Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Making a mess

No paintings to show today... I've been doing a lot of experimenting with multi-layered painting in oil and cold wax over the last month or two. I am very excited to take a workshop this August in Longmont, CO, from someone whose minimalist, abstract artwork (done with this medium) I really admire: Rebecca Crowell. She often uses several panels painted individually to create, eventually, a large painting made from the panels clamped (permanently) together. I have many panels in progress right now (they may remain individual paintings, I don't know yet) but so far it's a huge amount of experimenting, and a daily gigantic mess (see above photo)! and lots of interesting learning...but nothing yet to show.

Painting with oil and cold wax: cold wax medium is something you can buy (Gamblin or Dorland's). It gets mixed with oil paint in varying quantities, and then it's just pure play, creating texture and usually with quite a few layers. You want to use a rigid support. Rebecca Crowell also frequently uses solvent to dissolve some layers too, partially or otherwise, to create interesting effects. See her work at the link above. I find it absolutely stunning. (Her video is pretty cool to watch, too.)

I have briefly tried encaustic (oil + hot wax) in the past but don't want to deal with the fumes and heat. This is a very nice alternative (although for those who definitely want inclusions--paper or collage items--in their painting, encaustic would be your choice).

If you like Rebecca Crowell's work and want to take her workshop in August, please sign up soon, via her website.

We're often greeted by this snout (Mojito's) under the gate.

Rumi kills me. He really, really does.

More art on my website:


Leslie Avon Miller said...

Boy, are you lucky!! Enjoy your work shop with Rebecca! Have you watched her video? Its at her blog and on mine when I did a studio post about her studio.

Elizabeth Seaver said...

I do look forward to seeing your experiments as they go farther along. It is such fun getting messy and figuring out new media. It's a growing time when you're doing that!

Vern Schwarz said...

And to think something beautiful will emerge from this disaster mess. My studio area looks like this too. Sounds like fun this new process of yours, and a workshop to further hop you up...yay!

suzanneberry said...

Jala, your adventurous spirit is so inspiring and visiting your blog is such a delight. Your photographs should be sold as well as your paintings. Can't wait to see what the experimenting brings! party on!

Ann Gorbett said...

That Rumi kills me too. He makes me laugh every time. He really knows how to nap! Can't wait to see your new works with wax.

SamArtDog said...

Did you make anything else besides a mess? Can we see it?

Four Seasons in a Life said...


I always enjoy looking at ones work table as it usually tells a wonderful story about the process of art. As for Rumi, our cat does this too and from what I remember of other cats in my life, it is something they do after a meal and when they are content.

Wishing you all the very best

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Leslie, yes, I've seen the video and it's great! sooo inspiring. I can't wait to see the techniques in person.

Hi Elizabeth - Definitely a growth time. In a way, with new media it's nice because one is sort of "excused from" creating anything "good"...for a while at least.

Hi Vern - I think you're the only person who claims to have spot(s) of their studio as messy as mine can get. I feel better having the company. We HOPE something beautiful will eventually come from this mess!

Hi Suzanne - Thank you. I think the reason I'm experimenting so much is that I'm still fairly new to art (4 or 5 yrs.) and I don't yet feel that I have found a voice or even necessarily a medium that suits me best.

Hi Ann - Thanks. Rumi makes me laugh out loud several times every single day--a priceless trait.

Hi Sam - You need to reread my post...I stated that I most DEFINITELY have nothing to show yet. :) Hi, Garrett! Have you eaten any little men lately?

Hi Egmont - This is but one small messy spot in my messy studio. ;) I've never had a cat before who sleeps like Rumi!

Caroline said...

Thank you for the link to Rebecca's website. What a lovely time I had looking at her paintings and watching the video about how she works. She is truely an inspiration. By making a mess we learn how to push out the boundries. I hope you have a wonderful time at Rebecca's workshop. The cold wax sounds fascinating.

jane minter said...

enjoyed watching her video thanks jala enjoy the workshop .. i've been making alot of mess recently :)

Rebecca Crowell said...

Hi Jala,
thanks for this! and your work table looks a lot like mine, only mine is more grubby!

I really do appreciate your words about my work and very much look forward to working with you in Longmont. After all our posts back and forth (on, a good site for people who want to know more about cold wax) I feel like we have already met!

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Caroline - She is very inspiring to me. So far I'm making mostly ugly messes, though.

Hi Jane - Thanks for you Diptych comment and your visit. Glad you liked R.C.'s video.

Hi Rebecca - What a nice surprise! I feel like we've practically met, too. It must be kind of fun for you to meet the people you've corresponded with, on your blog, website, and ning.
My work table only looks less bad than yours because it's just a teeny table.