Photography, Mixed Media, Encaustic Wax
I have been a fine art photographer for over 40 years. I have always focused on alternative photographic methods. Since approximately 1980, I toned and hand-colored my photographs to give them a vintage and Victorian look. I have been coloring my photographs with encaustic wax over the last 5 years. This is a mixture of bees wax, resin and pigment that is heated to a molten state.
I am drawn to the way encaustic creates an arena in which I can mold and minipulate the initial image. I paint the wax onto the photograph while layering and fusing the wax with a heat gun. This layering becomes an element in itself, allowing me to add or subtract light and color. I am fascinated by starting the work in two-dimentions and moving into a third dimension utilizing a process of adding wax, fusing, scraping and incising the medium, always in conversation with the original photograph. This elastic and moveable medium will be formed and reformed until it feels right. Encaustic lends itself to experimentation and mixed media works. I often embed, transfer or collage other materials into the wax. The unique qualities of this medium are usually lost in reproduction. I think that when the viewer observes my work in vivo, a dialogue takes place between the observer and the image. This dialogue is sparked by the image’s altered quality and the viewer’s questions about meaning, intent or process.