Also known as hot wax painting it is a process that involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood or canvas. The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used—some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment. I think this process will be an effective method of thickening my medium and give more substance to expressive brush marks, my intention is that using this medium will allow my figures to have a visceral quality of motion and distorted perspective but also give that narrative quality that seems to be lacking in the works of Cezanne.
I decided to look at Cecily brown as I wanted to experiment with my choice of media when painting figures, although she succeeds in creating total harmony within her composition and the barrier between the subject and background are totally abstracted unlike Cezanne her paintings are full of a human presence. The artist uses bold and expressive brush work, there is clear influence from Willem de kooning and Bacon. The thick visceral quality of the paint she uses gives her work movement and fluidity. Sexuality and attraction are important themes in her work, which she explores through semi-figurative and abstract means. Im immediately drawn to the confrontational nature of her composition and if I want to explore Cezanne but push that sense of human presence I believe I need to exaggerate that sense of movement and work with a thicker and fleshier medium.
It was suggested that I look at Baselitz work. In the 1970s, Baselitz was part of a group of Neo-Expressionist German artists, occasionally identified as “Neue Wilden,” focusing on deformation, the power of subject and the vibrancy of the colors. He became famous for his upside-down images. He is seen as a revolutionary painter as he draws the viewer’s attention to his works by making them think and sparking their interest. The subjects of the paintings don’t seem to be as significant as the work’s visual insight. Throughout his career, Baselitz has varied his style, ranging from layering substances to his style, since the 1990s, which focuses more on lucidity and smooth changes. I find this helpful because its another interpretation on how we see perspective and how artists break down forms within nature. The artist also used to paint upside down which is something to consider when working in order to concentrate on the piece as a whole image and separate the notion that you are painting many forms within a composition. There are still strong links with Cezanne, we can see tonal modulation of colour to create monumental forms.
It was an exhibition that brought masterpieces together that were produced during Rubens life time as well as great works by artists that were influenced by him in the generations to come. Rubens was known for his flashy women and painted a broad array of subjects from portraits and landscapes to mythology and religion. When looking at ‘the three bathers’ I started to think about how both artists create a sense of movement in their work, we can see that the bathers in Cezanne’s piece are closely connected to nature and are monumental and have been compared to Rubens see nymphs. It could be said that the flesh tones of the bathers pay homage to rubens with their bluish shadows, yellow highlights and red outlines. while his raw brushstrokes show the influence of the impressionist group, he retains a sensuous nature of Rubens nudes. The work has a highly energetic charge.
An exhibition curated by Jenny Saville that showed a selection of contemporary works to join Rubens and his legacy. The artist chose a selection of works by major 20th and 21st century artists. As well as paintings by Willem de kooning, Picasso, bacon, Freud and Cecily brown.
Seville is an artist best know for her large scale oil paintings of female figures, she has a deep fascination in the palpability of flesh, extremities of anatomy and the grotesque, her work invokes the influence of Rubens. I found this part of the exhibition the most exiting and made me realise that I need to scale up dramatically with my paintings to get that confrontational and expressive effect.
DThis is a section of an unfinished oil painting that I am currently working on, it is keeping with the premise of exaggerating Cezanne’s methods of playing with true perception by using contrasting viewpoints, and breaking down the definitive outline but I am now creating much more of a focus around how colours react with each other, since doing colour theory I realise that the science behind colour is just as important as the drawing in creating form. I have began to repeat the definitive outline of these simple geometric forms using complimentary colours that will resonate in our eye, this when finished will be an image that one will struggle with to determine when one objects stops and another begins. Hoping to create total harmony between the forms in the landscape
Today we questioned why does a canvas have to be rectangular or square. Why is it that the human eye has become trained to expect to see images on a square surface, if we think about how we view the world i.e. windows, I pads, phones, TVs it is all through the same shape. However if we consider primitive cave art it can be seen that they used/incorporated the three dimensional surface of the cave to create their drawing, along with the shadows that would be created. The artist Pierro del Francesca created a painting called the flagellation showing linear perspective on a 2d rectangle to create depth, it is seen as a mathematical explanation of nature. Cezanne is an artist who was although interested in this, soon realised the world isn’t really like this. The cubist ideal of breaking everything down and reassembling it in an analytical manner pushes the notion that we have many different view points when experiencing life, not just the one. Picasso started working with shaped canvases to add to his image and so did David hockey who created a shaped canvas to paint a typhoo tea box, they used the shape of the canvas to draw the object in order to gain a stronger illusion of depth.
I felt this was a very fitting project as Cezanne was playing with viewpoints and perspective. although he may mot of been aware of it. I started by choosing my shapes. I decided to replicate a Cezanne still life and a landscape but cut into the forms with the ban saw, I also used a smaller version of a ban saw to cut holes in the middle of the wood, this will hopefully play with ones perspective of depth. Although I have used a ban saw before I definitely tested my skills as the cuts were much more detailed in shaping my objects and the more curved the edge the harder it was cut the wood.
Once I had sanded and sealed the wood with emulsion I started to paint the under layer using greens and yellows mainly, just gradually creating a tonal gradation to create form and 3d curves within the piece, creating distance within perspective- a trick of the eye. I also used these colours as an under layer in the hope that when I go over the pieces with colour the illuminosity will transcend through the top layer.