I’m back from a week in West Texas and the beautiful Davis Mountains. One of the best parts of the trip was visiting Marfa and connecting with minimalist artist Donald Judd’s vision. There’s a great NPR article about this – click here. I love the quote by sculptor Campbell Bosworth – “You just come out here and you feel like, I want to make something; I want to do something!”
Maybe it’s the minimalist influence, but it must be true. The Marfa getaway ignited my creative curiosity, and as soon as I got back, I went into the studio and started working in black and white on an experiment with black substrates and beeswax.
I wondered what would happen to the translucent layers of beeswax when they were applied over a dark background.
I used an absorbent black paper and added some white markings with different kinds of media – crayon, stamps, paint:
I added a layer of beeswax – it made it kind of glossy, and did penetrate into the paper, which had been a concern. You don’t want it to just sit on the surface of the substrate:
More experiments – black and white (and a bit of walnut ink):
Like all experiments, some of the techniques worked well, and some were definitely “learning opportunities.” But there is a certain potential for interesting effects that are both chalk-like and smokey. I am going to push these ideas a little further and see what develops (like old black and white film).
Now that I’ve been “Marfa-ized” and infected with some new ideas, it looks like I may be spending more time at the studio, perhaps even developing a wax on black workshop!