In reflection of “how did I get here?” It is a story I am asked all the time, and each time I answer it, I add or leave off tidbits of information depending on who asked, but mainly because it is an ordinary story and I’m not the type of person to embellish to make something more than it is.
I could start with the personal awareness that threads weave their way into my life and I always seem to have this understanding of which ones will keep going and which ones will circle back.
When it comes to working with wax though, I feel as if it has danced into my life in so many ways, from the typical childhood experience of melting crayons, to making candles, and then onto batik. I never heard of the word encaustic until the late 1990s in my Method and Materials class at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.
Little did I know that a few years later, after taking a job at Rochester Art Supply, that I would be working for the company that also owns Enkaustikos Wax Art Supplies. There is no question that I was certainly intrigued with the encaustic medium and the owners, Mike and John, were very supportive of my interest to further my knowledge. The desire to learn everything I could about encaustic landed me the position of managing the company. Since 2008, I have worked full time for Enkaustikos.
I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be working for a paint manufacturing company, but in hindsight it makes all the sense in the world. I get to make encaustic paint, to work with the paint that is made, to talk with people from all over the globe about the paint, meet tremendous artists who work in encaustic. My comprehension of artist materials has sky rocketed. Pigments are fascinating, understanding how they work well together is like alchemy, being able to share what I know with people about encaustic - dare I say it - priceless.
There is something about wax, about working with it, the versatility of it, the way it looks and feels, and even where it comes from that makes me appreciate it so very much. I still work in other mediums, but I have to say that wax is my main dance partner and I am still learning to dance.