Five northwest encaustic artists to watch in 2014

December 30, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Navigate Side Wall_sqNavigate Side Wall_sqTitle wall of the January 2014 encaustic exhibition "Navigate" at the EDGE Corridor Gallery in Seattle's Pioneer Square. Encaustic painting has experienced a resurgence in the past ten years and it sometimes seems like everyone is using the medium. For those who have heard of encaustic, but aren't quite sure what it actually is, rest assured, it isn't caustic and it won't eat the paint off your walls. 'Encaustic' is from the Greek 'enkaustikos' meaning 'to burn in'. The medium is a formulation of beeswax and tree resin, heated to molten state and applied to the painting surface (usually something rigid like wood, but also occasionally paper or other material).

Catalog WallCatalog WallNavigate Exhibition foyer There are a number of wonderful artists who have become well known for their work in the medium, and many others who are striving to be recognized. I'd like to introduce you to the work of four of my colleagues. Together, we are opening an exhibit this week in Seattle's Pioneer Square to demonstrate our work, as curated by another well-known artist who works in encaustic, Deborah Kapoor.

So first, you're invited to come see the show: Navigate opens at the EDGE Corridor Gallery on Thursday January 2 during the First Thursday Artwalk from 5-8pm. There is free parking available at specific garages, with a coupon, so check the First Thursday website for details (the Frye Garage is the one closest to the Corridor Gallery). Navigate is up through February 2, and there will be a special by-invitation-only collectors' reception on January 15 from 4-8pm, so contact me for your invitation if you wish to attend that event. ALSO, there is a catalog available for this show: you can get a free download, or purchase a copy online for $10 plus shipping. Visit this link for your copy!

OK, now for the five northwest encaustic artists to keep an eye on - BTW, each artist is a graduate of the Artist Trust EDGE Professional Development Program:

Joy Hagen - The influence of Joy's forester father, art teacher mother and lumber salesman husband are amply evident in this Kirkland artist's work. Tree forms, as well as odd scraps of construction materials are present in many of her pieces. They are oddly familiar and thought-provoking.

Kim Kopp - Walking as a creative meditation is a primary influence in Kim's current encaustic work. While she finds abstract inspiration in many places in and around her Port Townsend home, these pieces which have their genesis in photographs of icy sidewalks and trails, have a mystical and organic quality unlike other of her work.

Kevin Piepel - Listening within is the source of Kevin's painting style. A native of Eastern Washington and now a resident of Seattle, Kevin's deep philosophical beliefs are expertly expressed in these colorful torch-painted pieces. Love and respect for nature is evident in the organic edges and amoebic forms that are also characteristic of his work.

Holly Ballard Martz - Holly's current work is informed by her Bremerton family's journey through the trials of mental illness. Each piece in the series is a dialogue on a particular experience, and her clever use of mixed media provides a whimsical balance between darkness and light.

Kim Tinuviel - Celestial Visions is a series of 'imagined galaxies', channeled during an intense exploration with hot wax and roofing tar. The encaustic torch catalyzes the materials to interact in seemingly random patterns, while mixed media and pigment provide evidence of life. In contrast to some of the other artists' work, these pieces seem to look outside of one's own world rather than within. My home and studio are on Whidbey Island.

If you'd like to read more about these amazing artists, read the essays by Deborah Kapoor, Lisa Pollman and Stephany E. Rimland in the Navigate exhibition catalog, or visit the artists' websites. Contact each artist directly for additional information or studio visits.


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