Joan Stuart Ross

Encaustic Paintings


I experiment with visual ideas in a manner similar to the scientific method. My work begins, changes and returns to its roots over time. Trial, error, chance and plan lead my eye and hand. I look for an uplifting sensibility in my use of materials and in my decisions. I examine the spirit of physical, mental and emotional places, their metaphysical properties and mysteries, and how we inhabit them. I create non-linear narratives that celebrate color, depth, sensuality and light in their dominion over potential opacity.

Some inspiration draws from the Great Basin’s windy “high lonesome,” the Northwest’s fog and mist, the ecstatic race of surf and spume and the woven subtext of personal history. My work is obsessive and repetitive. I layer, carve, scrape, assess and reassess. I combine painting and the intaglio process in layers of medium, embedded collage, and incised expressive lines filled with color. Layers of visual information, grids, tangents and trajectories connect, cross and convene to reveal what happens on and underneath the surface.

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Artist Statement