Fire and Ice

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Due to some icy precipitation in the past few days, there have been cancellations left and right. The kids were off of school yesterday, Maddie’s play was canceled last night (much to her chagrin) and even our normal Saturday routine at the Riley School was called off today.

This has resulted in plenty of sleep, extra practice on our musical instruments and some wet sledding time as well as LOTS of activity in the studio. Some of us spent part of the day creating new stamps to put wax seals on important documents of a secret nature, or especially private letters…

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Tony also used his spiral as a regular ink stamp. I really like the effect…

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Meanwhile, my foray into the art of encaustic painting has begun in earnest. My package of supplies arrived yesterday from R&F Handmade Paints. In it were beeswax, damar resin (basically a tree sap sticky stuff), and a basic palette of pigment. I have spent the better part of the afternoon today melting down the resin into the wax and creating little patties of encaustic medium with which to paint in the coming days. I have found many different recipes for this mixture online as well as in books, so I am just trying a basic 5:1 ratio this time and will see where it takes me. Apparently more resin creates a harder surface but is also prone to cracking. So, as with everything, it’s a balance, and will need to undergo some experimentation to see what works best for me.

Below is a picture of the patties cooling in their little muffin tins I got at the thrift store. Once completely cool, they pop right out. I used the back stoop of the studio to speed this along.

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The mail box has been fun to visit the past few days. Yesterday I got a package from the crew out in Olympia. In it were a wonderful facsimile of a drawing by my talented friend Noah of a Crimson Bellied Woodpecker (I love it!) as well as a CD by the Ditty Bops (Moon over the Freeway). Below is a snap shot of Noah’s drawing up on my wall. Peeking out near it is a trading card I got from Tina. I love that too.

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Today’s mail brought the latest issue of Dan Price’s Moonlight Chronicles. Dan continues to inspire much of my own sketchbook work and I plan to show this video to my sketchbook/ journal class next week (oh, yeah, that got postponed too. Yep. The weather was to blame for that one too!)

With the wax melting on the griddle (door cracked with a fan going for ventilation), and a fire in the fire place, it has been remarkably cozy out in this technically-3-season room. The puppies are curled up on the couch napping. Being irresistible, I took 5 minutes to do a quick “daily dog” sketch of them looking so peaceful. Normally these days they are creatures of perpetual motion.

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