I Can’t Let Go of These Rocks

I recently had the incredible opportunity to take a workshop with my latest “crush” in the art world—an artist I initially connected with on Instagram (@km_kvern). Over the course of two, two-hour sessions, she generously shared her advanced encaustic techniques. It was an eye-opening experience that gave me new techniques to bring deeper meaning and visual interest into my encaustic work.

During her tutorials, I experimented with new techniques, including embedding encaustic-painted tissue paper, cut templates from Dura-lar, and applied more layers of encaustic medium than I normally do. Adding more layers of medium has already improved my work substantially.

Using Symbols in Abstraction
What I find particularly intriguing in my own work and that of other artists is the use of symbols as visual language. Artists frequently employ symbols, shapes and forms throughout their careers, revisiting them often until their artistic obsessions naturally evolve. 

These symbols, while abstract and open to interpretation, serve as a visual language through which artists can communicate their thoughts, emotions and experiences. Rocks hold a specific meaning for me—symbolizing longevity, resilience and strength. Too, the visual tension formed by rocks coupled with the layering of imagery in the background are visual representations of the push and pull of everyday life, concepts that I study in my Buddhist practice.

The artwork below titled Excursion was completed in 2014 and incorporates rocks as symbols. There are 12 panels that were first printed from writings by my great grandmother from her diary. During the Depression, she and my grandfather traveled across the U.S. to purchase livestock for their ranch. I then pulled encaustic monotypes and joined them together to form a single artwork. 

Execusion with Person