Tag Archives: vintage

Experimenting with Encaustic Art

Hi there! How are you? We have been pretty good over here. Enjoying the beautiful Spring blossoms everywhere and the more frequent sun breaks too!

Maybe it’s the Spring energy or the fact that I’ve started the second part to the Brené Brown online class but I’m feeling inspired! I have been wanting to try encaustic art forever but I’ve always been a bit intimidated by all that comes with it.

Well…this week I finally dove right in! I ordered my encaustic medium, a heated palette (mini griddle), hake brushes, encaustic boards and a heat gun. While waiting for it all, I devoured this book and watched every youtube video on encaustic that I could find.  Yesterday, it all arrived on my doorstep and I was like a kid at Christmas! All smiles, clapping my hands and doing a little jig. I was that excited. Dorky but true. My mind was a flurry with all the dreamy creations I was going to make using this magical medium!

That evening, after the girls were down and the kitchen looked decent, I set up my encaustic paint “studio” (in my dining room). I opened windows, plugged in the griddle, melted the wax, warmed the brushes and the board and proceeded to lay down my first coat of wax. This is kinda how it went—->

Eeek! It’s all uneven.

The brush must be too cool.

Wait or is it the board?

Did I get the right brushes?

<insert swear word here>

Okay calm down.

Try another coat. Don’t forget to fuse first!

How long do I fuse for again? <swear word>

Second coat went down. Sigh…more unevenness…brush strokes, pitting.

<more swearing>

Okay, so maybe this isn’t as easy as it looks!

I stopped and took a minute to reassess. What am I doing wrong?

Then it dawned on me…how ridiculous to think that I would get it right on the first go! I told myself to relax and just play. I would learn by my mistakes and I had to trust that with practice, I would figure it out.

With that attitude adjustment, the rest of the evening was a blast! Here is my first attempt.

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The tree was stamped onto the board with acrylic paint. After that was dry, I put my first layer of wax down. The color was added by way of PanPastels and Gelatos that I smeared together into the wax. The pieces of antique paper were simply collaged onto the piece and coated in wax. Lastly, I added the jewels and painted some details with white acrylic. Here are some close ups of the textures created by the layers of encaustic. IMG_8989

You can see in this one where I used a stylus tool to actually carved the wax to bring out the details in the tree.

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It was late so I headed to bed…

Today, I couldn’t wait to get back to it, so as soon as Claire was down for nap I got creating! Here is my second go at it. I kept the color palette and composition similar so I could focus on technique. The process got a tad easier and I got a little braver.  On this piece, I used a stencil to create a raised wax pattern. I also moved my “studio” into the kitchen and worked right on top of our glass cooktop and countertops. Put wax paper down first! They are not kidding about those fumes from the wax, so I put my little griddle right next to the exhaust downdraft fan on my stove and it sucked all the icky fumes right down! I also opened up the kitchen window very wide. Last night, I learned the hard way and went to bed with a headache. So today I wasn’t going to risk breathing that stuff in.

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I also learned that if you add PanPastel, oil pastel or Gelatos to your wax layer and you don’t like them – Yikes! – you can clean it all off using Linseed Oil and a paper towel! Yah!!

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I absolutely love working this way and I’m looking forward to experimenting more with encaustics. I think I’ll do something more abstract next time? Hmmm…

Anyway, let me know if you have any questions. I’m FAR from an expert, obviously, but I’m here to help if I can! :)

Have a beautiful weekend and go try something new!

Much love,

Ivy

 

63 Comments

Filed under Art, collage, creativity, encaustic, Learning, painting

An Art Gift

Hello friends! How was your weekend? We actually had a pretty quiet one, which was a welcome treat. I even got to do some collaging with a friend on Sunday afternoon – so much fun!

I’ve been wanting to share this project with you for some time but I made it for a friend as a gift and I couldn’t risk her seeing it on here. :) She received it on Friday so now I can show you!

I love these little 4″ x 4″ canvases because they are super affordable, easy to hang and you can usually finish up the project in a couple of hours depending on how elaborate you get.

I started by collaging vintage papers – covering all sides of the canvas. Then using chalk pastels and scrapbooking paper I added a second layer of color. Followed by a couple of doilies and some white acrylic paint applied with a brayer.

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To get that yummy encaustic look I love so much, I coated the piece with a layer of heavy gel medium, using wet fingers to smooth it all out.

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It hasn’t quite dried yet in this shot…so when it does it will be a little bit more transparent.

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After the gel dried I added these lovely words and a vintage butterfly. My dear friend has been through a lot and has recently found love again (yah!) so I found these words inspiring for her.  They come from a poem by Alfred Tennyson entitled “Summer is Coming“.

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I couldn’t resist adding some details with my fav white gel pen

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For more contrast, I added color to the butterflies’ wings with acrylic paint.

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It was so wonderful to create something special for a good friend. I think I will be making more art as gifts in the future. As always, please let me know if you have any questions about this process. I am happy to help!

Being inspired to create something for someone you love is great motivation to get your ART on! Try it and surprise someone with a one of a kind treasure. :)

Have a lovely week!

xo,

Ivy

18 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, collage, Crafting, creativity, mixed media, painting, vintage

Vintage Silhouette Girl

Hi there! How are you?

