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Habitat series (HS)
The luscious complexities of ecosystems
The majority of my paintings are inspired by my surrounding ecosystems. A 2018 month long trip and voyage to the southern hemisphere inspired PATAGONIA REDUX who’s fjords, mountain range and glaciers forged a muted palette, while ANTARCTICA REDUX”S glistening landscape with shades of whites, blues, purples, grays, and the rocky beaches of the penguin colonies and boat wreckage with lichen attached in all shades greens.
I spend many weekends in the Appalachian mountain range of Linville NC USA, where Grandfather Mountain rises 5,946 feet above sea level, which is about 4000 feet higher than where my studio is in Asheville NC. Because of this considerable elevation, the mountain boasts sixteen ecological communities. The following HABITAT SERIES titles infer their inspiration: POLLINATION is my interpretation of magnified particulates of the powdered-pollen-veil on all surfaces as I traverse the different elevations. FORMATIONS relate to the distinct characteristics of the rock facades as I travel the Blue Ridge Parkway; sights like Table Rock, Mount Mitchell, and later Grandfather Mountain. CAVERNOUS & RARE EARTH MINERALS represents the splendor of what lies beneath in the wonders of the subterranean caverns of Linville Falls and the dripping minerals on the rock surface. TOPOGRAPHIA and SCAPES explore the glorious seasonal shifts from emerging spring foliage, summers dense lushness, autumn’s rustic foliage as it surrenders and reveals exquisite topography, and winters crispness and snowfall that blankets and brightens the grayed scenery. GEODE-NEBULA suggests the patterning of sliced crystals and what I see as celestial mimicking. FRESHWATER-LICHEN AND DIVE-IN portray the watersheds, ponds and ecological communities of Linville Gorge, which are the Catawba-Wateree River basin and the watershed around it. The water system stretches approximately 5,000 miles and provides some of the best drinking water on the east coast and recreation to roughly two million people and two states.
DISTILLATION SERIES (DS)
The sole use of alcohol ink
Distillation series (DS) unveiled itself for a 2016 solo show and debuted the sole use of alcohol ink on aluminum panels instead of painting alcohol ink on encaustic paintings on wood panels. I extracted and refined elements from my ten years of encaustic painting, which further propelled them into glorious color fields, creating edges full of interest and depth, and yet flattening the surface compared to my encaustic painting. Also, it demonstrated my drive to originate with mediums and substrates.
The fusion of encaustic and alcohol ink
I was able to exploit the practice of using a blowtorch for over ten years with my encaustic painting to full benefit. As I transitioned to using alcohol ink, the use of a blowtorch to fuse and manipulated my encaustic paint has the same feel as using compressed air to blend and maneuvers my alcohol ink into my signature curvilinear patterning. I used encaustic; beeswax, tree resin and pigment paint medium, as a gesso of sorts; a primer for the wood to become a non-porous surface and to add texture for the alcohol ink, which I applied over the encaustic paint.
ENCAUSTIC PAINTINGS (E)
selected Sold works from 2006-2016
My use of painting with encaustic; a medium made up of beeswax, tree resin, and pigment, which needs to be heated to work with it took over my studio for ten years before I transitioned to using alcohol ink. I came to encaustic after experimenting with waxes as a post-fired medium on my clay sculptures in 2005-6. In 2006, I began painting with encaustic, employing a multitude of electric skillets to melt and blend the medium into a fluid state and blowtorch to fuse between each layer while manipulating with sculpting tools. The tactile luscious surface quality of the medium took over my studio for the following ten years before I transitioned to using alcohol ink.