Embracing Abstraction thru Encaustics
Techniques I practiced with acrylic served me well as I began working more with encaustic. Layering the wax felt natural. I loved the immediacy of the torch, the very idea of playing with fire. Since I had been trained to paint representationally (set up the still life, draw it, then scale it up on the canvas), that is what I tried to do. Even though landscape had never been my subject matter, I now lived in a landscape I couldn’t ignore. Aspens became the subject of my first encaustic series. I carved into the wax, pushing pigmented encaustic into the grooves to create the tree trunks, cross hatching for the bark. Tedious. Creating images with encaustic proved difficult. Once I lit the torch, my images moved, melted, sometimes even disappeared! I was no longer in control.  That proved to be a good thing, a freeing thing. The longer I worked with encaustic, the more abstract my work became. My subject matter changed dramatically: alternative realities (i.e. premonitions), archetypes, symbols.