GretchenWachs.com

encaustics

encaustics

The encaustic paintings of Santa Fe artists, Gretchen Wachs

encaustics

Encaustic work by Gretchen Wachs


I am intrigued by the medium of encaustic, finding in the wax a craft that satisfies my desire for a surface that is plastic and painterly, receptive and reflective. Deep in process; the scent of the hot beeswax and flame of the torch, the melting and fusing of the wax captivate my senses, drawing me in like a bee to honey. There is an alchemy to it, a quality of magic, a sense of something ancient and poetic. This medium brings together aspects of painting, drawing, engraving and collage as well fragments of my prints. The surface of Venetian plaster is a perfect ground on which to draw, and I begin there, next covering the surface with a medium of wax and resin, followed by brushing hot pigment, fusing with a torch, scraping, carving, more color, some oil stick, collage fragments, and in between more layers of wax to create depth and luminosity. Begging to be touched (if not eaten), encaustic has an intimacy about it, a quiet aromatic presence like truffles in a sweet shop.

 

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