1/2012

 I began my artistic career as a devoted clay sculptor.  However, as time passed, I began to long for a change. Several years back I explored new options while exhausting more mediums than I can recall. It was during this period that I discovered a small batch of beeswax left behind from the last of my grandfather’s beehives.  

My Grandfather, Sam Sekerak.

My Grandfather, Sam Sekerak.

My grandfather spent his childhood in Russia where he was inspired to build an apiary farm. His dream came true as an adult in the States where he built and farmed his own set of beehives.

As a young girl, I felt such a sense of peace walking amongst my grandfather’s hives. I developed a very deep connection, respect, and appreciation for Mother Nature. Like many artists, she is a constant source of inspiration. This connection along with that old batch of beeswax is what led my transition away from clay and into encaustic painting (painting with molten beeswax). I am grateful for the intense labors of the beautiful honeybee, and consider beeswax a unique gift to be treasured. As a strange twist of fate, my name is translated in the Greek word for “honeybee”.

I love traditional Japanese pottery and contemporary Japanese painting. The soft satin finish of the beeswax along with the ability to incise elegant clean lines, was just what I’d longed to achieve. While many Japanese works of art juxtapose subtle softness beside bursts of vibrant colors, with encaustics I too could soften my light filled blues while keeping my reds and ochers intensely opaque.  Composition and color in my paintings are meant to reflect the emotional balance I draw from our natural world.

As I feel committed to being in a constant state of evolution, I’ve expanded from encaustic into many other mediums. I’ve found a lot of comfort in more traditional mediums such as watercolors and oil paints. Most recently I’ve found that alkyd oils set a comfortable pace for my work. For me this oil paint alternative is akin to the bed Goldilocks deemed most comfortable. It dries slower than acrylic paint, but more quickly than traditional oils. With alkyd paints, I am physically moving fast and furiously, but the dry time is slow enough for me to contemplatively work back into a piece during a painting session. It has provided a great deal of physical and psychological freedom, and a direction I am inspired to pursue

2013 COPYRIGHT MEL REA.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.