My work expresses the dynamic qualities of nature, the power of crashing waves, splitting rocks, avalanches and the eruptions of the stars in the universe. Between the depth and luminosity of the cosmos (according to Hubble) and the brilliant colours of earth’s crystals and minerals I’m often astonished by the way one can be confused with the other. Thus I continue my life-long investigation into what lies beneath the surface. We Geordies tend to be curious — nosey even, so I’m driven to dig into the biological and spiritual similarities and differences that touch our existence and lead to the connection of all, And I’m having a great time doing it!
Encaustic is an ancient art form mixing molten beeswax with Dammar resin and pigment and which is then applied to wood, paper, canvas, or any rigid and porous surface. Modern painters of encaustic use electric or gas tools to keep the wax in a molten state while painting. A brush can be used to paint layer upon layer of wax to build up the picture but each layer must be heated so that it adheres to the layer beneath. The wax can also be poured onto the wood and moved into position by means of a heat gun or blowtorch. The whole process is dynamic and the possibilities are endless.
I choose to paint with Encaustic on board because it offers vibrant colours and infinite textures. It can have the shine of enamel or the structure of tree bark. Warm, it is a fluid medium yet it sets in a second so it is quite challenging to handle and because it is not an obedient medium and often shows character at inconvenient moments it’s important to know when to just let go and follow the wax’s own lead. Otherwise it’s like nailing jelly to the wall! However with infinite patience and a little bit of luck it can give amazing results.