Challenge 30 in 30 - #3

Coral Forest
14 x 11
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper
This is the third of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I am a little behind all ready because I am!
Holiday Monday. Housekeeping, art wise and housekeeping, house wise, and drawing class. I think that could also count as 30 in 30 so I will post a snippet of what I liked about last nights drawing below! Feet, always a challenge. I love the feel of the charcoal and what it does on paper!

portion of life drawing

Spark of Madness

Spark of Madness
Oil and Cold Wax
12" x 12"
Spark of Madness was accepted the 5th Annual National Juried Encaustic/Wax Exhibition sponsored by The Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, NewMexico.

The show is on display October 3rd through the 31st.

This was a fun piece with brighter colors that my usual palette plus a lot of line work and scraping to top it off. Oil paint mixed with cold wax is such a scrumptious medium to play with. You layer and spread creamy paint mixed the the wax, next you scrape some off and add more in. The paint seems to seep through when you don't expect it from precious layers. It has a history all of its own.

Day 17 of 30 - Cerulean and Quin Gold Study- January 17

Cerulean and Quin Gold
8" x 8"
Oil and Cold Wax on Canvas 

When I was younger I remember colors names, like hot pink, or sky blue, or amethyst.
When I hear those words, I envision the color in my head. Perhaps this is similar to walking into the house and smelling chocolate chip cookies baking. Kind of a sensory thing you feel, smell or see if the memory is triggered. I love the colors of turquoise, and teal and cerulean. I can tell an artist friend the color of the sky today was Cerulean and they know exactly what I mean, even if they would argue and say it was more like ultramarine and white. Blues are my calm place, they make me feel alive and free. I love to add other colors with them, but the blues have it! This is just a playful study and I called it Cerulean but I know most would disagree and say it is more turquoise, but thats ok. I like the way Cerulean rolls off the tongue and today I will pretend it is Cerulean!

Day 15 of 30 - Neutral and Red Study - January 15
Neutral and Red Study
8" x 5"
Oil and Cold Wax on Cradled Panel
Starting with turquoise layers and building up to many colors, this was then covered with some of my favorite neutrals, including Titanium Buff, Unbleached Titanium, and Pale Grey (which is not really a grey, but more in the beige grey tones). Scraping back after the layers set a few days, the red tones were allowed to simmer. Some of the turquoise is also coming to the surface, so I will let this study rest and see how it looks after the top layers settle in.

Day 14 of 30 - Treehouse - January 16
5" x 5"
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper
I'm still playing with leftover paint and small paper. The colors in this one were created by layering and seeping through, all except the reds. They didn't change much. It is like a chemistry experiment when I let them sit a day, often something comes out and I have no idea what colors were mushed together or how it came to be, much to my chagrin. Because if I wanted to make sure I came up with that again, or if I wanted to make sure I NEVER came up with that again, I do not have the information I need.

Day 13 of 30 - Two or More - January 13

Two or More
5" x 5"
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper

This little study has been evolving and changing this week. I thought it was done but then started adding and taking away, so I had to redo and rethink. I see people in here and it reminds me of lyrics from a song in the 70's I believe. Without thinking about songs I cannot remember very well,  I like the colors and the contrast,  and I will stop for now.  There are several portions that I will crop and make into a larger painting.
When I first started painting, it was hard for me to come up with "what" to paint. Now, I cannot paint all the ideas in my head and balance the amount of time in a day!!! And when I look at other's artwork, it makes my mind do more questioning of "what if?" Or as my almost 3 year old grandson likes to say all the time, "why not?"

Day 12 of 30 - Heather- January 12

Heather Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart
5" x 5"
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper
My sister travels a lot and shares wonderful photos with me. Sometimes it is a painting in which she likes the colors or design, or an interesting bit of scenery, buildings, or people, or  it may just be a photo to use as an inspiration. This small study is from an inspiration photo taken while a passenger in a speeding vehicle of colorful fields of heather in Iceland. The colors all melded together and the sky was a pretty soft blue. I loved that blurry, colorful photo and this painting reminds me of how the colors and lines can be used to create motion.

I will have to get a better photo sometime, the blue appears as if it is sitting on top of the page, which often happens when you use cold wax. It needs a little more drying time to really settle into the painting. Sometimes the wax picks up the light and it looks like a hot spot in the photo. And sometimes the dry wax makes the painting look very dull. It is quite a challenge to get a good photo and if anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear from you!

