- About The Artist
Laura Wait – Painter & Bookmaker
Encaustic, Kozo Paper, Sumi Ink on Panel MeidaOil / Mixed media on Canvas
$3,500 to $7,500
Words as image are a central part of my imagery in paintings, book arts, and prints, leading to my current obsession with letterforms and wall writing.
I use encaustic to create obscured surfaces using layers of ink handwriting on Japanese handmade kozo paper, commonly called rice paper. Large brushes develop patterns and large words as they are dragged over the texture of paper. These papers are used for the bones of the painting, and attached to panels with layers of encaustic applied when it is hot. Each layer is infused with translucent encaustic, and additional writing is created with inscribed lines enhanced with oil stick.
My goal is to create dense, ancient, fresco like surfaces. The transparency of layers created with encaustic gives me the ability to uncover lost imagery. This is very appealing to me and significant to the intuitive method I use in developing my paintings. Writing is deliberately obscured to create the feeling of historical surfaces one might find on an ancient wall layered over a period of centuries. I am also inspired by Japanese calligraphy and the idea that art is not perfect.
My work evolves in series. Whether pages of a book or a group of paintings, I investigate the visual aspects of a symbol or an idea. My current encaustic paintings are inspired by the game of chess, including words of war, checkerboards, and chessmen. My painted books are made with collographs, intaglio & woodcut printing as well as paint and writing in many layers to achieve a rich and unexpected surface, each book unique. The paintings and the books cross-fertilize each other, and sometime I am uncertain whether the handwriting pages may become a book or a painting.