Encaustic Mixed Media is a medium that satisfies and encourages me artistically. It’s full of layers, color and texture. Delicate rice paper submerged in water and covered with hot wax contradicts what should work, it’s unpredictable and mysterious.
The steady, light and controlled touch I use when applying the hot wax to rice paper immediately connects me to my artwork. While the watercolor on rice paper is somewhat uncontrollable and random. The effects and variables are endless. I love the final stage of melting the wax away and the feeling of surprise. When I uncover a finished piece and see its beauty and depth, I’m completely satisfied.
All of my artwork is original and created by applying hot wax and watercolor paint to rice paper. My technique involves a perfect temperature of hot melted wax, an understanding of what it will do next to watercolor paint and respecting the delicate nature of rice paper.
I’m inspired by mood and color such as the words to an old song and a bouquet of flowers. I’m emotional encouraged while watching people enjoy the beach at Coney Island or an emotional trip to Dachau concentration camp. I transform and recycle my thoughts into a painting and during the process keep simplicity and truth in mind.
I use various types of rice paper (Masa, Ginwashi and Unryu). I draw my idea onto the paper with an archival ink pen and then plan each step for my series of actions. When the wax is melted I begin applying it to the rice paper. Next, is the first layer of watercolor paint. This process of hot wax and paint is repeated as many as 15 times, each layer progressively getting darker. A final coat of wax is applied and when cooled the painting is very carefully crumpled, submerged in water, un-crumpled, painted a last time and laid flat to dry. Lastly it’s placed on and covered with sheets of newspaper, then ironed to melt and remove the wax. This process also happens many times with clean sheets of news paper until the wax is gone.
At the beginning of my adult life in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana I aspired to be an entrepreneur, leaning naturally towards art. Consistently pursing my artwork, a wonderful marriage to my high school sweetheart/firefighter husband and four grown children later, life took an unexpected turn.
ONE EARLY MORNING……two of our four children were in a terrible car accident. One will live with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and the entire family lives with the scars while embracing the continuous changes, challenges and triumphs. My art since 2010 has been a reflection of awareness, growth and compassion. The time I spend in my studio is therapeutic.
THERE HASN”T BEEN……a time in my life that art and artists haven’t existed, I grew up surrounded by inspiration. In 1994 I started a business in textiles. My designs and patterns were all original and copyrighted. I employed four people and supported two local businesses. I’m currently working with encaustic mixed media and enthusiastically try to resource all my supplies locally.
ART IS……the truest expression of who I am. With my own experiences and in todays culture I feel it’s easy to get wrapped up tight in opinions, my own and others. Consequently my approach to painting is not about painstaking detail, instead my art is easy to look at, naturally friendly and engaging. It creates wonder in how it’s done and what people see in it. In each chapter of my life, however the story reads, art has been my play-grounding.