I have been a painter and exhibiting artist since 1990. Orignially from the New York area, I studied Painting and Printmaking at Portland State University under the rigorous mentorship of Brooklyn born, Mel Katz, a graduate of Cooper Union and part of the New York School generation of artists. My interest in merging art with subjects of science lead me to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Art. Various subjects of science have been the revolving focus of my work ever since. I primarily work with encaustic, the ancient medium and oldest known pigment binder that combines natural beeswax, resin and pigment. Out of a need to attain transparency in my mixed-media oil paintings, I was completely seduced by the luciousness, versatility and depth of the encaustic medium. Having always experimented with a variety of media, I taught myself the encaustic medium in 1993 after seeing a demonstration of it in college. This was well before there were any books or conferences on the subject of encaustic or an internet. I bring my breadth of experience and concept driven studio practice to my teaching practice through sharing my innovations and discoveries. My goal for my students is to help them to discover nuances through various mediums that help reveal their own unique creative voice.
Later, in 2002, I innovated a way to merge encaustic techniques with that of collagraph printmaking called, Encaustic Collagraph Monoprinting. The technique was published in the book Encaustic Art: Creating Fine Art With Wax, Lissa Rankin. Using Speedball-Akua non-toxic soy and honey based intaglio inks, I began teaching this unique method in 2007 and am part of the Speedball Professional Artist Network. I have since taught Encaustic Painting and Collagraph Printmaking at R&F Handmade Paints and Womens Studio Workshop in NY, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, CT, Burning Bones Press, Houston, Metchosin Summer School for the Arts, Victoria, BC, Piramidal Grafica, Guanajuato Mexico among many others. I have also presented the technique at the Southern Graphics International Council conference and at the International Encaustic Conference. I also make and sell Wagner Encaustic Collagraph White, a specially formulated encaustic paint for collagraph printmaking.
I bring over two decades of experience as an exhibiting artist, paint maker and educator to my teaching. I began teaching encaustic out of the pure excitement to share the encaustic medium in my local region. Encaustic is now experiencing a rennaissance and I have taught many teachers local to Portland the encaustic medium. What I enjoy most about my teaching is going beyond technique and finding the core essence of the creative process that encompasses a variety of materials, including oil painting, encaustic and printmaking.