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Featured Artist Susan Wallis
The Manse is pleased to present encaustic painter Susan Wallis as our “Featured Artist.” Wallis is an internationally collected artist who resides and works in her home\studio in the quiet hamlet of Cherry Valley, Prince Edward County.
Wallis is a graduate from the University of Toronto with a BFA and has been painting in encaustic since 2002. Encaustic painting dates as far back as the 5th century BC. The word encaustic is from the Greek word “enkaustikos” meaning “to burn in”. Encaustic painting is the process by which melted wax is mixed in a molten state with oil pigment. The most well known encaustic paintings are the Fayum mummy portraits of Roman Egypt. Together with the frescoes and objects of Pompeii and Herculaneum, these paintings are among the best preserved art from ancient times.
Previously an acrylic painter Wallis was very unhappy with the flatness of the medium. She loved the depth and colour of oil, but found the messiness and long drying time cumbersome. The encaustic medium became the perfect solution to her creative dilemma. Wax and oil mixed together provide her with the vibrancy of colour inherent of oil, unbelievable texture, combined with the quickness of drying that suits her impatient temperament. Once the wax cools, the medium is dry to touch within seconds.
Currently her muse is the Canadian landscape. The vast fields, forests and lakescapes of Canada provide endless inspiration. Although traditional in subject manner her approach is that of simplicity. She believes strongly that a painting should depict the act of seeing, not the object seen. She offers through her paintings an atmospheric suggestion of possibility or the probability of the moment. It is what she doesn't depict, the parts she leaves out that is sometimes the most important element of her work. These ‘openings’ invite the viewer to participate by joining the colours and images with their own imagination.
Wallis often paints from memory, as the restrictions of the medium do not allow for plain air painting. Imprinted in her memory are the changing colours of the seasons, the glistening of the sun on the lake’s surface, the starkness of the birch tree’s bark. She has an acute visual memory for colours and their combinations, which she feels is the key to her work.
Wallis published a unique art\cookbook called the “Art of Herbs”, with local chef Cynthia Peters. In addition Susan and her husband Glen have completed the renovation of their farmhouse in the Valley into a bed and breakfast called “Away”.
Please visit her website for further information. www.susanwallis.com
Artist - Melt Studio