I paint with beeswax, a propane torch and razor blades. I began experimenting with the ancient technique of encaustic painting after learning about Colony Collapse Disorder and the disappearance of honey bees. Encaustic painting dates to the 5th century B.C. and involves fusing together numerous layers of molten beeswax, tree resin and pigments. Each layer of encaustic medium is applied and then fused to the previous layer using a blowtorch. The surface is then scraped or scratched or rubbed with oil paints to create various effects. Unlike other paint mediums, encaustic has this sculptural component to it.
My paintings convey a sense of time and order by creating three-dimensional surfaces through the process of applying multiple layers of encaustic medium. The order and characteristics of each layer of molten encaustic medium applied—the depth, opacity, clarity—determines what is visible and what is obstructed from view. Further suggestions of the passage of time or movement are made by creating texture to the surface by scraping or mark-making. The combination of the organic materials, beeswax and tree resin, creates a vibrant luminous surface that almost glows with life.
Memberships: Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, International Encaustic Artists, Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council