Cool links and info!

Hi all, I have some great classes and workshops coming up soon check them out:

This weekend: Portfolio Prep Workshop   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $49.00 Sat 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm  09/21/13  End 09/21/13  1 session  Location: Studio 3

High school students preparing for admission to college art programs will benefit from this workshop designed to foster the key elements of a successful portfolio. During class, students will draw from the still life using a variety of available media and receive an individual portfolio review encouraging their ideas and strengths. Instructor Vincent Colvin boasts years of college admissions experience as a former senior admissions counselor for the Tyler School of Art.

Starting on Wednesday: Drawing: The Basics   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $154.00  Supply/Model Fee: $25.00 Wed 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm  Start 09/18/13  End 10/16/13  5 sessions  Location: Studio 3

Learn to draw now! Practice with a new drawing medium each week in this short course. Enjoy drawing success in the very first class. Refine your technique as we focus on still life and found objects in a supportive environment for beginners. You will work with charcoal, pencil, pastels and more. All supplies provided.

Drawing Faster & Better   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $134.00  Supply/Model Fee: $0.00 Thu 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm  Start 11/21/13  End 12/19/13  4 sessions  Location: Studio 3  1207

Focus on the creative process, rather than the product, and you can draw faster and better than you thought you could! In this invigorating and supportive class, we will take gesture techniques far beyond typical warm-ups to produce sketches, studies and finished mixedmedia works. Incorporate charcoal, ink, pastel and watercolor. Increase your productivity, improve your observational skills, overcome your fear of the blank page and surprise yourself with your confident, spontaneous drawings. Beginners welcome!

Glazing Workshop for Painters   Instructor: Colvin    Tuition: $49.00  Supply/Model Fee: $0.00 Sat 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm  Start 12/07/13  End 12/07/13  1 session  Location: Studio 3  2222

Ever wanted to learn about oil glazing? Demystify the old master technique and break it into an approachable method you can incorporate into any painting. Students should bring one to three pre-made oil paintings (any size or style, and dry) needing a change or a greyand-white underpainting. We will experiment with various brushes and mediums, explore how they work and differ, and learn how to incorporate the rich process of glazing into your studio practice. Come see what transparent veils of color can breathe into any painting!

Part II: I wanted to explain some of the properties of encaustic and provide a guide for understanding more about the medium for artists, galleries and buyers/collectors.

Steenstrup, Encaustic on Panel, 2013

Steenstrup, Encaustic on Panel, 2013

Good adhesion is one of the most important characteristics of an archival painting. Encaustic has excellent adhesive properties. When working in encaustic the artist brushes on layers of wax which are heated and fused into one another. Most of the encaustic work I make is on wood, metal or paper. On wood and paper the first few layers are heated into the substrate. The paper or wood literally soaks it in like a sponge making adhesion even stronger. In metal pieces adhesion is still high, I have never had a failure. I take care to give the metal a lot of tooth before beginning to encourage the adhesive qualities of the beginning layers giving them something to hold onto.

Encaustic is impervious to moisture. Colors mixed or encased within layers of encaustic will not yellow or change over time. Therefore, pigments will retain their original luminosity for years to come.

As it cures, a process that takes about 1 year from the date the painting was completed, encaustic actually gets more transparent. When on display, plain Beeswax on its own will sometimes get cloudy blooms, making the work less transparent. Not so with encaustic. Encaustic will not get cloudy over time. This is because encaustic medium is not only beeswax, but also is made with a resin.

Encaustic medium is made up of just 2 main components: Purified beeswax and dammar resin crystals. Dammar crystals are a natural resin, a tree sap, that when thinned with turpentine traditionally made dammar varnish. Dammar varnish is a common final coat to traditional oil paintings to seal and protect them as well as drastically increase the luminosity of the colors underneath.

Adding Damar Resin Crystals

Adding Damar Resin Crystals to Purified Beeswax to make Encaustic Medium

The dammar does a few key things to the properties of the wax.

  1. Dammar acts as a hardener, making the wax stronger and more resistant to abuse.
  2. Dammar increases the melting point of the beeswax to above 160 degrees. Making the medium stable in a variety of conditions.
  3. True encaustic medium made with dammar will not get cloudy over time. As the piece cures over a period of about 1 year (from the last time it was heated) the surface will become more clear. It will also hold a higher sheen when buffed.
Galbraith, 2013, Encaustic and Oil on Found Wood, 16" x 26", Vincent Colvin

Detail from “Galbraith”, Encaustic and Oil on Found Wood, 16″ x 26″, Vincent Colvin, 2013

I’ve noticed that there are concerns and misconceptions out there about encaustic art and how to care for it in your home. I wanted to shed some light on this and provide a guide for understanding more about the medium for artists, galleries and buyers/collectors. I’ll do this in 2 posts.

