Skirvin Hilton Artist in Residence
The Skirvin Hilton in partnership with the Paseo Arts Association has chosen Gayle Curry as its featured Artist in Residence.
As the Skirvin Hilton's Artist in Residence, Curry's live studio space is open to hotel guests and visitors. The Artist-in-Residence program encourages the public to interact with the artist and witness the evolution of each piece first-hand, while supporting the artist's work and talent.
The purpose of my work is to find a way to express a vision without being literal; I explore form, shape and color and work them on a surface until I evoke emotion.
Color is a significant component, I thrive on the challenge of its subtleties and possibilities, which are limitless in how to articulate a message. To create tension is also part of my goal in a final work. Tension stirs surface and deep emotion in potential viewers and myself. I strive to combine calm and crazy, light and dark in order to construct an unexpected reaction. Other elements such as words, symbols and simple patterns reveal themselves through their look or meaning, which I then incorporate into the final intent.
I am particularly drawn to abstraction and mixed media because of its meditative qualities; one of the benefits of painting is insight into myself. Sometimes I find that the painting guides me into a different direction and then it becomes a collaboration.
The Encaustic Process
Painting with encaustics (wax) is an ancient art form which is enjoying a resurgence in the last few years. The wax, which is beeswax and dammar resin crystals melted together, is coloured with dry pigment or oil paint. It must be kept hot (about 200 degrees) during the painting process. It is applied with bristle brushes in layers to an absorbent surface, such as birch wood panels. The layers are fused with a heat gun or propane torch.
The word encaustic comes from the ancient Greek, meaning to burn in. Encaustic Painting was practiced by Greek Artists as far back as the 5th century BC. Legend has it that the Greeks applied coatings of wax and resin to waterproof their ships, and that this led to pigmenting the wax for decoration.
This glazing process allows a depth and richness of colour to be achieved. I love the extraordinary effects of depth and luminosity that can be achieved, the wonderful sense of transparency that you can play with, and the richness of textural possibilities. What I enjoy most is the involvement with the process itself. The sheer love of beautiful natural materials, the completion of the process by sealing it with fire.