After what has seemed like a week of distractions, I've finally started some paintings based on our trip to Bath County. While we were there hiking around by rivers and such, I got fixated on the idea of using a wax medium to make this series of paintings. With painting, I love playing around with different mediums and surfaces. I know this sounds somewhat experimental, but what I mean to say is that I will immerse myself in a medium for some time, getting to know it's nuances. I've been painting with a mixture that's allowed me to paint fairly thinly and fluidly. The wax, as I've rediscovered, behaves in a totally different way. It's thick, builds up more quickly on a surface, and dries very fast. It doesn't totally dry for a while, so within several days I can go back into the painting, building it up and coaxing it toward something complete. I love what it does with the paint, as the colors remain luminous and clear, but layers underneath show through. For me, it's playing with those layers of color as well as getting a surface that I love.
I was trying to remember the last time I painted with wax. I'm thinking it was when I was doing my thesis show at VCU. I was painting bees then. I miss the bees. I don't have a single bee painting left from that time, so I might just have to paint a bee or two just to have at home. It's feeling more like summer here, and of course we have our share of wildlife and bees and nature around our place. My daughter has started her own dead insect collection... mostly little bees lined up on her bookshelf in her room. She has had a long passion for bugs, and says she may be an entomologist when she grows up. I may paint a bee or two this summer in the spirit of collaboration with my six year old.
I'll leave you with some images of the bee paintings in which I used wax as a medium. Sorry that this is "old" work. The new ones are too new and fresh and in progress to share quite yet.