Along the Hudson

I sometimes take an Amtrak train from Hudson to NYC and always try to find a window seat facing west. For two hours, the rapidly passing views of river, sky, and a thin slice of land that forms the seam between the two fill me with awe at being a temporal creature drifting along the edge between heaven and earth.

Those tensions and connections between earth and sky informed the progress of this painting which consists of a base layer of watercolor followed by layers of encaustics, oils with beeswax, and India inks, built up, scraped back, and built up again – cycles of creation and destruction, growth and decay, repeating themselves again and again, eternally.

Before the darkness

The edge of night, tense with the inevitability of change, yet ripe with possibility… Oils with beeswax over layer upon layer of encaustic, over watercolor.

Schoharie Reservoir

Inspired by an autumn view of the Schoharie Reservoir in Gilboa, New York.
Encaustics and oils with beeswax over watercolor.

I created this painting as a demonstration piece for a workshop I am offering called Wax Over Water: Creating luminous landscapes with encaustics, oils and beeswax.

The distant area that gives a sense of an island in the reservoir is done in watercolors over which I applied multiple layers of encaustic medium – unpigmented, molten beeswax with damar resin. Next, I used chromatic blacks to give a sense of the silhouetted trees. Next I scratched and incised into the wax with a sharp knife and razor blades. The final layers are done with translucent oils mixed with beeswax, resulting in a piece that glows and feels almost like a stained glass window.

#encaustic #reservoir #landscape #tiffany #stainedglass #watercolor #oilpainting #mixedmedia #silhouette

Painting with Fire

I’m very pleased to announce that I am among the faculty of 26 international encaustic artists who will be teaching virtual workshops over the course of the next year, starting on April 30, 2021.

The series is offered by through the Essence of Mulranny Art School in Ireland.

Participants purchase the whole course and can then access each of the sessions by all 26 artists at any time, even after the end of the year (once each session has been added to the site.) Workshops begin April 30, 2021.

Here is the link to the Painting with Fire Yearlong Course Info and Registration site.

I feel most honored to be in such amazing company!

I’ll be doing a multi-hour session on creating paintings that capture the Edge of Day, paintings that have a feeling of being lit from within.

Forest Light

Forest Light is a 10 x 10 inch encaustic and oils with beeswax over watercolor painting on a cradled panel.

I just completed this piece, which had reached several earlier points at which it seemed complete. While there were aspects of the earlier versions that I was quite pleased with, something kept calling me back. A kind of restless feeling of non-resolution, a sense that the work was not yet mysterious enough to me. So, I returned, I scraped back, I built up new layers of wax. I nearly submerged the work in darkness – layers of dark encaustic and dark oils with beeswax – and then began to excavate to allow the underlying lightness to shine through.

Some paintings just need time to ripen to the point at which they feel true. And they demand that you risk destroying work that may actually be good…

Announcing a Virtual Course

I’m very pleased to announce that I will be offering a virtual 2-part workshop, Wax Over Water: Creating luminous images with encaustics, oils and watercolors, via Zoom through the Museum of Encaustic Art/Encaustic Art Institute.

The February 6 and 13 workshop is just about full, so we decided to offer it again in March. A flyer with detailed info about the workshop and how to register is available on the EAI website at this link. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a message via my Contact page.

Winter Berries

Winter Berries is a painting that has evolved over the course of several years, in tandem with my evolution as a painter. While few berries remain visible in this piece, hints remain beneath the layers of encaustics and oils with beeswax.

I reached a turning point in this piece when I added celadon green to the sky, touches of cad yellow pale mixed with white along the horizon, and dashes of green gold to the pines at the edges between the forest and the sky. The moment that I knew this painting was done was rapturous. After working intensely, I paused. At long last, the painting had resolved.

Wetland at Dusk

I am humbled, thrilled, and still in a state of shock to learn that Wetland at Dusk has received this year’s  Faber Birren National Color Award for original and creative expression of color!

As with much of my recent work, I started this piece with watercolors on a gessoed panel and then built layers of encaustics and oils with beeswax. My original intent was to do a painting inspired by Yellowstone’s colorful geothermal Artists Paintpots.

While I was pleased with the early layers, they didn’t quite capture the Paintpots as I recalled them. The piece evolved in a very different direction, and I followed, willingly.

A Cloud of Seeds

I am mesmerized by the clouds of seeds that hover over fields in late summer as grasses and wildflowers go to seed while touches of summer greens remain visible.

This painting started with watercolors on a cradled, gessoed panel followed by multiple layers of encaustics. The cloudy sky area was heated to a smooth surface while other areas were more lightly fused allowing deep and rich textures. Using blades and knives, I cut and carved into the field and tree areas adding even more vegetative texture. Finally, I applied transparent oils mixed with R & F Paints’ Blending Medium (beeswax with linseed oil) and lightly fused to the encaustic surface.


Encaustics and oils with beeswax over watercolor

Unexpected things happen when you are painting.

I anticipated a cooler tone when I picked up an oil pigment stick and ran it across the lower left hand corner, but there were surprising (even alarming) traces of Indian Yellow and Green Gold.

I stood back as the music of this piece at once resolved on a high note.