I fell in love with the ancient medium of encaustic painting in 2002. Previously an acrylic painter I was very unhappy with the flatness of the medium. I loved the depth and colour of oil, but found the messiness and long drying time cumbersome. The encaustic medium became the perfect solution to my creative dilemma. Wax and oil mixed together provide me with the vibrancy of colour inherent of oil, unbelievable texture, combined with the quickness of drying that suits my impatient temperament. Once the wax cools, the medium is dry to touch within seconds.
Currently my muse is the Canadian landscape. The vast fields, forests and lakescapes of Canada provide endless inspiration. Although traditional in subject manner my approach is that of simplicity. I believe strongly that a painting should depict the act of seeing, not the object seen. I offer through my paintings an atmospheric suggestion of possibility or the probability of the moment. It is what I don’t depict, the parts I leave out that is sometimes the most important element of my work. These ‘openings’ invite the viewer to participate by joining the colours and images with their own imagination.
I often paint from memory, as the restrictions of the medium do not allow for plein air painting. Imprinted in my memory are the changing colours of the seasons, the glistening of the sun on the lake’s surface, the starkness of the birch tree’s bark. I have an acute visual memory for colours and their combinations, which I feel is the key to my work.
— Susan Wallis