Art Day One – Women of the Forest

November 1st, 2007

This piece was started spontaneously with no big goal in mind, but it ended up very far from where it started. I wanted to do something in encaustic which I've only had a brief introduction to, but which I'm very interested in. On a wood panel, I painted on the wax, fused it with a heat gun, let it cool and then tried to do some transfers with photocopies. I had some problems with the transfers though. The first few I tried didn't come out at all. I'm not sure what I did differently, but it made me take the whole thing in a new direction. I tried another transfer with a little more success. I started working on it then with one large tree trunk in which the women lived, but they later became part of separate trees. From the start I had the idea of the past encaustic pieces I've done in the past that had to do with Alzheimer's, memory, my grandmother and family trees. These women are not from family photos, but they made me think of my grandmother's sisters and how she's the only one to suffer from this disease. I used oil stick to apply color and carved into the wax to create the trees.

It's 8"x10" on cradled panel. This happens so often where the end result is so far from the starting point. It's always best when I can let go and go with the flow, to let go of my expectations and let what wants to come, come. Sometimes, that takes practice and sometimes it takes knowing that I can toss it if I hate it in the end. I do enjoy the surprise of what comes when I let it though!

Happy Art Every Day Month to all you creative folks out there!!

20 Responses

Wow! This is a beautiful piece of art. I love the way the women look. I am so happy to be participating in this. xoxo Nita

Oh, this is gorgeous, Leah. I love the encaustic work you’ve done. There’s actually a class in my neighborhood on Saturday and I’m now inspired to go.

This is lovely. I so appreciate you taking the time to write about your process. I’ve never done any encaustic work and I find it fascinating.

I love this – I’ve always thought of old forests as being filled with Grandmothers, watching what’s happening beneath their limbs, then discussing it in detail on cold, winter nights.

This is a beautiful piece of art.

Carving into the wax to create the trees made a great texture. I also love it when something surprising comes out of what I think is going to be a “throw away” piece of work.

What a wonderful piece! This is going to be so much fun, seeing what everyone is up to. It’s a great idea to start a Flickr group, too. I already started posting on my own Flickr site but I think seeing everyone’s work together will be no less than awesome!

I really love this, Leah. It’s great.

Wow — this is really creative, Leah. It’s almost like the painting was creating itself. Sometimes I find that when lots of things go ‘wrong’ in a painting, the final product was what was meant to be expressed. It’s great!

Fantastic texture!!

Oh! That’s what I said when I saw this. It draws me in…my eyes & my psyche. The texture of the trees is haunting in the most adhesive way. It would be fun to explore that texture in some nice, organic, uneven stitching. Thanks for sharing this!

As others have said, this is really beautiful. Haunting for me re: the faces looking out of the trees. I have never tried encaustic, but I have used plain melted beeswax on my collages and I really love messing around with it.

Beautiful, Leah – I love your art!

I love the piece.

The depth with which you create every piece that you do just amazes me. I don’t know how you get one this comprehensive done in one day!

Kudos to you, my dear!


Karen Beth :)

this is wonderful (completely wonderful) (totally wonderful). and my favorite. I know I have said that before – but this is it.

This piece is particularly moving to me – the imagery and the story behind it about your Grandmother. My Grandmother also suffers from Alzheimer’s and is very, very important to me. I’ve been thinking about her a lot more than usual lately.

Fabulous piece, very creative.

It’s wonderful…a powerful image to convey memory.

I love this — it’s gorgeously creepy!

ooh! love this.

yay for encaustics!

I wonder why the first few transfers didn’t work? hmmm. I have a photocopy machine at home that is one of those all-in-one machines. But I am finding that I get much better transfers with wax if I go to Kinko’s and use their machines.

It looks like though that the fact that the transfers didn’t work out exactly how you wanted was just what needed to happen. :)

Powerful piece.

Simply smashing! The wax and carving add so much to the images as the picture looks alive. Sometimes, the best pieces are those, who have their own idea and manifest on their own terms!

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