Fayum Funeral Portrait, 98-117 A.D., Encaustic on wood. (That's old! Older than any oil paintings on wood in existence I know of...)

Fayum Funeral Portrait, 98-117 A.D., Encaustic on wood. (That’s old! Older than any oil paintings on wood in existence I know of…)

The take away from all this: Encaustic is one of the oldest and most archival of all paint mediums. The care of it is not very different than that of any oil painting.

Care for Your Encaustic Painting:

What is it?: Encaustic is a painting medium made of natural beeswax and dammar resin.

Sunlight: While it is not recommended to display your encaustic piece (or really any work of art) in direct sunlight, do not fear the heat of the sun. See below.

Temperature/Mositure: In your home as long as temperatures do not drop below freezing or get over 160 degrees your encaustic piece will remain unchanged. Normal home temperatures fluctuate between 60 and 90 degrees. I have had many pieces in very cold temperatures with no issues, think Philadelphia-snow-magedon no heat… I have displayed works that get sunlight in the morning or afternoon with no damage to the work over years of time. I have even displayed encaustic work in the bathroom, a place with quick temperature changes due to steamy showers and seen no issues or change in works. Wood substrates should be sealed on the back to discourage moisture absorption.

Surface: In the first year your work will go through some slight changes. The piece will become more clear over time increasing the beauty of the surface and transparency between layers. Occasionally, gently wipe dust off of your piece with a clean and lint free rag. I prefer lint free cotton rags, or even better eye glass/computer cleaning cloths. Optional: With a new clean rag, for encaustic that has a smooth final surface you can gently buff, in a circular motion, the surface of the wax. This will add a beautiful sheen to the work and discourage dust buildup on the surface. In the first year if you want the sheen all the time in the work you may need to do this once a month or so. After a year when the wax cures you will rarely to do this to keep the sheen, maybe once a year. Note: Works with high surface texture or oil paint on the surface should not be buffed in these areas. Dust these with a soft brush.

Shipping or Moving Homes: Transporting encaustic is best left to an art handler as is any high quality work of art. If you choose to do this yourself there is a right way, a wrong way, and an easy way.

  • Living in the "Danger Zone", How I brought my work to my recent show.  Rented a cargo van and got the A/C steady to beat the TX summer heat.

    Living in the “Danger Zone”, How I brought my work to my recent show. Rented a cargo van and got the A/C steady to beat the TX summer heat. Worked great for this short distance.

    The right way is to build a box unique to the piece that allows the encaustic surface to never make contact with anything other than a silicone release paper. Contact the artist or an art dealer to make this.

  • The wrong way is bubble wrap or newspaper or transporting in anything hot, ie: back of the moving truck during summer or your car without the A/C on, your hot trunk etc.
  • The easy way is to go to the local arts and craft store and buy a few large clear plastic bags that are designed for buying sheets of high quality paper like Arches or Rives. Even better, also buy silicone release paper and cover the surface first. You can wrap the piece in the release paper, plastic and then foam or bubble wrap, put it in a box etc. Still  be sure to consider temperature. This way is suitable to get the work to a destination, but not a good way to store the work long term.
  • Do not lean an encaustic work against a wall, or any art work, on its front edge, you may damage it.

Wrapping Up: Okay so this sounds like a lot of special consideration right? Well honestly, not really…. lets consider an oil painting on canvas. It needs to be dusted and cleaned yearly or more, to be displayed out of constant direct sunlight, to be properly packaged when moving or it can warp or the canvas can be torn, be protected from extreme temperatures or the paint can crack or flake off. There really is very little difference.

Generally when I am transporting works, I wrap them as I mentioned in plastic and take them directly to the destination. When I stop on the way I keep the A/C on and the car running ( I live in Texas now after all) When I ship them I send large works with a art shipper and small works overnight (not in the summer). In most cases encaustic can be repaired if an accident occurs. Contact the artist to see if they can provide the service. I do, if anyone needs advice or help just let me know.

My next post will be about the archival characteristics of the encaustic medium! Stay tuned. – Vincent

Closed Outer Panels of Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights

Happy Earth Day! These are the closed outer panels of Bosch’s, “Garden of Earthly Delights”, 1504. While Bosch had a pretty unique world view, it means a lot to me to see imagery like this along side of our knowledge of space and exploration. Have we changed so much? Searching for understanding through our creation stories and science, I am still in awe of how to contemplate it.

