For many years I have experimented with the media of paint and sculpture in search
of a technique and style that fulfils my creative needs. This may well be an ongoing
quest. Presently the quest has brought me to a technique which could be described
as encaustic and a style which is semi-abstract.
The art of encaustic painting using hot coloured waxes was developed some five thousand
years ago and many of the techniques had fallen into disuse. However, it has been
revived as a painting medium in recent times and I wish to continue this, develop
it and help incorporate it into contemporary art. I manipulate the hot wax in a similar
way to that in which a sculptor might shape clay. Therefore, Ithink of this as ‘sculptural
Personal responses to life experiences and aspects of my surroundings of particular
interest have helped me develop this distinctive way of painting. Initially, my source
material came from my background in life science, particularly fossil shapes, but
now I am mainly influenced by the rural surroundings in which I live. Land and water
formations, the vegetation and skies provide the patterns which I use in my paintings.
The nature of the wax can help to capture the immediate essence of an idea.
I like to explore the properties of the wax itself as a painting medium: different
effects can be produced by varying the temperature and pressure. The increases in
temperature produce not just physical, but chemical effects on the wax. Such changes
in its properties produce different layering and translucency allowing for subtle
changes in colour and form producing depth and stratification, which give a feeling
of shapes within shapes and colours within colours. It also helps to enhance fluidity
of organic forms: each time a work is viewed the eye may discern nuances of line,
tone and intensity, which create virtual sculptural forms.
Whilst the colours may be vibrant, limiting the palette may enhance the apparent
sculptural nature of the work and I think it gives an extra dimension to the painting.
I find this an exciting, experimental and creative medium in which the outcome may
be a revelation. Extra details are painted on the wax with acrylics or ink. By applying
these in a particular way, they work well together producing distinctive mixed media
The work is painted on box canvas, board or card. The latter are mounted and framed
behind glass. All finished work is fixed with a non-yellowing acrylic varnish to
provide permanency. Work is displayed in galleries around the region and at my studio,
which is open by appointment. Commissions are welcome.