R&F Artist of the Month | Clarissa Shanahan
Q & A with Clarissa Shanahan & Gallery Director Laura Moriarty
LM: You seem to be using wax as a filter through which to capture decay, abandonment, and surrender to nature. Could you tell us a little bit about how you choose the materials and processes you work with?
CS: I like the idea of using an organic material to depict a manmade structure returning to nature. Wax, to me, has such a built in atmosphere. When I first started learning how to work in encaustic, I was less concerned with color as I was with how to enshroud other images as if they were wrapped in fog, or encased in ice, a chrysalis state. It's the milky fog that I so love about using wax, so I use that to help create the atmosphere that I'm going for. To me, it makes every image a little dreamier, so I tend to work in lots of very transparent and translucent layers, with very desaturated colors - for two reasons; one is to mimic the colors of decay, and also because I'm heavily influenced by early photography and I love the look of hand-tinted and sepia photos from a century ago.
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