And tribulations . . .

I have been wanting to evolve my art and learn to be more of a true mixed media artist. In pursuing that ambition, I have discovered that I can use encaustic medium over acrylic art, collage and mixed media. It was pretty scary to jump in and do this. I have to get my head around using a photo or other printable, copyright free image, found objects and more, within my art. I am learning it is okay to incorporate this kind of thing into an design.

I took a class with Ivy Newport who introduced me to this mixed media, encaustic approach. We focused on birds and feathers and these two pieces are the result.

I had started the first inky bird maybe 2, or dare I say it even 3 years ago. I used a photo we had taken when in Mexico of the very colorful black birds that are all over the Cancun area. These birds are cheeky and this guy was sitting up on the thatch roof in the wind, his feathers all over the place.

Well the poor bird was neglected because I did not know how to complete the design and composition. So last summer I marbled over him in reds, greens and black. After taking the encaustic class, I decided I could grunge him up beautifully with paint, inks and yes, some collaged paper and then cover him in encaustic. You can still just see some of the marble work in the background. As a first effort at encaustic it was fun although less than perfect. However, I LOVE the grungy look to it. This is a small piece 6″ x 6″

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Then I decided I still have to practice at applying encaustic and found objects to be able to call the work a true mixed media piece. The second inky bird started in a sketch book using water soluble black crayon and black india ink and a lot of water. I tore that out and collaged it onto my second 6″ x 6″ red, green and black marbled canvas, added some text, left some of the background showing through as well. This particular canvas had a lot of texture already added to it before I marbled so it made a good choice for a companion piece to the first one I did.

I added a real black feather to the wax and once it cooled used my fingers to polish up the wax. Oh, and I also added some copper pigment to the bird which peeks through nicely.

Need I caution you that these little pieces should not be hung in the sun or close to a heat source as the wax will start to melt down!

A satisfactory start on my mixed media journey. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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