Global Warming Series

1997-present

Global Warming Encaustics

Global Warming Encaustics Global Warming Encaustics Global Warming Encaustics

I am considering the issue of Global Warming. We know now that nature has changed, man has truly altered the environment of our planet. In 2003, president George W. Bush confirmed what we all knew, that global warming was really happening and he stated that we would “just have to live with it!” Recent hurricanes have made a mess out of large chunks of my geographic location, all along the Gulf Coast and Florida in particular. These storms are now of greater intensity than ever before. Hurricane Wilma that hit South Florida in 2005, had the lowest barometric pressure ever recorded. In the northwest, where glaciers have all but disappeared from the continental United States, the polar ice cap is melting and real estate prices have escalated, as countries vie for oil drilling rights and shipping passage rights in the North Sea. Yet the fact is, global warming is a subtle phenomenon, almost imperceptible here in Florida, where a hot day is anything but unusual.

So, how do I describe this visually? Unlike almost all of my previous work, which dealt with social issues in a literal way, weather is hard to depict. In 1998, I began a monoprint series using the same abstract matrix or design, changing it just a bit each time I reworked the mono print plate. I left the ghost image from the previous image on the plate and where it was a cool color, I substituted a warm color and so on, allowing intuition to play a large part.Following a similar path, in 2004, I began to use encaustic wax and pigment.It is an ancient painting medium and the most durable for color fastness, and the medium is applied hot to wood panel.The difficulty of this medium is not to be overstated, but for me it fits within the concept of warming weather and is sufficiently different than paint to satisfy my criteria for paradigm shift.

Prof. Janice Hartwell -- Florida State University ,Tallahassee, Florida