Are beauty and aging contradictions in terms?
Penny Treese’s masterful encaustic works invite an answer to this question.
Observing the way our culture treats aging as an evil to avoid, Treese’s technique begins with an out-of-focus photograph of a nude woman on thin paper. She distresses the image with water, wine, coffee, salt and cold—natural elements that age the human body. Finally, applying heat to layers of molten unbleached beeswax, Treese creates a beauty and integrity from her “aged” work—ultimately answering the aforementioned question with an empathic and absolute No.
VIEW ENCAUSTIC FIGURE PIECES HERE
Themes of stillness, presence and reflection are revealed throughout Penny Treese’s paintings, in both her figurative work and sea/landscapes. The interplay of molten unbleached beeswax and lustrous pigment creates images of land and sea, sea and sky, body and figure as field. Using an iron to apply heat and delicate pressure, Treese transforms meticulously manipulated wax and paint. The work occupies a space, fluid between landscape and portraiture, the body as field.
Drawing inspiration from 2 Corinthians, which speaks of a house in heaven and an eternal body made for us by God, Treese’s figures/fields transcend their earthly form and reach into a future that’s unseen, yet not unimagined.