encaustic

Layers of history from the '30s

"Eclipse'' (encaustic relief construction over wood and old letters), by Stephanie Roberts-Camello, in  her show "Encaustic Shrouds, Free Forms and Missing Pieces series,'' at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cotuit, Mass., through April 21 .

"Eclipse'' (encaustic relief construction over wood and old letters), by Stephanie Roberts-Camello, in  her show "Encaustic Shrouds, Free Forms and Missing Pieces series,'' at the Cotuit Center for the Arts, Cotuit, Mass., through April 21.



She explains that her work is primarily of encaustic paint {which uses bee's wax} with which "many layers are built up and fused to each other over text or old family letters from the '30's and '40's during the Depression and the Dust Bowl days of Texas. These letters represent a very difficult time in our country's history -- a time that had to be endured. This work is about confronting and overcoming personal obstacles.'' The aim is "to look at the past in a new light and be free of anything holding one back.''

Ms. Roberts-Camello is a member of the New England Wax consortium.

 

The wonders of wax

"Festival of Flags I'' (encaustic), by Jeanne Griffin, in the big group show "Beneath the Surface,'' at the Saco Museum, Saco, Maine, April 2-May 28. 

The show includes the work of some of New England's best painters working in encaustic, also known as  hot-wax painting. The process involves using a mix of heated beeswax and damar varnish to which colored pigments are added. The liquid or paste is then applied to a surface -- often prepared wood, although canvas and other materials are often used. The effects can be very beautiful --- and sometimes eerie.