Weekend Show and Tell

May 18th, 2008

My computer has been one hassle after another lately. This weekend the power cable started to melt. Glad I noticed it before it started a fire or something. I looked it up online and apparently it's been a big problem with the magsafe power adapter on Macbooks (even on the Apple website, it's rated just 1.5 stars out of 5.) But seriously, within a few months my keypad stopped working, my hard drive completely died and now the cable is fried. From what I've read you can go to any Apple Store with your wrecked cable and they'll give you a new one and I have the Apple Care extended warranty, so I'll be all set, but I'm not pleased. I think this is the first Mac product that I've had any complaint with though. I still have an older iMac, the hubster uses a Mac at home and work, I've owned an ibook before with no trouble, and we have a variety of ipods. I've always been a Mac fan, but this Macbook is starting to annoy me. Hopefully this will be the last of its troubles for the near future.

The upside of a computer problems is that I'm on the computer less and yesterday I really had no time to be on the computer, except to check my email in the evening, because I took an all day workshop in encaustic painting (so fun!) with Tracy Spadafora. Tracy was a fabulous teacher and I learned a lot. I have done some encaustic work before as I had a brief introduction in a mixed-media workshop last year and I've read Joanne Mattera's excellent book, The Art of Encaustic Painting. But the intro I had wasn't all that in-depth and I couldn't figure out some of the techniques from just reading about them. I needed to see it and then try it myself. I was especially excited to learn how to incise into the wax because I especially love to draw and this is a great way to work with the medium. I started with a purely experimental 8"x10" clayboard (above) and tried some of the layering techniques, some incising and some painting with color. I love the depth created by layers of wax! Then I started a smaller 6"x6" piece (below) that's not quite done (ran out of time), but I like a lot so far. I used a heat gun to fuse one of the layers and it created this cool separation between the medium and color which I liked. When I looked at it after it had cooled I thought it looked like a brain. The silhouette isn't very clear from a distance, so I'll be filling that in with oil or wax another time.

At the end of the day, I had a massive migraine developing, so driving home was not fun and I had to go immediately into a dark room and sleep it off. There was fresh air blowing through the studio and exhaust fans, so I don't know if it had anything to do with the fumes or if it was just a migraine (which I get from time to time.) Hard to say. I'll have to keep an eye on that when I work with encaustic again. Luckily, I found the cure for migraines.

Today the hubster and I had a wonderful hike through the woods on a new-to-us nature trail. It was beautiful out and loads of people had their super happy dogs with them. When I got home I felt so beat! Thought about napping, but that isn't going to happen, so instead rested a bit and then tried making a repeating pattern using instructions from Julia Rothman on Design*Sponge. Very cool. Hope you're having a fabulous weekend, full of creative goodness!

6 Responses

I suspect it was the fumes from the wax – I’ve read a lot about working with encaustics and that is a common problem reported. I’d love to try them, but sometimes scents can create a migraine for me so I’ve been reluctant to suffer for my art. While I like the depth that you get with encaustics I did learn a Golden trick that will mimic the encaustic effect. Not as good as the real thing perhaps, but I could do without the pain.

Ever seen one of the fans in an encaustic area? Yuck! I wouldn’t want that in my lungs!

Encaustics sound like fun. What a great class to experience. Love the silhouette. If you do change it up, please post the results.

will have to share your cure for migraines with daughter. She will be most delighted with it!

Never used a Mac, and I have sympathy for you in having problems. That would drive me straight to a migraine and I don’t even get them. =]

Love your new work. Can’t wait to see all you do with it!

I love your encaustic paintings… I hope they weren’t the cause of the migraine.

The stress over your computer sounds quite migraine inducing to me! I hope you get that sorted. I’m a Mac user (even got Hewlett Packard to buy me one when I worked for them!) but it really does seem that Apple have been cutting too many corners recently…

Leah, I absolutely love your encaustic paintings (and you!). :) My painting professor did a lot of encaustic painting and now that I’m out of school I’m kicking myself for not asking her to teach me how to do it. At the time, I was too obsessed with oil paints, but these days I am in love with the layered look that encaustic creates. You make me want to take a workshop too. Don’t you just love the fact that we have a whole LIFE full of learning ahead of us?! :) I think that is one of the things I love about art so much. There is never an end to making new discoveries.

I thought about you a lot this weekend while I was in NYC. I wish we could have met up! Oh, but I was kept busy. I’m so inspired by my visit I hardly know what to do with myself now that I’m home!!

love you!!

i would love to try this…i really need to get out there and take some classes. hope the migrane is better. and i love the boy :)

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