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Big In Japan

Big In Japan  By Carol Schiraldi




By Carol Schiraldi



Carol has maintained the popular photoblog, Carol's Little World, since 2001.

Carol's work has also appeared in the following publications:

The Utatan Editor's Choice
Photographic projects are at the center of Utata. Running a series of ongoing challenges for nearly 18,000 members, encouraging them to stretch their skills and imaginations, each year Utata also initiates one large overreaching project. In 2007, the Utata editors selected a project that would demonstrate the depth and breadth of the talent of the members. Half a dozen broad categories of work were selected and the staff watched with delight and amazement as the photographs were submitted. This book is the Editor's choice of submissions to that project and is available now at the following line: The Utatan


This book is dedicated to the many lovers and enthusiasts of Polaroid film. In conjunction with a Gallery show, this book is a tribute to type 600 Polaroid film on the eve of its discontinuation. Fifty individuals from across the globe graciously share their thoughts and work. The images document countless girlfriends, boyfriends, parties, pick-up games, vistas, private rooms, quiet shadows, and small spectacles. Beyond just documentation, this collection of Polaroids demonstrates the films unique qualities; beautiful and effortless, mystifying and ubiquitous. A photographic medium that will not be forgotten. -Evan La Londe and Nancy Froehlich

Available now at the following link: 600


Create Your Own Photoblog by Catherine Jamieson

Carol's blog, Carol's Little World, was featured in this popular book, available from Amazon and other fine bookstores. (Wiley Press 2006.)

Encaustic Arts


Encaustic painting is both a contemporary form of artistic expression and an antique process for painting. Encaustic paintings date back to the 1st century-the technique was used in the Fayum mummy portraits in ancient Egypt circa 100-300 AD and more recently by contemporary American artist Jasper Johns.

Encaustic paintings are generally made by using a mixture of beeswax, damar resin and heat as a medium and typically some type of pigment for coloring. Often artist pigments are used, but other items such as coffee, tea, dirt, or any item containing a coloring can be used to provide the desired hue. Encaustics are both a type of paint medium and a technique, with the technique being heating the wax to a melted state and applying it to a support, ensuring each layer is fused with heat of some kind. The surface is manipulated with tools such as irons, hot air guns, metal spatulas, or other tools to provide the desired appearance of the finished painting.

While this may provide you with the "textbook" definition of encaustics, as a practicing encaustic artist, I like to think of encaustics a bit differently. For starters, there are almost as many encaustic techniques as there are painters working with encaustics-every artist I have worked with or met seems to find their own unique way of working with wax. There really is no "right" or "wrong" way to do it-it's more like a "jump right in and give it a go" type of painting style.

Encaustics too are really a material study and an excuse for artists to make their own paint. Being very "hands on" the artist gets lost working with layers, embedding objects, working with color, texture, and fusion. There is a simple rhythm to working with encaustics, the melting, the fusing, the working of the materials, it's almost hypnotic in nature and I find it very relaxing but also sort of a playground for artistic experimentation. There are always new things to try, new techniques to learn and every day in the studio brings new surprises. Working with different types of heat sources, everything from a heat gun to a blow torch, working with different brushes, different wax media, various pigments, a host of found objects, and layer after layer of opaque textural surfaces really lends an element of surprise to each piece. It's a forgiving medium, yes, but I like to think that each and every encaustic piece is really some kind of "happy accident" as results often do vary when you paint with a blow torch. That's all really part of the fun of working with the medium though, as painting with encaustics can be more of an adventure and less an academic study in material sciences. 

I get asked to demo and speak about encaustics frequently as it is a lesser-known and not as practiced media. I like to explain to people at these demos and talks that encaustics are not the media for you if you are looking for absolute control and are very fussy about having a strict outcome for your artwork. On the other hand, if you are flexible and have a sense of adventure about your painting, you just might find working with encaustics to be a liberating, fun, sometimes challenging but always wondrous experience. If you're the sort of artist who likes to dabble, play, experiment and try new things, encaustics must just be a wonderful media for you.

Over the course of painting and exhibiting encaustics, I have found too that many patrons either immediately fall in love with the look of the finished wax pieces or just completely fail to understand the appeal of encaustic arts at all. Encaustic paintings are a bit like the "Babe Ruth" of the art world-you will either immediately fall in love and change the way you see things or you will just relegate to the "I don't get it" pile in the back of your mind.

Caring for Encaustic Paintings
Keep out of direct sun light and keep at normal  room temperatures. Avoid freezing and extremely hot temperatures. The wax paints melt and runs at 162 F.

When the painting is "young" or recently finished, it has not had time to cure and harden yet. It will therefore go back to a matte looking surface after buffing the first few times. As time goes by and the mixture has had a chance to cure and harden, it will keep it's buffed polished look. At this point, it also sheds dust and dirt more readily. To buff the piece, you can rub it with a soft cotton-like cloth, such as a t-shirt or clean cloth.





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