I have completed two new tornado paintings; one was the one I started a few weeks ago while being interviewed for a Weather Channel segment about my tornado paintings. It’s changed a lot since it was filmed in progress (final version above; first version below).
I started this project about a year ago. My idea was to use iconic media images as image transfers encased in wax and tie a number of images together into a large piece. I wanted to pick some of the most recognizable images that I think almost anyone would know; images that said something about how we as a human race treat each other.
I did a couple of them last year to check out the possible process. Then I spent many hours searching mostly online for just the right images.
I came up with a composition that included way too many images at first, then eventually narrowed it down to the most interesting and iconic 25 images, but finally, I eliminated all but nine images for this piece.
I decided to manipulate them digitally to reduce them down even further to their iconic essence, and then I decided to print them as Gicleé prints. After mounting the prints on boards, I painted the whole surface with a single color of encaustic.
Finally, I linked all the images on boards together with chain links.
I got it all done and shot in time to apply to a local show about war — with a good 15 minutes to spare before the deadline!
This is the piece.
I had wanted to complete more of my planned large series of atomic bomb paintings done in time to apply to a local show dealing with war. I’ve got only 5 done now, and these last two need a little tweaking, but for now, here they are:
Katrina, of course.
This was much more difficult than the tornado paintings, for some reason. Seems like it needs to be far bigger, also (it’s only 8″x10″ and will be mounted on a larger sheet of baltic birch plywood and framed, just like the tornado paintings).
But not bad for a start. I may work on it some more; I don’t know…
I actually started this one prior to the one in the previous post (below). This was the first of the tornado paintings painted into a rough and very absorbent watercolor paper mounted on Masonite.
This is also one of those paintings that was rockin’ in a way after my initial painting session, but one tiny area wasn’t quite right, and in changing that area, I ended up changing and repainting pretty much the entire painting several times before arriving at this. In the initial painting, the wax had soaked deeply into the watercolor paper in a fascinating, beautiful, and unexpected way, and so looked far more like a slightly shiny watercolor painting than like my other encaustics.
So I discovered yet another way to work with encaustics. I love it and hope to retain that sense of watercolor-y patchiness in a future painting (that effect did not quite survive the several re-paintings).
You can see I’ve gotten comfortable with the encaustic process again, as this little painting (which I love), has gotten more away from abstraction than the three previous ones (below).
This one was painted into rough watercolor paper mounted on masonite. This paper really soaks up a lot of the wax paint, so many more layers were required to achieve the effect I was looking for.
Here’s another — a really huge tornado. I love how the diagonal lines worked out in this piece. It is again, one of those paintings that’s truly paint first and an image second.
I imagine painting this again in oil, about four times as large, and really abstracting it away from the ‘image’ of a tornado — just abstract shapes of color and texture.
I hope you get a chance to see this painting up close and personal — it is full of beautiful little passages of paint. Come to my studio for the East Austin Studio Tour this coming November or call me to make arrangements to see this in person. Check my website for contact info: Contact Marilyn