Patricia DeLeone – Santa Barbara CA

deleon

One day on a solitary bicycle ride down a quiet road, I saw the cloud-filled sky before me suddenly punctured by searching rays of afternoon light. The sun drawing a powerful line between heaven and earth and me. At that moment I felt purely connected to the world, and sitting on my bicycle at age eight I embraced a life in which intuition leads and living symbols abound.

I work in the ancient medium of encaustic: pigmented beeswax mixed with resin. Working methodically on wood panel, I build up hundreds of layers of color and texture using molten wax. In between each brushstroke I use heat to bind each layer to the one set down before it. [Encaustic, from the ancient Greek enkaustikos, means “to heat” or “to burn”, is found in the portraiture of Greco-Roman Egypt, from 100 B.C. to A.D. 200.] Once the wax is cooled, I inscribe the surface with marks, textures, and symbols that unify the strata of the wax.

In my work the figure is at the center of a magical and symbolic universe. The medium of encaustic provides a place for this union of form and content: the wax surface is the skin, the skin bears the marks of a story. It is within this interplay of image, abrasion, luminosity and texture that I create an opportunity to find something, a space for things to fall into place.

I find that there is a rhythm to the process of encaustic painting that is both arduous and eloquent: the measured flow of wax melting and wax hardening, the immediacy of each intention solidifying as a brushstroke or drip and the application of heat as confirmation of the thought.

Here are the scratches and imperfect drips of one in dialogue with the internal and what surrounds. This is the ride on the bicycle. Forms appear, wax drips, and draws a line connecting the heavens and the eart

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