Culture Herd We Hunt – You Gather

Drowning in a Sea of Wax

Encaustic is melting all over Seattle.  It has been forming pools in nearly every art gallery recently and spreading.  Medias like that have a way of infiltrating ever corner of this city's art scene: it seems that if one artist does it, someone else has to 'one up' them until it is in everyone's repertoire.

But artists, please heed my warning.

Bad encaustic is certainly the majority out in the scene.  A friend once said that he thought most encaustic was the result of an artist trying to make a piece they fucked up somewhat acceptable, it forms a mask over a pile of shit.  I would absolutely agree.  Generally it is messy, unintentional (not in a good way), and trying too hard all at the same time.  It should never be used as decoupage.  This media can be an amazing addition to many forms of visual art, but not everyone can be good at everything.

And to all you artists that think you are good at encaustic:  bad news, you very certainly aren't.


However,  I have two artists to commend on their work with encaustic in two very different ways.

When standing in front of the paintings of Alicia Tormey I am brought to another world.   The large scale, vibrant colors, and complete control over such a difficult media combine to make her pieces absolutely unforgettable.  She builds depth with intention.  They are just lovely.


The newspaper based creations of Kate Hunt are a refreshing change to what I consider to be the 'standard'  Seattle sculpture scene (I don't necessarily know what that is exactly… but it just feels different).  The quality that comes from the unevenly covered stacks is fabulous - visual and actual texture combined.


If you think that you are worthy to show encaustic in Seattle, go and take in these artists - you probably don't stand a chance.  Way to go ladies.  Your work makes everyone else's look like an elementary school experiment.


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