDowell suggests 3-7 coats and a gentle sand in between each coat. This is not as hard as it sounds I put them in the sun and they dried really quickly so I was able to redo them quite quickly. I used a fine tooth sandpaper. When you are doing each layer the gesso needs to be warm to activate the gelatin in the previous layer.

When you do the first layer it will look quite thin but don't worry. When the first layer changes from glossy to dull do the next layer . It says you can do a coat every 30 mins but mine dried really quickly and I did them quicker than that.


So here is the pile of boards i gessoed and my beautiful new table(hubby made) now all messy.
I thought this gesso seemed a lot like pastel primer that I have used before...I am wondering if we can use that under encaustic. If anyone knows the answer to that let me know.
But I am really happy with how the ground looks, it is nice and white and porous for the wax to bed into.
I have also read that artist Tina Elkins uses milk paint as her ground and has had no problems at all.
This is what she wrote

"I have a sneaky insight into the gesso. When I first tried it, it seemed so familiar to me, even the smell. I showed it to my husband who recognized it at once as basically milk paint!
The stuff from R&F is wonderful but very expensive. I won’t argue with R&F, certainly they are the leading experts in our chosen medium, but I have
tested and been working with milk paint and find that it does just as good a job as far as I can tell. R&F’s has a small bit of (acrylic type?) additive in it as well, so it will stick on a variety of surfaces, but you can order milk paint in powdered form as well as an additive also that will allow you to paint  onto a sealed surface for way less than the price of the premixed gesso. Try “The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company” online- comes in many colors too! Only mix what you need- it does not store very long once mixed, and use 2 coats. I have meant to put this information on my art blog, so look for that information to show up there sometime soon when I prime some more panels and shoot a few pictures"
this is the link to her blog

http://tinaelkinsart.blogspot.com/

So that was my week.
I am still working on stuff for my June show and I definately have enough work now so I just need to finish off a few things. We also made a decision to book the gallery for next year for another show. But next time I want to make a body of work that comes from some research and really make it a cohesive set of work.

I like the stuff I have done otherwise I wouldn't put it up there, but I have felt that maybe it was all a bit too quick and I wasn't able to take things further. When you are working you are travelling along a path and I often see side roads that look so enticing and interesting that I realy want to get on down there and explore those side alleys. But because I had to get all this together so quickly I have had to stay on the path and not wander off on little inspirational jaunts. I can see areas wher I could have explored a certain set of imagery even further so that is what I am going to do once this is over.

Anyway that is all till next week, have a good one.