My focus was on landscape, but is now shifting toward abstraction for two reasons: I want to move away from obvious storytelling in favor of a more pervasive and romantic feel, and make color as significant as subject matter. The color will be imperative to the intended atmosphere of my paintings. Whatever the subject, I realize, I always tend to think of color as an end in itself and I want to push this. Many of the colors seen in nature are so subtle that they are often overlooked and unappreciated. By dramatizing the intensity of these subtleties, I create an environment that consumes the viewers’ senses, and will cause a heightened appreciation for the natural world. Oil paint is my medium of choice as it allows me to contrast heavy textured brushstrokes and soft translucent washes.
In art education I was introduced to a view point valuing art primarily for its social relevance. This made me realize that visual art is not only visual aesthetics but a form of communication. However, as is the case with verbal communication, visual communication comes in two forms: direct, practical instruction and communication in which the use of the medium is aesthetic. I came to the conclusion that while the expression of my faith is important to fuel my work, my direct goal is to make images dramatizing my belief through poetic imagery rather than using visual art as a channel to persuade my audience.
What is Encaustic Paint?
Encaustic is a painting method where color-pigmented beeswax is melted, applied to a surface and reheated to fuse the paint into a smooth or textured finish. The word encaustic comes from Greek word enkaustikos and means 'to burn in', which refers to the process of fusing the paint. Encaustic has a long history, but it has been experiencing a recent resurgence in popularity due to the increased convenience and safety of heating appliances. The surface can be polished to a high gloss, it can be modeled, sculpted, textured, and combined with collage materials. It cools immediately, so that there is no drying time, yet it can always be reworked. The durability of encaustic is due to the fact that beeswax is impervious to moisture. Because of this it will not deteriorate. Encaustic paintings do not have to be varnished or protected by glass.
How to Care for Your Encaustic Painting:
After completion of an encaustic painting there is a curing process of a few months. During this time moisture will work its way to the surface and cause a slight haze (this is called bloom). When the sheen dulls or looks dusty, it can be buffed (gently, firmly but not overly vigorous) to a high gloss using a soft lint-free cloth (similar to polishing or dusting furniture). The sheen dulls over time and can be brought back by repeating the process. Although the surface is completely dry, encaustic paintings can be easily scratched, gouged, or chipped if handled roughly. No fingernails please! Protect all encaustic from extreme heat (above 140 F) and freezing.