I was commissioned to paint a piece for my sister and brother-in-law for the most perfect place in their new home, right over the dining room table. In our family, the dining room table has always been an important gathering place full of tradition, love, togetherness, and delicious food. When talking to them about what they wanted the piece to reflect, it was very apparent how it revolved around family tradition.
Our annual vacation to Door County, Wisconsin has been a family tradition since we were children. One of our favorite spots in Door County is overlooking Eagle Harbor in Ephraim across from Wilson's Ice Cream. We have spent many beautiful summer evenings watching the sunset while eating Mackinaw Island Fudge and Sneakers ice cream.
After indulging in all that ice cream, we balance it out with a hike or bike ride in Peninsula State Park. On one of our hikes this summer I took pictures of the shoreline and picked up fallen items on the trail. I found scrap pieces of bark from tall birch trees to leverage within my painting for added texture. My nephews helped me find some special items and I made sure to incorporate them in. The birch was easy to layer under the layers of wax (seen above and below) which I placed over an image transfer of the Peninsula State Park tree line. If you look close you can even see the Eagle Tower (below)!
They also wanted to include earthy, blue and green colors, which happens to be my favorite! I love painting with blue and shaping the texture of water to resemble waves. There are at least 20-30 layers of wax and I am very pleased with the result. It was incredibly meaningful for me to create and I hope it's something they cherish for a long time!
There is one more exciting part of this project that I would like to share. I filmed the entire process from start to finish using my iPhone and a tripod. My goal is to demonstrate how I paint with encaustic — melted beeswax, pigment, oil, found objects and image transfers — because it's such a unique medium that many people have not heard of. I put together a short trailer (see more on my video page) and a full length movie (below) filmed over several weeks. Enjoy!