Shawna Moore is an established professional painter and encaustic artist, with important work exhibited nationally in galleries and regional museums. Recently, Shawna became part of Will Thompson’s stable of fine artists at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art, where her work can now be seen locally.

Shawna Moore’s art integrates elements of painting and drawing reflecting her education in architecture and fine art. The artist will be teaching Experimental Encaustics here at the Ah Haa School next month, June 8 – June 10.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Shawna two years ago when she teamed up with cold wax artist Rebecca Crowell to teach a dual wax workshop at Ah Haa, which was a huge success. This time, I am excited to welcome Shawna back to lead a workshop  focusing solely on her passion, encaustics, a dynamic that incorporates pigmented beeswax, which is heated, re-worked, etched and scuffed to achieve dimensional depth. The ancient medium has given Shawna’s inventive and experimental nature a platform in which to shine and shine she does, both as an artist and an instructor. Her adventurous personality pervades the workshop, sparking exploration and discovery in her students.

Here Shawna puts some method to her particular brand of madness:

“Each line I draw describes a moment in my life as an artist. The interplay with materials is a visual diary of my life experience and my contemplative journey. Most fascinating are the passages which remain visible and those that disappear. The surface is a visual record of selective memory and how, despite our best efforts, outcome is subject to so many forces beyond our control. This ability of  encaustic paint to reveal and obscure creates mysterious surfaces and depth filled fields of line and color.”

Shawna’s work, really an exploration of her life via art, has been described as “freewheeling,” “inventive” and “provocative.”

“Running like a river through my art are questions and implied answers about the nature of art, the boundaries between life and art, and the necessity of exploring those boundaries. Moving from conventional painting methods into experimental materials and a fascination with found objects helps connect me to the world around me and the interactions I experience each day. I am not interested in style as much as I am in spirit.” 

The drawing, layering, melting, scraping and watching are the moments when artist get to immerse herself in the materials, tools and process.

“This is the joyful, timeless place- free from outcome. The critic is not present, which allows for the creation of open space and curious discovery, but this can be dangerous terrain as well, for the ego and blind repetition. When I emerge from this phase, with the paintings as pure expression and exploration, then the editor is invited back for a bit of structure and form. The process is about learning to think critically when you need to but not letting the critic ruin the freedom. It is a challenging, ever present balancing act between quality control, compulsive thoughts, dreaming, construction, movement, art history, fullness and emptiness.”

Shawna’s amazing personality and the unintimidating nature of this medium is a sure bet for a fun and creative workshop. Join me in this adventure and leave with a new-found love.

For a preview of what’s in store with Shawna, watch the following video:

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