2014 Exhibition Schedule
July 25th - Ellen Koment and Mary Long
SANTA FE, NM. Luminous colors, elusive textures and evocative depths are the stuff of encaustic. “It’s a medium that has a rich history,” says Karan Ruhlen. “In this two-person exhibition, encaustic is a riveting witness to the presence of space, light, and mystery.” These artists interpret the medium in their own unique way.
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. The shipwrights of ancient Greece used wax to protect the wood from water and the elements. They also figured out that pigments and binders could be added to the wax to create “paint.” The earliest and best-known examples of encaustic art are the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt (c. 100-300).
Encaustic technique disappeared and reappeared a few times in history until it resurfaced in the works of Jasper Johns and Diego Revera. Today, there’s a movement in the medium as a creative, textural, non-toxic alternative to traditional painting. Contemporary encaustic paint is a combination of beeswax, damar resin and pigment. “The results are luscious surfaces that combine transparency and opacity in layers that encourage exploration and discovery,” Ruhlen enthuses.
Santa Fe artist Ellen Koment has worked with the encaustic technique for over Twenty years. “As a medium encaustic offers a vast array of possibilities and enables the artists to tap into their innermost resources and give voice to their spirit. Working with encaustic requires an enhanced awareness of process and the ability to be at one with its immediacy, so that it’s a genuine partnership between the artist and the work. I want to be in control and simultaneously, relinquish that control to the process,” says Koment. She is attracted to the inherent beauty of the encaustic wax process. She uses thin transparent layers to reveal the many layers beneath. Layers of color, line, wax, and the unexpected as well as anticipated ways that they combine. The result is a rich compilation revealed on the surface.
Mary Long was born in Ohio and has lived in Tennessee since the mid-1990s. Following studies in graphic design and painting, she began working in encaustic in 2001. “I grew up near Canton, where there is a crazy-quilt patchwork of rural farms and factories. It’s a juxtaposition of architectural grayness against expanses of happy saturated colors that inspires my work to this day,” she says. Long often begins her paintings with marks drawn in oil stick, over which she applies 12 to 20 layers of wax combined with oil paints. “I scrape down in between the applications, revealing some of the marks, while leaving others faded or hidden in little worlds that have an element of history to them. In the latest work , Location Series I am decompressing , exploring more of the spaces in between. They don't simply represent topographical maps to me but also time and space, the painting acts as a 'slice' or a 'snapshot' of something continuous,” says Long.
August 8th - Jinni Thomas and Pauline Ziegen
SANTA FE, NM. “The experience of ‘beauty’ often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” original author unknown. Beauty is everywhere and obsesses everyone (whatever your idea of beauty happens to be). The exhibition “Quiet Beauty” showcased the work of two accomplished New Mexico artists whose work explores the beauty in art and nature. It looks at an aesthetic development, exploring how the subtle tones and rich surfaces inform each artist’s approach to painting.
In Jinni Thomas’ work she says, " The emotion from that visual experience, that awe moment,
Pauline Ziegen’s earliest landscape paintings were painted outdoors in Kansas where vast stretches of prairie lead to distant horizons. Representing the unique dichotomy of where the earth seems to meet the sky or the apparent boundary between earth and sky, the horizon is, she says, “an ever-shifting location that you can never reach, yet it is always compelling.”
This exhibition is an opportunity to survey two artist’s work whose combined residency in New Mexico spans seventy years. They embrace beauty with sensibility and sophistication.
September 26th - Daniel Phill
September 24 through 28 Wine and Chile week
October 17th - Martha Mans, Kurt Meer, Stephen Pentak
October 18th - Canyon Road Paint Out