All of the work on this website is made with pigmented encaustic and painted cardboard boxes. It is stable and archival. If you would like to learn more about my process and my intent please scroll to the bottom of this page.
All of this work is made with refined beeswax, encaustic medium and encaustic pigments. Each finished artwork is highly stable, with a melting point over 150°, and the pigments are archival. These works age much like oil paintings. Although constantly tweaking the recipe, I always aim towards both sustainability in my sourcing of materials and stability in the final piece.
Each of these pieces contains an unfolded and painted cardboard box. The painted cardboard is sandwiched within layers of pigmented waxes on a wood panel. These works may be considered a type of collage in that they combine disparate elements into one unified piece. In this sense, my collage agents are pigmented encaustic, refined beeswax, and painted cardboard boxes. I embrace this approach because I love experimenting with materials, gaining insight intuitively through the process. Technically, each of these works is poured and individually cast, each piece unique and un-reproducible.
As I have developed this idiosyncratic process over the years, I am now using more pigment, which creates deeper and more intense colors. In the past, I was very judicious with both color and size, with small and subtle results. This newer work is less tranquil and more disruptive, containing more irregularities and more complex surfaces. More like real life, less like an aesthetic ideal.
While my current process reflects my moving forward, embracing drama, bold colors and variable surfaces, I continue to explore the structure and form of packaging, and how it exemplifies consumer culture and the disposability of modern technology. The double entendre of working with “packaging” allows me to re-present, (or re-package) these scraps of consumerism, creating mementos and embalming them to function as time-capsule-like objects, possible future reminders of how casually careless we were with our only earth.
Some aspects of this process-based work that I revel in include the surprising geometry and compacted engineering one discovers upon dismantling a cardboard box; the architecture and nature of various types of corrugation, and how it responds to paint and hot wax; and the paradox of the raw edges, with their exposed layers, and the smooth impenetrable top surfaces. But mainly it’s these two things: the element of chance, never knowing what imagery and visual associations will appear through the layers as I work and as the wax cures; and what sort of visual and physical tension will arise as the geometries and surfaces are crafted into an organic whole.
My process has always involved trying to control that which cannot be controlled, to the best of my abilities. The larger works offer me even less control over the molten wax than smaller work does. Having to come to terms with this throws me just outside of my comfort zone, which, as David Bowie famously said, is the right place for an artist to be: ”Go a little bit out of your depth. And when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”