I consider myself very fortunate to be able to go through sort of a rebirth. I spent almost 33 years working in information technology for Big Oil which afforded me the luxury of retiring early in order to do something completely different.
Art always seemed to be a challenge that always managed to frustrate my ideal of perfection. In a junior high art class I was really happy with a copper engraving project until I poked a hole through it by pushed too hard. Later in high school I attempted a freehand geometric checkerboard design that ended up looking hideous because the lines were not straight. I guess my inherent technical instincts made me want precision and ‘art’ was too wild of a beast for me to tame.
Throughout the years I kept the pilot light running you could say. In my 20’s I got into picture framing and stained glass for a bit. A band saw and router got me into a few other folk art projects. In my 30’s I got involved in some web design projects, becoming familiar with Macromedia Fireworks for manipulating digital images.
When I began thinking about what I would do in retirement, I imagined getting a nice wood shop put together. In fact my retirement gift from work was a nice miter saw and stand, and I subsequently bought a nice table saw to accompany it. My husband and I have an annual Super Bowl / Chili Cookoff which brings upwards of 100 people to the house — all drinking and needing to go to the bathroom. So in my typical quirky humor I fashioned an outdoor urinal made of leftover plywood.
I next wanted to tackle making frames for some of the art that we had collected over the years — giving me something to do with my new miter saw. So I started surfing YouTube for how-to videos for framing artwork.
Which led me to Jon Peter’s YouTube channel.
Jon has several videos on how to make custom frames. But he also dabbles in art and had a series of very informational videos on encaustics — how to make your own medium, prep your own substrate, make your own colors, and image transfers. I was fascinated. And hooked.
My greatest pleasures in the IT world were to get complex systems to work for the first time. And it was all about documented processes giving predictable/guaranteed results. The digital imagery surely is predictable/guaranteed results, but melding that with encaustics with it’s you-don’t-always-get-what-you-set-out-to-achieve challenges is something that I want to master.
And I want to have fun doing it.
Joel Anderson 2.0