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Working Processes

Encaustic Paintings: Color and surface are important components of my work. After decades of experimenting with oils, I was introduced in the late 1990’s to encaustic painting and now almost exclusively paint and print using wax as my medium. Working with this material is very seductive, bringing together two of my loves: labor-intensive layering, scraping and fusing that in turn generate the imagery and the concept of the work. Each painting is made of multiple translucent layers of melted pigmented wax that often encase collage materials, stenciled and masked images, oil pastels, graphite, charcoal, oil paint and ink. As each layer gets added, it is fused to the previous one by means of a heat source. Depending on the surface desired, I use a heat gun, an electric tacking iron or a torch to produce the results. As a way to finish each piece, I often incise, scrape and rub the surface and then apply oil paint to the crevasses, highlighting the new textures.

Encaustic Monotypes: The encaustic monotype process equally engages me and offers new challenges and choices. It combines the painting medium of encaustic with the experimental one-of-a-kind printmaking process known as the monotype. Using crayons made out of encaustic medium and pigment, I draw on a heated metal plate and manipulate the melting wax with brushes, rags, and a variety of other tools to create the imagery. To control the fluidity of the wax, I increase or decrease the temperature of the plate and often also use stamps, masks, stencils and paper cutouts to create additional effects. To print the image, I place a piece of absorbent paper over it and rub from the back with a barren, transferring what was on the plate to the paper. A final print may have several layers of images each printed at a different time. The challenge is to create printed images without overly saturating the paper and loosing the print quality of the work.

Mixed Media Prints: Throughout my career, I have used printmaking to generate many ideas that are then applied to my paintings. I am still very involved in this medium partly because of the extraordinary visual and tactile qualities produced by the press, and the inductive creative rhythm of the process. My approach is constantly experimental, combining printmaking processes and using multiple materials and techniques. Most of the works combine relief and acid free intaglio techniques and are printed from multiple plates using varied ink viscosities. Others incorporate an etched, drypoint or collagraph matrix. Most images are reworked with thin layers of acrylic paint, gouache, watercolor and/or color pencils.