Feature Articles

November 2011

Hilton Head Art League on Hilton Head Island, SC, Features Works by Ann Bannister & Virginia MacKenzie

The Hilton Head Art League will present the exhibit, Playing With Fire, featuring encaustic paintings by Ann Bannister and Virginia MacKenzie, on view in the Greer Gallery at the Coastal Carolina Art Center on Hilton Head Island, SC, from Nov. 1 - 27, 2011. A reception will be held on Nov. 1, from 5-7pm.

Encaustic art which uses pigmented melted beeswax mixed with damar resin is an ancient art medium. Thousands of years ago, the Greeks and the Egyptians made life size mummy portraits in wax on wood panels which were then attached to the coffins. A number of these portraits are in perfect condition to this day. The word encaustic is a Greek word that means “to burn in”. After the wax is applied to the substrate, it is fused with a heat gun or torch to make it solid and permanent.

This versatile medium is well suited for abstracts, three-dimentional effects, atmospheric illusion, luscious organic florals and landscapes, and even realistic detailed paintings. Encaustic can be used in combination with watercolor, pastel, oil, photography, collage, printmaking, or gold leaf. It can be fused, scraped, poured, inscribed, dipped or burnished.

Why did Bannister and MacKenzie call their show, Playing With Fire? Even though they are serious artists who have both painted in every other medium, they decided that they have had so much fun preparing this exhibit that it can only be considered “playing”. If a painting doesn’t turn out like they would like, they just put shellac on it and torch it, laughing all the while. The result is a miraculous, luminous, new creation. One of these works is entitled, God’s Painting, as the artist gives up all control and can only watch it burn (outside in the driveway). The signature piece for the exhibit, The Bonfire took three months to complete and over a dozen layers of wax. After all that, it was set on fire!

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Art League at 843/681-5060 or visit (www.artleaguehhi.org).

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