Leslie Graham: Twelve Days of Winter
Leslie Graham’s Twelve Days of Winter will be exhibited at Mulberry Art Studios throughout the month of December in the Louise Gallery. The exhibit opens with a First Friday Reception on December 7th from 5pm until 9pm, and will also be available during regular gallery hours on weekdays from 10am until 4pm.
Observing the details of shape and color, light and mood, and the subtle movement of the world inspires and defines the work that compels me. From this work, a visual record of the places I have been and the emotions they evoke is created. This collection of more than 20 paintings is a portrait of the winter of 2012. There are surprises - some of those winter days seemed disguised as days of late autumn and early spring.
My study of art was in the classic atelier tradition under the mentorship of a series of artists, a summer in the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts and study at Millersville State College. My insatiable curiosity to find a way to marry my love of making marks with the stories color tell eventually led me to the medium known as encaustic, and it has felt like a homecoming from the first experimentation.
Each encaustic painting is executed on cradled hardwood panels, a painting support popular since the age of the Egyptians. Experimentation with beeswax, tree resin and museum quality artist pigments (Robert Gamblin Dry Pigments) resulted in my own formula that allows vibrant and true colors while exploiting the nature of the pigment – whether opaque or translucent or somewhere in between. My paint is applied molten, flowing like water onto the 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. The sensual painting experience lives on in the finished work with a soft scent of beeswax.