cleaning the studio...

...and other adventures in art

50-50 at sanchez

The 50-50 II Show opens soon! See the Sanchez Art Center website for a list of participating artists, directions to the center, and more.

Barbara Downs announcement for The Daily Bird at the 50-50 show

There is going to be some great work in this show! Around a thousand people came to the opening last year. If you would like to see the show in a more calm atmosphere, come to the ticketed preview. Once the show opens, buyers are welcome to take the pieces with them when they make purchases, so the ticketed preview is the only way to see the show in its entirety.

Ticketed Fundraiser Preview: Thursday, July 29, 7 to 9 pm
Tickets are available for $10.98 at BrownPaperTickets.com, 1-800-838-3006, or $20 at the door.

Opening Reception: Friday, July 30, 6 to 10 pm, free to the public

texture and gloss and surface, oh my!

One of the things that I love about encaustic is the dimensionality of the medium. I’ve mentioned before that I photographed my Daily Birds at an angle because I think of the pieces as being ‘objects’, almost sculptures. I often work on these pieces at an angle, looking at the texture of the wax from the side without considering the image or color.

Encaustic can be matte or glossy, flat or gloppy, textured or smooth. The surface can be scraped and scratched and gouged. Unfortunately, none of this can be seen clearly in conventional photograph of the artwork. It takes an angled shot to see the surface, but then the image is lost.

None of this matter when you see the piece in person, because you see both the image and the surface as you move around a piece, perhaps without even realizing that you’re taking it all in.

Barbara Downs photo showing surface finish on encaustic piece

The piece above has a fairly matte finish, with a flat, scraped surface.`

Barbara Downs photo showing surface finish on encaustic piece

This one has a gloppy surface, with a flattened area in the middle that has small evenly-spaced scratches across it.

Barbara Downs photo showing surface finish on encaustic piece

You can see even more of these scratches on this piece, above. I came from a printmaking background, and this texture reminds me of the cross-hatching that is often used in etching or engraving. This image also has gloppy, semi-glossy edges surrounding the center that is flatter, glossier and scratched.

Original artwork by Barbara Downs, detail of Precious in the Brambles, Encaustic/Oil/Photo/Barbed Wire on Panel

detail of Precious in the Brambles, Encaustic/Oil/Photo/Barbed Wire on Panel, 20″ x2 0″ x 4″, 2009, Private Collection

Here is one of my larger encaustic pieces, not part of The Daily Birds, shot at an angle to show the barbed wire attached to the surface as well as the mottled, matte surface finish.

the never-ending Daily Bird

Just about now, I’m wondering why I thought it would be a good idea to do 50 pieces in 50 days.

Given that I posted the final bird last week and there’s been not a peep from me since then, you probably assumed I was lounging on the beach. That would be incorrect. Blame it on my perfectionist tendencies, but I’ve been in my studio finishing things up: cleaning the edges of the pieces, applying wax here and there, polishing surfaces, and making a frame for Day 50.

Two pieces got scraped completely and redone (oops), but that’s a post for another day.

Here’s the framed Day 50. Thank goodness I got that MIG welder for Mother’s Day last year.

Original artwork by Barbara Downs, The Daily Bird, Encaustic/Oil/Photo on Panel

The Daily Bird, Day 50, July 5, 2010, Encaustic/Oil/Photo on Panel, 6″ x 6″, 2010, Private Collection

This is a welded steel frame. I rounded the metal slightly at the edges and scraped, sanded and gouged the sides and edges, then rusted the whole thing and applied an oil finish.

I did this piece specifically with the frame in mind. I like the contrast between the encaustic image and the frame: the soft colors and smooth, sensual texture of the encaustic against the gritty, rusty, unforgivingly-hard frame.

I’ve done several sculptures that combine rawhide and metal, but I’ve been wanting to combine encaustic and metal for quite some time, and I’m thrilled with the results. There will be more to come, I’m sure.

and, last but not least…The Daily Bird, DAY 50!

50-4

Day fifty(!) of the Sanchez Art Center 50-50 show, 50 pieces in 50 days. Encaustic/Oil/Photo/Mixed Media on Panel, 6″ x 6″

I knew all along that this would be the final piece. It will get framed, and I’m hoping to make a custom frame. Time to fire up the welder!

The Daily Bird, Day 49

Original artwork by Barbara Downs, The Daily Bird, Encaustic/Oil/Photo on Panel

Day forty-nine of the Sanchez Art Center 50-50 show, 50 pieces in 50 days.
Encaustic/Oil/Photo/Mixed Media on Panel, 6″ x 6″

The Daily Bird, Day 48

Original artwork by Barbara Downs, The Daily Bird, Encaustic/Oil/Photo on Panel

Day forty-eight of the Sanchez Art Center 50-50 show, 50 pieces in 50 days.
Encaustic/Oil/Photo/Mixed Media on Panel, 6″ x 6″

The Daily Bird, Day 46

Original artwork by Barbara Downs, The Daily Bird, Encaustic/Oil/Photo on Panel

Day forty-six of the Sanchez Art Center 50-50 show, 50 pieces in 50 days.
Encaustic/Oil/Photo/Mixed Media on Panel, 6″ x 6″

Sanchez Art Center 50-50 show

Barbara Downs announcement for Sanchez Art Center 50-50 Show II

Private Ticketed Preview: Thursday July 29 – 7-9 pm

A limited number of tickets will be sold. Be among the first to see the show in a comfortable atmosphere and reserve your purchases. Tix: $10.98 advance available online  ($20 door)  Get your tickets now, from BrownPaperTickets.com!

Grand Opening Reception: Friday July 30,  6-10 pm, free of charge
Grand Closing: Sunday August 29, 1-5 pm, free of charge

Sanchez Art Center, 1220 Linda Mar Blvd., Pacifica, CA

The Daily Bird, Days 44 and 45

Some of these pieces are very difficult to photograph.  The one on the right, below, is a case in point. The piece itself is quite textural, and the texture is critical to the piece, but none of the texture comes across in the photo. So you’ll just have to come to the show!

Original artwork by Barbara Downs, The Daily Bird, Encaustic/Oil/Photo on Panel

Days forty-four and forty-five of the Sanchez Art Center 50-50 show, 50 pieces in 50 days. Encaustic/Oil/Photo on Panel, 6″ x 6″