Developments in wax

(Pictured above, Tippi's Daydream, encaustic)

About a month ago I took a class at Shake Rag Alley in Mineral Point, Wisconsin. The instructor's name was Jeffrey Hirst, he was teaching encaustic painting, what a revelation!

Encaustic painting is a method of painting with liquid wax mixed with color, with roots going as bar back as Ancient Greece. I'd been aware of encaustic painting for many years but had never had the chance to try it before - and I think I may be hooked. Over the course of that 3 day class I completed 10 paintings - holy moly! I made it my first order of business on returning to stock up on the equipment and materials and give it a try at home.

This weekend was my first chance to sit down and do some work. Jeff taught us many techniques - painting with wax, fusing methods, image transfers, collage, stencils, etching, carving, etc. It really got my mind going - how can I combine this new medium with what I've been working on already? Following are a series of encaustic paintings finished this weekend which display my first try.

Above, "Tippi's daydream" is a small work on a cradled board. It measures 6.5" x 7.5" and 1" deep, and it is mixing the encaustic style with my "Discarded Memories" series I've been working on. I started by layering colored wax on the board, and then transferred a charcoal sketch inspired by a vintage photo portrait I'd purchased an antique shop. I then started working into the sketch with wax, laying over blocks of color and then transferring the charcoal drawings of the birds. Once that cooled I worked back in again with more layers of painted wax, and then etched in the lines finishing by rubbing oil paint into the etched lines.

I've also been working on a series of nudes - attending a weekly painting from life session with a few fellow artists. Below, "Moment" combines the nudes with encaustics. This was a simpler process than the above. I started with a 12" x 12" board and started layering wax - warm tones mostly, and letting it be a little pockmarked and messy. I then did a charcoal drawing based on a painting I'd finished this weekend and transferred it to the wax painting. I finished by rubbing oil paint across the entire surface to enhance the pockmarks and irregularities in the surface.

"Moment", encaustic painting by Rochelle Weiner

Below, "Still Wind" was a very similar process to the above "Moment" - layers of wax, charcoal drawing transfer, oil paint rub. The only difference is that before the oil paint I etched in the wavy curly lines to suggest wind and movement to juxtapose the stillness of the seated model.

"Still Wind", encaustic painting by Rochelle Weiner




Portraits make incomparable gifts

Last month I was commissioned to create a double portrait. My new client wanted to give a very special gift to his partner. This man had lost his mother years ago, and even though his father has since remarried, a family portrait of them still hangs in his father's house. She was a very special woman who is greatly missed. My client photographed the framed image last time they visited his partner's father and commissioned me to make a portrait in time to give as a birthday gift. I was really pleased with the finished product and even more pleased to hear how the gift was received. Thank you to my new clients! You made my day!

Here is the note my client sent me:


Today was (his) birthday and the unveiling of your work. He loved the painting! Words cannot do justice to his overall reaction, but know it was an awesome feeling. Now comes the daunting task of finding a place worthy of this piece but I'm sure it will be on display shortly.

Thank you again for a wonderful job – giving him the gift of his parents, memorialized in watercolor, was awesome. You were truly a pleasure to work with and I knew you were the right person for the job – the fact that this project excited you from inception made me confident I chose the right artist.

I've attached your work framed... I hope you like.

I do like! great choice in frame! Thanks again!


Winter in Chicago

Winter in Chicago, where are you? There's been so little snow this year I used a photo from last year's snow to create this painting. After a snow fall I like to walk through the city streets and green spaces and see what catches my eye. There's almost always something that grabs my interest so I try to remember to bring my camera at all times. There is a big park near me and these trees were still covered with red berries, which were so striking against the white snow background.

Pictured above, "Winterberries", watercolor.


New greeting cards have arrived

The new greeting cards are in! I did four love bird cards in honor of Valentine's day, seen at left. Also fresh off the press are sets of four spring flowers, four spring birds, four landscapes and four desserts.  I'd love to hear your feedback!

Cards are on sale now at the Andersonville Galleria and Flourish Studios in Chicago, or can be purchased directly through me as well. Cards are sold individually for $4, in packs of four for $13 or packs of eight for $24.

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Valentine's Day at the Galleria

Woot! Thank you to Scott and Ken at the Andersonville Galleria for featuring one of my Valentine's paintings in the front window display.

I've just finished 4 new small lovebird paintings in time for the upcoming holiday. New greeting cards will also be available soon. Looking out the window right now with the snow coming down I can see why Valentine's Day is so well placed this time of year - everyone could use a warm-up!

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Winter Birds - a great holiday gift

Since the first set of 6 has nearly sold out and I'm getting requests for more, I went ahead and created 6 new small canvases of winter birds. I focused on Cardinals and Bluejays.

I just need to get the hanging hardware attached on the backsides and then it's off to the Galleria for hanging.

Happy holidays everyone!

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Red balloons

(Pictured above, Red Balloons - original acrylic painting on canvas, 12" x 12")

Another to add to the moody series - this one more melancholy a bit sad and reminiscent. Dead tree, floating balloons, small red heart. What does it make you think of?


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