Notes About My Work
After over 35 years in New York City as a professional photographer I returned to painting, my true love. Don’t get me wrong; I love taking pictures. It’s just that sometimes the tactile elements of paint are a more suitable form of expression for me. More times than not, my photography creeps into my paintings. It seems that I am not able to satisfy one form of expression over another. So I paint, and I photograph.
I'd like to share with you the types of mediums and materials I use, and several technical aspects of how I produce my work.
Encaustic: For those unfamiliar with encaustic, I would begin by noting that this is an ancient technique. The Greeks used it. Roman burial caskets have portraits painted in encaustic. So what is it? Encaustic paint is a combination of a wax that is melted and a pigment. The wax can be beeswax, and damar resin. The artist has many choices of media. I would refer you to Google to see what combination would work best for you. This wax-and-pigment mixture, plus a color additive, is usually heated on a hot plate until it is liquified enough to manipulate. The artist then paints the mixture using brushes, palette knives, and other tools. As encaustic cools, it becomes less pliable, which in turn makes manipulation of the pigment more difficult. This means is that working with encaustic must be done with skill and quickness.
My advice for would-be encaustic artists is to construct, or have someone else construct, a heated box with light bulbs on the inside of the box and a metal sheet top. When the light bulbs are turned on, the heat they create helps retain the heat on the metal surface. The heat keeps the wax at the right consistency for long periods of time. Fortunately, encaustic hot boxes are available commercially. This means the artist will need some tools to move the medium.
One more piece of advice: Encaustic fumes are highly toxic. Make sure that wherever you work has proper ventilation.
Encaustic Mono-Prints: This is a process of applying melted wax onto the surface of a heated plate. The artist paints using the liquid wax on the heated plate, and then places a piece of paper over the surface of the heated plate. The wax is then transferred to the paper to make an impression. The result is a unique print ("mono-print"), meaning the next impression will be different from the first impression. Mono-printing uses a lot of wax/pigment, which can be cost-prohibitive on larger pieces.
Acrylic: I love acrylic paint. As a student at Cooper Union we all painted with oils. The is no question about its flexibility and covering power, but it is such a mess to use. That's the bad news. The good news, however, is that acrylic paint is water soluble and now has a full range of colors and media for any painter. Acrylic has the added benefit of being less expensive to buy, an important consideration for any artist!
I really like the way acrylic paint is ready to use in straight painting or in collages. It can dry quickly or slowly. I sometimes use acrylic paint solely as a glue for hard surfaces. I’m always trying new ways to incorporate other materials (paper, found items, etc.) into my acrylic work.
Digital Photographic Prints: I use an Epson 2000 wide-format printer and archival inks to make my digital photographic prints. This Epson model prints sizes up to 13" x 19". These are the prints I offer for sale. I can be print multiples copies, or different sizes, upon request. All the photographs you see on my website were originally captured as digital images by either a Leica Type 114 or a Lumix FZ230.