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Artist Statement 2016

In the manner of Abstract Impressionism, my work seeks to bring the natural world into view in a way that is a spatial visualization of energy.  As a metaphor of inner energy, I analyse and express visually a movement of that energy.  For me, the leading actors in this endeavour are colour, light and line as I think that these elements can carry the emotion with which we can define and appreciate the natural world.

While my still life sculptures are ceramic, carved to capture a sense of colour light and line in playful compositions, I choose the challenging medium of encaustic for my paintings.  This exciting medium of hot waxes infused with resin and pigmented with oil paint and dried pigments is painted directly onto wood panels of cradled birch.  Then the touch of a flame from a blowtorch at once fuses the layers and smoothes them.  Painted in short intense brushstrokes with a non-traditional application of both paint and textures, there is an exciting play in this inherent chaos of hot wax and a blow torch.  There is no arguing with the wax so the  intense search for control of this ancient process goes on.  In truth, it is simply addictive.

I don’t rely on colour theory, at least not consciously but instead I simply love colour.  Matisse said “With colour one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft” .  I constantly seek that energy and it feels so much more important than the content.  The luminous colours and compelling textures of encaustic combine to bring these garden and landscape metaphors to life.

A living garden emerges between the lines.

I tend to see my work as organic, luscious and unquestionably decorative.  Yay!

Katherine McLean 2016

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