5 April 2019 - 19 May 2019
Melanie Williams is a successful encaustic and mixed media artist living locally in Bala. Melanie has been using the encaustic method for many years now, which is a rare medium in the UK. The word encaustic originates from the Greek word ‘enkaustikos’ which mean to ‘burn in’ and dates back 2000 years. Melanie uses a mix of hot wax, damar resin and coloured pigments with a range of hot and cold tools to create unique artworks that are inspired by the outstanding natural beauty of Wales.
Melanie begins a piece of encaustic artwork by setting down layers of pure beeswax and damar resin on a birch panel. The beeswax is sourced from local suppliers and the beautiful aroma of the melting wax sets the tone and atmosphere for the creative journey. Melanie creates texture and a weave of wax upon which to express the narrative of the work in mind. There could be up to 30 layers of wax laid down on the birch panel, whilst consciously choosing colours, tools and innovative techniques according to the image or impression being created. The colour is created from oil paint, dry pigment, oil pastels and sometimes shellac. It is easy to sense the embodiment of the ancient art of encaustic painting and to see the unique characteristics that only the wax can create.
These works depict the region of Snowdonia National Park using an ancient method from a contemporary art impression, with a fresh approach to abstract realism that truly evokes all the senses. The resulting works are not only reflections of the region inspired by the artist, they embody a part of the region through the use of the bees-wax. Melanie has turned the essences of the land itself into art through her impression and material.