Through my encaustic paintings I observe and honor this earth, the land and waters and sky. These paintings incorporate the rhythms of nature in repeated patterns to create an experience of healing and meditation. Heat and light fuse the beeswax, pigment and graphite, opening the process to new discoveries.
Today, a woman artist in 2015, my painting reflects my passion, my decision to make my art. The many layers of encaustic both cover and reveal earlier layers, as the person I am now is made up of all my history: the many roles as daughter, wife and mother, farm wife, student, teacher, therapist. Like many women of my generation I have struggled with my desire to make art when I had internalized so many messages questioning its value. Art making became a place to explore, to discover possibilites--the doors I can open, what I have to say.
My earlier paintings and fiber sculpture reflected human need and loss. In 1991 as I began to work with encaustic—hot beeswax and pigment—I was immersed in the sensory world of nature: ginko leaves and the colors, smells, textures and rhythms of the natural world we live in. Painting the rhythms of nature, the beauty and healing in our earth, my life was sustained and healed.
In the losses of 2001, I saw how our world has been formed and formed again, what is destroyed and what remains. We have become separated from our connection with nature and, in doing so, have lost a larger sense of our place and meaning. Painting layers of pigmented beeswax on panel, I engrave following the rhythms and paths of the wax. I discover in my mark-making the landscape implicit in the hollows and protrusions of the wax surface. Graphite fills these lines, and, wiping it off, I see the record of my journey.
I find myself thinking of the wanderer, the explorer who pits her strength against the climb, not clear if she goes from or toward 'home'. Only in challenging the difficulties and continuing do we learn what sustains and what nourishes us, our deep connection to nature.