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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Short Addendum

I forgot to say how long the art piece giveaway will last. I will pick the magic name at random on June 8th!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Blog Hop to Celebrate My Book and An Art Giveaway!

To celebrate my new book, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop, I'm holding a blog hop! I hope you'll visit these wonderful artists on their blogs. You can see what they have to say about the book, interviews with me, and projects they've made inspired by my book. You'll also see their wonderful work! Jill Berry is also holding a giveaway of my book!

6/10 Pam Carriker 

Now, for the Giveaway! Post a comment here on my new blog,  telling us what you are creating right now. This will enter you to win the Serena Barton original you see below!

What Goes on Beneath                         Acrylic on Canvas

Monday, May 27, 2013

Port Townsend Wabi Sabi

As promised, here's a wabi-sabi photo from Port Townsend, WA.

Why is this image wabi-sabi? Well, to some extent, wabi-sabi is in the eye and heart of the beholder. To me, the image is a bit somber, but not sad. It evokes a sense of solitude and quiet. The driftwood in the foreground  is weathered, even battered, by the ocean before coming to rest on the shore of the Sound. I feel a sense of timelessness when I look at the picture, while at the same time I am aware of the impermanence of all life.

What do you think?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Here are a few more questions from Dawn. I'm happy to answer them and at the same time I'll give you an inside peek at the process of creating the book.


Thanks for all the clarification, Serena.

I do have more questions. I attempted the "scraping and incising" project (p.38-40). I had never before used micaceous iron oxide. I used it unthinned which gave me a heavy dark application. While your surface looks fairly light after applying the Nickel Yellow Azo, my surface was extremely dark. Even experimenting on another board with a thinned application the surface was darker than in the demo. My piece never recovered- the incising went well, but the piece was overall too dark and also I was unable to achieve the distressed look of your surface in "Waiting to be filled" even after applying the reinkers. Any advice?

Waiting to Be Filled 

Hi Dawn,

You are right that the last step shows a lighter background than the finished piece. On page 33 of my book, you'll find some steps that I use for additional aging that aren't in the step by step pictures. These include:

  • Rubbing a neutral re-inker such as slate or mushroom in various areas around the piece
  • Sponging on and wiping off neutral or brown acrylic paint, thinned with glaze medium,
  • Rubbing ink from a pad in various areas
  • Collaging specks of tea or instant coffee flakes onto the piece.

Some of the step by step projects show the piece I made in the photography sessions at the start of the section. Others, like the one above, show the original piece I made for the book. We work through all the project pieces in a few days and do our best to show each step. I encourage readers to experiment with using different color palettes and combining different techniques. While I did my best to re-create the original piece, even I can't copy myself exactly! And I think that's a very good thing! Each piece we make reflects who we are in the present moment, and no two wabi-sabi pieces will be alike.

I'd love it if you'd send me a photo of the pieces you made based on this project. If you like, I could make suggestions. I think the important thing is whether you have fun in the process and whether you like your piece. Wabi-sabi art is all about experimenting and re-doing projects when you want to change them. 

As far as the aging of this piece, I added more Ginger re-inker to the top part of the piece than is shown in the steps. If your piece has a darker background, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. As you experiment you may well find you like some of  your pieces even more than what you see in the book.

Now I'm off to Port Townsend, WA where I hope to take some wabi-sabi photos to share with my readers!

Welcome to Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop Blog with Serena Barton!

Welcome to my new site! This is a site especially for readers of my book from North Light, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop. I'll be posting questions, comments, and photographs from readers as well as my own wabi-sabi photos and art work.

As you know, I like to go around my neighborhood and my town looking for wabi-sabi. Here are some recent pictures I took close to home.

Closeups of a rusted dumpster

These photos inspired the painting below.

Realms          20" x 16"

This piece was done in oil and cold wax, but you can do something similar in acrylic, re-inker glaze, or encaustic. I'd love to have you share your inspiration photos and art with us! your can email me your photos through my website and I'll post them here.

A few questions from reader Dawn:

1.) What are the different uses, properties & applications of various types of inks: reinkers, alcohol, India (from your book I know you use reinkers w/acrylic glazing medium for layers of glazes, but not sure when or how to use others.

Dawn, I use dye re-inkers in the projects in the book. Now there are pigment re-inkers out also, and I'm planning to try them soon. What I know so far is that they are more opaque, so I assume the dye re-inkers work better for glazes, but I'll keep you posted. I use the alcohol inks for accents in my work, over wet re-inker glazes. I know some artists who use alcohol inks with encaustics also. If you google alcohol inks you'll find a whole range of uses for these lovely inks--I have yet to try them all. India ink works great for adding an aged look to encaustic collages. Rub ink into incised areas, or rub ink over the whole piece and then quickly rub most of it off. Here's a little piece I did with alcohol ink.

Outside the Village                         Acrylic and Alcohol Ink on Panel   5" x 5"

 2.) What size are most of the pieces I see in your book?

Most of the project pieces are fairly small. 8" x 14" or 12" square--in that vicinity. Some of the gallery photos are larger pieces.

  3.) Is most or some of your Wabi Sabi work reproducible? (Some types of mixed media collage lends itself to reproduction- like prints or notecards-better than others- just wondering.)
Much of the work reproduces very well. Encaustic is sometimes hard to photograph. I am delighted with the photos taken for the book! I take my own photos of my work and get the best results taking the pictures outside on an overcast day. I also scan small pieces. Taking pictures or scanning at a very high resolution helps with getting a good reproduction. Thanks for your interesting questions, Dawn!