We occasionally invite guest artists to talk about their work, techniques and materials on the blog. I hope that one artist explaining how they solved a problem or their approach to art will help other artists. I would love to see a community evolve where artists will assist each other with their artistic dilemmas, share ideas and technical information as well as make connections and give each other friendly support.
To join the conversation please add your comment below. It will be great to have some interaction!
Here today to share her art with us is Hazel Rayfield, who paints in Southend on Sea. Thanks Hazel!
Jacksons: Please tell us a little about yourself
Hazel Rayfield: I live in Southend on Sea on the South East coast of England with my husband Adrian. I am a self taught artist with a passion for painting in hot wax, also known as Encaustic Art.
The first picture I ever painted many years ago was in oils and was of a cyclamen plant. Working with oil paint gave me the texture I wanted but working in a small space the smell of oils was too much for me and I soon moved to painting with acrylic paints. Life and time went by and after several years of not painting, the artist in me was revived and after a short time of painting in watercolours, I found my passion for encaustic painting.
I discovered encaustic art in 2010 having been shown a small piece of abstract artwork by a friend, I hadn’t heard of encaustic art and this piece was unlike anything I had seen before and is what lead me to paint in this medium. It was in early 2011 I created my first encaustic painting, using encaustic wax on gloss card, I have never had an encaustic lesson and am self taught. I love experimenting with the wide variety of techniques and styles of working in wax and recently started working on wood supports using different wax paints.
Jacksons: What materials and techniques did you use in making the art work you are showing here?
Painting with these paints, and on wood is recently new to me and I am currently enjoying experimenting with the layering of the wax. To create these pictures I used a hot plate for melting the wax, which I applied with natural hair paint brushes, a hot air tool for fusing and a stylus heat tool for adding wax and detailing.
Jacksons: What challenges (if any) did you face in making this work and can you give other artists any tips for solving similar problems?
Hazel Rayfield: I think working with hot wax can be a challenge, and this is part of what I personally like about it.
Jacksons: Please tell us something about the idea behind the work you are showing here.
Hazel Rayfield: I love colour, most of my work has lots of colour. The wax paints used in these pictures are very vibrant. So together with my passion for painting flowers and floral subjects, it is natural for me to focus on these subjects.
The sunflower painting shown in the photos, is created on a 4 x 4 inch panel (20mm deep) which I first gessoed, layering clear wax medium to start. Then I added greens and fused with my hot air tool between layers. Then I added deep orange and yellows to form the petals, creating layers, later adding more wax to form the seed head centre, fusing each time more wax was applied, lightly heating the finished picture and allowed it to merge softly in places to give the effect I was looking for.
Working on the wooden panels, which in these pictures I have kept the sides as natural wood (I mask them while working with them) rather than paint over them, compliments each other I feel and brings a natural look to the picture as a whole.
Jacksons: What drives you to make work?
Hazel Rayfield: I just love to paint. I never need an excuse to paint, just need more time!!
I am inspired by many things, by nature, by photographs my husband takes, by the place we live and by the places we visit, if I’m out walking, at a local landmark, in the garden or along the coast where we live. Most of my artwork comes from my imagination, so my work is a mix of the inspiring things around me and my imagination’s ideas. I occasionally make sketches when I get ideas, mostly to remind me of what I want to paint next.
Jacksons: What is your favourite art material?
Hazel Rayfield: That is a easy question ….. it has to be wax !!!
Jacksons: What is coming up next/your plans?
Hazel Rayfield: I am experimenting further with the R&F handmade paints, at the moment I have only created smaller pieces and plan to work on larger pieces and expand and experiment future with different techniques using the wooden supports.
Hazel Rayfield has a website which has a gallery and lots of information about her and her work. She is a very keen blogger and her blog has all the latest news on projects she is working on, together with online photographic and video demonstrations of her at work.
All images are copyright of the artist.