Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Small Encaustic Paintings on paper

St. Elmo's Fire is a little-understood natural phenomenon of fire and luminescence that can form around objects as the result of spontaneous electrical impulses in the atmosphere. It was named for St. Elmo, patron saint of travelers. I see this phenomenon as a metaphor for the spontaneous impulses that drive me to create art. Inspired by memory, experience and imagination, I explore themes and devise environments peopled, not only by archaeological and mythological characters (such as Ariadne), but also by the real people, creatures, and events in my life.

I paint on wood and on paper mounted over luan plywood. Over the surface of both paper and wood, I apply translucent layers of encaustic (hot beeswax and dry pigment), oil paint, and charcoal. Working in both an additive and subtractive method, I build up and then scratch through the layers of wax and paint, reworking the textured surfaces to reveal the underlying markings, changes and colors.

St. Elmo's Fire 1, 2001, 7 x 9 in.

St. Elmo's Fire 6, 2002, 8 x 10 in.

St. Elmo's Fire 5, 2002, 10 x 7 in.

St. Elmo's Fire 13, 2003, 12 x 9 in.