Product : “Spellbook”

© 2016 Kimberli Werner, “Spellbook”, encaustic wax, acrylic, leaf, collage, pastel on card stock, A6 size.

The original of this painting, ‘Spellbook’, is a 4″ x 6″ sized painting, and you can buy it in prints, or even a framed print, wood wall art, a throw pillow, rectangular pillow, or floor pillow, greetings cards, tote bag, notebook, or carry-all pouch! (links open in new window)

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Inspiration

Inspiration finds me at odd moments. I usually try to carry my camera with me to catch these moments, but sometimes I just have to remember.

A lot of times, it is a colour that I will notice that I want to try to replicate. Or maybe the way the light is hitting a leaf or branch. Or maybe I just want to see what happens when I dribble some ink on the paper and take a roller over it, and I can enjoy the randomness and chaos of the results.

Often what I see, while out and about, translates into my art. When I take macro photos of my work-in-progress, I can see these inspirations taking form at the inner levels of the painting.

© 2019 Kimberli Werner, taken on a walk in the Lake District, Devil’s Matchstick plant.

 

© 2019 Kimberli Werner, close up of Work in Progress

 

© 2016 Kimberli Werner, photo of a mushroom on the slopes of Mt. Etna, Sicily

 

© 2019 Kimberli Werner, close up of Work in Progress

 

 

 

 

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Process : “Blue Glances”

Don’t you love it when artists share their processes, and the ways a painting gets started to where it ends up?

I tend to work in layers and take lots of pictures of the work in progress so I know where I started.

Here is the next in my series, showing how my paintings grow from their beginnings, through their ‘rough’ phase, and to the finished painting. This is from my finished painting, ‘Blue Glances’.

In the first few layers, I just loaded it up with lots and lots of collage, using pieces of alcohol ink experiments, colourful paper towels that collected drips of previous paintings, old maps, lots of embossing foils, and even old paintings on paper that didn’t make the cut. Then, I used more alcohol inks and sprayed water on them, just to see what would happen. The first real colours I used were reds, yellows, and oranges, then I covered them up with white, both in paints and wax.

I tried going the red route again, then totally out of left field, came a large splodge of lavender! Things got even more experimental then, as I added blues, turquoises, and indigo blue inks. The layers kept going, with blue swirls, red drips, and then another white cover-up layer, I scraped that back revealing some of the layers beneath…then, more red drips, blue drips, and another white cover-up layer.

I even tried adding a horizon line at one point! (and covered it up).

Finally, after a little over a year of layering (and about 30 layers!), adding and subtracting, it came together. .

© 2018 Kimberli Werner, “Blue Glances”, encaustic wax, collage, acrylic, acrylic ink, embossing foil, found objects, on gypsum board, 24” x 12”.

 

 

 

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Product : “Speaking in Leaves”

The original of this painting, ‘Speaking in Leaves’, is a 12″ x 10″ sized painting, and you can buy it in prints, or even a framed print, wood wall art, a throw pillow, rectangular pillow, or floor pillow, greetings cards, tote bag, notebook, or carry-all pouch! (links open in new window)

Speaking in Leaves painting
© 2016 Kimberli Werner, ‘Speaking in Leaves’, encaustic wax, acrylic, leaf, pastel and collage on canvas, 12” x 10” size.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Inspiration

Inspiration finds me at odd moments. I usually try to carry my camera with me to catch these moments, but sometimes I just have to remember. A lot of times, it is a colour that I will notice that I want to try to replicate. Or maybe the way the light is hitting a leaf or branch. Or maybe I just want to see what happens when I dribble some ink on the paper and take a roller over it, and I can enjoy the randomness and chaos of the results. I also really like macro photography, and try to take macro photos of my work-in-progress, to really see what is happening at the inner levels of the painting.

© 2018 Kimberli Werner, taken at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, artist Sean Scully.

 

© 2019 Kimberli Werner, close-up of work in progress.

 

© 2014 Kimberli Werner, tree trunks, taken at Fountains Abbey.

 

© 2019 Kimberli Werner, close-up of work in progress.

 

 

 

 

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Process : ‘Mapping My Place’

Don’t you love it when artists share their processes, and the ways a painting gets started to where it ends up?

I am a big fan of layers. I will be working on at least 5-6 paintings at once, all at different stages. That way, there is always something new to work on, my layers have time to dry before I start the next one, and if I don’t like something I did, I can cover it up with the next layer.

Here is the next in my series, showing how my paintings grow from their beginnings, through their ‘rough’ phase, and to the finished painting. This is from my finished painting, ‘Mapping My Place’. This is an example of things being extremely messy throughout the process, practically the entire time I was working on it.

© 2017 Kimberli Werner, “Mapping my place”, acrylic, encaustic wax, collage, graphite, on watercolour paper, A3 size.

It was one of those paintings that just was not coming together, at all. I’d do a little bit and put it aside, do a little bit more and put it aside, often for months at a time.

Every move I made felt contrived, difficult, challenging, and chaotic.

I tried drips, moving paint around, collage, more drips, and finally covering most of it up in white and blue. Which finally brought it together.

 

Like this painting? You can buy a print, or other products (throw pillows, rectangular pillow, floor pillow, notebook, greetings cards, framed art, wood wall art, carry-all pouch, or a tote bag), here.

