Friday, January 22, 2016

"Coming Home", encaustic painting by Sharon Lynn Williams

"Coming Home", 12 x 12" encaustic on panel
$450 framed

I just returned from a wonderful trip to Montana to paint with friends for a week. Unfortunately we were plagued with problems: a death in one of the families plus power outages on two days (spells disaster for working in encaustic!) However it was a rich time of bonding, sharing art techniques and sharing our faith. I did this painting first there, and was able to do one more which I will share later, once I am sure it is finished.

If this weekend taught me anything, it is to expect the unexpected, and that LOVE really does hold us all together.
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Sunday, January 17, 2016

new encasutics First Snow i & ii

"First Snow i", 12 x 24" encaustic on cradled panel
$895 beautifully framed

So now that it is winter and it is too cold to paint outside, I am back in my studio working with the wax. I painted this in my friend, Tracy Proctor's beautiful encaustic studio. When I brought it home my hubby said "I REALLY like this -wish it was bigger!" He immediately went out to the lumber store and bought me a 24x48" piece of baltic birch and made a cradle for it so it wouldn't warp while painting. It took me 16 hours, but I just completed it, the largest encaustic painting I have done to date!

"First Snow ii", 24x48" encaustic on cradled panel
$2895 beautifully framed

It is really different working this large. I found I needed to make small containers of a bunch of colour variations so I had enough of each colour to cover a large space. My usual practice is to have one griddle with large containers of a few key colours that I use to mix other colour variations from, as well as a large pot of clear medium and a container of soy wax to clean my brushes in. I use the other griddle as a mixing palette, where I put out small amounts of colours from manufactured or home made wax pigments and then add small amounts of other colours to get a huge range of colour options. In my work I love to have a range of lights, mids and darks of equal value so that I can get colour variation =life. If you click on the large painting image, you can hopefully see what I mean. For example in the snow shadow area there are 5 different values (light to dark) of blue grey. I bought some small stainless steal condiment cups at a local restaurant supplier, so I could have a container of each of those values. Add to those multiple cups of lights including creamy whites, yellows, greens and blues that appear in the sky behind the trees, as well as multiple mid-value cups containing yellows, oranges, reds, blues, greens and violets. But I think all those colour variations is what brings pop and life to the painting, so it is well worth the work. I was thrilled to find some silicone mini-muffin cups at the store, so now I can put the colours that are left over into those, allow them to cool and add the blocks to my collection of colours, rather than having to throw them away.
My son commented that I need to do a series of these, so I think I will take him up on that idea -stay tuned to see more .

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Monday, January 11, 2016


Saturday January 16, 2016 from 10-4pm at Swinton’s Art Supply, 7160 Fisher Street, SE, Calgary 
 Come and join me to learn about the benefits of using fluid acrylics in a watercolour manner. Some of these include the ability to move into translucent and opaque effects, superior glazing ability without the possibility of making mud, and outstanding clarity of colour in the final result, not to mention no glass is required when framing.
Class size is limited to 10 students
Cost: $110 plus GST. Call Swinton’s at 403-258-3500 to register, or contact me at 403 238 4744

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Saturday, January 2, 2016

Jane Davies Monoprint Collage Online Workshop Review

In November I signed up to take Jane Davies online workshop called "Monoprint Collage" with two of my students. We decided it would be fun to take the class together and have weekly joint painting sessions in order to spur each other on to greatness finishing well. I thought I would share some of the paintings I made over the 6 week class and some observations I made during the process.

The class began with 2 lessons on making collage papers with the Gelli Plate.  We learned all kinds of techniques to use with the Gelli plate including using stencils, rainbow rolls, manipulating paint, using resists such as string, and multiple layerings. Here are just a few of the papers I made, out of the nearly one hundred we made. You will have to click on the link to see the papers at a larger size. All papers were made on 80# Sulphite Drawing Paper.

In lesson 3 , we made paintings with our collage papers, cut into squares or rectangles. The challenge was to balance the positive and negative spaces, and to use the pattern in a way that would encourage the viewers eye to roam all over the page. Here is an example of 3 of my finished collages.

I was pleased to be able to make a successful composition with only 4 collage pieces!

In lesson 4 we used 'orb' shapes out of our collage papers and the challenge was to paint an interesting background behind them, and add elements (scribble or more collage) to make a finished piece. Here is my favourited of the bunch I made -all 8x8":

In lesson 5, we began by printing directly from the Gelli plate onto our substrate. either before or after adding collage, and playing with opaque and transparent paint layers. So it was print, mask, print, glaze with opaque or transparent paint and then do whatever it took to make a finished work.  These are 3 of the ones I did, all 8x10":

In the last lesson, we began by printing and then adding collage, stenciling, glazing and opaque layering as well as adding linear elements and whatever else we felt led to do. Here are process shots of 4 of the 7 paintings I made.


A goal I had at the start of the workshop was to get more minimalistic in my approach, which you can see I failed miserably at. This goes to support my mantra that my body of work is called "Products Of A Busy Mind"!! Jane did a wonderful job of presenting the class, with a PDF of instructions along with 1-2 videos per lesson. The class had a private blog page so that we could post our work, which multiplied the learning seeing what other people did. It was fun to comment and receive comments on each others work, as well as Jane commenting on each of our posts. I learnt so much in the class, and I now know my Gelli plate will not be relegated to making papers for collage only. If you have an opportunity to take an online (or live) class from Jane, I highly recommend it. You can view Jane's great website which contains her wonderful artwork, an amazing blog and tons of free tutorials on her methods.

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