This is a series of panels with encaustic
applique and stencil details.
They were created for the
Dakota Apartments in Dallas
Interestingly, I had about three days to
do them all, and the specification was
that they should all be different, and
use a specific palette of colors.
The designer gave me some little
swatches of fabric and wall covering,
and I created the color scheme in a
couple of hours.
I had been creating the stencils for years,
but surprisingly, never used them in this
context. It was a lot of fun and a good
excuse to explore all the possibilities of
paper, stains, acrylic spray and the
wonderfully unctuous nature of beeswax.
I used to be concerned about the stability
of the encaustic medium in the Texas
summer heat. I kept some samples in
the back of my car all through the summer
and found that even in the 120 degree
in the back of my car they hardly changed a
bit! The working temperature
of the wax is still higher than that.
Who would keep an important painting in
the back of their car anyway? I asked myself.
I suppose the most important thing I would like to illustrate here is
that I have an ability to interpret a particular need, or idea and
translate this to a body of work in a very short time.
For many years, this is the kind of situation I have worked successfully
within, and so I tend now to expect this kind of urgency in my work.
This group is all about the use of stencils. For me, the fun is the interplay
of foreground and background, the paper and openings in the paper
exchanging a sense of dominance. Between the lighter, transparent
color and the darker contrasting pattern there is a kind of spatial dance
that I find intriguing.
Since then, I have expanded the use of stencil patterns to my drawing
style I affectionately refer to as "Taichi" drawing.
(I don't know if this is an entirely appropriate use of the term, but I have practised the
movements of Tai Chi Chuan for enough years to mean what I say.)
all images 2010 Lawrence P Kaster
I made impressions in the wax with several old zinc
printing plates and rubbed some dry pigments into
the texture. A quick re-melting of the surface locks the
pigment in place.
Why encaustic medium, and not the host of other mediums I know how to
use, including alkyd resin, Damar resin, Shellac, linseed or poppyseed oil,
or the host of acrylic water-based mediums that are available in the hobby
stores? Encaustic, particularly natural beeswax, is very earth-friendly, and
takes impressions and surface details instantly. Its peculiar veiled
translucency is unique with colored pigments creating a sense of depth that
requires many layers and long drying periods with any other natural medium.
A very minimal treatment of unctuous
color will set off the complexity and contrast
of the other panels. Used sparingly they
can make the others POP.
I hope this page is an interesting introduction to my work with
encaustic medium. I have used beeswax to enhance a lot of work
on paper in the last year, but the hardened panels are especially
effective as they will not warp and stand up very well without substantial
framing treatment. If you are interested, drop me an e-mail
and we can discuss some site-specific work in whatever colors
are needed for a project. Until the present, these panels are rarely over
24" in any direction. It is worth exploring the possibility of larger,
arcihtecturally challenging work in the future.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for commissions.