Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chevy Breeds Racing #1 and #2

Another commission finished just in time for a Christmas gift.  These 2 paintings are based on a father and son's cars and was commissioned by a daughter/sister for the pair.  She wanted both the paintings to look as much a like as possible and have the cars racing.  The loaded question was whose car should be out in front.  She said her brother's which is a 1968/1969 Chevelle SS.  Her father's car is a 2012 Camaro. Here's the final paintings...
"Chevy Breeds Racing #1"; Watercolor on 8" x 10"
"Chevy Breeds Racing #2"; Watercolor on 8" x 10" paper
I started out with this as an original photo to work with...
Original Photo worked from
 From there I worked out 3 options and this was the one that was decided upon...
Option #3- drawing that was chosen.
It was decided that there would be a "grill focus" in the upper corner of each painting to make it special gift for each receiver.  Here's one of the paintings in process...

"Chevy Breed Racing #1" Watercolor painting in process.
Then I took what I thought were the finished paintings to show to the Sister/Daughter and there were a couple of things that needed to be fixed....
"Chevy Breeds Racing #2- What I thought was done?
It turns out that the father's car had a black stripe for part of the hood.  That was an easy fix.  The other error that was discovered is that the brother's car now had a 496 engine instead of the 396 engine that was showing in some of the other photos that I was given.  Oooopss!  That was a bit more of a challenge.  Because it's not so easy to erase or paint over with watercolor.  I ended up doing a bit of improvising and this what was the result...
"Chevy Breeds Racing #2"; final Watercolor on 8" x 10" paper
Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any feedback you may have!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays!!

Wishing you and yours the Best of this Holiday Season!
These are most of the paintings that I've painted in the last year.  It's always amazing to look back on a year and see what has happened over the year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blue Country Cyclist

This was a commissioned piece that I just finished yesterday.  I'm currently working on another couple of pieces trying to get done before Christmas.  Oh, the stress of painting deadlines. This painting had 5 preliminary drawings that it went through before it became this finished piece.  I'm glad to say that Tim was very pleased with the finished painting.  He wanted something to remind him of cycling on RAGBRAI but in blues/grays with less riders.  LOL!
Photo:"Blue Country Cyclist"; watercolor on 12" x 16" paper
Commissioned Piece
You may notice in the sky of the finished piece a subtle cloud face.  That was added in the final painting and was an idea that we (Tim & myself) and thrown back and forth.  It's loosely based on Tim's face.
The last Prelim drawing for this piece.
Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any comment you may have!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Winter Wonderland Window...

Just before Thanksgiving I put up a Winter Wonderland Window at the Visitor's Center in Czech Village in Cedar Rapids.  If you get the chance swing by and see all of the Christmas windows in Czech Village and vote for your favorite one!  Here's a photo of the window I created...

Featured in the "CR is a Winter Wonderland" are some well know places of Cedar Rapids like: the Paramount, Theatre Cedar Rapids, and Brucemore.  Here's some prelim drawing of the stencils that I used...
The Paramount Theatre with Nutcracker Ballet...

Theatre Cedar Rapids with Shrek, a snowman, and a gingerbread man,
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Demon Four Pane...

The dust has finally settled and most of the boxes have been unpacked from my move.  In fact, I’m preparing for a little housewarming get together soon.  BUT the really important thing is that I managed to find my good camera and I was able to take some photos.  Here it is, in its entirety – The Demon Four Pane! 
"Demon Four Panes- four 8" x 11" paintings on paper.
 Here's them individually...
"Demon Logo"; watercolor on 8" x 11" paper
"Demon- Rear End"; watercolor on 8" x 11" paper.
"Demon- Side View"; watercolor on 8" x 11" paper.
"Demon- Front End"; watercolor on 8" x 11" paper.
P.S. Mr. Motorhead was VERY please with his paintings!  Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any comments!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Halloween Move & Glimpse of Latest...

