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Playing with Fire

It rather goes without saying that I am not a dedicated blogger. Where to start? Should I write about the work? How about the process? Explain my choices, my materials, my imagery?

This is the second summer that i have invited people into my working studio on a regular basis. Consequently, I have met many folks and had the chance to speak with many of them. So, I have decided to write my blog as though you were right here in the studio asking questions. I'll simply answer the questions visitors to my studio have asked me. Feel free to ask your own question in the comments area. Better still, drop by the studio here on Granville island.

"Is that wax"
Asked in an incredulous voice. It is indeed. I am painting in Encaustic, a medium composed of waxes, resin and pigmented with oil paints and dried pigments. And I am fusing it with a blow-torch and a heat gun. Did you paint it first and then cover it with wax? Nope. All at once. And quickly. More about the process later.

" Are the ceramics yours too?" Yes they are. I have worked in ceramic for many years. My encaustic paintings are now side by side with my painterly ceramics. I love that encaustic surfaces can have that bold texture and at the same time a satiny finish.
I find many things about encaustic to be the things I also love about ceramics. The colour, the active surface, the glazing, ...did I mention the colour. To my eye, the wax carries colour better than any other painting medium and it loves to make texture.

My theme this summer has been "Playing with fire". I am firing some new ceramic still lifes and painting with encaustic. I am using my new this year great Iwatani blow-torch on the encaustic. Fire is very much part of my processes.

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