January 22, 2011

Artist Watch : Amy Ruppel

Amy Ruppel is a self-taught encaustic artist & photographer. I have always wanted to purchase one of her pieces, but never followed through.

Her encaustic pieces are created by using computer illustrated drawings layered into beeswax with etched drawings on top. Since the surface is smoothed with the flame of a propane torch, Amy Ruppel describes her process as “painting with scissors and fire instead of a brush.” These works represent snapped moments in time, captured and taken from one simple slice of a digital photograph, to create a field of pure and lucid color. Simple imagery of birds and nests are a recurring motif in this series.

Amy Ruppel is constantly exploring new ways to bring the digital realm into the hands-on world and is constantly reworking encaustic methods into fresh contemporary forms. Amy states, “To me, feeling the completion of a piece is like reaching that ethereal finish line, and you feel the way that you do when you see the ocean from the shore, or when you exit a matinee and squint into the sudden light, knowing all along it was there.” Which is very much how one feels when experiencing Amy Ruppel’s paintings.

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