My favorite time of year - Halloween, and I will be moving into to new digs near the Czech Village area of Cedar Rapids.  No longer a renter, I'm becoming a homeowner.  Here's a photo of a current commission project that I'm trying to finish before my move.  I warn you, it is a poor photo.  Yes, the camera is packed and this was taken with non-internet-accessing-low-tech phone. As you can see my shadow above.  It's going to be a four pane of a red 1971 Demon.  This is for Mr. Motorhead to pay for a riding lawnmower at the new digs.  It's a big yard - I NEEDED it! Enough said :)
Photo- Prelim ink drawings for Demon four pane.
I hope to share a better photo of the real paintings soon.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Breast Cancer Fall Bazaar-- This Saturday!

Hello!  Here's a slightly different slant for me of late.  I've been working on some flower paintings for a Breast Cancer Fall Bazaar that coming up this next Saturday.  It takes place in the Cherry Building in Cedar Rapids, IA from 9AM to 2PM this Saturday October 25th.  If you happen to be in the area swing by and say Hi!  Here's a couple of new pieces available for the Bazaar...
Photo: "Blue Stemmed Flower"; Watercolor and Ink on 8" x 11" Paper.
Photo: "Dear Karma"; Watercolor on 13" x 11" Paper.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dad Had One...

Yep, Dad had one of these!  This is painting based on one of the several photos I took at the Good Guys Car Show this last summer in DesMoines.  I was drawn to paint this one because I remember my Dad had one of these Pontiac's.  It was a faded green too but had a great deal of rust.  We ended up getting rid of it because a passenger side door that would never stay shut.  I remember hanging on for dear life to my little brother, who hung on to my mom as she would take the left turns.  These were before the days of safety belts.  The final straw was the time Mom took a left turn on 1st Ave Cedar Rapids, I forgot to hold on, and I thankfully rolled over to the curb missing the on-coming traffic.  That was it and it was traded in for a newer Ford LTD.
Photo: "Dad Had One"; Watercolor and Ink on 8" x 10" Paper.
Thanks for stopping by, and I welcome any comments you may have!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Arts Festival This Saturday!

I will have a booth at the Lincoln Highway Arts Festival this Saturday from 9AM to 4PM.  If you happen to be near Mount Vernon, Iowa; swing on by and say "Hi!"  The weather promises to be beautiful for a late September day.  It's going to be sunny and in the upper 70's to low 80's.  So come on out for art, food, music, shopping... make a day of it!  Sounds like FUN to me! :)
Photo: A photo of the one of the billboards about the Lincoln Highway Arts Festival.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Doggie Break!

So I felt like I needed a bit of a break from bikes and cars.  I happened to spot his adorable shot on Face Book of a friend's dog.  It was just too adorable and I thought that might be a fun break to paint a dog.  So here's a painting that I call ," Scruffy Dog"....
Photo: "Scruffy Dog", Watercolor and Ink on 12" x 12" Paper.
I sent a picture of the painting to my friend.  She was VERY please with it and said it was the cleanliest that she had ever seen her dog.  LOL!  I guess he likes to play in the dirt.  I will say it was quite a FUN break to paint this Cutie.  Here's a copy of the photo that inspired me...

Thanks for stopping and by and I welcome any feedback or comments you may have!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Comings and Going of a Black Hearst...

I saw this black Hearst a couple of months ago at a car cruise in Coralville, IA.  It immediately grabbed my attention because of the spider web detail on the head light.  It was SO "Halloween" and being one of my favorite holidays I took quite a few pictures of it.  It's a 1940's vehicle and I'm really unsure as to anything more than that.  I just thought it was rather neat and not of the "norm"; if you know what I mean.

Then, the idea of painting it came to me when I was looking through some of the car photos that I had.  But I didn't want to do it in a normal type of way.  So I played with a bit of drawing and came up with a cropped view of it coming towards you and another that's going away.  I call it the "Comings and Goings of a Black Hearst" and here it is...
Photo: "Comings and Goings of a Black Hearst"; Watercolor and Ink on 11" x 17" paper.
I welcome any feedback you may have.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Old Chevy Pickup

I had a friend that teasingly challenged me to paint an old Chevy Pickup Truck.  I found a picture among some of the car shows and cruises that I've gone to with Mr. Motorhead.  I found this old Chevy Pickup among them.  I believe this truck is from the late to mid-1940's by the styling of it.  It was a copper colored on the top of it and black on the bottom.  I call this painting the "Black Bottomed Truck". Enjoy, here it is...

