August Featured Artist: Mary Lamb

August 7 - September 7, 2014

As part of her Featured Artist show this month, Mary Lamb offers a small challenge with a big reward. Simply complete the form below and then make alterations to her encaustic piece titled “Santa Lucia” using the photo on the other side of this flyer as a template. Add, subtract, or alter the image in any way you see fit and return your artwork to FRANK by September 8. You may use any colored media to complete your submission. The original piece measures 24” x 36” and can be viewed at FRANK, 109 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, NC, 27514 or online at Mary will select her favorite from the submissions and make the changes to the piece itself. Once completed, she will give the work to the person whose submission she chose. 


This exhibit presents my exploration of the physical properties of encaustics, a mixture of beeswax, sap-based resin and pigments. To make the encaustic wax, chunks of hard resin are first melted, then melted wax is mixed in, and finally pigments are added. The molten product can be brushed or poured onto a rigid substrate, usually a wood panel. Materials can be incorporated into the molten or soft wax for visual or textural effects.

There is an intimacy with the media that I don’t find in working with oils, acrylics or pastels. Watercolor similarly engages me in the process of making marks but not to the extent of encaustics. The strong physical characteristics of the wax make it more of a partner in creating than a tool. One never has complete control over the wax. The encaustics can produce a wide range of surfaces from beautifully smooth flows to rough textures but the artist never is the master of the media. She must work with it and respect its inherent properties.

The works displayed here demonstrate a range of encaustic’s possibilities. From the smaller works that incorporate other materials to the larger pieces with dominating textures and the largest piece of layered poured and brushed wax.