The tiny critters are back - with PART TWO or HALF WAY in the Streatham Quartet. GET YOURS NOW.
The word sincere means without wax. This is not without wax so it is insincere. I could have called it the jigsaw or getting to the bottom of things but I didn't.
This began life a week or so ago, as my first experiment in encaustic painting (i.e. painting with wax). It was a collage (a slightly bad one - literally for the purposes of trial and error - which is most things I grant you). It was made up of newspaper printed photos of a US soldier at the doctor's and a man in a hat (Sam Neill) from Jurassic Park with three dinosaurs. But you couldn't really see those things, there were hills and shrubs and sky and stuff, but they got hidden pretty completely by oil paint and tea light and natural beeswax that I was using before my purified beeswax arrived. Let's be honest - it was a hot mess. I mean, it was a colourful palette like mass of daubs with a couple of faces and a figure peeking out. Anyway I didn't have anything against it as such, but today I was without plan or thought when I took a bowl of hot beeswax, some powdered pigments and my trusty blowtorch and for a good four hours was engaged in creating and destroying many a fine abstract painting. I say 'fine' what I mean is fairly fine, obviously not fine enough as I kept going until really hungry… and my nails dug in and started to peel off the underlying collage from the canvas. Hmm what a pleasing sensation, a vision of restored clarity. A clearing of the decks, a getting to the bottom of things. The canvas was pleasantly stained in different colours and light was restored (I'd gone a bit heavy with the darker shades and it was getting too dull and without contrast. Well to be honest, if you must know, it was a constant battle between many interesting details and too much going on or just too bland and not enough going on, over and over). So after eating I put all the pieces of wax laden paper in the metal bowl and boiled it all up like George's marvellous medicine… and here we are. Wunderbar! The lovely blue green colour is actually from some tall candles I have. It finally captured my mood! But maybe you didn't need all that information… the mystery is no more. The artist's mystique of "oh well yes it's really about the post modernist alienation from honest and open communication, the dissociative habits of those who would rather not share the truth with you but shield themselves in a shroud of carefully manicured image and crafted areas for tailored speculation…" well, that too. That too.
I just rewatched the Shining. If you've been living on Mars and not seen it because you've just arrived I'd recommend not reading on as I am going to SPOIL IT ALL for you.
Personally I like disk drives, they allow me to watch Dvds and play CDs, even copy things to disk if I so desire, but I am sure I sound like someone extolling the virtues of vinyl or remembering fondly the warm fuzzy liveliness of the ancient gramophone. Anyway, I had an old disk drive lying about so i took off its cover to find it has guts inside. I drew these guts, and then proceeded with my new bag of white beeswax, since melted of course, to daub away for quite a while until each main piece of the thing was there, all heavy and solid like. But then I started to think it looked like a badly yet interestingly iced cake, (see the first photo) and I took my newly purchased mini blowtorch to it (primarily designed for creme brule), and even burned a few holes in my nicely scented eucalyptus framed canvas given to me years and years ago by my sister, whoops. SO then I was slightly regretful at having melted all that time and effort and tried to re-demark the pieces of the drive with some oil pastel. The main body of colour having come from oil paint mixed with the melted wax (a messy business). And I blow torched that too. (see the second photo). As is often the way, by the time I'd ruined it twice I was kind of standing up to leave as my dinner was ready - when I just thought "o sod it", and melted the whole lot, threw in some metal paper burned some newspaper into it, poured a bit of my candle that I had burning and tossed in a few matches to remind myself of where the main bits of its guts had gone. I also saw fit to throw in some bits of wax that had gathered about the place, blow torched it again for good measure - got my pencil stump in there to point out that it kind-of had a form at one stage - and hey presto. It seemed to have come to its own conclusion. Thus is life. Apple doesn't like disk drives anymore, they like money and novelty and creating new versions of things that work perfectly well just so their shares can increase in value. But we'll see. Encaustic lasts for a very long time (though probably not this one on its half burned canvas) - but the next one I will do on wood and oh yes. I am getting the hang of it now. We'll see who lives longest Apple! (Sell your Apple shares if you have them, they've peaked. Trust me, I am uncannily good at these things). And if you're thinking it looks a bit of a mess. Yes, Technology ends up on the trash heap every six years at least, and then some poor person in India or Africa has to dismantle it for whatever its worth or worse yet in ends up in landfill!? Seriously, and we think we're advanced.
This is a collage on canvas with encaustic. I've given lots of photos to show all sides - it's only fair. This is using tea light wax, as I'd run out of beeswax. It's hard to see in the photos, but the wax makes it soft and tactile, it conceals the collage by layers making it even more imperfect, mottled and mysterious. I like it a lot...
I always loved collage but recently have discovered that using wax on top of the paper makes it even more enjoyable!. Next I will try combining the wax with oils.. This type of collage isn't the same as the previous painting - that one uses parts of images and layers them with paintings to join and merge them into a sort of tapestry. This collage is another technique I often use which is to rip up paper into tiny pieces and use them like a mosaic to create a new image. The wax adds a new effect that of smoothing what would otherwise be a sort of scaly feathered edged rough surface.
Collage, with oils and encaustic.
Featuring Samuel Becket and two players in Waiting for Godo, some Edo era shunga, a portrait I drew of a sleeping woman from 2010, a wolf character from a Vert comic strip of mine from 2013, newspaper photograph of a prison visit, a child soldier from sudan or Sierra Leone, a Hausa sculpture of Queen Victoria, a war veteran's foot, some computer error from a photocopy machine, a photos of Stockwell bus station, some William Morris Fruits wallpaper, a meal voucher from Bills, and a piece of a council tax demand envelope, a sketch of a woman's head by another woman's feet, aind a misprinted photograph of myself.
I have been looking at my old comics of 2010/2011 vintage, and having little thoughts like "isn't it a shame it's so hard to read and maybe I should have a go at presenting it again in a more reader friendly way?". I suppose it is evidence that I should cling to excitedly that I have actually learned something in the years since I started trying to tell a yarn with a drawing pen and paper (and a lot of silliness to boot)!
SO without further ado I redirect you to part one - one quarter no less - of the Streatham Quartet.
I will be updating the other three parts of it in the coming days with the hope that it brings you some amusement if not bemusement.
DISCLAIMER: if you are easily made squeamish by creepy crawlies or suggestions of a mildly sexual nature it mite be best to move swiftly on and pretend it never happened. Pun did you see? It was a pun. No honestly its all just a bit of fun.