The Main Thing, quote by Auguste Rodin, artwork & all text © Irene O’Garden 2014
Thank you, Auguste Rodin.
The minute I read these words of his, I penciled them down and pinned them up.
When asked by the Garrison Art Center to donate a 5”x 5” artwork for a fundraiser, I relished the opportunity to create the piece above. Not only could I absorb the words into my bloodstream/thoughtstream and share them with others, I could further explore the medium of encaustic.
Pigmented beeswax is a jaw-droppingly versatile substance. After heating and melting it, you apply it to your ground (in this case, masonite, though wood, fabric, metal and glass can all be used.) This piece displays the many verbs encaustic welcomes: you can brush it, marble it, carve it, shave it, scrape it, gouge it, splatter it and collage with it (the lettering was actually done on paper, affixed and coated with clear beeswax.) Seems like the very stuff of life, which accommodates any verb we make of it.
After heating and fusing the final layers, you polish till it shines. If you’re not happy, scrape it off and start again. So forgiving. Like a soul evolving through lifetimes.
Once you’re satisfied, you don’t even have to frame it. Your final coat of beeswax protects it essentially forever. Like a soul recognizing an insight.
Encaustics from our first century are still radiant.
Part of me thinks when I’m all done with words, I’ll just play with this stuff—
For now, though, nothing moves me like words, or inspires my love and hope and trembling as they do. For now, I’ll live with them, sharing those I love with those I love.