PORTFOLIO > Encaustic & Cold Wax Paintings

In this series of encaustic and cold wax works I use elements from the natural world such as wax from the small delicate bee, resin from the mighty tree, pigments from earth’s minerals and the natural element of fire; these elements all come together to create an alchemical transformation, turning the colorless, solid, material of bees wax into a liquid that flows across a substrate in a swirling dance. Within this dance there is an undeniable sense of both control and surrender with the artist and the medium alternately taking the lead in the dance.

The surfaces of my encaustic paintings are often carved, etched, and/or embedded with other objects from nature: sand, glass, bark, twigs, stones, handmade papers, silk, wool and more. The subtle scent of molten bees wax fills the air, and the flame of the torch gently warms the studio. The experience is always a very sensory, visceral and intuitive one.

The translucent and luminous layers of wax create an effect that is rich and varied allowing colors laid down previously to shine through. The intriguing effects of layering mirrors the many layers of life, both in the human journey and within the natural world. Layers tell the countless stories of life.

Encaustic painting is a perfect medium to convey the ideas of transformation and rebirth that is a major part of my creative work. Encaustic literally goes through an alchemical change in the process of painting, starting out as a molten liquid and transforming itself into a solid hard surface. In this work it is the "process" more than the "product" that sings of transformation. The abstract works that result are refections of the inner life of the artist and the medium itself and the images echo cosmic features and organic surfaces.

COLD WAX AND OIL PAINTING, is the cousin to encaustic painting, and also combines wax and pigments. While encaustic painting uses molten wax, cold wax is not heated or melted, it is a paste-like, translucent medium that is mixed with oil pigments, which also yield luminous, semi-transparent, lustrous results. These lustrous abstract works explore the same concepts as all of my work: the process of transformation with nature and human life.

Here I am emphasizing the impact of climate change and its transformative effects of life on this planet. The question once again arise if there will come a time when renewal and transformation will reach a final stage of being and becoming? What will that look like? What will be left, and what will be gone? The ancient history of Earth suggests that even though the planet may change enormously as it has before, life as we know it may be gone forever. Something new will emerge, but will humanity survive such an altered planet?