Canvas, Wax and Cardboard……..

I am always eager to try new things and as I get braver with my art and not so worried about making a mess or mistakes by just letting things flow I enjoy the results much more.

So keeping with experimenting with Encaustics I decided to take a piece of canvas that I had done a photo transfer on using one of my digital collages and incorporated it into this piece.  I added some corrugated cardboard to add more depth and texture, glued the canvas and cardboard and some papers onto a wood cradle board and then did some layers of bees-wax.

Love, Focus

Love, Focus

Next I scraped some of the wax off of in some areas, incised into the wax in areas and then added some India ink, oil pastels and pan pastels to create some shading.

I love that I was able to take one of favorite digital art pieces and create a new piece that has an aged encaustic look to it.

Until next time try something new and creative and don’t worry about the outcome just enjoy the journey.





Before coming to Mexico for a month to my favorite little town, Lo de Marcos, I checked to see if Amigos de Lo de Marcos were holding the silent auction again this year and they were. So I decided to do a special canvas just for the auction. I wanted something light and airy and a reminder of the beach that I dream about when I return home.

Dreaming of the beautiful beach of Lo de Marcos

Dreaming of the beautiful beach of Lo de Marcos

The picture is not the greatest as I forgot to take a proper picture before I left home, so took it while it was being displayed on the auction table.

I started out by applying some collage papers in the middle and then added venetian plaster in various places, to add more texture to the plaster I pressed a stamp into it. I then used the plaster to create the starfish, shell and heart. Next I used oil pastels to rub in some colour in various spots, I do love this technique as it gives a very aged look. I used a gold oil pastel around the edges to give it more texture. I was very pleased with how it turned out.

I donated it along with a small canvas print of a watercolour I had done last year while I was here.

Find your happy place

Find you happy place

Both of my canvases went in the auction and added to their fundraising which benefits the town in many different ways.

Off to the beach…..

Until next time find ways to be creative

Mind Your Bees Wax With Encaustics

After taking the encaustic workshop at the Portland Art and Soul Retreat in October I fell in love with the technique of incorporating wax into my collage process.

I ordered a supply of wax, resin crystals and soya wax from Swans Candles for a very good price considering how much the supplies would have cost at my local art store.  It was definitely more economical to order in bulk then to buy it by the package.  I also had the order delivered to Ship Happens so that the shipping costs were a fraction of what I would have had to pay if sent to Canada.  Fortunately I live very close to the USA border so it is not an issue to go and pick up my orders.

Since receiving my wax I have been practicing on smaller substrates of 5″ x 7″ so that I can try different things and see what results I get.  First I made up a large batch of clear wax using 4 parts bees-wax with 1 part Damar resin crystals, note the resin takes a very long time to melt and blend into the bee’s wax, so be patient – I used an old crock pot the first time I made it up and then poured the combined ingredients into a muffin tin and when cooled I popped them out and stored them for future use.  For melting my wax while working on a piece, I bought a pancake griddle and then used cat food and tuna tins to melt the wax in – remember to keep your temperature below 200 degrees and no higher than 250 while melting the wax.  I have started some of the pieces by attaching  various paper to the board and then adding at least 2 layers of clear wax, bonding each layer in-between with a torch or heat gun – it is very important to bond between each layer and then adding coloured layers and more papers here and there.  I used pieces of oil pastel for most of the colours I have made or you can use a little bit of oil paint – acrylic paint does not work with the wax.

Encaustic In this collage I used some cheese cloth, various papers and a real dried flower blossom adding some incising where the red is and rubbing red oil paint into the crevices, and then taking a paper towel with a bit of vegetable oil on it to wipe off any excess oil pant I didn’t want….the oil works really well for removing the oil paint from you hands as well.  I like my first attempts at encaustic on my own and love that I have Serena Barton’s book Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop to refer to for ideas and techniques.  Before trying this be sure to read up about melting wax and safety while using it, etc. and also how to clean your brushes with melted soya wax – natural Bristol brushes are best.

I look forward to working more with wax and seeing what I can do I am sure the possibilities are endless and how wonderful is it to have art that gives off the lovely fragrance of honey.

Until next time, happy creating.




Art Outside the Box

art box1 I was looking for ways to prop my art canvases up for a display I am going to do and thought why not use some old boxes as substrates and collage them to lean the canvases against…..kind of art on art. I took a contact solution box and covered it with some recycled paper and tissue, using gel medium and then added some clear gesso.
art box front
I used one of my face drawings and traced it onto artist tissue and adhered it to the box as well and then proceeded to paint the box with acrylics and oil pastels, add stamps, etc. and this is what I ended up with.

It was interesting using a 4 sided substrate and to see what I could come up with – this works great for leaning a canvas against as well. Recycled Art Box

Think art outside the box using recycled materials and voila.


Drawing takes a lot of practice…

I love creating art pages, it is a great way to practice various art techniques and if you do something you don’t particularly like or mess up then you can either gesso over it or start a whole new page.  It allows me the space to be fearless and develop my skills as I go along.  The last couple of weeks I have been practicing a lot of face drawing which is one of the skills I want to develop – I have to really work at trying to get proportion right even though I am not trying to create a life-like face but a more whimsical one.  I find I have trouble with eyes so I decided to just draw some faces with the eyes closed  and practice shading and see what developed.  Still need to work on face shapes as sometimes they look a little weird but I am a work in progress and if I continue to practice I will soon find it easier and will be able to create faces with more ease that  I can incorporate into my mixed-media collages.

Here are a few of my recent whimsical type faces I have done in the past few days.

Afterwards I decided to add some collage ephemera to the pages and then added som pan pastels.  I was so excited when I went to Opus the other day and found that they now have pan pastels in the store so I  could not resist buying a few new bright colours.  Next  photos are how the pages progressed into a collage.  I recently watched Pam Carriker`s tutorials on recycle art journal pages which  were a big influence in my face drawings.

Til next time, happy creating