Mary Black - Encaustic Artist - Mixed Media
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Mary Black: About the Artist 


As a painter, my concerns have always been directed towards process, surface and materials. In 1999 I began using encaustic paint exclusively. As this material is comprised of wax, pigment and damar resin, it must be heated and fused. Using hot wax, which is difficult to control, challenges me in the creation of a wide spectrum of surfaces from flat and transparent, to dense and scarred. There is a very destructive aspect to my work, as it is only through the process of destruction and creation that I am able to build the layered surfaces I am so attracted to.

These current encaustic pieces are in part about discovering something new in my process. After an extensive remodel of my home, during which time I had difficulty working in my studio. I began using paper as my substrate and also my central material with the encaustic. The multiple layers of paper and wax embedded in the paper creates amazing transparencies. It’s also the opposite approach to the work I was doing previously. Looking into the layers as opposed to building from the bottom out.

Although I work intuitively, I have certain criteria that I consider in the work. My encaustic paintings reflect my interest in Jungian psychology, duality and the unconscious mind. I seek difference – opposites, whether through color, texture or darks and lights. As I work on many pieces at once, I watch as the paintings begin to attract one another like magnets. The division of space and use of the grid is a metaphor for my belief that our psyches are divided into many parts seeking wholeness. It’s also a means of organizing chaos.

Mary Black