My work is a dance between the representational and the abstract, describing my subject in one stroke and then abstracting it in the next. This delicate balance constantly brings the viewer in and out of the reality. Using wildlife as a vessel for my work, I am exploring how an encaustic painting is created in terms of layers, composition, color and mark making. Rather than focusing solely on what my paintings represent, I am allowing the viewer to appreciate and discover the depth and energy that the encaustic process provides. I’ve found it’s easy to overthink “why” I create or “what” to create, so I’ve shifted my focus to “how” I create. With encaustic, I’m able to combine various mediums in one composition, creating elements of complexity and discovery in each piece.The beeswax subdues the colors of the oil paint and creates harmony throughout the entire series while giving the paintings a nostalgic quality that makes each one like a memory. The weathered panels and use of vintage magazine clippings further illustrate this affection for the past. Using collage, drawing, painting and sculpture I am searching for new ways to challenge traditional wildlife art and create fresh interpretations of these animals. Due to the nature of encaustic, there are many little “accidents” that occur during the process which is something I now welcome and use to my advantage.