Ginnie Cappaert's Blog

Sunday, July 24, 2016

"The universe is fully supportive of what you want, but it is up to you to go for it." - unknown

Art is a big bucket of 'go for it's'!  Seriously, if you don't 'go for it' how will you ever know.  I write this blog as I sit for a quiet moment at my gallery in Door County!  Yes, this was a dream of mine and about 20 years ago I said 'I would love to own a gallery in Door County.' - here I am!

As I share my thoughts on my blog, I also wish to share other artists work as well.  Here is an interview of two fabulous artists Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin who work with the amazing art medium 'cold wax'.  Rebecca introduced me to cold wax years ago and for that I am ever grateful!  The two of them have joined forces to publish a book on cold wax which will include the artwork of many artists working with cold wax (myself included) as well as how-to and techniques.  Here are some thoughts I would like to share from them regarding their book publishing and crowd-funding campaign!

There were little pockets of cold wax activity all over, and Rebecca was clearly at the nexus. I had witnessed the growth of support and kinship around encaustic medium and wondered if we could have the same. After Rebecca and I realized we shared a common vision for the book and began work, I was overwhelmed by what happened. Artists from all over the world reached out to support our project. It was clear this wasn’t just something I wanted but something we as artists wanted.
And now here we are. The book is nearly ready to go to print. The enthusiasm and support we have received has been something truly wonderful. Community has begun forming around the book before it is even available. And on top of the deep connection I feel to this community, I now have a kind, wise, and beautiful new friend that I’m sure I would not have had otherwise. That alone makes it worthwhile. Thank you, Rebecca!
Rebecca: I feel the same! For me, there is also a level personal satisfaction for pulling together a lot of what I’ve learned and thought about and taught over the years.  Of course, what I know continues to evolve, but at this point, the book covers the summation of what I can share about working with cold wax --and a lot about painting in general. It makes me appreciate how when you are passionate about something, experience and understanding grow slowly, incrementally, one thing leading to another. And at some point--maybe even decades after first undertaking something—you may realize that your accumulated knowledge is meaningful to others. Although at first I was reluctant to take on the huge project that the book has become, I see now that when that time comes, there it is almost an obligation to share. Because as artists, we’ve all built on what others before us have shared.
Of course, I’ve learned a lot too! I know that you share that feeling, Jerry.
Jerry: I have definitely learned a lot. In fact, the multiple, steep learning curves have probably been the most challenging part of writing this book. There were so many things that had to be researched and learned: the history of wax and cold wax in art, the chemical and technical aspects of all the materials, the breadth of styles and techniques used by all the artists in the book, how to structure a book, how to use InDesign to lay out a book, how best to describe and provide images so that readers can understand what we mean to convey, the complexities of publishing and printing a book and book distribution, how to set up a small business partnership in the US and California, business finances, setting up and executing a successful crowdfunding campaign. Whew! Even coming up with a way for a basically disorganized person to keep track of over 2,000 images and multiple iterations of writing and layouts was huge. It’s been the most challenging thing I’ve ever undertaken. And on top of all of that, through talking with so, so many artists and looking at so much cold wax work, my own art has grown.  I’ve found a style and voice that resonates from deep within me. Just writing this all down makes me a bit anxious inside. It’s almost too much to think about. But that isn’t a negative. I have grown through this in ways I never imagined. I think I’ll stop there… 
Rebecca: It IS overwhelming! There’s a huge amount of information in the book that Jerry has researched, more than I’ve been able to take in even after multiple editing sessions and going over layouts. All of that research has already been very informative for me. In fact, I’ve looked up answers to questions for myself or students a number of times in draft versions of the chapters—I love the fact that I am learning from our own book! I’ve also learned a lot from the contributions of the artists in the book—their words about technique, approach, materials, tools and tips. And of course, I learned from their work. I found out about artists that were unknown to me, saw some of the newest work from those I’m familiar with, and realized the breadth of the scope of cold wax approaches.
My own biggest challenge was in writing the chapters about technique and visual language. I wanted to present the basic content of my workshops to the broad audience of the book, and it was difficult to organize and distill my thoughts and information into an accessible format. As I worked this out, I came upon some new and simple ways to categorize the techniques I teach. I’ve already found this to be helpful in the workshops I’ve taught since writing my chapters. 

We sincerely hope that all of our readers will benefit in a big way from our book. We look forward to hearing what you think, once you have a copy in hand!—Rebecca and Jerry

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