"Black Bottomed Truck"; Watercolor and Ink on 9" x 12" Paper.
So, Sal... What do you think of my version of an old Chevy truck?  Let me know! :) Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any comments you may have!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pink Mercury 9...

Here's a cute little one that I worked on this last week.  It's based on a car I saw at a local Cedar Rapids car cruise night some while back and I was enamored with a pink car that was not a "Mary Kay" car. LOL!  I tried to just focus on the unique tail lights and the back end of this vehicle.  I also decided to play with a bit of cropping view of the car for something a bit different and new.  Here it is...
"Pink Mercury 9"; a watercolor and ink on 8" x 8" paper
 I believe it is a 1964 Mercury Monterey that I based the painting off of.  Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any feedback you may have!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Half of Green Machine...

I've recently been house shopping.  And while I'm going through all of these houses, I've been dragging Mr. Motorhead along with me to look at things.  It always comes in handy when you have know someone that is a maintenance man to take a look at things.  It gives me an idea of what's fixable and what's not so fixable. Poor Mr. Motorhead putting up with all of this and never once complaining.  I decided that he little a extra Thank You for all that he's putting up with.  So, I did another painting of the Meen Green Machine for him.  The Meen Green is a 1971 Dodge Scamp that Mr. Motorhead owns and pampers.

I had Mr. Motorhead close his eyes while I put it out the painting in front of him and then had him open his eyes.  He liked it; I could tell!  But the first thing out of his mouth was: "Where's the other half?"  Yep, he has a bit of a smart-alack streak in him.  I told him if he continued to be nice to me, I MIGHT paint the other half of the car! Course, I told him it would be a smaller version if I did.  LOL!  Take that one buddy; got to keep him on his toes!  Here's the half I did paint...

"Half of Green Machine"; Watercolor and Ink on 8" x 16" paper.
   So hopefully, in the near future I will be sharing some good news about a house in the Cedar Rapids area that has become my home.  I would like to have a permanent place to call my studio.  I'll keep you posted as the process goes on.  Thanks for stopping by and always feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Bit of a Rorschach Version....

Here's the latest of my of the "Live, Laugh, and Ride" Bike Series.  This one has a bit of a Rorschach Ink Block effect.  I had a bit of fun in putting this one together and figured a bicycle crank as a dominate center piece to the artwork.  Then, the symmetry of the two bikes off to the side, a true cyclist will see the bicycles in this Rorschach test! LOL  Here it is... (Please forgive my lousy photographing skills.  It's darker in one corner and I couldn't quite get the lighting right.)

"Live, Laugh, and Ride 3": Watercolor on 15" x 20" paper.
I may play with using different colors on this same type of lay out.  Who knows?! :)  I welcome any feedback you may have and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Red Chevy at Duffy's...

Here's a quick little painting that I did a couple of nights ago.  It's a 1950's red Chevy that I saw when I was at one of the Thursday night car cruise nights at Duffy's in Cedar Rapids.  I thought that the Duffy's building in the back gave it a vintage feel to the painting.  Duffy's is a local place that specializes in selling collectible cars.  They usually have the business open so you can go in and view the cars inside during the car cruise nights; otherwise the hours are just during the days.  These are the type of cars that you wouldn't leave out on a car lot.  They are more of the pampered type.:)  Course, don't let Mr. Motorhead, my boyfriend, hear me say he pampers his car.  That's not very man-ly! LOL!  Here's my latest painting... Enjoy!
"Red Chevy at Duffy's"; Watercolor and Ink on 8" x 8" paper.
I welcome any comment you may have and thank you for stopping by!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Shawn's 1970 Camaro...

