Definitely nothing in my kitchen!
Much to the disappointment of my family.
I am making a "recipe" I have never really made before. Some of the ingredients I have used and know very well, others not often if at all. Some are like those little-known spices you have to reach way back in the cupboard to get and realize how much you've wanted to use but never had the right recipe.
The ingredients I'm using are not spices, or culinary in nature. Instead, here's the list:
- cradled wooden panels
- photographs of a memorable experience
- encaustic wax, heated on an electric griddle
- encaustic paints & pigment sticks
- archival print paper
- hake brushes
- blowtorch & heat gun
- strong arms and good eyesight
No, I'm not in my kitchen. I'm in my studio creating a body of artwork called the Gratitude Collection, based on a memorable trip to the Netherlands in 2015 with my father - a WWII Canadian Veteran who helped liberate that country. I'm working through trial and error and, well, a few science experiments.
The element of using encaustic, or fusing hot wax, is new to me, and after a fantastic workshop with artist Dietlind Vander Schaaf, I knew instantly that the beautiful texture and ethereal quality of the wax were what these images needed to come to life.
I'm accepting the challenges and the unknowns because I think it is important, and I'm hell-bent to get this work into the world. The people of the Netherlands need to know how powerful their gratitude is and what it can accomplish in the world.
This recipe will take patience, resilience, maybe an assistant or two (AKA children), and a supportive network of family and friends. I am blessed.
So, while my husband makes his cranberry relish (it's Pepto pink but we love it!) for our US Thanksgiving meal, I'll continue feverishly working in my studio.
I invite you to watch this video of the first piece in the making:
Be grateful. It is powerful.