On Gilded Wings (Concerning the Eagle Creek Fire)

On Gilded Wings (Concerning the Eagle Creek Fire).
8 x 8″.
Encaustic on wood.
By Cat Jones.

[This is a small piece, owing mainly to the expense of encaustic paint and the lack of resources I share with most artists. I’ve said before that I prefer large canvases. But, my God, this new (to me) medium is so rich and lush and full!  Here’s the story on this painting.]

Last year, teenagers throwing fireworks in a tinder- dry forest ignited a roaring wildfire back in Cascadia, where I grew up. It burned for two months and took out 50,000 acres in the Columbia Gorge, blackening the landscape, destroying habitat, wounding animals, and sending Cascadians into mourning for some of the last of the once- verdant Pacific Northwest rainforests.

It hit especially hard because, decades before this fire, avaricious timber companies were razing all the forests, all over Cascadia. Ancient forests, thousands of years old, were being cast into clear cuts overnight. These were some of the very last forests, some of the few that escaped the saws, and we’d fought HARD for them. Cascadians took to the trees, mounted a rising resistance against the timber companies, and fought tooth and nail to save these very forests from the greedy saws of capitalism. Much of the radical environmental movement was born here, in these trees of the Pacific Northwest, for the very life of the world in which we all live.  Continue reading

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Crow

Crow.
8 x 8″.
Encaustic on wood.
By Cat Jones.

Burden Woods no. 7

Burden Pond, Burden Woods no. 7.
8 x 8″.
Encaustic on wood.
By Cat Jones

I cannot get enough of painting impressions of the woods around Burden Pond in encaustic paint. As I’m accustomed to painting large works in oil – indeed large enough to swing arms around while painting is my preference – these small wax- and- wood based pieces are a very new experience for me. The processes involved in melting and manipulating wax and pigment is weirdly both much more meticulous and much less so than I’m used to. I sit down for these, where I’m used to standing at an easel. I bend over them where I’m used to facing a painting at eye level. My movements are smaller, but the movement of the medium against its surface are much larger. The wax doesn’t stay right where I put it, and I’m having to learn its physics and its preferences as I paint. But something about the way it flows as an idea takes form has me addicted to this.