Shawn is a friend of Mr. Motorhead, my boyfriend, and I was rather excited when he asked if I would do a painting of his car.  Shawn has a 1970 Z28 Camaro that is a beauty.  It is a Sea-green color with black striping with a bit of pin striping.  It's in mint condition and I just jumped at the opportunity to paint it.  Here's the finished painting...

The challenge with this painting was narrowing down on a layout.  The front grill and the split bumper is very unique to this car.  I wanted to do it justice.  But at the same time, I wanted to do a view of the whole car.  Mr. Motorhead and Shawn were playing with a few ideas one night over dinner and the idea of a two shot of the car came into being.

I did three different lay out drawings for Shawn, but he had a hard time visualizing it.  So I took the one that he seemed to like the most and did an ink shading drawing of it.  That seemed to help him out with what it would look like.  Here's the ink shading drawing that I did...

This really was a fun project to do and it went relatively quick once the layout was figured out.
Thanks for stopping by and I would love to hear any comments or feedback you may have!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Alien Grill Grin...

I sometimes am at a loss on how to name a painting.  This particular one was based on a photo of a close up I took on an older model classic car's grill.  It was taken during another car show that I attended with Mr. Motorhead, my boyfriend.  But I didn't know enough about the type of car or year to use that as a name.  Yes, I guess I need to ask more questions while I'm taking photos than just learning all this car stuff by osmosis. I am guessing that it's a 1930's or around there by the hood but that's all I can figure out.

Here I am at a loss for a title and I hate having "Untitled" and a number after.  Not my kind of thing; its too vague.  Then I had an idea, I would put a photo of it on Face Book and see about suggestions for a title.  Thus, a title for this painting emerged.  It's called "Alien Grill Grin".  A few of the people on Face Book thought it had a bit of that "Alien" Giger feel about it.  I'm unsure about that and will let you decide.  Here it is....
"Alien Grill Grin"; Watercolor and Ink on 10" x 13" paper.
It was rather fun to just focus on part of a car, and don't be surprised if you see more of these types of paintings in the future.  I welcome any comments or feedback.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

1930's Chevy...

I managed to do this cute little painting during a free evening this week.  It's based on a photo I took from a car show a couple of weeks ago that I visited with Mr. Motorhead.  It's a 1930's Chevy but I'm unsure as to what year.  It's a combination of watercolor and ink.  I've been calling it "Boo Chevy" because it looks like a face that's saying "Boo!"  I know it's silly of me but that's what I see!  You can decide for yourself; here it is...
"Boo Chevy"; Watercolor and Ink on 8" x 11" paper.
Here's the photo that I based the painting off of...

I managed to get a ton of more material for car paintings this last weekend.  I took a ton of pictures while at the Good Guys Car Show in DesMoines this last Saturday.  Mr. Motorhead and I went down to the Iowa State Fairgrounds and spent the day seeing tons and tons of cars.  It was an interesting way to spend a one year anniversary.  But when you are dating a Mr. Mopar Motorhead, well... LOL!  From what I understand there were at least 3000 cars at the event and I must have walked at least 10 miles trying to see all of them! THAT might be a slight exaggeration but I tell you my legs are still sore from doing all of the walking that day.  So there may be more car paintings on the way soon!

Thanks for stopping by and I would love to hear any comments or feedback!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Purple Plymouth Special

Wonderful Summer time!  It’s that time of year when there’s more and more car shows going on.  I went to one this last weekend with Mr. Motorhead.  Then, this last week I got to looking at different photos that I had taken of cars from last year’s season.  This is based on one of those from last year. 
Here is the painting; I refer to as, “Purple Plymouth Special ” …

"Purple Plymouth Special"; Watercolor and Ink on 10" x 10" paper.

This is a watercolor with a bit of ink.  I thought that I would try something new this time.  I decided to just focus on the front of the car and leave out all of the various other details.  I purposely made for white spaces to be in the painting and just added in shapes for cars and trees that were in the original photo along with the Plymouth.  Please don’t ask me what year or specifics on it; but the original car was a burgundy color.  I can tell you that much! J  Though, I do believe it is late 1940’s Plymouth Special Deluxe from doing a bit of research on-line.

