Statement for Ninety Six Iterations

An interest in patterns and color (whether working with arts and crafts as a youth or admiring the work of the artists of the Pattern and Decoration movement of the late ‘70s) captivates me. This series (begun in early 2002) is about a steady commitment to one idea and finding what emerges as a result.

I paint with encaustic (beeswax, damar resin and pigment). Encaustic is very different from oils or other painting media – it must be molten before working and “freezes” quickly from paint pot to painting surface. I work on Nepalese Lokta paper or Japanese rice paper that has been mounted on a panel support. The process also includes the use of a heat gun, small iron, and heated pen so as to remove and add texture to the painting. As a new layer is added, the application of heat (often to the point of melting) ensures that each layer is adhered to the one below.

Patterns, as our senses perceive them, seem to be largely about structure and control. Routine, orderliness and repetition are but a few of the words that come to mind as I think about my approach to the world. Encaustic is anything but orderly and controlled – it stiffens quickly, and when heated and fluid, it runs and drips. A question of patience (with color and repetition) comes into the conversation and can disrupt the routine. The result being each element of the pattern becomes its own iteration.