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it's good to meet you 

I'm Adele, a contemporary artist, painter and book maker.  My work is influenced by perception and the power of the nature. Bringing these together in my studio fuses my interests in contemporary art, impressionism, abstract and action painting.   

I was inspired by my grandmother’s oil paints at a very young age. Somehow, I knew then that art was a great vehicle for my personal expression and visual communication. I received a B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1989, and have furthered my studies in Italy, Thailand, Japan, New York, Vermont, California, most recently, Mexico.   


I’ve made a life and livelihood in California, seeking likeminded people to work and collaborate with. Throughout the 1990’s I owned and maintained a thirty-two machine laundromat in San Francisco to support myself.  My career as an artist has been punctuated with wildly diverse artistic explorations ranging from large scale public art installations to writing calls for art and giving people an opportunity to exhibit their own artwork. 

I am always painting because it is how I explore, invent, reflect and express my vision best. My artwork has been exhibited throughout the United States and can be found in numerous private and public collections.  

Please get in touch for more information about my work, commissions or a studio visit.  I truly enjoy conversing with people about art! 

Inspiration

I'm inspired by the energy of things: of land, sea and sky. Also of architecture in the landscape and the opposing visual forces at play. I'm inspired by fields of energy colliding with one another and seeing what happens next. Visual art is my vehicle for exploration and communication of these ideas.

Techniques

I like techniques that are mysterious because they're interesting to me. I like materials with a fluid consistency. Encaustic paint has been my primary technique for the past 20 years but underneath the wax, water-based media has always been there. I like natural materials and alchemy.

Career Highlights

My studies have taken me to Italy, Thailand, Japan, New York, Vermont, California and Mexico.  My favorite project was a commission to design, engineer and produce 21 different large-scale outdoor public art projects over a five year period from 2004 to 2009 working with one great client. 


what's encaustic?  did you know I paint with fire?

Introduction to the Encaustic Technique

Encaustic paint is made of beeswax and resin. Crystalline powdered pigment is added for color. It is applied as molten hot liquid in layers, which are fused together with fire on the painting surface to create a textural, glossy and lustrous effect.  Encaustic has proven to be one of the most durable and archival of all artists’ mediums since wax is impervious to moisture and over time will retain all the freshness of a newly finished work. Although its history goes as far back as the 5th century B.C., encaustic is so versatile that over the last 50 years it has achieved popularity as a versatile alternative to oil and acrylic paints. What has particularly attracted modern painters is the spontaneity and variety with which encaustic can be used.   

Basic Method 

Hot, liquid wax paint is applied with a brush or spatula or poured or dripped onto a sturdy support — usually a braced wooden panel. It is easier to work horizontally, but working vertically can create great effects. The paint will harden within moments depending on thickness and atmosphere. It should then be re-melted (fused) on the support. It is important to fuse between layers to prevent them from separating when applied thickly. When the painting has cooled, it has reached its permanent state. No further work (other than a mild buffing) needs to be done. Additional work, however, such as glazing, scumbling, repainting, texturing, or layering may be applied directly to the final surface, immediately or over time. Work can be erased by simply scraping or melting off the paint.

My Philosophy

Painting with encaustic paint enables me to paint with beeswax, fire and natural materials in the studio.  Encaustic isn’t the easiest technique to pick up, but maybe the most fascinating. Honestly, there are times when I feel like an alchemist. While a challenging and laborious process, the process amazes me, constantly.  I’ve not found another medium like it, none than holds so much diversity and possibility.  

Care Instructions 

While encaustic is the most archival of all media, painting surfaces require special care and consideration. Exposure to extreme cold can result in cracking or blooming of the surface, while exposure to extreme heat can cause them to melt. Direct sunlight and daylight are two different issues when considering the installation of a piece. My paintings have been fine when hung in rooms with western exposure as long as direct sunlight does not come into contact with the surface of the painting. In certain climates it is important that air conditioning keep the room at a regulated temperature, especially in locations where weather and temperature fluctuations are extreme.  “Bloom” is the dusty appearance that can cover an encaustic painting in time. According to Richard Frumess, founder of R&F Handmade Paints, bloom is caused by unsaturated hydrocarbons that migrate to the surface and crystallize. After a while this will cease, but the collector should get in the habit of buffing the surface of the painting with a clean, seamless, cotton cloth (old t-shirts have the perfect texture) once in a while. Buff the painting and see the brilliance in color and luster reemerge. 

My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products. I partner with Bay Photo to print my work.

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