Encaustic Collage — A Call To Artists

I am giving a talk, Wax Collage: Beyond Technique at the 6th International Encaustic Conference on June 1, 2012 in Provincetown, MA.  This conference draws from an international roster of exhibiting artists who are fully engaged with encaustic. I will be presenting the work of 15-20 contemporary painters, bookmakers, printmakers and photographers whose Wax Collage transcends both encaustic and collage to form a singular expression. This is not a “How To” revealing the secret techniques of a sub-group of “encaustic artists”, but an examination of the expression of Wax Collage. This exposition will emphasize the message rather than the medium.

To be considered for inclusion in Wax Collage: Beyond Technique, please follow the submission requirements exactly:                                                                                >Deadline: Friday, December 16, 2012                                                                          >Send 5 jpgs., 72 dpi                                                                                                        >Label your images:  01.Your Name-title.jpg                                                                          >Image list:  1. Title, medium, size H x W x D”                                                                       >Short bio                                                                                                                            >Contact info: name, email and website                                                                            >Please send to: marybethrothman.studio@gmail.com

I look forward to seeing your work.


Contemporary Paper and Encaustic: International Trends

Please consider making a contribution to support Contemporary Paper and Encaustic: International Trends , a groundbreaking E- Publication project created by Pollock-Krasner Grant receipient, Catharine Nash.

Art Objects Observed : Richard Serra


This gallery contains 3 photos.

The Importance of Input– Typically, when I am working in my studio I can not focus my attention past the pots of encaustic paint, piles of drawings and paper to embed in my work.  Everyday I need to set an … Continue reading

Art Objects Observed: de Kooning

Recently I attended  de Kooning: A Retrospective at the MoMA. This extensive exhibition covers seventeen thousand square feet of de Kooning’s work from seven decades. The exhibition was a long journey through exquisite sensitivity, raw emotion and misogyny; from the jewel-like, biomorphic  Summer Couch to the beautifully grotesque Woman II.  Also on view were works from some of my favorite series- the gestural abstractions, black and white, landscapes  and of course, the women. As I moved through the exhibition, the brushwork became increasingly luscious and aggressive and it sometimes appeared that de Kooning had just walked away from the canvases. When I entered the last gallery, I was unexpectedly overwhelmed by the serenity of the late paintings. Anger and turbulence had dissolved in to subtle, delicate, undulating lines, broad expanses of white, thin, flat layers and glazes. I would like to believe that de Kooning found peace and that it was not just frailty that moved his brush in his end of life work.

Summer Couch, 1943, oil on composition board, 31 1/4x 52". Photo from the web, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Orestes,1947, enamel on paper mounted on plywood, 24 1/8 x 36 1/8". Photo from the web, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Suburb in Havana, 1958, oil on canvas, 68x70". Photo from the web, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Woman II, 1950-52, 6' 37/8 x 58" , oil on canvas. Photo from the web, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

(no title) 1984, 77x88", oil on canvas. Photo from the web, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Portrait of My Son Jack and His Autism

"Portrait of My Son Jack and His Autism", encaustic and mixed media, 40"x40" ©Marybeth Rothman

Typically my encaustic mixed media portraits, include vintage photography. Recently I decided to branch out and use my own photography. Posted here is a portrait of one of my sons.

After many months of following my son Jack with a camera, I realized this would not only be portrait of him, but also his autism. I recorded the severity of this disorder that has defined his place in the world, excluded him from society, and denied him the beauty and subtleties of life.  Portrait of My Son Jack and His Autism is a story told from a distant, isolated and awkward place. Armed with a only a few utterances, Jack wanders through the world overwhelmed by words and sounds that he cannot understand and people he will never know.  Jack responds to the world viscerally, indifferent and at times with small sparks of recognition.   The photograph that I chose for this painting portrays my son as he blocks out the sound in an ordinary situation, which for him is a swirling storm that he cannot navigate.

My encaustic and mixed media approach to portraits is cumulative, adding many subtle layers of paint, paper, and photographs to form an amalgam of biographical texture. In response to this intensive examination in Portrait of My Son Jack and His Autism, I worked more intuitively. I observed that I had unconsciously added more layers than usual of biographical annotation, more vigorous incising, scraping and a rougher surface. I sculpted and enlarged the image to allow for more intimacy between the viewer and the work. The interplay of the opacity and translucency of the encaustic paint became an essential element in this narrative portrait. The many-layered process created a visual depth that uniquely describes the complex life of this young man.