Saturday, October 29, 2011

Encaustic art is everywhere

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed to You

With my second child arriving in about five weeks, I am trying to get into the studio to work on my art every chance I can get, which lately, amounts to about one full day each week. This week I finished work on two new pieces of encaustic collage. The piece above is titled, "You Are A Baby" and is a combination of a page from a vintage Dick and Jane book, part of an old sewing pattern, a small vintage color chart for knitting, a photocopy of some "household objects" and a bird clipped from a book of ornithology. All of these elements are collaged with encaustic medium on a wooden panel. All of the items are found, upcycled, recycled, reclaimed.

My work has definitely changed in the past two years since becoming a mother for the first time, and I find myself drawn to images and representations of childhood and thinking about my children (even the one not yet born) as I make my work. This continues the autobiographical vein in which I have been making work for the past several decades, but the focus has shifted away from me and my past to my family and imaginings of the future. It's been funny for me to make these realizations as I find myself drawn to different collage elements. The piece above is titled, "He Ran" and is a collage of a part of a vintage sewing pattern, a paper doll, part of a page from a dilapidated children's book, a vintage found photograph, and a clipping from a 1960's knitting magazine. Like the image at the top, this one also utilizes encaustic medium along with all found, upcycled, recycled, reclaimed paper materials.

Encaustic artwork is having a big explosion in the New England art scene recently with encaustic theme exhibitions popping up every couple of months, and more and more fine artists are experimenting with the luscious and enticing medium of encaustic. To see some of what is going on in the world of encaustic art be sure to checkout the upcoming National Juried Exhibition, Wax-Inc. at the South Shore Arts Center in the Bancroft Gallery, on view November 4 through December 21.

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