For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to color and texture – wanting to produce beauty, but not beauty in the conventional sense. I desire to bring out the heavenliness that dwells in the imperfect, the unrefined and the discarded; a loveliness that quickens the soul and breath and makes you not want to look away but deeper.
Encaustic, from the Greek enkaustikos, means to heat or to burn. Beeswax, pigment and heat are its source elements and together I find them endlessly fascinating and artistically fulfilling.
Beeswax is melted, color is added/blended, and applied with brushes sometimes thickly, sometimes thinly, each layer going from liquid to solid in a matter of seconds. Each layer is then fused with a heat gun. Layers are scraped (archaeological / excavation / mystery – going deeper and deeper) and applied, sometimes as many as a dozen times. It’s a laborious process with images arriving by intention – and by accident.
I always have a kernel of an idea of where a painting will “go” but the fickle nature of this medium often leads to a serendipitous destination.
Originally working in the fibers medium, I eventually found my way to encaustic and mixed media. My love affair with encaustic (pigmented wax) is based on the media’s incredible versatility and unpredictability—it can be as smooth as glass or as textured as burlap. It goes from molten liquid to a solid in a matter of seconds. Because of encaustic’s dynamic nature, every time I paint with it I learn something new. I especially enjoy combining wax with found materials — anything from discarded bottle caps to old library books is fair game.
In my work the intent is to suggest the ‘presence of an absence”, to intrigue the viewer and set up a dialectical tension that is deliciously painful. Thru texture, color, layering and found materials (wax, rust, wood, anything discarded yet lovely) a tension is achieved – beauty vs. ugliness, aggressive vs. peaceful, forgotten vs. precious. There is a vastly minute place that exists between these poles and it is there that I live and love, often oscillating from one noisy extreme to the other. But I seek to explore and abide in that space, for it is in there that one hears the still small voice.
At present I am struggling with strong emotions engendered by changes in my life. This is exemplified in my work by my choices of color and texture and the resulting tension between attraction and repulsion.
Ultimately it is my desire that all I do reflects the work of the Ultimate Creator.