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abstract encaustic painting on panel

Untitled, 2024
Encaustic on panel
20 x 16 inches



abstract artwork at Foster Gwin Gallery

Untitled, 2024
Encaustic on panel
24 x 18 inches

Jane Sharninghouse

1979     Stanford University BA
1981     Sanford University MA

Studied With:
Alicia Tormey, Seattle Washington
Danielle Wolfe, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sean Cheetham, Rome Italy
International Encaustic Institute

Partial List of Exhibitions and Collections

Permanent Collection of the Museum of Encaustic Institute

ARC Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Fire and Clay, Foster Gwin Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Artist Statement

Drawing and painting has led me to explore both the rigorous control of realism and the spontaneity of abstraction.  Most recently, the ancient medium of encaustic fuels my fascination with the abstract.

Encaustic painting is done with pigmented beeswax that is tempered with dammar resin (hardened tree sap) and kept molten while painting.  The molten, pigmented wax is applied to a rigid, absorbent surface, such as wood.  It dries instantly as it cools, and then is fused to the surface with a torch.

Because of the technique and the nature of the materials, outcomes are often unpredictable.  I may begin purposeful, with an idea, but find that beauty emerges from unintended results.   The paintings are characterized by lush surfaces and luminous, translucent layers of color.  This challenging medium allows me to layer, scrape and etch into the surface, and incorporate other materials, creating rich textures and a mysterious depth of imagery.

To me, the beautiful depth and glossy shine of encaustic surfaces are like looking into a deep pool of water.  I continue to be inspired by the ethereal elegance and meditative quality of encaustics, and by the vibrant, strong colors.