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It happened today. I tore myself away from the telenovela Celia! and wandered up the stairs to the studio that has laid quiet for some time. Picking up an unsuccessful portrait I had attempted a month ago I heated up the heat gun and melted and lifted the fragments of paper embedded in the wax, to bring new life to this piece. As it often does, the sea emerged from the thick layers of encaustic wax. From a pile of photocopied maps of my beloved Sag Harbor from the 19th century I selected one of Main Street with the names of the families who lived at each address. I began my image transfer. Embedding the ink into the layers of wax and releasing them from the fragile paper sheet. The beauty of the transfer for me is that the entire image never quite makes it in completion to its new destination, pieces are lost and we try to fill in what's missing with our memories and imagination.
This process of trying to imagine what once was is something I often do. Lacking my father's crystal clear memory it's a haze of images and recollections that conjure up a story, more romantic often than the reality. And here in this painting is an aerial view of the tides of Sag Harbor streaming the shores.
Sag Harbor maps
Thursday, February 23, 2017
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