Nihonga Day 14

Today, I pushed myself hard.  And by hard, I mean I spent 15 hours in the studio – only taking an hour break for coffee.  [on days like this, I question my sanity!]  But I’m so glad I did it– I knew it was one of my last chances to work in this space and I was feeling like the work was close to being done.  So, I apologize in advance for the massive amount of pictures today!


First on my list: finish my book sculpture.  I put the finishing touches on it, and then placed it on the wall the way I would want it hung.


Detail shot.



I’m happy with the result.  This is a part of my “By Its Cover” series.


Next on my list was to finish this triptych.  (a much bigger beast to tackle!)



I added white azurite streaks to the top



and added more blue pastel to the rock piles.



Next, I burnt some book pages



and ground up the ashes and mixed it with nikawa glue and water in order to make a fresh batch of ash gray.  (one of my new favorite colors!)



Then I began to add some to the bottom – the effect of water based media on top of the wax is quite subtle and beautiful.  It doesn’t always work (since water based materials resist), but when it dries in place, it’s quite beautiful.



Then I scratched into the wax with a nail, to help make the rock piles pop even more.



Next, I built up some layers of various colors rotating between encaustic and nihonga materials (oyster shell white, encaustic medium, blue pastel, ash gray)



and began layering some ash gray as a shadow to each rock pile.



Then,trusting my intuition, I began to scrape it all off.



and revealed this fantastic worn, peeled paint look underneath.  Finally, I was starting to make some real progress and getting much closer to being done!



Then I worked on the transition between the top and bottom portions of the pieces, and carved a stylized plant with roots in each of the pieces.



I took off the artist tape (to reveal the gorgeous bamboo underneath!), hung them up, stood back and decided they were done.  Whew.



(Detail shot of third piece)