I’ve received some e-mails from folks wanting a sneak peak at the 8’ x 8’ en caustic coffee painting I’m working on for the Kirkland Arts Center
upcoming show Edible Elements of Art. I’ve decided to show some of the different stages of the project up to about a week ago.
The painting has been named! “Rosetta A La Helen Sage” for one of the most wonderful woman walking the earth today. Helen is my wife’s grandmother and a great grandmother to more children than I can count on my two hands! At her age, past 80, I hope I have half the energy, passion, love and life that she has. Helen has been an inspiration to me for years now and this painting is in honor of her life.
On a side note, Helen has donated the coffee that made up the more then 40 pots that it took to make the coffee paint used in this painting! Thank you Helen!
With “Rosetta A La Helen Sage” I am using microcrystalline rather than the usual bee’s wax in my other en caustics. The reason for this is the flexibility microcrystalline offers at such a large size and it’s natural tack limiting the amount of fusion I will need between layers. I do miss the smell of bee’s wax but I’ll get back to that soon.
The medium is made up of the microcrystalline and dammar crystals (hardening agent). Pigment is added to the medium for the blue I will use in the outer corners of the painting. Coffee paint will be applied between layers of wax medium.
This is me working over my hot plate making up the wax medium. One of the two 8’ x 4’ birch panels is in the background.
The first layer of wax is to seal the birch and protect it from the acids in the coffee.
After using a 4’ length of string to make up the circle I put down the first layer of coffee paint to define the edges of the coffee cup as if you were looking down on the cup. Over this I will paint blue wax and fuse together with a heat gun.
To lay out the Rosetta pattern I used roasted and un-roasted coffee beans to “draw” the shapes without marking the painting. This helped me figure out proportions and layout.
I want the brush stokes to be visible when I paint the Rosetta. I’m using a fan brush to paint in the coffee to ensure this effect. The dark areas are painted in first.
The natural grain of the birch panels will add to the texture of the painting. This weekend I will be near compleation of the painting. This is where I leave off until we are closer to the show date. ‘till then . . .enjoy.