Digging Deep

BY DEBORAH WINIARSKI

“It doesn’t make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said.

Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement.” 

— Jackson Pollock

 Creating Art requires the heart and soul of the artist. For Art to happen, artists must dig deep within themselves and risk being known through their work. Their preferences, concerns – the way they need to see the world – become seeable, identifiable. It’s a risky business. The identity of the artist and their work become synonymous and cannot be separated.

Additionally, the medium of encaustic allows for digging deep in a literal sense. The yielding nature of wax makes it possible for artists to scrape, carve, incise, excavate – revealing the surface below. The physical act of digging becomes a vital means to expression. For these artists, metaphor and process merge.

Each of the artists featured below dig deep in their own unique way – creating works that are distinct to their personal voice and vision.


Patricia Aaron, Aina, 2015; wax, pigment, ink, mixed media on panel; 48 x 48 inches

Patricia Aaron, Aina, 2015; wax, pigment, ink, mixed media on panel; 48 x 48 inches

Patricia Aaron, Portal, 2015; wax, pigment, ink, marble dust on panel; 48 x 48 inches. Photos: Dana McGrath

Patricia Aaron, Portal, 2015; wax, pigment, ink, marble dust on panel; 48 x 48 inches.
Photos: Dana McGrath

“As an ardent observer, I arrive in every new place with open eyes and an open mind. I explore the community, listening to the rhythm of culture and language and absorbing the vibrancy of my surroundings. The elements of human connection and of raw landscape are a vital part of my work.”

— Partricia Aaron


Jeff Juhlin, Ullull Kai (Blue Ocean), 2016; pigmented beeswax, oil, paper, ink on panel; 20 x 18 inches

Jeff Juhlin, Ullull Kai (Blue Ocean), 2016; pigmented beeswax, oil, paper, ink on panel; 20 x 18 inches

Jeff Juhlin, Stratum, 2015; pigmented beeswax, oil, paper, ink on panel; 39 x 35 inches

Jeff Juhlin, Stratum, 2015; pigmented beeswax, oil, paper, ink on panel; 39 x 35 inches

“This body of work is about discovery and revelation. I build up the surface and create veils of drawings, paper, pigments and other materials and then excavate, removing sections and areas of the work exposing the mystery of the painting’s history and evolution.”

— Jeff Juhlin


Christine S. Aaron, Vestige IV, 2015; wood, mirror shards, encaustic; 15.5 x 15.5 x 2 inches

Christine S. Aaron, Vestige IV, 2015; wood, mirror shards, encaustic; 15.5 x 15.5 x 2 inches

Christine S. Aaron, Vestige V, 2015; wood, mirror shards, ink, encaustic; 15.5 x 15.5 x 2 inches. Photos: David Wohl

Christine S. Aaron, Vestige V, 2015; wood, mirror shards, ink, encaustic; 15.5 x 15.5 x 2 inches. Photos: David Wohl

“My work investigates memory, time and the fragility of human connection. The content of the work guides my materials choices. Found tree fragments serve as metaphor for the life cycle. Their history, recorded in rings, remains hidden from view, the way humans hold within the physical and emotional marks of personal experience.“

— Christine S. Aaron


Deborah Kapoor, Residual, 2015, encaustic and mixed media, 16 x 12 x 2 inches

Deborah Kapoor, Residual, 2015, encaustic and mixed media, 16 x 12 x 2 inches

Deborah Kapoor, Peripheral Damage, 2015, encaustic and mixed media, 16 x 12 x 2 inches

Deborah Kapoor, Peripheral Damage, 2015, encaustic and mixed media, 16 x 12 x 2 inches

“I am interested in the connection between nature and the body. In these pieces, I am exploring the process of transformation from one state to another. Working from inspiration image sources of bones, bandages, and blood, I am thinking about the literal and metaphorical aftermath of cutting and burning on the body.”

–Deborah Kapoor


Maritza Ruiz-Kim, Concepción #6, cave, 2014; archival pigment print on moab, wax pigment, 4.5 x 7.5 x 6 inches

Maritza Ruiz-Kim, Concepción #6, cave, 2014; archival pigment print on moab, wax pigment, 4.5 x 7.5 x 6 inches

Maritza Ruiz-Kim, Concepción #1, molten, 2014; digital photograph, archival pigment print on Canson BFK; 28.25 x 20.5 inches

Maritza Ruiz-Kim, Concepción #1, molten, 2014; digital photograph, archival pigment print on Canson BFK; 28.25 x 20.5 inches

Concepcíon is the first image in my series titled Core. I use molten, pigmented wax to form a portrait of a specific persona, then I make photographic records of that fleeting moment when the material is fluid. Subsequent iterations of the persona track its emergence into the public eye.”

–Maritza Ruiz-Kim


Sarah E. Rehmer, positive/negative stories #2, 2015, encaustic and paper on panel, 8 x 10 x 4 inches

Sarah E. Rehmer, positive/negative stories #2, 2015, encaustic and paper on panel, 8 x 10 x 4 inches

Sarah E. Rehmer, stitching stories #1, 2014; hand sewn paper with encaustic on canvas; 30 x 30 x 5 inches

Sarah E. Rehmer, stitching stories #1, 2014; hand sewn paper with encaustic on canvas; 30 x 30 x 5 inches

“In my current works with paper, upheavals and outbursts, I continue to explore the idea of misplaced memories while also considering what happens to these memories and feelings we purposely bury. I am questioning what happens when our buried thoughts and emotions start rising to the surface and breaking through.”

— Sarah E. Rehmer


Lisa Pressman, Mapping Time, 2015, encaustic, 24 x 24 inches

Lisa Pressman, Mapping Time, 2015, encaustic, 24 x 24 inches

Lisa Pressman, Passages, 2014, encaustic, 24 x 24 inches. Photos: Jay Rosenblatt

Lisa Pressman, Passages, 2014, encaustic, 24 x 24 inches. Photos: Jay Rosenblatt

Digging Deep resonates for me conceptually and in relationship to the materiality of encaustic. My imagery emerged from experiencing the passing of my mother. My paintings are multi-layered and include painterly marks and expression along with areas of excavation, the findings of what lies beneath.”

— Lisa Pressman


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