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

                     

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

Thanks and Happy New Year

I wanted to thank you for your support in 2011 and wish you only the best in 2012! I really enjoyed sharing my art work and things that inspire me through my blog. I had 3,900 blog visits from all over the world (Canada, US, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia, Brazil, Switzerland, Italy, England, France, Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, Indonesia, India, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand).

2012 is going to be an exciting year. My first solo art exhibition is only just over  2 months away. I am really looking forward to seeing the show come together and being able to share it with all of you. I am especially excited that my parents are flying in from Switzerland for opening night.

Thanks for your support and I am looking forward to continually share my passion for art and design with you.

Happy New Year und es guets neues Jahr!

Ciao

Encaustic painting

A while back I had gone to the WAG to see a local artist talk about encaustic painting. The presentation was fascinating and I couldn’t wait to try it out. I went ahead and ordered the materials I needed and for the last 8 months or so they have been staring at me in my studio. I have been feeling guilty about not having tried it out. Last Sunday I finally decided to give it a try. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but I did enjoy the process. I am not happy with my first piece but I guess I should give myself a break and realize that the first piece isn’t going to turn out perfectly. I will make sure to give it another try sometime soon. Due to the fumes that you deal with while doing encaustic I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and I set myself up in my backyard on the deck. It was really nice to be outside on such a beautiful day and play with paint or I guess wax in this case.

I thought I would share a bit of information about encaustic. Encaustic is also known as hot wax painting. The term Encaustic is derived from the Greek word enkaien and means to burn into. This procedure of applying molten, coloured wax to various surfaces was already used by the old Egyptians more than 3000 years ago – the resulting paintings of the mummy portraits are there for us to admire in the British Museum in London or in the National Museum in Cairo.  The technique was lost for hundreds of years, but rediscovered in the 18th century and has also had a resurgence in popularity since the 1990s.

The liquid wax can be applied to wood panels or also canvas and other materials, and metal tools and brushes be used to shape the paint before it cools, you can also use heated metal tools to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. You use a heat gun in-between wax layers to ensure that the new layer bonds to the existing ones.

Not as easy as I thought it would be but for sure fun!

Ciao!

Some serious studio time

I have been spending most of the weekend in my studio. It’s such a good feeling when inspiration creates this burst of creativity that just has to expressed through paint or other mediums. I love when all I think about is art. It even takes over my dreams and ideas are constantly flowing. It’s just such an amazing feeling and it makes me feel so alive.

While I was at the studio today I saw the current exhibition at cre8ery “INAKA’s new works in antler and wood by Reg and Jamie Kucey”. Both Reg and Jamie are incredibly talented and I was really blown away by their art. The show is only on for two more days. Make sure to check it out as you won’t be disappointed!

Ciao!

Just imagine…

Just imagine sketching on any paper and having the drawings magically appear on your computer screen as vector art even in layers!!! Just imagine the possibilities!

This is not a dream anymore! Wacom is introducing a new product called Inkling mid September. I just had to share this amazing new product. I can’t wait for it to come out.

Here is a quick video with more information on the product:

Wacom Inkling!!!! Wow!

Ciao

Vintage beauty

Every time I go into my studio to paint I have to change my clothes but somehow when changing back into my regular clothes I always manage to get paint on myself. I thought about an apron or a big shirt but I decided that that just wouldn’t be good enough. When I was a little girl my mom had made me red coveralls with a race car patch on them. I was absolutely in love with them and I would wear them when helping my dad in his garage. So I started thinking that coveralls might just be the solution.

I found the perfect coveralls on etsy – vintage from France and the measurements were perfect! When I got home on Friday I had a package waiting for me. Yeah I got my coveralls and I can’t wait to paint in them. That is once it’s maybe a bit cooler in my studio. They are almost too nice to paint in.

Vintage, so stylish and eco-friendly!

Ciao!

Now this is stylish protective clothing

ok I won't be wearing my glasses in my studio