 

 

 

 

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Product : ‘Mapping My Place’

© 2017 Kimberli Werner, “Mapping my place”, acrylic, encaustic wax, collage, graphite, on watercolour paper, A3 size.

The original of this painting, ‘Mapping My Place’, is an A3 sized painting, and you can buy it in prints, a framed print, wood wall art, or as a throw pillow, rectangular pillow, or floor pillow, greetings card, tote bag, notebook, or carry-all pouch!

 

 

 

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Behind-the-Scenes : Art Workshop

I had the privilege, recently, of meeting one of the artists who inspired me to try working with encaustic wax in the beginning, Alicia Tormey. I attended a 7 day art retreat in western Ireland. Three days I was taught by Alicia (check out her amazing work here), and three days I was taught by encaustic wax portraiture artist, Lora Murphy (check out her amazing work here). I had not heard of Lora before this retreat, but realised I had been using the brand of encaustic wax colours that she helped to design.

Each class approached working with wax in such different ways, and opened my eyes to the versatility of this medium. Being self-taught, they also taught me a lot about ways I have been working that might not be the most effective.

In Alicia’s class, I learned how to use a propane torch to melt the wax into a beautiful fondant-like texture, and then add more wax, textures, printed transfers, and stencils for brilliant effects. Plus, I learned how to burn shellac onto the wax into stunning organic structures.

In Lora’s class, I learned how to use a paintbrush to paint with encaustic wax onto wood, paper, and fabric. We all painted portraits, and I had chosen self-portraits. I never painted a portrait before, and most of my current work doesn’t look like anything recognizable, so this was a huge challenge. Lora has been classically trained in portraiture, and could easily spot places on our portraits that needed that little extra shading or lightening or blending. By the third day, I was finally feeling like something clicked in my mind, and I was finally able to see the shadows, half-tones, and most of the many colours that are in a person’s face and skin tone.

My fellow workshop attendees were all encaustic wax enthusiasts, all in different places in their journeys with encaustic wax, some professional, some not. All of us brought a lot of talent, kindness, and laughter to the magical setting of the retreat studios.

Here are a few photos from those days.

Melted encaustic wax colours waiting to be used.

 

My first attempt at torching shellac over wax. I love the organic cell-like effects!

 

 

Me, and my torch.

 

A close-up of the shellac effects, beautiful!

 

Image transfer technique practice.

 

The inspirational views from the Essence of Mulranny Studios, where the retreat was held.

 

My practice boards from Alicia’s class.

 

The results after Day 1 of my portraiture class with Lora Murphy. Encaustic wax on birch board.

 

The results after Day 2 of my portraiture class with Lora Murphy. Encaustic wax on paper.

 

The results after Day 3 of my portraiture class with Lora Murphy. Encaustic wax on Belgian linen. (This one was my favourite, as it looks ancient and like it was uncovered at an archaeological dig!)

 

 

 

 

 

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Process : ‘Last of the Lazy Mornings’

Don’t you love it when artists share their processes, and the ways a painting gets started to where it ends up? I am a big fan of layers. I like to work on at least 5-6 paintings at once, all at different stages. That way, there is always something new to work on, my layers have time to dry before I start the next one, and if I don’t like something I did, I can cover it up with the next layer.

Here is the next in my series, showing how my paintings grow from their beginnings, through their ‘rough’ phase(s), and to the finished painting.

This is from my finished painting, ‘Last of the Lazy Mornings’. This was one of those paintings that went through so many incarnations, as it just didn’t feel like it was ever coming together into something coherent.

© 2017 Kimberli Werner, ‘Last of the Lazy Mornings’, encaustic wax, embossing foil, collage, pastel, on card stock, 10” x 12”.

I started it on a piece of cardboard that I had used in a drawing class (trying to draw a nuthatch on a log, if you look closely!), and wanted to cover up and recycle. I started out in my usual style of adding a lot of collage to build up some texture. I added some embossing foil and let it dry, then peeled it off for a little depth.

It got set aside for a bit as I worked on other pieces, and when I came back to it, I thought it needed more (and more!) collage. After adding all that extra collage, and all that extra texture, I painted over it completely with Titanium White.

Time for a do-over.

The next time I worked on it, I sprinkled some papercut remnants on it, and once again, covered it up, this time with silver encaustic wax and white paint.

This time around, something started to come together! I started rubbing paint into the new texture, pulling out the blues and oranges, for some pretty amazing results.

Phew, finally!

 

 

Like this painting? You can buy a print, or other products (throw pillows, rectangular pillow, floor pillow, notebook, greetings cards, framed art, wood wall art, carry-all pouch, or a tote bag), here

 

 

 

 

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Product : ‘We Shared the Same Sky’, prints and more

 

© 2017 Kimberli Werner, “We shared the same sky”, encaustic wax, collage, pastel, on card stock, A3 size.

The original of this painting, ‘We Shared the Same Sky’, is an A3 sized painting, and you can buy it in prints, or even a framed print, wood wall art, or as a throw pillow, rectangular pillow, or floor pillow, greetings card, tote bag, notebook, or carry-all pouch!

 

 

 

Do you want to hear more about my artwork and processes? Sign up here…