Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Messy, Alchemical Art

Sugar Bowl, by Adele Shaw
via Inclusions Gallery

I met Adele Shaw at a museum I visited in San Francisco years ago. I remember thinking how amazing it was to talk to an artist about her work and how important it was to not say anything stupid. I remember her smiling.

At the time, she was working on a project called "oology." Luckily I've saved my postcard, because I can't find images online anywhere. I thought it was beautiful work; I still love how embodied and playful it is, and how delicate it is, too.

Scanned postcard from Adele Shaw's "oology" exhibit

Now it seems she works mainly on canvas, but still with beeswax. In her own words:

"My painting is a influenced by the power of nature and inspired by the chaos of people’s chronic search for order, space, and story. 

I paint first with water colors, then with encaustic paint, layers of hot beeswax, pigment and resin. I coerce it onto paintings as a hot, drippy, excitable mess. . . . 

Encaustic painting is an alchemical process of extreme versatility. It is both additive and subtractive. It can be painted, sculpted, or moulded. Between the layers the process is quite unpredictable."

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