I grew up in the Midwest in a working class family where art was a foreign language. I was told: “you’re a Haas, you don’t do art”. While this level of encouragement led to some detours, ultimately I discovered myself as an artist in my forties. And, as if making up for lost time, there is almost no place I’d rather be than in my studio, painting.
Encaustics is an ancient painting technique consisting of beeswax, dammar varnish, and pigment. It incorporates heat, brushes, and a blow torch. Each layer of paint is fused with the blow torch and is what allows the medium to be worked and reworked, scraped off, or melted into something different and surprising. I find working with this medium wildly challenging and exciting and I continue to experiment with technique and subject matter.
The subjects vary with obsessed randomness. I fixate on something and paint it incessantly until a new subject draws my attention. Lately I’ve been obsessed with image transfers of urban birds and trees. I draw or photograph the birds, then transfer them into the clear wax medium. I am deeply grateful to the San Francisco birds who give me a chance to be still and observe as they flit about in their bird-like ways. I am reminded of the flourishing natural world that exists in my city - a balance that keeps me alive as an artist
Thank you for taking the time to have a look at my work.