24X24 encaustic mixed media on cradled birch panel (encaustic, paper,stitch,ink,pan pastels,shellac, found objects)
I started this project months and months ago and then spent most of the summer ignoring it. Last weekend I finally hauled all the encaustic equipment up from the basement and decided to get to it!
I love things seen in detail under a microscope. I have a board dedicated to these images on Pinterest and often refer to it when looking for inspiration. One in particular kept catching my eye. I thought “this would make a pretty dress”. It was a cross section of a 3 yr old woody stem of basswood. I sketched out a rough idea of the pattern on mulberry paper and then stitched it in turquoise thread…put the paper on my work desk and there it sat all summer.
I had grand plans to go back and stitch it with more colours and various other mark making but eventually decided just to move on to the wax. The truth is, I have the most fun when I don’t try to plan things too much. It feels like work when I have too many “intentions” for something….and frankly it often doesn’t work out. A balance of trying new things and new materials and of experimenting with the freedom to abandon a plan is what works best for me.
When I finished this piece I decided to find out a little about the tree (even though the dress no longer resembled the microscopic cross section I started with!). As it turns out, this tree produces a fragrant and nectar producing flower and is a very important honey plant for beekeepers. Seems fitting that I covered it is beeswax!
The tree is also known to symbolize justice and it was believed that the tree would help “unearth the truth”. Seemed like a good title.