Well, 2014 is off to a good start here. Both Grace and I are using our studio and have been busy creating. We even ventured out and enjoyed a local art center where we both got to dive into our creations. So much fun!

The piece I’m about to share with you had been lying around forever. It started as one of those super cheesy Hallmark-like plaques from the 1980′s that I found at the thrift store for 99 cents. It needed some love, so I gessoed it and proceeded to collage it with vintage papers. I added washes of color with my Gellatos and water. Love these little tubes of color! *tip* use pretty paper that you love to figure out your color palette. ;)

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I then continued to layer paint, doilies, washi tape and scrapbook paper. I also ran my brayer through white paint and rolled it over the piece a couple of times. What is hard to see here is the texture…it actually (accidentally) ended up with a faux encaustic look due to the thick layer of Heavy Gel medium I added thinking it would dry just how I wanted. It didn’t. I panicked. I ended up scraping most of it off, cursing and then smoothing the whole layer using wet fingers. I thought I had totally screwed it up. But nope. I ended up loving the effect and discovering a new way to use gel. Yah! I LOVE when a mistake turns into something beautiful. It happens a lot in Art – if you can just push past that immediate panic.

(You can see the texture better in the pictures I took with my Big Girl camera below these iPhone pics.)

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Vintage silhouettes have always appealed to me, so I incorporated one into this piece instead of painting a girl. I found this silhouette here. Considering my art nouveau obsession, I couldn’t just leave her be – she needed a lovely headpiece and flowers too!

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Here are some better shots of the finished work with accurate color too. The doodles and hand lettering came as a bit of a surprise to me – being outside my box – but it just felt right and it was fun to experiment with the boldness of the black ink and contrast of the white gel pen.

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I’m excited to try another silhouette piece and you should too! No drawing necessary! ;) Let me know if you have questions.

Thanks for letting me share my work!

Much love to you all.

xo,

Ivy

15 Comments

Filed under Art, Art lessons, collage, Crafting, creativity, mixed media, painting, vintage

Do MORE Art in 2014

Hello everyone! How are you all? I hope you have been enjoying the Holiday season with family and friends. So…are you ready for 2014?

I think I am. I’m excited about the new possibilities and adventures ahead!

Of course, it’s always good to look back over the year and appreciate all the beautiful experiences we’ve had. To ponder all that we have learned and how we have grown. The mistakes, the regrets…it’s all part of our path so don’t focus on those too much. ;) The choices we make now are what truly matters. What will you do with your New Year? What changes will you make? How will you choose to spend your time? These are all things that are on my mind today.

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One of my “resolutions” is to DO MORE ART! I am now referring to my office as my studio and I re-organized the entire thing to display all my paints, brushes and artsy stuff. Easily accessible and ready for me. I signed up for an art retreat. I hung up images that inspire me. It felt SO good to set this intention! Now, I just have to do the work (not that art ever feels like work to me). Come to think of it…doing the art isn’t the hard part. It’s moving past the fear, the doubt and the all too familiar and un-nerving sensation that once I begin it could end in a complete ugly disaster.

I adore this quote by Elizabeth Gilbert. She totally nails it.

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So here’s to a fabulous 2014 full of love, joy and creativity! Sending you all big hugs and best wishes! Thank you for all your wonderful comments and amazing encouragement!

xo,

Ivy

14 Comments

Filed under Art, creativity, holiday, photography, studio visit, Thoughts

Inspiration Vintage Magazine

Hello all! How’s your Monday going? We are getting crazy wind and rain here! So, I’ve been puttering around the house, cleaning, reading and avoiding my artwork. I decided I needed a little space from it all.

I must give a huge “THANK YOU” to you sweet readers that left such encouraging and understanding comments. Your words truly touched me and were extremely comforting!

A beautiful and exciting distraction came along last week:  the latest issue of Inspiration Vintage magazine, which I had the honor of contributing to! This issue is bursting with stunning pictures, delicious recipes and loads of vintage beauty! Check it out here.

My article is about my love of vintage ephemera, antique books and French perfume labels! I had a blast photographing some of my pretty old things.  Of course, not all of the images made the cut but I thought I would share them with you…

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Thank you again for all your support! I promise more art is to come. I hope you all have a wonderful, inspiring week.

xo,

Ivy

14 Comments

Filed under magazine features, photography, Still life, vintage

Art to Adore: Angela Petsis

Hello friends and Happy Friday! Baby is sleeping and I’m busy pinning…as in Pinterest. Yes. It’s a serious job and someone has to do it. My Pinterest feed is being flooded with images of gorgeous encaustic art! I’m dying to try it! I just ordered this book and I’m looking for a local class or e-course so let me know if you guys know of one.

Anyway, through my hunt for beautiful Encaustic artwork I discovered an amazing artist : Angela Petsis. I am seriously swooning as I go through her stunning portfolio of work! I adore the layering, vintage elements and poetic softness of her work. Absolutely breathtaking.

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So pretty right? I told hubby that I want one of her pieces for Christmas! Please go and treat yourself to a peek at her website and Etsy shop.

Have a lovely weekend!

xo,

Ivy

5 Comments

Filed under Art, creativity, Etsy, favorite things, mixed media, painting, Shopping