I welcome any feedback you may have and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Now Available as a Postcard!!

Back in May of last year, I finished a painting called "Cedar Rapids: A Bloom Among the Cornfields".  It's a painting I painted about my hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Now I have produced a postcard from the painting.  I have them with me at the Cedar Rapids Visitor's Center Monday through Friday; and in the close future at my art booth in the Fairfax USA Days on Saturday June 28th.  So if you are interested or know of anyone that's interested in a Cedar Rapid's postcard, send them my way! Here's what they look like...
 You can read more about the story behind the painting in my blog post called "Cedar Rapids: A Bloom Among the Cornfields".  Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Same But Different

I opted to a bike for a change.  It’s very similar to the “Live, Laugh, and Ride” that I did a while back.  I mixed it up a little, put cloud shapes in and used a different bike.  It made me think of riding through the air on a bike.  Awww...There's nothing like that feeling!  So this has the same saying in this painting but with a different look.  It was a nice little easy break after doing a commissioned piece that I had struggled with.  Here’s “Live, Laugh, and Ride – Number 2”....

I welcome any feedback you may have.  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dot Perfectly...

I thought I might let everyone know the progression of the horse painting.  My Wonderful friend gave "Dot, The Horse" painting to her friend.  The gal was very pleased with the painting.  She even said that she loved the painting!  It's always wonderful to hear that from someone who receives a commissioned painting for a gift.

Here's a picture of my wonderful friend (Jen in the pink), the painting, and the recipient of the painting(Traci).

In fact, Traci went on to say.... " Words can't begin to explain what this means to me. I love the painting & how it reflects Dot perfectly...absolutely amazing. I remember this day in working with some figure eight training, cantering, & then letting her go running across Monte's field. Before heading back, I let her graze as I watched the sunset. I remember looking down at her while she grazed, laughing with the amount of grass she had & had to take a picture of her...there are many days I wish I could get her back."

What wonderful feedback and such an amazing gift that Jen thought of!  It sounds like it'll be a wonderful memory that has been preserved for Traci.  Enjoy it Traci and next I think I'll work something easier like a bicycle painting.  LOL!  I'm also planning on having a booth of my painting at the Fairfax USA Days at the end of June.  So if any of you happen to be in the area, come say "Hi" to me!  Thanks for stopping by and I would love to hear any comments you may have!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dot, The Horse...

This was a commission painting that I was asked to do by a friend for a friend who had to give up a horse.  The friend ended up moving into town and had to give up her horse because there wasn’t the room in town.  I imagine that was very hard.  My wonderful friend thought that it would be nice to have a painting to remember the beloved horse. 

I must admit that I had never painted a horse before and was a bit uncomfortable with painting a horse that actually looked like a horse.  I know that may sound silly but these things can sometimes be a challenge.  Also, the other part of the challenge was that I only had one photo to go off of.  The photo of the horse was mostly in shadow and rather dark.
The Photo of Dot that I worked from.
I started out doing a great deal of searching on line for photos and paintings of horses to figure out how to best approach the subject matter.  I then did a fair amount of sketching and drawing as a prelim to get a better feel for how to approach the actual painting.  I will tell you that some of the drawings looked like oversized ant eaters!  LOL! 

After doing a fair amount of drawing and sketching, I did some prelim sketches of various sizes.  My friend wasn’t sure which size painting would be best.  So, in an attempt to give her a feel of the different sizes, I sketched 5 different sized drawing.  She decided that she liked the 12” x 12” size best.

Another struggle for me was which way to go on the browns of the horse.  I played around for a week on scratch sheets of watercolor paper blending different browns—from golden shades to rusty shades to gray versions.  Ok, I’ll admit I may have been over analyzing but I wanted to get it to where I felt right about the right colors.  I ended up using quite a few of the browns that I had “experimented” with.

