Two multi media Queensland artists, Gayle Reichelt and Bronwyn Doherty are having an exhibition "Just Below the Surface" in the Royal Queensland Art Society (Brisbane Branch) Gallery, at Petrie Terrace Gallery, 3/162 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane 4000 from 13th to 25th October 2015. Their works will include the ancient 2000 year old medium of Encaustic (hot beeswax) and resin.
Gayle’s work explores her passion for colour and texture. Her artwork has evolved from an early focus on realism, through surrealism, to exploring the abstract inspired by nature. A recurring theme since 1996 has been of reviewing the fate of abandoned human manufactured objects in the natural environment. Gayle’s latest development has been ancient 2000 year old technology of encaustic - (hot beeswax and damar resin), giving her work a new look with an ancient medium.
Gayle also has an upcoming exhibition at the Gold Coast City Gallery from 6 February – 27 March 2016. Inspired by weathered shipwrecks, The Last Fleet thematically reviews their fate when abandoned in the natural environment. The work is heavily textured and focuses on the history of the inevitable treatment by elements of weather and time, portraying evidence of erosion, mould and decay, as well as damage inflicted by mankind.
Gayle was fascinated with art from a very early age, and began painting in 1979 whilst living in Deniliquin, NSW. She obtained a BA Honours Degree in 1996 through La Trobe University Bendigo, Victoria, and moved to Queensland in 2000. Gayle has had success in many solo and group exhibitions for the past 36 years.
There will be a demonstration by Gayle on Encaustic on Saturday 16th October 2015 from 2pm - 3.30pm upstairs in the gallery.
Bronwyn has a multi faceted art practice, primarily a focus in painting but in recent years, she has developed an attraction to resin, which has translated into jewellery and lamps. Through different mediums, there is a shared focus, the interplay of surface pattern, colour and light. Bronwyn’s painting style is in essence a combination of abstract pattern and texture that captures the feel of the landscape with cameos of realistic imagery.
Bronwyn is a Brisbane based artist originally from Sydney, where she trained as an Art Teacher and has been teaching and practicing art for the past 38 years. She feels that she is fortunate to work in an area which is also her passion. One important milestone was being selected and hung in the Portia Geach Portrait Prize in 1985.
Gayle and Bronwyn’s works would be of interest to other artists wanting to learn new approaches using Encaustic and Resin as well as members of the public interested in unusual forms of art created from natural materials.
Exhibited pieces will include Encaustic, Oil, Acrylic and Charcoal paintings and drawings, hand made cast resin jewellery, and hand made resin lamps.
Check out Gayle’s website to see her artwork on http://www.gaylereicheltart.com/
Bronwyn’s work can be found on http://www.bronwyndohertyart.com/
High resolution images are available upon request.
For as long as I can remember, I have been able to effortlessly and accurately sketch or draw an object or persons likeness. I had an innate ability to look at a person or object, and accurately gauge the size, shape and colour, and distance, memorise that information and put it down on paper. As a child and teenager, I particularly loved to draw faces to obtain a realistic likeness to that person. This love also extended to drawing animals, and a lot of my teen years was spent drawing both from magazine photographs and from life. This expanded both to drawing from life and using my own photographs as reference.
Later, when I wanted to paint a landscape, building, or portrait of a person, I would complete a charcoal or pencil work as a preliminary study to work out composition, light and shade, and get a feeling for the subject. This enabled me to see things as they really are. Most of the time, my drawings were complete artworks in themselves.
Drawing dates back to pre-history and was the earliest form of non-verbal communication between humans. Drawing is a way to communicate thoughts and feelings, and enables us to see the world as it really is.
As Leonardo da Vinci once said,
“Painting embraces all the ten functions of the eyes, that is to say, darkness, light, body and colour, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest.”
Some artists live in one part of the Universe of Art and explore a theme or themes. I have been strongly attracted to the exploration of different mediums, across the whole Universe of Art.
My early years involved mostly oil and charcoal, with forays into watercolour, pastel and acrylic. With these mediums, I explored landscapes, portraits, abstracts and surreal.
Recently, my life changed to allow more time for art, leading me into vigorous exploration of new areas of art. My two major new areas are encaustic art using hot beeswax and resin art using epoxy resin. At the same time, my life also changed with my marriage to a scientist with an interest in astrophotography and, with him, I have explored combining star images with charcoal drawings to convey the meaning of the Universe of Stars.
Painting with hot beeswax:
The ancient Greek art of encaustic painting with hot beeswax is another major realm in the Universe of Art. Moving into a new house with a new husband gave me the opportunity to explore this exciting new art realm, since this form of art needs considerable work in establishing a dedicated studio and developing new and unusual art techniques.
From 2014 to 2016, I developed abstract, image transfer and realist works, the latter focussing on a shipwreck series, which culminated in a solo exhibition called “The Last Fleet” at the Gold Coast City gallery in 2016.
I have also used the image transfer variation of encaustic painting to produce a series based on Australian native birds.
Painting with resin:
Over the last year, I entered yet another new realm of the Universe of Art: painting with epoxy resin. Like encaustic painting, this art form needs a dedicated studio, specific equipment, new techniques and a new approach to art. I am still exploring new variations of this exciting new realm of the Universe of Art but this exciting new area has already led to another solo exhibition called “New Beginnings”, at the One Arts Gallery, Isle of Capri, Gold Coast Queensland in the month of May 2017.
What is resin?:
Epoxy Resin used in art is an adhesive, plastic material made from synthetic polymers and mixed with a hardener in a specific ratio which varies for different brands. Coloured pigments are added, and the mixture is generally poured onto a surface, mostly MDF, but sometimes other surfaces. When cured, it becomes a very tough and hard surface.
When resin, hardener and coloured pigments are mixed, it is in a fluid form and extremely sticky – a bit like honey. An artist has to work very quickly to achieve their art with resin as it starts to cure after about 40 minutes – although it is possible to work a little longer before it becomes more like toffee. Then it must be left undisturbed until at least the next day before progressing further with it.
Frequently I work with multiple layers to achieve incredible depth, so depending upon how many layers I use, a good artwork can take several days to develop. The affects achieved with resin depend upon various ways that it is applied to the surface, and each artist develops their own techniques for manipulating the fluid medium to get the effects they want. There is much more involved than just “throwing coloured resin onto a surface”. An artist needs to develop a lot of skill to develop a unique and beautiful work.
Applying heat either with a torch or heat gun is an important step for proper curing of the resin and hardener mix. Proper mixing and exact volumes of resin and hardener are required for adequate curing. Whilst it becomes quite solid to touch within 5 to 7 hours, it requires up to 48 hours for a complete cure.
Epoxy Resin requires a moderate level of safety precautions to avoid contact with the skin and eyes as well as avoiding the accumulation of vapours in the room. I wear protective clothing, nitrate gloves, and work in a room with cross-flow ventilation and when using solvents, a carbon mask.
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