Playing with encaustics

A few years back I went to see a talk + demo by the local artist Tim Schouten at the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery) with my friend and fellow artist Charlene Brown. We had both seen Tim’s encaustic paintings and were interested in learning more about his work and about encaustic in general. Seeing him work was fascinating and the following summer I made sure to visit his studio (http://www.watchthewave.ca/). I was intrigued and scared by this ancient medium and wanted to try it out so badly. I ordered some pre-made encaustic paints and started exploring. It was a lot of trial and error and a lot of playing with different tools – and playing is the key word here, as it truly feels like playing. I instantly fell in love with this medium. I have taken a workshop and have learned how to make my own encaustic paints from bees wax and damar resin. I don’t have proper ventilation in my studio so I decided to set up my encaustic studio on our deck. Painting outside solved the ventilation issue and I have to say it intensified the sense of playing as it reminded me even more of being a kid playing outside. I started working on my next solo show (March 2015 at cre8ery gallery) exploring the theme of dreams and illusions. 6 of my encaustic pieces will be exhibited at cre8ery gallery Nov. 5 to Dec. 10, 2013. Gallery hours are Tuesday & Thursday 12-8pm, Wednesday & Friday, 12-5pm and Saturday 12-4pm.

encaustic set up anja studer encaustic

Here is a bit more information about encaustic:

The word encaustic comes from Greek and means to “burn in”, which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Encaustic is a paint composed of beeswax, damar resin and pigments. The term “encaustic” is often used to describe both the paint itself, and the method for using it. Encaustic paint is applied molten to an absorbent surface, and then fused, (or re-melted), to create a variety of effects. Unlike other paints, encaustic is never wet or dry – it goes from a liquid to solid state and back again in seconds, which means additional layers can be added immediately, without disrupting your composition. Once the surface has cooled, the paint has reached a permanent finish, but the painting can be revised and reworked with heat at any time – minutes or years later.

Encaustic paint was first used over 5,000 years ago in Greece when it was used wax to seal their ships. Eventually they added pigment to decorate the boats.

The oldest surviving encaustic works are 2000 years old. These are the beautiful and realistic Fayum funeral portraits from Egypt. These were painted in colored waxes on wood and w.ere attached to mummy cases to commemorate the deceased and transport them to the afterlife. The wax has preserved them in near perfect condition.

Encaustic eventually fell out of favor because it was so cumbersome to use. Imagine melting wax paint over a wood fire by candlelight! The medium was replaced by tempera painting, fresco, and eventually oil painting. Still, it was kept alive over the centuries by small groups of dedicated artists. Many Impressionists and Symbolist artists experimented with wax. Some of the artists known to use wax in their paintings include Paul Gauguin and George Seurat.

My motto for this week: Try something new that scares you!

Ciao

Anja

The Sketchbook Project 2013

Some of you might have heard of The Sketchbook Project. The Brooklyn Art Library in New York has created a yearly project consisting of a collection of creative works in the form of sketchbooks contributed by artists from all around the world. Thousands are adding their voices to this amazing project yearly, having formed a library of 22,000 sketchbooks and growing. The collection can be viewed at The Brooklyn Art Library, 103 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn, NY (open 12-8pm daily). If you would like to see this year’s sketchbooks and can’t make it to New York, the books go on tour across North America. Here are this year’s tour dates:

tour dates

tour dates

If your interested in learning more, check out this quick video about the project.

Each participant chooses a theme for their sketchbook. I chose “Travelogue”, the perfect theme for 2012, a year full of change, opportunities and travel. I had the privilege to travel across Europe and spend some time in Hawai’i. Experiencing different cultures and falling in love with each of them. I chose to use the simplicity of pen and ink for my illustrations as I felt that it takes away the noise surrounding each place and shows the purity of my love for each of the places I had the privilege to experience. Here are some pictures of my sketchbook:

Cover

Cover

Passport stamps

Passport stamps

Barcelona

Barcelona

Côte d'Azur

Côte d’Azur

Saint-Tropez

Saint-Tropez

Paris

Paris

Luzern

Luzern

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Hawai'i

Hawai’i

Holiday art show & sale

I am joining two amazing artists (Charlene Brown and Colleen Leduc) to put on a holiday art show/sale. Come and join us at Clayhaus on Nov. 24 & 25 (12 to 5). A great chance to see some great local art and to get some Christmas shopping done. There will be pottery, paintings, photography, screen prints, jewelry and accessories made from recycled materials to choose from.

Hope to see you at the show!

Ciao!
Anja

xmas_show_and_sale

A month later…

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my exhibit closed. I have been taking some time off to take care of the business side of things. I had to do my accounting for the year and file my taxes, finish all the orders from my exhibition and just take a little bit of time off. It was nice to have a bit of a break and I feel ready to get back into it again. Last week I started taking a screen printing class at Martha Street Studio. I have always wanted to learn how to screen print but never got a chance to take it in Fine Arts, so now I am finally doing it. The first class was really interesting and I am excited to start playing. 8 weeks of classes – yeah! Stay tuned for some pictures of what I will be creating over the next couple of months.

I wanted to share some of the beautiful pictures that the fabulous photographer Dave Swiecicki took during the opening night of my solo exhibition. I also did a walk through video for all my friends and family in Switzerland that didn’t get the opportunity to be there in person.

Enjoy the pictures and the walk through!

Ciao

                     

What a night

It’s been a couple of days since opening night and I have caught up on some sleep. What an incredible night! The gallery was packed. There were so many people who I knew and I spent all night talking to people and still feel that there were so many  I didn’t have a chance to chat with. I am overwhelmed by the support I have received from the media before and after  opening night along with the support of my friends, family and the art community. I will never forget this special night. Thank you everybody for making this such a magical night. So far I have sold 6 paintings and 9 photographs. If you missed opening night, the show is still on until April 3 at 6:00pm. Hours are Tues & Thurs: 12:00pm to 9:00pm and Wed, Fri, Sat: 12:00pm to 6pm.

Here are some links to some of the coverage I got:

CBC Manitoba Scene 

CBC News

article in the community papers city wide

fun photoshoot after opening night. Photo by Dave Swiecicki.

Thanks everybody!

Love

Anja

The opening night of my first solo show “Home Sweet Home” is one week away . I am busy with lots of final preparations and with preparing for my parents arrival on Sunday. I am signing off my blog until after the opening night but I wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to the opening night. Thursday, March 22, 2012, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m. at cre8ery gallery, 125 Adelaide, 2nd floor. It’s going to be a fun night with lots of Swiss food and music.

See you next Thursday night!

Click here for invitation

14 days to go

It’s been a while since my last blog entry. I have been busy working on my exhibition. It’s been a lot more work than I thought it would be but I have really been enjoying it. It’s been nice to live and breathe my art and to have my life taken over by it. I always spend a lot of time on my art but this reminds me of being in Fine Arts when your art becomes your life. Still one of my favourite times of my life, but back to my exhibition. All my paintings are done and half of them are wired for hanging. All the Photoshop work is done to my images and I am picking up the last set of prints tomorrow. All the pieces are named and labels have been drafted. Tomorrow I will be wiring the rest of my paintings and on Saturday I will be starting to frame my photographs. 24 of them to frame so it will take a while. And then I have to finish my installations… So there is still lots to do before the show is ready to be hung on March 21, but I know I will get it all done and I am going to enjoy every second of the preparation. What’s the saying “stop and smell the roses”… I have been really trying to live by that! I will keep you posted on my progress…

Back to work!

Ciao