Jolie Guillebeau

Archive for October, 2013

964: Spirograph

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Remember the Spirograph?

It’s always been one of the toys that people suggest that I should paint, because they have good memories of playing with it from their own childhood.

I loved it too and I’ve been tempted for a long time, but the problem is that what we love about the Spirograph isn’t the little clear plastic wheels, but the shapes they create.

And those are a little complicated to recreate in paint.

But as I started drawing the layers on this wax, I kept coming back to those loops. And while these aren’t quite as mathematically precise, they’re close enough to make me happy.

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963: Incongruous

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

This is why I love Portland.

The City of Roses is aptly named. Winters are mild, and there are rosebushes in my neighborhood that hold blooms all year.

So while I’m taking pictures of fall leaves and digging out my scarves, I’m also coming across beauties like this on my inspiration walks.

This big yellow rose was in full bloom and the sunlight created strong shadows that created oranges just as bright as the leaves around it. How could I not paint it? Even if it is the wrong season.

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961: Risk

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

You might have guessed this was where I was going with this, right? I couldn’t resist. All those leaves looking so bright through my window called to me.

So I risked my neck on behalf of art. I opened our second story window, stretched out as far as my little short arms would let me and plucked a couple of leaves. I suppose I could’ve just snagged a couple from the sidewalk below, but I liked the idea of getting the perfect leaf. Except once I reached the branch, I ended up with seven leaves. They were all so pretty!

So I just used a bigger panel.

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960: Stain

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

This time of year, every window in my house looks like a stained glass window.

The trees catch the sunlight and those colors light up my living room so beautifully. We have gray walls, so the orange contrast is especially wonderful there.

In late afternoon, I find myself astonished at how beautiful it is. The colors bounce off one another so perfectly, I tried to recreate it here.

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959: Familiarity

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

With the glorious weather we’ve had in Portland over the past couple of weeks, plus the knowledge that I was going to need inspiration to paint ahead, I went on a few photo walks last week.

Our house is just west of a volcano. Luckily, it’s a long extinct volcano. Last week, I went wandering in that direction for a while and found a familiar spot. When I painted the summer of landscapes in 2010, I painted views from Mt. Tabor at least five times.

So I found a viewpoint, snapped a few pictures and kept walking. When I got back to my paint table, I started working.

The painting came together quickly, but when I finished something gave me pause. So I went back through my archives, and noticed something.

When I took the photo, I must’ve been standing in the same spot at nearly the same time of day and year. There were a few more yellow leaves this time, but it was mostly the same painting just in wax this time.

It’s kind of cool to see that 900 paintings later, I find myself back at a familiar place.

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958: Sea, again.

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

See, I told you I was excited! (I even originally typed that first word as “Sea.”)

The Atlantic is so many different oceans.

It’s the ocean of sunrises (on this continent– for four years it was the ocean of sunsets for me), it’s the ocean of hurricanes, and the ocean where I could see my own reflection as we sailed through water that looked like glass.

I’m flying today and encaustic doesn’t travel well, so I’ve painted a few paintings in advance. I’ll be around, so feel free to email as always, but I might not respond as quickly, because my toes will be in the sea.
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957: Sea

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The sea is calling me.

In just a couple of days, I’m going to take a red-eye flight and wing my way toward my ocean. The Pacific is wonderful, but the Atlantic was home for so long that it’s embedded in my soul.

I’m so excited that I’ve been tempted to paint the sea all week long. Every day. But I realized that maybe you don’t love the sea as much as I do.

So I held out until today. Then I thought about all the movement and sound of the sea and put it all into the painting.


956: Intuition

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Lately I’ve been thinking about the things we can learn from animals.

I’ve been drawing swans in my doodles and my sketchbook. They’ve appeared a few times in my paintings here, too.

Swans are symbols of inner strength and intuition. They represent grace and going with the flow. These are all lessons I could learn more and more.

I’m thinking you might see a few more swans before this series is over.


955: Circus

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

When I paint in oils, I find myself using bright colors, but still mostly a grey background.

But in wax, I tend to start with bright colors right off the bat. I have grey, but it doesn’t sing to me the way it does in oil.

Starting with those bright colors can sometimes lead to chaos in the middle. I’ve scraped back panels because they’ve gotten a little out of hand.

This time, I decided to push through. I resisted scraping back and just kept going.

Eventually, I felt like I had something worth sharing. Rather than chaos, it’s a little more like a circus. And circuses are fun, right?

Yet another lesson in perseverance.


954: Build

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Sometimes I’m feel like less of a painter and more like a builder with encaustic. Today I decided to test that feeling and see what happened.

I built up the layers of wax, then placed a flower in more wax. The center required more wax, but the petals rested perfectly just the way I imagined.

Then I started adding color.

Once I added the color, I was still missing something. But the torch added texture. The result was unexpected, but sometimes you don’t quite know what you’re building until it’s built.

What are you building these days?

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