The Grey Aisles of the Air: oil and cold wax, 5″ x 7″

Gwen Bardon Studios: 26 South Parsonage St, Rhinebeck 12572 | 845-849-5235 | Handicap Accessible | [email protected]

Through the unique properties of oil and cold wax I am able to render a surface that draws the viewer into the work and holds their gaze. This is different than a painting created using encaustic wax, which often reflects light off the veneer with a more reflective sheen. I purposefully create a completely matte surface which helps to keep the light bouncing within the composition. Any small change of the light is multiplied through subtle variations in color, tonality, and contrast. As a result, the overall experience of the work shifts.

In my studio practice, I am able to enter a sacred space and meditative flow that empties my preconceived notion of the physical world. This helps to create the feeling of another realm that invokes the pure essence of my surroundings, memories, and observations. I become a conduit between the natural world and the work. I experiment with an endless number of textural elements, including screens, stencils, sticks, sand, steel wool, coffee grounds, bubble wrap, and even dog toys.

As I work, the composition slowly emerges through each pass of the brayer, pull of the squeegee, scrape of the knife, and additional layers of wax and paint. The material serves as a filter of my most personal and intimate experiences. These explode into an array of rich histories and expansive narratives. The work itself is often atmospheric, sometimes overt. It is not a single moment. It is many moments captured in time, evoking feelings of the ethereal and spiritual world.

Over the course of my career as an educator, I also took a number of classes and workshops throughout the country to hone my own artistic practice. I have been taught by master artists specializing in watercolor, collage, jewelry making, printmaking, sculpture and oil painting.

In 2020 I created an art studio out of a small barn in my garden and forged an intense practice with oil and cold wax, creating series after series of abstract paintings. The layering I was able to achieve with this tactile, textural medium led me to build the surface of my works with properties that reflect light and luminosity in a transformative way.

My work has been exhibited in the rotunda of the Fine Arts Building at State University of New York at New Paltz, has been featured in both member and juried shows at the Woodstock Artist Association and Museum, the Bethany Arts Community in Ossining, NY as well as a show at Limner Gallery in Hudson, NY. A number of works are also owned by private collectors around the United States.