Leslie Graham: Atmosphere
Atmosphere, a collection of encaustic works by artist Leslie Graham, will be exhibited throughout the month of May in the Louise Gallery at Mulberry Art Studios. The public is invited to meet the artist at a First Friday Opening Reception on May 7th from 5pm until 8pm. In addition, a Sunday Reception will be held from 1pm until 4pm on May 9th.
Leslie speaks about creating art and her exhibit:
I have lived a lifetime of making art. My first memory as a four year old is coloring rocks and carefully arranging them along our driveway. While I was melting crayons on hot rocks, I was unknowingly exploring a distant relative to the archival paint technique known as encaustic. My rediscovery of this medium, known for its longevity and brilliance and surviving from ancient Egypt and Rome, later in my career was fortuitous. It became the perfect vehicle to marry my need to make sculptural marks with my exploration of color. I indulged myself in a summer of experimentation with beeswax, tree resin and museum quality artist pigments. By fall, I had created a formula that allowed vibrant and true colors, exploiting the nature of the pigment – whether opaque or translucent or somewhere in between. All of the works in this show are created with encaustic paint that I manufacture. My paint is applied molten, flowing like water onto cradled hardwood panels. As it cools, the paint solidifies and becomes sculptural, accepting carving and tool marks. At any point I can reapply heat to the painting and each time, the paint returns to its molten state. This allows the cooling and carving process to be repeated as many times as the work demands. When I decide I have reached a good place to call the work complete I buff the painting, now a cool solid shell bonded to a wood panel, to a finish ranging from a soft sheen to a high gloss.
Described as emotional landscapes, the panels are records of memories. Some are recollections of the appearance of places I have been and others record visually the impact those places had on me spiritually and emotionally. I try to evoke an emotional response from my viewer than reconnects them to a place within their own memory. In that evocation, a connection can be made between people through art. From that connection a conversation with self and others may begin, with healing and joy springing up in unexpected ways.