ARTISTS' COOPERATIVE GALLERY OF WESTERLY
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Arlene has developed her art work in many different mediums, but since moving to Rhode Island in 2012 and attending classes at RISD, she began a new passion for Encaustics, an ancient process using beeswax and pigments. Monotypes, collage and painting are used in her current work. The term encaustic literally means to burn in and was used by ancient Greeks and Romans for funeral portraits. Any true beeswax, resin and pigment painting involves heat to fuse the layers. Heat acts as the invisible solvent much as turpentine acts as an evaporating solvent for oil painting.
Her artwork is in the style of “Lyrical Abstraction” which began in the 1960’s and 70’s, following the challenge of Minimalism and Conceptual art. Many artists began moving away from geometric, hard-edge, and minimal styles, toward more lyrical, sensuous, romantic abstractions worked in a loose gestural style. Arlene began with abstract painting in 1960, but began to use the primacy of line and color in her work that incorporated principles of design rather than a visual representation.
Lyrical abstraction has something to say, and it often takes on the dynamics of psychological exploration. Her paintings may vary widely in visual effect, but all share a similar intent: evoking feelings of essence—and that all-important connection to higher, more esoteric worlds.
As a painting material, beeswax and resin reveals a subtlety rarely found in artificially manufactured materials. The delicate beauty of nature is inherent in my work. The use of beeswax draws focus to the ancient history of this medium and the fragility of our environment.
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