Venus de Milo: Awakened

Barb Toland My Stuff

If you've been following me on Instagram, you may have seen some videos of the creative process I shared for this new piece (if you missed them here's the link). Just tap the "Venus I" highlight on my profile to see a recap. But I digress...

Today we're going to look at the overall arc of the process I used to create this piece, and also touch a bit more on little insights along the way.

So without further adieu, let's get this creative party started!

It all began with a blank canvas (in this case a cradled wood panel), a photo taken at the Louvre the last time I was in Paris, and an idea...

I had already created the two pieces below.

The first is called, "Venus de Milo: Shattered", the second "Venus de Milo: Break Out" — and at the time, they were 2 stand alone pieces...

  

But then I realized this was about more than 2 separate ideas or concepts.

This was a story that I just had to finish telling with one more piece! A trilogy of sorts.

There are times in our lives where we've made a difficult choice, and even though we know in our heart of hearts it's the best decision for us, that doesn't make it easy. We become kind of disoriented, thrown into a vortex of change — we feel Shattered.

And then if we're lucky enough to navigate our way thru this change & realign ourselves into a new being — we've managed to Break Out of the mould that was holding us back.

That's where the 2 pieces above come in.

But what was it like before that? Before we made the change & became new again?

That "before" time is what this new piece is all about. 

That very singular, but extremely important instant, before any decisions have been made, we become (sometimes painfully) aware of our current reality.

In that instant, like the Venus de Milo imprisoned in her cold, hard marble — we see that we're stuck.

But we also realize that there just might be a way out.

We Awaken...


Venus de Milo: Awakened ©

20" x 24" x 1.5" encaustic, mixed media
on sustainably harvested birch panel

So let's start there & talk more about the creative process I used when making this piece.

Basically I drew a larger version of the Venus de Milo from the photo that I showed you earlier. I made the drawing on what's called frisket film. If you haven't heard of it before, it's a clear plastic film with adhesive on the back. You'll see later why I used it...

Then using a ruler and a sharpie I divided her into segments. Again, you'll see where this is headed in a few minutes...

Below are some of the fabulous new "toys" I used to create this piece.

Some really incredible old French script rubber stamps, artist grade metallic gold oil paint, imitation gold leaf sheets, and a gold metallic stamp pad.

And I threw in my lovely hake brush, well because ... it's lovely ;-) Although I did use it some to brush off the left over gold leaf flecks that happened during the process...

After that I stopped for the day, because I was losing my light. Here's how the new piece looked alongside "Shattered" & "Break out"...

With the same watercolor enhanced images I used for the other 2 pieces, I printed off various sizes to use in this new piece...

I then added several coats of white encaustic wax on the wood panel as a base or background, fusing with a heat gun between coats...

And added lots of metallic gold letters with my rubber stamps. This step was so much fun! An artist friend turned me on to letter stamping during her mixed media class, and now I am forever hooked...

And then to help me nail down the composition, I added a template for the doorway...

Next, using those watercolor enhanced images, I cut out the individual shapes I need for this piece...

Once these pieces were "glued" in place with the encaustic wax (see my IG story highlights "Venus I" on my profile @barbtolandart), I then used a bamboo stick to carve the arches into the wax background...

And then using my gold metallic oil paint, and various mediums to add some color, the arches were born.

You all know how much I love to explore. Well I was tickled that when I fused the gold oil paint with my heat gun, it began to crackle!

And because the glory of art for me is in the details — here's a close up of one of the arches...

Last but not least, using my new faux gold leaf sheets (a real challenge to work with btw) and some more pigments, the doorway was born...

So here's the finished piece below.

The exact instant that she becomes Awakened...

Venus de Milo: Awakened ©
20" x 24" x 1.5" encaustic, mixed media
on sustainably harvested birch panel

Hope you've enjoyed this one. If you're on my email list, then next Friday I will share with you a little more in depth story of these pieces, and will also let you know when this new trilogy will drop for sale on my website. So stay tuned ;-)

If you're not on my email list, here's the link to sign up.

Comments always welcome below!



Older Post Newer Post