2010, 18 x 12 inches, encaustic on panel

I completed this painting a couple of weeks ago. The dirtiness of the lavender color field was achieved through several layers of related hues; but I think I started with an overall wash of flat black.

A few notes about size and scale:

Back when I painted in oil on canvas, I felt the need to work in a much larger format, usually 30 x 30 inches, 40 x 40, and a size or two in between. The paintings wanted to be large; actually they wanted to be huge, but space and storage won that battle. For many years, I didn't feel comfortable working smaller than 30 x 30 inches.

I really enjoyed what artist Martha Marshall had to say recently about painting size (see her blog post here). I am surprised by how much I now enjoy working smaller. Encaustic lends itself to more close-up viewing, due to the textural variations and tactile quality. My latest paintings are still environments but they're intimate, inviting, and somewhat humble.


Michele Fraichard said...

It's amazing how black neutralizes and absorbs other colors. Does the transparency of the final result depend on how much pigment to wax you use, or is the opacity achieved through the layers? (So clueless about encaustics, but thoroughly intrigued.) I agree that textural works offer interest on a smaller scale, one can get up close and personal with the nuances. Good work Stephanie!

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

The level of transparency depends on how much pigment to wax medium is used. The more medium, the more transparent.

Pete Hoge said...

I still do some painting though
video has become my medium.

I always found that smaller
fields/planes offered the
chance for greater intensity, active surfaces that ironically
contained more detail then a
larger area could.

In art school I did large
paintings to appease my need to
be ,"large".

david weir art said...

its been a great night just going through your work
im really enjoying the feeling in your Journal

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

Thanks for the encouragement, David. Very much appreciated!

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

It seems to be the case in my recent experience: smaller fields can allow for greater intensity and more detail, or- might I add- can also allow for subtle nuances that tend to be ignored when working large.
I find this quite interesting, for one may think the opposite would be true.