I work primarily in acrylics and collage.I use collage and beewax in my assemblage works and am now completing several shrines using found objects. I have been experimenting with encaustic collage and have found the medium very challenging. The paint is a combination of melted beeswax and pigment. A small amount of damar resin is added for hardness. I mix these paints myself and while painting all custom colors are mixed directly on a hot palette.
I will share my progress with this exciting medium with photos of work in progress and finished pieces.
My mixed media assemblage, "Incubation", was accepted in this years juried show. Click on this link to view the full exhibit http://www.nationalcollage.com/2010exhibit1.html
This piece began as a child's toy tool box I found on ebay. I altered the surfaces with milk paint, beeswax, crackle medium and collage papers. The wooden game parts, buttons and key are vintage found objects. I have collaged my original drawings, photographs and journal pages to make up the background.
This view shows the box closed and a drawing in pencil on the front.
This is a close-up of the shelf that swings out. I made the small egg from polymer clay and painted it.
The little nest is made from thread, straw and lichens, these eggs are blown glass beads
When I tried making these prints I was totally amazed at how easy it was. The secret is to use the freshest mushroom caps possible, these were only a few hours old. I collected them in my backyard. Cut off the stem as close as possible without destroying the gills. I used plain computer paper for some and onion skin typing paper for others. I experimented with tissue paper also, but it was very thin and soaked up too much moisture. The caps are placed gill surface down and covered with a bowl or plastic container for a few hours. If after this time you notice the spore sprint showing white spores, it can quickly be moved to a black piece of paper. The longer they are left under the bowl the darker the print. The last one was left overnight and it has a beautiful rich velvety brown color. I'm hooked and can't wait to make more. I'd like to get a print on tissue to use in my encaustic work. When the wax is applied the tissue disappears and all that is left is the print. A spray fixative has to be applied to the finished prints before using them. I will photograph some of the ones I made on the black mat board and post next time.
On Saturday we did the most amazing class. It was the Smoky Mountain Field School Hike for collecting wild mushrooms. We went to the Greenbriar Area of the Smoky Mountain National Park.
Mushroom collecting is best in the Spring through Fall. Our instructor was Coleman McCleneghan PhD., and she led us on a journey through the tiny world of mycological fungi. As a rule collecting is not allowed in any national park situation, but because mushrooms are the fruiting body of the plant they are an exception to this. We had a most interesting day and were taught how to identify the mushroom by making a spore print. I loved this aspect (the artist in me) and can't wait to take this to another level and see what I can do with them. This is such an easy and rewarding project I will save it for another post.
Yellow tuning fork fungi
I do know this one! It's a Chanterelle, it's delicious to eat and I was the one to find it!