Then, my wonderful friend waited patiently while I slowly painted the actual painting.  Another 3 weeks later and I was FINALLY done with it. My friend came over and I had her take a look at it.  She smiled and said she liked it but as I looked at it with her I saw some fixes I needed to do.  They always say an artist is their own worst critic and I find that it’s very true for me. 

Another week later, and I made those changes and then I signed it.  I’ve made this rule with myself that once I’ve signed it I step away from the painting.  It’s done and I really do hope that my friend’s friend enjoys the thoughtful gift.  Here’s the finished piece that I call “Dot, The Horse”….
"Dot, The Horse"; Watercolor on 13.5" x 13.5" Paper.
Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any comments you may have!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Classic Cars Galore....

I've been a little slow placing some of my latest paintings up on here.  I recently started a part time job working as a cashier for a local large chain retail store and haven't had a great deal of time to do other things like I should.  And so, here I am doing a bit of catch up.

These paintings are based on photos that I took during my long road trip; which was about 2 years ago now.  My how time flies.  I took these photos during Day 19 in Long Beach, WA.  There was this HUGE car show event called the Rod Run to the End of the World put on by the Beach Barons Car Club. It occurs every year there during the first weekend of September and it's amazing.  I remember sitting on the main drag eating a bowl of clam chowder on a bench and watching almost a thousand different cars; all polished, painted, muscled out and pimped out, driving by as I sat there.  Between that and people watching, it was a wonderful day of just observing. It was a ton of FUN and I took a ton of pictures that day.  I used a couple of them for the inspiration for these two paintings....

Photo: "VW Vagabond on Longest Beach"; Watercolor on 11" x 21" Paper

This Volkswagen Bug caught my eye while walking along a back street area in Long Beach but the original wasn't on the Beach.  I decided that this VW was crying to be seen on a beach with its racked suit cases on top.  In fact, I refer to this painting as a Vagabond VW on the Beach.

Photo: "Pontiac at Beach Motel"; Watercolor on 11" x 17" Paper

This Old Pontiac was parked out front of this Beach Motel and it was a scene that I've been wanting to paint for a while.  My boyfriend, Mr. Motorhead, really liked this one!  And I will admit that it was a fun one to paint.

Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any comment you may have!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Live, Laugh, and Ride...

After getting quite a few comments on Face Book about "Enjoy the Ride" watercolor painting I did for my living room.  I thought it might be fun to do another bicycle painting with a quote/saying.  I was rather inspired by a quick photo that I took of a bike on my long road trip the year before last.  It was a bicycle that was chained up to a tree along a shopping area in Bend, OR.  I have fond memories of that day, watching paddle boarders along the river and hanging out a local pub that night listening to local musicians.  A wonderful day on the road exploring the USA.  With those fond memories, I took that photo and turned it into a warm, sunny piece of bike artwork.  I think that the quote/saying fit with my memories of that day.  I call this watercolor.."Live, Laugh, and Ride..."
"Live, Laugh, and Ride..."; Watercolor on 16" x 20" Paper.
Thanks for stopping by and I welcome any feedback you may have.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Encaustic: My First Experience ...

I had always been curious to try encaustic art.  It has a very long history and I always liked all of the possibilities of layering/collage aspects that are available with this form of art.  So when I saw a local art workshop that was offered on-line, I jumped at the chance.  Even better, it was a low cost art workshop where I would take home 3 finished pieces; or so it advertised on-line.
Photo: The Indian Creek Nature Center, which is situated in southwest Cedar Rapids, IA.
The workshop was held out the local Indian Creek Nature Center; which is near a Sac & Fox Trail that I enjoy frequenting with Mr. Motorhead’s dog.  It’s a wonderful place to go out and enjoy nature.  I arrived last sunny Saturday afternoon, paid for workshop fee in the main barn and then walked a short distance to the “Sugar Hut”.   I went in to find several people huddling around the wood burning stove that was the heat source for the hut.

