encaustic, oil, & mixed media paintings


who's the artist?

When people come into my studio and look around, they usually ask, “Are you the artist?”  So I say yes, but sometimes add, “But it seems like the work in the room could easily represent a few different people, don’t you think?”

That’s because I am all over the place … often experimenting, trying out different approaches and materials, skipping around between florals and forests, abstracts and mixed media. I find that if I repeat myself too often, or go back to something that was successful in search of more success, it doesn’t feel fresh anymore.  And newness/spontaneity/the unexpected is what I want to catch; some accidental beauty.

My most successful pieces (according to myself ; ) are the ones that just happened; typically from trying something new and letting it go where it felt like; unplanned, unrehearsed. When I have tried a few more paintings using a “successful” technique, they are never as good as that first one. Plain and simple.  And maybe the public can’t even tell which was the “original” versus the “copies,” but I always can.  That makes most of my attempts at “series” short-lived.  Which means if I want to feel satisfied, I have to come up with new approaches.  A lot. 

But that’s ok because I am self-taught and playing around is how I learn.  And in a lot of ways I love how I don’t know some of the rules, so I must do a lot of breaking them… or at least ignoring them.  And that can lead to something fresh.

As a result of all this, my pieces tend to look very different.  In the past week, for example, I worked on (1) an “imagined” birch tree painting, (2) a plein air “impression,” (3) a pair of mixed media collaged abstracts, (4) an encaustic based off a gorgeous photo I took, (5) an oil painting from the paint leftover on my palette, (6) a “traditional” encaustic landscape, and (7) an experiment with ink and encaustic.  And they all look completely different.

But I love that.

(although, am I now seeing a common thread of pink?!?)

So let the experiments continue!  I’m even working on a textile piece right now which involves a skill I totally stink at …. sewing.  But maybe that will make it even better than if I was a pro….because I won’t be following any rules.


Comments welcome …. do you think these look like they are all from the same artist??