Studio / Events

Waterlust Exhibit a Great Success - Thanks Everyone!

Michaelle Peters, Artist / District Gallery, Park City, UT

Michaelle Peters, Artist / District Gallery, Park City, UT

After months of painting, I had about 20 new works for the exhibition, 'Waterlust', at District Gallery, and the Opening Night on April 18th couldn't not have been more fun!  There had to be at least 200 people through the gallery that night and we sold 7 paintings, with some commissions in the works.  Live music, nibbles and bevies always add a nice touch.  Thanks you Karen and Jordan for all the hard work and support, The Park Record for the feature article, Park City Sailing Association and all my friends and family and collectors.  It was unforgettable.  My painting 'Race Day' auctioned for $950.00 and the proceeds all benefit the Sailing Association - and the painting will reside at a beautiful Mexico beach home.  I'm so honored and happy to contribute to such a great cause in our community. 


'Well Hello Ladies!'  Encaustic, oil, vintage photo transfer (my Mom in the center), and objects on panel, 12x12" sold

'Well Hello Ladies!'  Encaustic, oil, vintage photo transfer (my Mom in the center), and objects on panel, 12x12" sold

The Vintage Photo series, featuring photo transfers of pictures of my Mom and Auntie in the 1940's and 50's were a huge hit.  Many collectors, friends, and family expressed interest in commissioning special paintings with vintage photos from their own history.  These make great gifts and are a unique way of enjoying family memories and loved ones.  I always enjoy brainstorming with a client so that their input is an important part of the finished piece, a collaboration of ideas and artistic freedom.  Please contact District Gallery or myself for price ranges and special requests.  We'd love to help!

www.districtartgallery.com

email Michaelle

Waterlust Exhibition at District Gallery, Opening April 18, 6-9 pm

Feature Article in the Park Record Newspaper:


District Gallery celebrates fifth anniversary with 'Waterlust'

Artist Peters loves water and travel

Scott Iwasaki, The Park Record

POSTED:   04/15/2014 04:34:22 PM MDT

The District Gallery will celebrate its fifth anniversary and will host an artist reception for encaustic and mixed-media painter Michaelle Peters on Friday, April 18, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Admission is free.

The artist's new exhibit is called "Waterlust," and reflects Peters' love for H2O and travel.

"The inspiration was a play on the word wanderlust, because I love to travel and all of the paintings involve water," Peters said during an interview with The Park Record. "I always love being in places that have water. I can't describe it. I've always been drawn to those areas."

Peters is planning to show between 16 and 20 paintings.

"I've been working on this for several months, but all of my works are like a continuing theme," she said.

One of the paintings will be auctioned off during the reception, and all of the proceeds will go towards the Sailing Association.

"I've wanted to get involved with the Park City Sailing Association, because I think what they're doing is so great for the local population," Peters said. "So I offered to donate some paintings to them to help with their fundraising efforts. And the first effort will be held during the show."

The work is an encaustic work that features a recycled piece of sail material that Peters brought back from the Caribbean.

"It was from a boat that was damaged in a race and luckily no one was hurt," she said. "I have been collecting sail material and they have become part of the collage of some of my paintings.

"The seams of the sail look like masts in a regatta and I just transformed that into images of boats sailing on the water," Peters explained. "It's a fun piece."

Peters, who graduated with an art degree from Weber State University, has been represented by the District Gallery for three years and this is her second solo show.

"I've always been creative.  Everything I've done or worked on has had aspects creative problem-solving," she said.

That's why she not only works with the encaustic medium, but also works with mixed media and shoots photography.

"I guess I get bored doing one thing all of the time," Peters said with a laugh. "The variety is so nice to experiment with. There are no boundaries with what you can explore.

"The encaustic medium is so wide open because you can use photography, sculpture, anything" she said. "You can apply it to almost any medium. It's challenging and that's what keeps it interesting."

Michaelle Peters' "Race Day" an encaustic that is highlighted with recycled sail material and oil paints, will be set up for auction when the District Gallery celebrates its fifth anniversary on Friday, April 18. The event will also celebrate Peters' new exhibit "Waterlust." Proceeds from the auction will benefit the Park City Sailing Association.

The District Gallery, 751 Main St., will host an opening reception for artist Michaelle Peters for its fifth anniversary on Friday, April 18, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.mpetersfineart.com and www.districtartgallery.com .



Encaustic Painting and Some of My Techniques Explained...

Start of 'Life is Good' painting, vintage pages from a book about exotic and tropical travel from the 1940's, layering wax on top. I eventually added a vintage photo transfer of my Aunt who was a model in the 40's and 50's, pigments, and polished pebbles.

Start of 'Life is Good' painting, vintage pages from a book about exotic and tropical travel from the 1940's, layering wax on top. I eventually added a vintage photo transfer of my Aunt who was a model in the 40's and 50's, pigments, and polished pebbles.

