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Tag: photo encaustic

From Photo to Photo Encaustic

In my previous blog post I mentioned a talk I gave last week to a group of people looking to pursue art, writing, and other creative practices after retiring from “regular” jobs. Several of the participants expressed interest in what the my images looked like before becoming encaustic paintings so I thought I’d post a few examples.


This leaf is actually a solar print made during a printmaking class a few years ago. I scanned the print and made a few minor changes in Photoshop, including making it a bit more contrasty and truly black and white.


(Encaustic work is always best seen in person. It’s got fabulous texture, luminosity, and dimension that just doesn’t show up in a photograph or on a screen.)

This piece is called “Rescue Work.” I won an honorable mention with it at the Dayton Visual Arts Center last year!


Here are a couple more before-and-after examples:



I took this photo on a trip to Uluru in Australia. I was blown away by the clear blue sky and the red sand. Visiting Uluru and the Red Centre was an unbelievable experience.


This piece is one of the first encaustic experiments I ever tried. During an encaustic workshop with my friend Felicia Touhey, she suggested incorporating collage elements into our encaustic paintings. I found some bark paper at the craft store and had a go at recreating the photo.



Transforming photographs and prints into encaustic paintings can be a lot of fun! The possibilities are endless.

I Won a Prize!


I’ve won a prize for my piece “Rescue Work” now on view at the Dayton Visual Arts Center!

Here’s a brief article that appeared in the Dayton Daily News:

DVAC awash in waves of every shape

Anniversary of Great Dayton Flood Inspiration for Show

By Pamela Dillon
Contributing Writer

Where there’s water, there will be plenty of waves. That’s the case at the current Dayton Visual Arts Center show, “Water, Water, Everywhere.”

Sculpted waves, painted waves, waves of destruction and waves of inspiration are being presented in this 22nd annual Open Members’ Show.

Ron Hundt of Kettering sculpted “Big Wave #1,” this year. It reminds this viewer of the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy that swept through the Jersey coast Oct. 30. He imagined a large chunk of wavelike driftwood impaling a partially-shattered dock set in stone.

Don Keith of Centerville created “Captured Tide” in two waves of beautiful wood. Dayton resident Jim Delange created three exquisite pieces of aqua, deep blue, and clear glass waves in “Surf Action.”

Several wave images were painted, photographed or created with mixed media. I was particularly intrigued by Ron Rollins’ monochromatic textured waves of layered paint in his work, “And nary a drop to drink…” An impressive collage of a “Diver” by Jeff Stapleton of Washington Twp. invites the viewer in for a closer look.

Whimsical works include a “Water Fling” mobile of a waterbug by Terry Welker of Kettering; an untitled bronze birdhouse that literally includes the kitchen sink by Greg Clem of Piqua and “The Denizen of the Swamp,” a large-scale dragonfly by Winnie Fiedler of Kettering.

Juror for this year’s show was Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, curator of Collections and Exhibitions at the Dayton Art Institute.

“Some artists responded directly to water’s awesome power, such as the furious pen and ink swirls in C. Pat McClelland’s (painting), whereas others channeled its more tranquil qualities, as seen in the recumbent forms in Betsie Molinsky’s (acrylic work) and Teresa Roth’s (clay sculpture),” stated DeGalan. “In all, these artists interpreted the theme of water in a multitude of creative ways, whetting my interest in becoming more familiar with their work.”

Here is a list of the prize-winning artists: Lombard Award, Joseph Faloughi for “Memories.” Second through Tenth places, in order: Patrick Mauk for “Five by Five”; Betsie Molinsky for untitled, Ron Hundt for “Big Wave #1”; C. Pat McClelland for “The Sea at Night”; Ray Must for “Bomber over the Hydrobowl”; Richard Cable for “Way”; Susan Stayer for “Rescue Work”; Teresa Roth for “Water Bodies,” and Lisa Foster for “Water, Water — Everywhere.”

Faloughi is a resident of Centerville. His work is an abstract melding of hot and cool colors, with bold strokes of paint that suggest lots of movement. Molinsky, a Kettering artist, painted a figure lying upon a waterbed, or some type of watercraft.

Mauk, also of Kettering, painted a mixed-media abstract.

Honorable Mentions went to Greg Clem, Colin Hester, Terry Welker and Jim Witmer.

The show was held in commemoration of the Great Dayton Flood. The theme “Water, Water, Everywhere” was taken from the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” DVAC executive director Eva Buttacavoli asked Molinsky to hang this year’s show. It was a daunting task of setting up 154 works in five gallery sections.

 “This exhibit is many of the artists’ favorite show of the year, because they can see the work of their peers, and it celebrates the diversity of our membership,” said Buttacavoli. “People who have never been to the gallery are invited to come and be overwhelmed by all the creativity and talent in Dayton.”

Contact contributing writer Pamela Dillon at


What: “Water, Water, Everywhere,” 22nd annual Open Members’ Show

Where: Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson St.

When: Continues through Aug. 17 Gallery talk: 6:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 Hours: 11 a.m. top 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday More info: 937-224-3822 or

Where, Oh Where Has This Little Girl Gone?

Today I’m back in the studio working on a couple of photo encaustic pieces. This one is on Ampersand Claybord and I have to let it cool down a bit before continuing. I figured it was the perfect time to snap a photo and put it up on the blog.

I started with this old photograph:

girl in hat original

She was part of a small lot of old photos I bought late last year. Most of the photos were from Germany and this little girl showed up in two of the ones I bought. This particular photo had writing on the back. (I don’t know any German, so I have no idea what it says. Any translators out there?)

back of photo

This is the other photo with the same little girl:

girl with hat at beach

I wonder where she is now?

Here’s the “encausticated” version of the photo. It’s still in progress, but you can get an idea of what I’m working on.


Mum and Baby: A New Photo Encaustic Commission


Recently I completed three photo encaustic pieces for a client. She provided the old family photos and I turned them into encaustic works.

I’m thrilled that she and her husband loved the three pieces enough to commission another one! Above is the original photograph after I scanned it. And here’s the finished encaustic:


I really enjoy giving new life to old photos. I hate to see photos languish in a box somewhere, unlooked at and unloved.

All this got me thinking about the current state the the photo print. While I was visiting Ohio, I was talking with my family about how kids nowadays don’t really have small prints of photos in an album or a box. My sister-in-law said she’s got almost no physical prints of her two kids. They’re all images on electronic devices, unless someone happened to give them prints. When my brother-in-law’s smartphone died, he lost all the images on it.

I think that’s a real shame. There’s something truly wonderful about holding a photograph in your hands or flipping through the pages of a photo album. To me that’s the difference between photographs and images.

Old Family Photographs Made Into Encaustic Paintings

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a woman who saw my work hanging in the Alcove space at Stifel & Capra during the month of April.

The woman’s husband liked my two photo-encaustic pieces “Mists of Time I” and “Mists of Time II,” and wondered if I would do something similar with some of his old family photos.

He chose three photographs for me to turn into encaustic works.


They’ve been a lot of fun to do. As I transfer the photos onto the wax, I love looking at the faces and the old car and imagining all the stories that go along with them.

I hope they enjoy the pieces as much as I enjoyed making them. It feels great when someone likes what you do enough to commission work based on something as personal as family photos.

The three photo encaustic pieces are heading to their new home in India soon. Bon voyage!