Melrose Bay Art Gallery
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KATHLEEN WOBIE
Several years ago I became fascinated with the images that can be seen through an electron microscope. The extraordinary complexity and design I saw in the cellular structures of the human eye, mitochondria, viruses and pathogens, inspired me with visions of dynamic paintings which have since become the focus of my work. These themes led me to a further exploration of the transformation of life forms. I often work with beetle and moth images to suggest the passage of time and change in matter.

I am also keenly interested in the change seen in our planet's environment. I paint landscapes depicting our beautiful Florida woods and waters, and paintings expressing my feelings about the enormous changes our physical world is undergoing.

The medium I use is a combination of oil paint and encaustic (a compound of beeswax, dammar crystals and powdered pigments). Encaustic means to "burn in" and is an ancient technique first explored by the Greeks and Egyptians. The materials for commercial manufacture of encaustic and the methods for use now make it affordable and safe, and as a result it is being rediscovered by artists around the globe. Encaustic allows for incising and multiple layering of both oil paint and wax. Interesting and varied materials can be embedded in the wax. The wax itself can be scraped and enriched though various melting techniques, creating unpredictable and fascinating surfaces. The resulting paintings are exquisitely rich in color, imagery, texture, depth and dimensionality. Thus this medium lends itself perfectly to the artistic and scientific exploration of the natural world.
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