Gail Steinberg

    Attributes

    • Female
    • Abstract expressionist
    • Collage
    • Mixed media
    • Painter
    • Sculptor
    • encaustic artist

    About the artist

    I am always doing what I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”- Pablo Picasso

    Why I love to work in encaustic:

    Encaustic (or "hot wax painting) dates as far back as Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. It is a painting method in which dry oil pigment is suspended in a binder of beeswax and damar resin crystals. I love it because the results are like no other medium—mysterious, luminous, and translucent, with a glow that seems to shine from within. The layers of encaustic paintings relate to the layers of life.

    Using beeswax dates back to the earliest organized religions. The Ancient Egyptians believed bees were born from the tears of the Sun God, Ra, and the early Greeks believed bees symbolize rebirth. Feng Shui says beeswax candles bring the fire ch’i energy into a a room along with passion and expressiveness. Painting with melted beeswax feels like a spiritual ceremony.

    What compels me is the moment when something unplanned and beyond my imagination appears, chance connections of color, texture and stories that show up in images more penetrating than I ever could have planned. Surrender, yielding to energy much bigger than me, is bliss.

    Pouring, rubbing, scraping, dripping: the process is guided by instinct and the process is everything.

    Finished work has an inner light that can’t be achieved any other way.

    Transforming layers of time, social issues, psychological undertones, personal history and the environments into graphic archaeologies, my work reflects my fascination with seeing below the surface.