Day 11 of 30 - Push Pull - January 11

Push Pull
8" x 8"
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper

Hans Hofmann is an artist I am intrigued with. I am attempting to read his book, which is way over my head, and I get side-tracked looking at the photos. He talks about push - pull and the forces that make a painting work, like in opposition to create depth. One other thing to think about. I do like Hofmann's work, it definitely has depth! Painting engages the heart, the emotions, and the mind. As long as I can learn and experiment, I have no reason to ever get bored!

Day 9 of 30 - Speakeasy - January 9

Speakeasy - Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart
5" x 5"
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper
There's unique restaurant in Albuquerque called Vernon's Hidden Steakhouse that is similar to the 20's speakeasy where you had to have a password to get in.  My cousin took me there to show me the decor and the "secret" to getting in, it wasn't actually open for business when we were there in the middle of the day. She knocked on the obscure door that seemed to be part of a liquor store, probably exactly the right number of times, and a little window opened. The person on the other side said in a serious voice, "What's the password?" My cousin said, "Joe sent me." and the door opened to a fun and decorative lounge and steakhouse that I understand is highly rated! They let us in to explore, even though it was too early for dinner. Someday we will try it out!

This study after scraping and layering somehow gave way to a rusty door and a tiny window that I will just let hang out for a while. The colors started with who knows what, I should have paid more attention! I might want to try this again. That is the odd thing about oil paint and the cold wax medium. Although I was able to get this combination this time, there is no guarantee the chemistry will be the same the next. There is not any boredom or security in working with these two buddies, but it sure makes for some exciting outcomes, some good, some not so good!

Day 8 of 30 - Springing Forward - January 8

Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart
Springing Forward
5" x 5"
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper

We are having a bit of a cold spell, but nothing to complain about when I look at weather in other places. So, why does this painting seem like spring? I am not sure, but I will go with it. The colors just seemed fun today. Maybe it has to do with spending the day with three of my favorite little people, my grandchildren! It's hard not to laugh and feel lighthearted when you hear their little conversations, such as wanting a guinea pig that talks for Christmas next year. If anyone knows how I can make that happen, let me know!

This is another "possible". A study that may grow or be a springboard for parts of it to become another painting. In the last few days, I have been putting photos of my work into Photoshop and cropping sections of them to use as a guideline for new work. These will most likely be done in acrylic since the oil and wax method is so unpredictable. Little bits of color seem to appear unexpectedly and as the painting sits, some of those will even change more as layers dry. Often little surprises seep though layers of paint. Two methods of working, one for my right brain, and one for my left! Thank you for stopping by!

Day 7 of 30 - Color and Lines - January 7

Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart
Color and Lines
5" x 5"
Oil, Cold Wax, and Ink
Continuing with a study on paper for a future possible! "Possibles" are what you set aside when you are starting to pack for a trip according to my brother-in-law! Especially useful when planning an art trip! "Do I really need this? Maybe, maybe not, but there may not be a chance to get to an art store if I do!" I digress....

Anyway, a possible painting is kind of in the same league. Maybe this is a jumping off point for a painting. It might be the colors, which are not usual colors I choose, or it might be the line work, which is usual for me. And of course, there are those figures that keep appearing, so I feel the pull to jump in and do that! Having color studies is useful when I hit a wall, so for today I will stop and ponder!

Day 6 of 30 - Shaped and Cityscapes - January 6

Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart
Shapes and Cityscapes
5" x 5"
Oil, Cold Wax and Ink on Paper
I am thinking that painting fast and furious to complete a painting each day is not working with my life these days! I am happier with the finished product (if I can call it finished!) when I have time to layer and let it dry somewhat, then go back in. I feel somewhat more content when it is one I have had time to ponder and rework after days or months even.  For now, I will work on some studies. The studies are on paper and not precious, so I can play a bit more and not feel like it needs a purpose or a finish. I am also finding freedom in being able to let go of some, like actually throw them away! Ah, what a release! My declutter and simplify motto for the new year!

The start of these 5" x 5" squares was basically cleaning my utensils, wiping excess paint onto the paper. It is a challenge to bring each to some sort of composition. I see a lot of figures and shapes, but then I see structures as well. A curious question arises as to whether it is good to combine these. I will ponder and I am sure modify this one. It cannot be half and half for sure, one must dominate!

Day 5 of 30 - Looking Back - January 5

Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart 8" x 8" Oil and Cold Wax, lines, aqua, reds and neutrals
Looking Back
8" x 8"
Oil and Cold Wax on Panel

This one had another life also, several in fact. I am finding I love the muck underneath. It is a challenge to bring it to something I am more at ease with. Kind of like life. We look back and we think about ways we could have taken a different path, but that might cause a major upset in other areas. We might even create more muck! 

