Although I just took down the exhibition, I have thought to post some of my encaustic paintings from my November 2008 show at the Conrad Wilde Gallery here in Tucson. Using pigmented molten waxes, encaustic painting has a long history, dating back to the 5th century b.c..
I became enamored with the media by default as I came to it through papermaking. I discovered the wonderful qualities of beeswax in 1994 when I started using wax to heighten the color of my handmade paper pulp paintings. With a colleague from Oslo, I started washing/filtering/grinding my own pigments for use as a colorant in my handmade papers. It was an easy jump to start adding the pigments directly to the wax and start painting...I have been using encaustic ever since!
I often add handmade papers to my paintings, but these from the specific show happen to be pretty straight forward paintings. I have been encasing my cast paper works in wax and lately I am also exploring the use of wax within my artist books as well.
entire self. Everything is possible in my heart just as it is in the
hiding places in ravines.”
-Rene Menard, Le Livre des Arbres, 1956.
Recently, I have been spending hours watching the evening sky slowly shifting color - dusk into twilight into deep night, letting gradations and atmosphere and air infiltrate my being. Finally, the brush leads me in a kind of poetic, wordless dance through the memory of space. The fleeting early evening hours and the late night rich darks are particularly cryptic, potent and profound. To navigate through them requires an innate sense of direction. Gaston Bachelard writes: “Night isolates us from earth, but it gives us back our dreams of kinship with air.”
I will be teaching encaustic painting and papermaking in my Tucson studio this coming winter spring and our new classes have just been uploaded to our site at papermakingresources.com. I am very excited to be invited to give a lecture, Wax and the Artist Book: A National Survey, at the 3rd Annual Encaustic Symposium at Monteserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA in June of 2009 . I attended last year and it was incredible! I learned so much during the symposium and subsequent three days of workshops. Met some great people too. Can't wait to go back!
In July, I will be teaching at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN...taught there in 2006 and loved it! I am honored to be invited back to teach two classes:
The Paper Artist’s Dream: From High to Low Shrinkage Pulps! from July 12th -18th 2009
& The Hot and the Cool of it: Encaustic Painting and Monotypes from July 19th -24th 2009.
New Growth 2008
encaustic painting over cast handmade mulberry bark paper boat and hand formed gampi bark paper leaves. Found tree with root ball, grafting tape, mud from the Rillito River.