About Encaustic Painting

Also known as hot wax painting, encaustic painting involves molten beeswax to which colored pigments may be added.  The wax is quickly applied to a surface such as wood, paper, canvas or other absorbent material.  Encaustic can also be used in many forms of sculpture and mixed media.  Colors are made by adding pure powdered pigments or oil paint, but ratios of wax : oil must be carefully considered for optimal stability.  Each layer of wax and pigment is then ‘fused’ with heat from hot irons, torches or heat guns.  Artists can blend types of wax, such as beeswax in various natural tones and opacities, carnauba or microcrystalline.  Damar, a natural tree resin, is often added to create encaustic ‘medium’ which cures harder than beeswax alone and helps with polishing abilities

How I Like to Work

I like to start with an unprimed birch panel.  I can build wax layers from here, or start with a gouache or charcoal underpainting, or even one of my photographs printed on cotton rag paper and adhered to the panel - then seal carefully with the first layer of wax.  In this picture, I am adding a piece of silk which has been hand treated with rust as a base for the composition.  If a primed or ‘gessoed’ surface is desired, I apply layers of venetian plaster to the panel or use a specially formulated encaustic gesso which is absorbent and accepts the wax nicely.  Standard acrylic based gessoes used in traditional painting can not be used as the acrylic will resist the wax from absorbing.  

My palettes are currently electric griddles, crock pots and electric fry pans.  I have one set up for 2-3 tones of base wax, one for pigmented wax, and a couple of spares for mixing color or coating paper and collage elements.  Each wax layer must be carefully fused with a torch.  I use a light weight professional culinary butane torch, a heavier and hotter liquid propane torch, a large snowboard waxing iron, or a mini seam pressing iron depending on the size of the painting or the detail of an area.  I build multiple layers of wax tinted with oil paint, oil sticks, encuastic medium, encaustic pigment sticks,  inks and shellacs.  I build a layer, fuse, then scrape back texture with a razor blade or ceramic loop then fuse and add another layer.  The process is quite physical:  painting, fusing, scraping, mark making, repeating in a ‘building’ process.  My finished paintings have at least 12 layers.  

I have fun collecting texture making items from hardware stores, metal scrap yards, antique stores, recycle centers and jewelry making supplies.  They make unusual marks in the wax which I can enhance with pigment or use the materials in the painting.  I am particularly fond of rust and often use found metals to rust silk or fabric by letting them soak in salt water for several days, then wash, dry and trap the material under a wax layer, adding pigment on top.

Encaustic paintings, due to the wax's semi - opacity, create mystery by obscuring and revealing all at the same time.  Light dances through the layers and pigments can be translucent and reflect light or become a solid form.  The physical challenges of the molten medium are as much of the process as the creative side and sometimes dictate the direction a work will go.  I love that it involves all natural materials:  pigments from nature, beeswax, and tree resins.  My studio now smells of warm honey rather than solvent and thinners.  

'Life is Good' / encaustic, oil, vintage photo and book pages, polished pebbles on panel, 12 x 36"

'Life is Good' / encaustic, oil, vintage photo and book pages, polished pebbles on panel, 12 x 36"

Detail of 'Life is Good'

Detail of 'Life is Good'

Carefully removing paper from photo transfer in 'Beach Walk'.

Carefully removing paper from photo transfer in 'Beach Walk'.

History of Encaustic

This technique was notably used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300 AD, as well as in many works of 20th-Century American artists such as Jasper Johns, and artists in the Mexican muralist movement, such as Diego Rivera and Jean Charlot.  It is believed to have begun with the ancient Greeks as a method of boat building, using wax to seal the planks of wood and as caulking, then evolved to include pigment and a highly decorative application to the vessels.

Durability - Hanging an Encaustic Painting in your Home:

Encaustic has seen a resurgence in popularity in the last decade, as artists are discovering its versatility and beauty.  The medium is incredibly durable as it is impervious to moisture.  As a result, ancient paintings are beautifully preserved and the pigments look fresh off the easel after thousands of years.  

Regarding the risk of ‘melting in the sun' or while hanging on a wall in a home, the wax must approach 170 -200 degrees to melt, which doesn’t really exist in a home environment unless it is on fire so to speak.  Direct sunlight, for instance, probably couldn't melt a painting.  But just as any fine art, no matter the medium, one would never want to hang artwork in harsh direct sunlight.  If an accidental scratch to the surface should occur, as possible with any painting, it can easily be repaired with a light cloth polish or touch up with a spot of wax if needed.

Preparation of painting 'Orion', using rusted silk as a base for the composition, which will be under layers of wax.

Preparation of painting 'Orion', using rusted silk as a base for the composition, which will be under layers of wax.

Using a butane torch to gently fuse a layer of wax over rusted silk, one of at least 12 layers in the process.

Using a butane torch to gently fuse a layer of wax over rusted silk, one of at least 12 layers in the process.