I love making marks and lines! I can't even show you what this one once was. It was never to an even slightly resolved point, but it did have many layers to play with. I started with solvent and then used some scraping tools. Next I added more color on  the top and blended with wax.

I love this quote by William Purkey:

“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”

Painting is its own kind of dance! 

Day 4 of 30 - Cabin Fever - January 4

Oil and Cold Wax, Cabin Fever, Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart
Cabin Fever
8" x 8"
Oil and Cold Wax on Panel
This painting started out as one from the previous 30 in 30 challenge. It just didn't feel right, and I kept playing with it and adding more lines and more layers of paint. The oil and wax sets up nicely so you can to continue to modify it because is still pliable even after a couple of months of drying, Sharp tools or sticks allow you to scrape into the colors underneath. I discovered a cobalt color deep down in there. Sometimes I try to keep track of all the colors I add, but then it just gets too mundane to write in all down. Especially since I may have several going at the same time and so as not to waste paint, it is fun to just smear in onto another painting. Often as it dries, colors mingle and become something totally unexpected.  The yellow is a new one for me, Alizarin Yellow, very transparent and rich. It was a dark and dreary week here with rain and no sunshine until yesterday. So I have named this Cabin Fever! But also, I believe I see a window deep in the woods in there somewhere, and just maybe there is a cozy cabin with a warm fire and a pot of coffee brewing!

From the previous post: this was the previous life of Cabin Fever!

Day 3 of 30 - Imagination - January 3

Artist Kathy Elliott  #oilandcoldwax # abstractart
5" x 5"
Oil and Cold Wax on Paper

Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
Albert Einstein

I like this quote. Often my imagination hits a wall and all I can think about is getting from A to B.
This is my third study this week. Logically, they are studies. But if I just imagine they can grow up and become a larger painting, then I think I have a road map will allow my imagination to kick in!

The past week I have been preparing for a show. Many of the pieces have grown up from the previous 30 in 30 challenges in 2014! Well, they actually just filled out as some of us do as we grow up. But mostly, they were brought to a finish after hanging on the wall and me looking at them for many days. When I finish framing, I will post a photo of the work that I will deliver for the Forney Art Council at the Crumbzz Tasting Pavilion, a delightful bistro to have breakfast, brunch or their wonderful Crumbzz cake that they famous for! (They do ship!) More later!

Lisa Pressman Workshop

The past three days I was fortunate to study with the highly energetic and exciting Lisa Pressman at The Encaustic Center. Lisa's teachings were more than the technical use of cold wax and oil paint, but included everything from how to create the layers and textures and depth, to the really important stuff of creating paintings with meaningful messages that tell a story. Wow, that is a lot to think about! Her enthusiasm for making a painting your own is something to strive for.
I find that the process is what lures me in. I love the layers and the textures. Often I start with really bright colors and then start knocking them back. And often, like in this painting, I find images emerge. Sometimes it is windows, doors, or worn broken structures, and sometimes it appears as if the images are human. So, I am going to continue to play and see where this leads me!
Oil and Cold Wax
I Am Because We Are
12" x 12"
Oil and Cold Wax on Panel

Painting with Greys

I see a lot of articles about painting with greys these days. I have been playing with them myself. Grey is more than what I used to think of as grey, halfway between black and white. Grey may be warm or cool, or it may lean towards a hue, such as a blue grey or a reddish grey. Grey may just mean   neutralized. In this painting I limited myself to mixing with three colors, black, white, and Gamblin Torrit Grey. Torrit Grey is an interesting color made out of what is left in the bottom of the barrels. Gamblin actually gives this away with purchase each year and it is not ever the same because of what goes into it. (That's kind of how I cook!)

  • 2 Blacks - Gamblin Chromatic leaning slightly towards blue, and Mars Black,
  • 3 Whites -Titanium White-opaque, Zinc white-more transparent and Flake White Replacement 
  • 1 Grey - Gamblin Torrit Grey 

Runaway Greys
11" x 14"
Oil and Cold Wax on Cradled Panel

Day 29 of 30 - Sept 29

Today is the 29th day of the 30 day challenge. It was a learning experience on so many levels. For one, I now have a backlog of things I want to do but ran out of days!
This painting started with layers of darks including Asphaltum, a rich dark brown/black. It reminds me of wear and tear over time to most objects, including humans! This is also one I will continue as a series. I am enjoying the strong dark and light contrasts without much color.

Weathered and Worn
Oil and Wax on Panel

From previous post:

Night Watch