Winter 2021 Online Exhibition
Encaustic is a wonderful medium that is being discovered by artists in increasing numbers. Or, rather, re-discovered, because it actually dates back to ancient Greece. Wax was used to waterproof their ships, as well as decoratively by artisans, and it has been in and out of favor in fine art through the centuries since. More recently, it was artist Jasper Johns who helped bring encaustic onto the contemporary art scene in the heyday of the Abstract Expressionists. He came across this little-known medium and was taken with its possibilities. As he worked out his own mixtures and processes, Johns created stunning bodies of work that are in major collections and still on display today
In its simplest form, encaustic is a combination of beeswax, a little damar resin, and pigment. The mixture is brought to a molten state and applied with a brush to a rigid surface while still liquid. Once it has cooled, this top surface is reheated so the wax melts into the layers beneath. It is this layering that gives an encaustic piece its unique depth and luminosity, as well as allowing for interleaving other materials that make it so versatile.
My goal in curating this online exhibition is to promote a growing awareness of encaustic and to showcase artists who are successfully expanding their vision and their craft by pursuing this challenging art form.
I was pleased to select three of the works in the exhibition for awards. Congratulations to the award winners.
First Prize: Paula Zaks for “Pieced Together”
Honorable Mention: Louise MacDougall for “Painted Houses”
Honorable Mention: Loretta Brown for “Is Justice Blind”
Click on an image in the gallery to view it larger or in a slideshow. Click on the artist’s name (if highlighted in red) to visit their website or to contact them by email.