Artist: Heather Davis

Profiled artist Heather Davis presents encaustic work from her collection. We spoke with her about inspiration and technique.


"Cosmic Plans" Encaustic collage with Napalese paper and oil 12" x 18"

“Cosmic Plans” Encaustic collage with Napalese paper and oil 12″ x 18″


ABI:  What is the concept behind your body of work?

HD:  My work springs from my love of architecture and history, and also reflects my curiosity about the future. I spent 30 years investing in commercial real estate and infrastructure and I love the projects we created, acquired and financed during that time. In my work I like to celebrate both the creations and those who created them.


"Vintage Plans" Encaustic collage, 14" x 14"

“Vintage Plans” Encaustic collage, 14″ x 14″


ABI:  You follow certain classic principles when designing your art. Could you explain this?

HD:  The great masters knew secret principles of organization that they used to create their masterpieces. Some have come to light, like The Golden Ratio and the Phi Grid. I use these principles when planning a piece and I am constantly searching for others.


"Pompeii XXXII" Photo encaustic with oil, 16" x 20"

“Pompeii XXXII” Photo encaustic with oil, 16″ x 20″


ABI:  What is your technique of working with encaustic?

HD:  Encaustic painting employs layers of pigmented molten wax, combined with damar resin for hardness and durability, which is then painted or poured onto a substrate and then fused with a torch or heat gun. It’s an ancient technique that was used more than 3,000 years ago (The Fayum Portraits) and is enjoying a revival today.


"Pompeii XXIX" Photo encaustic with oil, 36" x 24"

“Pompeii XXIX” Photo encaustic with oil, 36″ x 24″


The wax surface can be carved into and rubbed with oil paints, pastels, graphite and other pigments to add additional color. It’s possible to add additional elements in a collage incorporated into the wax medium. It’s a very versatile and forgiving medium.



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