Although they found their way into the medium separately, wax artists Patricia Peters and Kathleen Menges have come together to exhibit their work in Kindred Spirits: A Fusion in Wax.
“We share a similar history,” said Menges of her partnership with Peters. “We both progressed from hot to cold wax, and were intrigued by how different our (work is). We love the contrast, and Kindred Spirits is just a really unique show that (highlights those differences),” Menges continues.
Menges says even though she and Peters speak the same artistic language, their processes are completely different, and as such, so is the finished product. And with differing styles and techniques, it’s not difficult to differentiate the art of Peters from Menges: one exhibits energy and colourful variety, while the other is more meditative, serene, and peaceful.
“But we both put a log of energy and love into our artwork,” adds Menges.
Traditional hot wax paintings, or encaustic paintings, are done by adding pigments to heated wax. Cold wax differs in that a solvent is used to keep the wax in a liquid, or paste, form. From there, artists use palette knives, brayers, squeegees, rollers, or silicon blades to manipulate or excavate layers of colours and textures.
“(Wax) paintings have a luminosity to them, a natural glossy effect that’s so appealing,” says Menges, hoping gallery goers agree.
Painting mostly in the abstract, Menges says she enjoys working with wax because she’s able to create heavy impasto, which allows her artwork to cross boundaries: no longer constrained by canvas, it leaps into the minds of viewers.
Aimed at portraying the subtleties, grace, and complexities of the unusual medium of oil paints mixed with cold wax to a larger audience, Kindred Spirits: A Fusion in Wax is a compilation of diverse works from each artist. Running from Jan. 11 to Feb. 17, 2018, the exhibition is housed at the O’Connor Group Art Gallery, and is free of charge.