There was hot wax warming in a couple of places.  One place was a griddle with several small tuna cans filled with colored wax.  Another place was a large electric frying pan where the teacher for the workshop was stirring the wax with a resin.  It looked terribly sticky like hardened caramelized sugar.  She scraped the bottom of the frying pan and would mix and stir it around with a metal paint scraper. 
Photo: Colored wax, implements to apply, carving tools, resin in a bag, paper towels,
vegetable oil and a block of beeswax too.
As everyone, arrived she started to explain some things about the wax.  She explained that it was Darmar Resin that she was mixing with the beeswax and that it is used to make the wax more of a solid form when it cooled at room temperature.  She said that the electric frying pan needed to stay below 200 degrees.  At the 200 degree mark the wax would start to boil and give off noxious fumes.  Not a good thing; she explained. 
The beeswax she used was from a local bee keeper and she ordered it by the 3lb. brick from them.  She showed us how the brick looked.  It has a natural yellowish color she said that you learn to design your artwork around.  She then explained that she used oil paints to pigment her wax.  You can buy wax that is already colored but she liked to have more control over her colors.  She also said that you can generally get all of the colors from the three primary colors; yellow, red, and blue.  But she made a batch of green for us too; to make mixing a little simpler. 

We used cut up matte board that she had pre-cut into 4” x 6” squares.  She took a natural bristled brush, dipped it in the frying pan wax, and brushed it evenly across the matte board.  Then, she used a heat gun lightly over the waxed matte board to make it shine but not too close to make it run off the matte board.  This is how to make it seal and adhere to the matte board.  She repeated the process of using the natural bristled brush to put another thin layer of wax over the matte board.  “This is how you form your strata base”, she explained as she lightly ran an iron across the surface.

The iron had no holes in its surface; and either it or the heat gun could be used to seal the surface.  She explained that this sealing needed to take place each time between layers or the whole of the wax surface could slide off or crack.  Also, the layers needed to be done fairly thinly too.
Photo: "Encaustic #1"; 4" x 6"
Then, we were invited to make our own strata base.  It was not as easy as she made it look, but I managed through.  Next, she took us through all of the different possible ways of applying the colored wax.  She had quite a few brushes and other implements to choose from.  She also explained that if we did not like what we made that it was easy to just scrape off the wax and start again.  For most of the 12 in the workshop, this was our first time ever doing encaustic art.  Also, there was only handfuls that were artists in the group.
Next she took us through the process of transferring and also explained how to carve and apply oil paint into the carved out areas of the wax.  We played for a bit more and some of the participants started a second piece of matte board to form the strata base.  About half way through the workshop she invited us to take a break, go outside and perhaps, take a small piece of nature to use in our piece of artwork.

Photo: "Encaustic #2; 4" x 6"-- An attempt at a girl on a bicycle.
I went for a short hike and then came back to the hut.  I started applying color wax to my second piece and just playing with the different ways in which to apply the wax.  I also carved out a girl on a bicycle and applied oil paint into the carved out crevices.  The detail was lost when I applied the last layer of sealing wax.  Darn it!  I guess there's some learning curve with this new stuff.

Photo; "Encaustic #3"; 4" x 6" -- I'm framing it!

Next, I started the third piece and decided after a layer of colored wax that I would try a transfer of a barn scene.  I placed the ink side down of the black and white copy against the top of the wax surface; then, rubbed with a large metal spoon, over the surface while applying pressure.  Next, I poured a little water over the paper and started to rub lightly with my fingers.  Eventually, the paper came away but the black ink from the copy stayed on the waxed surface.  Ooooo, cool I thought as the last bit of paper washed away.  I think I'm going to frame this one!

I had a little more time yet, and decided to go back to my first encaustic piece and apply a transfer to the top of that one too.  Overall, it was a fun workshop and it was nice top broaden out into a new form of art.  I may decide to dabble in this new form in the future but I definitely would need an area where I would not be concerned about getting hot wax mess on the floor, walls, and etc.  This is when a heated garage would come in handy…. Hmmmm, maybe I could see if Mr. Motorhead has a bit of garage space available?