Artist Spotlight focuses on interesting artists, upcoming exhibitions, and articles about art and those who love it or create it.

Discover new ways to stretch your imagination, be introduced to new artists, their exhibits, and books to read about them. Expect to excite your mind. Comments are very welcome! -- Rosemary Carstens

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Accessing Nature’s Dreamscape

Artist CHRIS REILLY fine tunes an encaustic process to portray nature’s eternal transformation and interdependent survival. Drawing inspiration from iconic eastern and western imagery, the artist is fascinated by nature’s duality, the amazing and profound character of plant and life cycles. He incorporates creatures such as frogs, dragonflies, and jellyfish into his paintings, as well as foliage, seeds, and blossoms to reveal or symbolize the constancy of death and renewal around us.

Utilizing a quiet, delicate palette, Reilly’s ethereal work combines realistic representation with immersion into an imagined, mysterious dream space. He begins with a white gypsum ground on canvas or panel and uses pastels and watercolor as an underpainting, which he then seals with molten wax. Layers of encaustic are applied to the foundation, each layer fused with a heat gun. Sometimes he adds opaque watercolor, selectively removed here and there to reveal the original layers. The effect is one of swimming through the sea, coming upon a magical coral reef where you hover, suspended within beauty, gazing enchanted at the seen and the almost seen, accessing dreams of worlds beyond worlds.

Christopher Reilly was born in New York in 1967, attended the School of Fine Arts there, and currently lives and works with his wife MICHELLE HAGLUND, also an accomplished artist, in California.

More images of Reilly’s work, as well as those of Michelle Haglund, can be viewed at:
Meyer Gallery: http://www.meyergallery.com

(Top left: Dansel Flies; right, Untitled Branch)


Verna Wilder said...

I love Reilly's work, Rosemary! Thank you so much for posting about him.

ClaireWalter said...
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Laurel Kallenbach said...

I just love the layers of encaustic--it has an archaeological feel to me. (Although photographs don't do justice to the medium because you don't see the texture the way you would if you see it with your own eyes. What exquisite pieces! Some of them have the feel of Japanese watercolors.

Kathy Kaiser said...

His work is wonderful, dream-like and magical, yes, but also full of wonderful, natural details.

Thanks for writing about him.

Bonnie Gangelhoff said...

Wow..these images are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to track him down in California. I think the magazine should do a story on encaustic paintings.