Happy Struggle

I like to share a website that I just discovered. Many very interesting essays about the perception of art and more! See below.


First I want to show you some details of a big artwork that kept my mind busy day and night. I vividly remember my struggle to make this drawing in Chinese ink with a fine pen. A happy struggle though…




Art, far more commonly than is recognized, uses visual metaphor to depict the process of its own creation in the artist’s mind. There are many stages in the conception of an artwork in any media, each with its own specific character. Some, like the initial meditation on a theme, can be relatively passive; others far more active. The process of transforming a mental image into a specific composition can be particularly frustrating and has often been described as a great struggle. We have all experienced at one time or another the agony of a writer as we try to express ourselves in words; artists and composers must do the same with images and sounds. Works of art are not pretty pictures without meaning. They are full of profound thought. The internal effort involved in placing that thought into an image – articulately, concisely and elegantly – can result in a full-scale battle within the psyche. We, the audience, may find that difficult to imagine when the end-result appears so effortless.

read more on http://www.everypainterpaintshimself.com/theme/creative_struggle/


Note: at the ARTCONNECTION in the menu on top of this page you can find a few new links to other artists! Click there if you like to meet them!



Hot stuff

Painting with hot wax (Encaustic Painting) is not always without risk, burn blisters became part of my life since I started experimenting with encaustics. I realised how important it is to KNOW the composition of the art materials that you are using and to know HOW to work safely. In Joanne Mattera’s book I read very useful tips and on the internet I found an Art Safety Training Guide from Princeton that I like to share with you.  (see below)

My yesterday’s experiment:

(again I started off from a hardened fabric shape on which I applied pigmented hot wax)

All there is to know about (contemporary) encaustics you can find in the following book (available via Amazon)

The ARt of Encaustic Painting

The Art of Encaustic Painting
Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax 

Author: Joanne Mattera

From the book’s introduction, “The Apian Way”: 

“When I interviewed Jasper Johns in 1986, he remarked rightly of encaustic, “It’s an archaic medium, and few people use it.” Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he was virtually its sole practitioner, and at the time we spoke, just a handful of artists had gone beyond experimenting to create a serious body of encaustic work. Yet now, a decade and a half later, thousands of artists — impelled by the zeitgeist, the luminosity, or perhaps simply by the recent availability of good tools and materials — are exploring the possibilities of expression in pigmented wax. What a sweet irony it is that at the beginning of a new millennium, when cyber images are generated at the speed of light as pixels on a screen, a laborious medium that flourished over 2000 years ago should once again become a hot commodity.

For more information about this artist:  www.joannemattera.com

The Princeton Training Guide at http://web.princeton.edu/sites/ehs/artsafety/index.htm provides basic information for working safely with chemicals and operations in Visual Arts.


“σχέδιος – schedios”

A sketch a day

sketch (from the Greek word “σχέδιος – schedios“)  is a rapidly executed freehand drawing that is not usually intended as a finished work. A sketch may serve a number of purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, it might record or develop an idea for later use or it might be used as a quick way of graphically demonstrating an image, idea or principal. (Wikipedia)

Organic encaustics

Apart from sketching daily I also keep working at my encaustic project. I call it ‘organic’ because I’m using mainly natural materials such as cotton, beeswax, pigments, parts of plants, seeds, beans, chickpeas… etc

For this work  I first made a base from hardened cotton:

Then I waxed it, adding colour pigments. To see appear the textures is very exciting, difficult to control but that’s what I like about it . It still needs a ‘finishing touch’ but I leave it to dry & harden for a while now.. :