Ushering in the new year I thought it was time for a change. I just made a new website, now with bigger pictures and more work. If you have a moment check it out. I would love any feedback, I am still dialing in the background and organization.

This year I am preparing for my first large scale solo show in July at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas and I am applying for a number of Artist in Residence Programs in our National Parks. I’ll be posting new work as I go along. Here’s to what I hope will be a productive year!

Balena, Woodcut on Rives BFK, 9" x 36", Vincent Colvin,

After many long hours at the bench hook I finally got this series completed! Or so I thought after waiting a week for the oil based ink to dry, I realize they are better proofs, time to go back in and make the transitions between the pieces smoother.

The three prints connect when you put them all next to one another. The pieces are inspired by imagery from early maps and engravings which depicted whales. The first image is based on the 1562 Map of America by Diego Gutierrez and the third from a 1577 engraving by Dutch artist Jan Wierix. The second is a merging of the two.

The verdict…. Woodcuts are awesome why have I not been doing this forever?

The woodcuts are cut with Japanese Moku Hanga woodblock tools and are hand printed with archival oil based ink. The prints are 9″ x 12″ each and 9″ x 36″ together. 4 sets of proofs in varying paper colors gray, light grey, cream, and the tan in these pics, on Rives BFK, and Somerset. Proofs are $25 each or $60 for the set. Visit my frame section and you could get a whole set maple framed, float mounted and ready to hang for an extra $150. To frame one print would be an extra $90. Fill the form out at the bottom of the page to order!

Final edition will be around $50 each or $120 for the set, also in varying paper colors on Rives BFK, perhaps some Chine-collé also.

TIme to nerd out and see what the ocean has been up to the last 10 years!

This is the first time that anything to this magnitude has taken place. It is a real example of exploration today and how the concepts of how we can gather this data have changed and how somethings are the same. The quick passages below explain the mission of the census, the volume of biodiversity in the ocean and how many new species have been found, and how technology has exponentially magnified the amount of results that scientists can achieve.

“The Census of Marine Life is a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations engaged in a 10-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans.  The world’s first comprehensive census of the past, present, and future of life in the oceans.

Why study biodiversity?

Biodiversity is one potential measure of the health of an ecosystem. A diverse biological community allows for diverse interactions among the various species— greater competition, predation, and productivity than a non-diverse community. If one species population declines, a diverse system has a greater chance of adjusting to this loss or decline than one that is non-diverse, where the consequences are greater.

Although the current number of known species is estimated at 230,000, scientists believe that there as many as three times this number are yet to be discovered and named. The total number of marine species in the global ocean could surpass one million or more.

How many new species have been discovered?

As of fall 2008, the Census of Marine Life has discovered more than 5,300 new, undescribed marine animals since 2003. Of these, 111 have gone through the rigorous scientific review process required for designation as a new species—a process that can often take years. Collectively, the Census is discovering new species at a much faster rate than the capacity to describe them.

While the discovery of a new species is always exciting, the greater contribution to our understanding of marine life is what Census scientists are learning about the diversity and distribution of marine life in the global oceans.

How is technology being used?

Recent technological advances are making it possible for scientists to explore previously inaccessible places, including the deepest, darkest, and hottest areas of the global ocean. Using such advanced technology, Census scientists are making many scientific “firsts,” such as finding the hottest hydrothermal vent and the deepest active hot vent to date, mapping the largest cold seep site in the world, recording the longest electronically-recorded migration, and investigating marine life living in some of the coldest conditions on the planet.

Census scientists use marine animals as ocean observers so they experience their watery world much as the animals do. By tagging and tracking marine animals, scientists gain an insider’s view to migration routes, breeding and eating habits, and size and behavior of populations—insights that haven’t been possible before.” – There is all kinds of information waiting to be unlocked on their website.

All I can say is, we’ve come a long way since sails and crows nests.

Another cool site to check out:

I’ve been busy making work at the TFAA (Virginia studio), having a blast and putting in long hours. I just hung work at the DCAC for their Wallmountables show. The opening was Friday and the show was a lot of fun to see. Artists from all across the spectrum showed their work (Four year olds to local emerging artists to the pros). I also ran into an old friend Kim Burke. She is part of a DC art collective that runs an blog Bored of Trade and also showed one of her new sculptures. Below are some shots and some new works both finished and in progress.

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To day is a pool and BBQ day, tomorrow….back to the studio for another week of art making! More posts of new work to come! Enjoy the week and be sure to check out The Mountain and the Sea for their DEFY monday post!