RBE001 + Big Bee
Encaustic with gold leaf
$800.00 USD + 30"x40"
I was unexpectedly drawn to encaustic painting when I first became a beekeeper; this highly provocative medium has its rich roots in the ancestral land of my forefathers, Italy, specifically the murals at Pompeii. Dating back some 3,000 years, encaustics have an illustrious history from the Egyptian Fayum portraits to the white marble sculptures and monuments of ancient Greece that were once colored with beeswax. An excellent preservative, beeswax was so valuable in ancient Rome that it was an acceptable form of payment for taxes.
Encaustic, meaning burned in is beeswax, a natural wax produced by honeybees mixed with pigments that is melted on a heated palette. Honeybees naturally secrete beeswax from their glands on their abdomen when approximately 15 days old to build their honeycomb. I harvest extra beeswax from my own hives. It is then filtered to remove any debris and I apply it on a canvas with paintbrushes and palette knives. Adding multiple layers allows me to embed objects creating a collage then scratch into it as in scrifito. The beauty of encaustics is the unpredictability and flexibility that gives the artist its own voice. Working with beeswax lends itself to my whimsical sense of color, texture and pattern that were my signature as a commercial illustrator. My paintings are reflective of my experiences in my own apiary while working with my Italian honeybees and a personal attempt to translate my illustration style into unrestraint freedom from art direction and manic deadlines. To me, there is nothing more seductive than the smell of pure beeswax melting in my studio and the luxury to create.
BFA School of Visual Arts, NYC
Silvermine School of Art, New Canaan, CT + Exhibiting Faculty
City Lights Gallery, Bridgeport, CT + Member
White Silo Winery, Sherman, CT + 2008
Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens, Stamford, CT + 2008
New Canaan Nature Center, New Canaan, CT + 2009