AMY VAN WINKLE
About The Artist
Amy was born in Norwood, MA. After a few moves, her family settled outside of Chicago. Her early artistic pursuits involved a #2 pencil and a sketchpad. From there she began creating mixed media work on canvas with old textbooks and acrylic. In 2000, Amy moved to Hong Kong and began traveling around Southeast Asia. She opened a home décor shop in September of 2001 and represented artists from her travels in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos as well as local Chicago artists. She also began showing and selling her work and building a following.
Amy now works mainly in the medium of Encaustic, a wax based medium. Her influences include Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly. Along with other artist's influences, she acknowledges the role of personal experiences in shaping her work. Although she creates quite spontaneously, there's always a hint of structure and control to her paintings. The theme of 'transition' is common throughout her work.
Amy has participated in shows throughout the world and is currently represented by galleries in Saugatuck, MI, Santa Fe, NM, Baltimore, MD and Taipai City, Taiwan.
Amy lives in Glen Ellyn, IL, with her partner Michael, their son Declan and a very bad dog named Seamus.
The Encaustic ProcessEncaustic is a Greek word meaning "to heat or burn in"(enkaustikos). It's a medium that has been in use for more than 2,000 years. The famous funeral portraits from Fayum, Egypt and wall paintings from Pompeii are some of the more famous examples of encaustic art in the ancient world.
Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the beeswax and varnish to fusing the layers of wax. Encaustic consists of natural bees wax and damar resin (crystallized tree sap). The medium can be used alone for its transparency and adhesive qualities or used pigmented. The medium is melted and applied with a brush. Each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the previous layer.
It's simple; I create art because it makes me happy. My paintings aren't complicated, but yet they're full of memories and emotions. In my early artistic endeavors, I found comfort in creating pieces that were very linear and controlled, a stark contrast to my always-chaotic life of work and travel.
Just as I've grown and evolved, so have my paintings. The paint I use, encaustic, provides a unique structure for my visual voice. My paintings become a dialog of fused layers, with transparent and opaque details. I build up these layers and then selectively scrape, incise and scar the surface creating a visible and archival history.
My paintings start intuitively, drawing on inspiration from architecture, nature, song lyrics and quotes. My work remains structured, to the point where I can control the medium. There's always an element of surprise when my torch hits the wax. This plays perfectly on my conflicting need for control and spontaneity at the same time. The surfaces I create look delicate, yet they have endured a history of heating and scraping. My paintings are a visual representation and diary of my own journey and explorations.