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Kevin Wilson

Encaustic Paintings

Rocket 1   Encaustic on panel,   20" x 24"

In my encaustic paintings, I draw mostly from a bank of images that are rooted in my Southern California (Orange County) boyhood in the 60s. Like most boys, I gravitated to things with wheels, things on rails, things that floated or would spin, things that made noises, and things to climb on and swing from. In this series, I was drawn specifically to the ubiquitous and iconic steel playground equipment in suburban parks and schools.

My images are universal, but they are also rooted in my personal biography. Because I share that history with so many others, I consider them icons and I place them, like the essential portraits that they are, on their rectangular surfaces, more or less alone, front and center. In this case I contextualize them with backdrops of hazy smog, dusty dry greenery and oxidized landscapes of my childhood.

Encaustic paint presents opportunities to me that no other paint medium ever has. I enjoy the sculptural aspects of its thickness and I like to layer colors and glazes and carve into them. In selecting my images, I choose the ones that will give me the best opportunities to push paint around the way I like to do.