(Encaustic Paintings and More)


Sunrise Sanibel


Sue Kirchner's encaustic paintings and mono-prints succeed as uncommon, original works of art, illuminating the banal (e.g. a driveway drain cover or lichen stained wall) as they capture the sublime (i.e."Sanibel Sunrise", pictured above).   


With only three days left, Sue Kirchner's work already has introduced scores of Clevelanders to the ancient art of encaustic painting. This exhibit has been a rare opportunity to view a highly accomplished contemporary artist painting diverse works in an encaustic medium.  Take the time to stop at the gallery to see this marvelous show and acquire an original and truly enduring piece of art.  


Encaustic painting is a technique that dates to 2,500 BC when Greek boats were sealed from the weather with bee's wax and later adorned with vibrant colors. Despite it's slow, highly labor intensive nature, encaustic painting was adopted by great artists of the time to archive brilliant colors which have endured the millenia.

Perhaps the most well known surviving encaustics are the famous "Fayum Mummy Portraits" dating to the 1st century BCE and exhibited by the world's great museums (i.e. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Getty, the British Museum, the Louvre).   Artists like Jasper Johns, Diego Rivera, Robert Rauschenberg and others reinvigorated the technique in the 20th century and Sue Kirchner pioneers new, progressive creations now.

"I know nature isn't always kind and things don't always run smoothly.  But there is so much beauty all around us, even in things that aren't necessarily "perfect".  Those walls I saw in Hanoi had been overused and neglected, with posters stuck on them, then torn off and weathered.  Mold was growing on them with the dampness.  Yet they had beautiful colors and patterns and they had stories to tell from all the time they had stood there.  The drain in our driveway is old and cracked.  It's faded from years of sitting in the sun.  Every time we get a big rain it gets backed up, unable to handle all the water going through it.  It has been here through the lives of many families.  It has been run over by numerous cars and trucks.  Yet its colors are beautiful and it's still full of all those little round circles that reflect the sun. Likewise, working with beeswax is an ancient process and its smell and feel are natural and earthy. There is a permanence to it that makes a finished piece seem as though it  has already been around for a long time and that nothing is likely to happen to it any time soon.  It will age and it may get some nicks and cracks but over time that will only make it more beautiful.  The term wabi sabi comes to mind ... the beauty that is around us all the time, in places where we don't often look to see it."  

Sue Kirchner, May, 2015. 

Hanoi Wall Series #3  (14" x 14")
The term encaustic technique derives from the Greek word enkaustikos which translates to "to heat" or "to burn". Encaustic technique is an ancient painting style that was first practiced in the first to third centuries.  The ancient Greeks often used this technique for mural painting.

Contemporary encaustic paint is a combination of beeswax, dakar resin and pigment. The paint is melted on a warm palette and applied to a warm surface.  Each layer is fused to the layer before it using a heat gun or torch or tacking iron.  Encaustic paint cools in minutes, which means additional layers can be added almost immediately.  A variety of tools and techniques can be applied to the surface to shape, texturize or combine colors through scratching, scaling and or ironing.


Artworks are considered digital painting when created in similar fashion to non-digital paintings but using software on a computer platform and digitally outputting the resulting image as painted on canvas or paper. 

I create most of my digital artwork on my iPad, using several apps for painting and drawing interchangeably.  This is my "travel" studio and I often incorporate photographs that I take along the way.  I think of it as my "staying sane on the plane" work.

Monoprinting is a form of printmaking that has images or lines that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking where there are multiple originals.  Also known as the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques, a monoprint is essentially a printed painting.  The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike; although images can be similar, editioning is not possible.
Still Point Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio

Night at Still Point

Events Will be Posted in Advance
Regular Hours: Tuesday -Saturday: 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.  
By Chance: Sundays and Mondays

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