cleaning the studio...

...and other adventures in art

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.