He was 5 years old

… and returned for the demo!

What a cool mom.

She and her son visited me during the first weekend of open studio. They looked at all of my work, turned the pages of my encaustic sketch book and flipped through my rack of prints. I mentioned to her that I’d be doing a demo the following weekend.

I waved goodbye to them as they walked down the driveway.

1pm. Saturday. Demo time.

Guess who comes running up the driveway?

We huddled around the griddle. On my left sat the mom with her son in her lap. Others stood or sat on stools. I showed how I begin each gessoed panel with layers of medium and then move on to the pigmented wax. I gave the cautionary tale about using the torch and how to NEVER pick a torch up by the nozzle even when you know it is cool.

Good habits will save you every time!

The demo is not a time for me to “create”a painting but a time for people to try out the medium. I want them to feel the nature of the hot wax cooling as they put brush to panel. I remind them they need to think about what to do next with the brush in the container, not in the air.

“It’s like chess, ” I say.

The adults began with the little brushes and painted thoughtfully. They made circular marks with precision and got into the fine work of scraping away layers to reveal incised paint.

And then there was the 5 year old.

“Your turn.”

He picked up the largest brush and made the boldest moves. One. Two. Three times. Oh yeah.

Lesson learned.

In this post open studio afterglow I’m going to devote the next few months to bold moves. The first one being that I’ll be focusing on the color Orange. This idea came up at the end of last year when I was doing some crazy edgy 6 month forecasting. Crystal ball gazing. I saw only orange in my future….

Orange paintings. Driving an orange Fiat. Orange sneakers. Why? I like orange. I like challenges. I think it will push me to an edge where good things happen though you can’t plan for it. Like finding lost objects when you’re not looking for them.

Here’s a start.

This is a detail from my sketchbook.

Is this an orange painting? Is it fair to use other colors?

Here is the full sketch.

What about scale? Here is an example of a large painting that is yellow. It’s called Hello Sunshine and was juried into a mark making themed show at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art this month.

Hello Sunshine 36″ x 36″

But hey, there are some other colors in here.


This rule I know for sure.

Begin with the big brush.




Louise Jalbert: Great post! I can see the face of that little guy being empowered and free with that big brush and the color. To quote Seth Godin: “Three months from now, you will be doing something totally different than what you are doing now” I can’t wait to see it!

Francesca: Completely free! On and on he painted while the adults talked. No pause. Three months seems like a long time but I know it will be here tomorrow!

By |2018-08-14T22:19:05-07:00June 13th, 2018|Encaustic, Studio Wildcat|0 Comments

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