Monday, June 04, 2012

Encaustic Conference and Cape Cod Exploration

My art instructor/mentor from Texas was teaching and attending the Sixth International Encaustic Conference in Truro on Cape Cod.  Hoping that I might run into her, we drove that direction on the day she was to arrive.  (Her flight from Texas was delayed, which meant she didn't even GET to the cape to the next day.  Best laid plans and all).
I don't know what I expected, but the Castle Hill Center for the Arts was both more and less than I expected.  Smaller.  Cozier. Simpler.  Prettier.
The building closet to  "Meetinghouse Road" reminded me of a cross between a lighthouse and a water tower.  It seemed to be the administrator's office.  Not much room and a lot of STUFF in it, including a big, friendly dog.

There were several kilns at the back of the property.  One of the kilns had this alarmed looking woman frescoed on the wall.  There was a male nude sculpture to her left who also seemed to be looking in the same direction... it was hard not to look North to see what they were worried about.
Mosaics and sculptures on the patio wall.
The art studios seen from the center of the complex.
This shed-sized building was labeled "Gallery X" and contained an exhibit of small Encaustic "books."
As I recall, this cartographic "leaf" was semi transparent.
Did you ever do that craft project where you folded then spray painted all the pages of a Reader's Digest?  This was reminiscent of that, but SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING.  I regret I don't have the name of the artist.  Obviously, most of the pages had been folded and soaked in wax, but some of the pages were cut, too.  I wish the artist had been there... I SO wanted permission to touch it.
A different artist had a less stolid approach to her waxy books.  I hope someone uses these on a poster for National Library Week, or Children's Book week or something.  Haven't you read a book and felt that if it HAD been a pop up book, this is how it would have popped up?
The work below was called Lift and Separate.   I'm wondering if the artist mis-read the call for submissions of "books" as "boobs."  Even so, it captured my attention.
Wax, paper, printing, layers and stones.
There was a series of about a dozen circular panels:  semi transparent, each numbered with different images embedded on the surface.  Each circle was about 6 inches in diameter.
A series of small panels with embedded, layered images.
I'm a sucker for puns.  I believe the paper was probably hand-made from pulp, and hand bound.  I have no idea what the interior pages looked like.
There is a metaphor here, I think.  Something about the circularity and continuity of information.  The single page signatures were waxed, gently folded and hand sewn onto a black spine cloth.  I can imagine doing something with even narrower columns that I could hang on the wall to replicate a star burst.  I did not peer closely enough to see what the actual writing referred to.
In the larger gallery were larger works.  The one below was about a foot square and called Red Space.
In my experience, encaustic artists EITHER embed non-copy righted or original images, or words OR do abstract imagery without collage techniques.  The piece below was an unusual combination of options.
Each portrait in the triptych below was nearly life size.  The triptych was titled "Emma."  I don't know if I should have recognized her (I didn't).  The variety of poses, expressions and the "blindfold" on the face looking most directly at the viewer was quite powerful in a gentle way.

I have no idea what this machine/valve was for.  It looked like it might still be functional and that it might be old.  But rusty bits with blue shadows and flanges make for lots of interesting textures.
Sadly, most every kiln has a slag heap of pieces that break or explode during firing, or that are just too much of a disappointment to the artist.  I liked the play of light and shadows, white and red clay and gray blue wall.
This is a heavily Photoshopped picture I took at the salt flats at the end of the Cape in Provincetown.
An artist on the main pier had made a haphazard bouquet of buoys called Art from the Sea.
DH and I ate under the umbrellas.  Due to the Gulf Oil Spill (I suppose) our shrimp cocktail shrimp were actually from New Zealand.  My Turkey, Brie and Aioli panini was wonderful (or it might have mostly been the salty sea air).
After supper we walked a bit along the tangle of very narrow streets.  This handsome couple (one of the few chests/backs that I thought was deserving of being flaunted with no shirt) was walking a brace of FOUR German Shepherds.  It was quite a powerful image. Mythic.  Wish I'd known them so I could ask them to pose.
We can recommend the fudge sold next to the office where the Ferry Tickets are sold!
And I think the tradition of blooming baskets is a beautiful one.

No comments: