Regina Bernadette Quinn is an artist and educator living in the Northern Catskill Mountains. She works in a technique called encaustic, which involves painting with layers of colored beeswax in addition to traditional paints. The wax creates a thickness and luminosity to the work which can then be carved and scratched to create texture and reveal the layers beneath. The resulting paintings glow with an ethereal depth that leaves them suspended between reality and dreams. I asked her what inspires her work and her process.
Here is her story.
As a longtime resident of the northern mountains, my work is rooted in my deep connection to the natural world. During this precarious time of global climate change, my work invites viewers to reestablish their connection to their natural environment, make space to observe the continuous changes it undergoes, daily and seasonally, and rekindle their sense of responsibility and stewardship for this planet.
My work frequently features the northern landscape at the edges of day and at the edges of seasons, although it rarely depicts specific locations; rather, my paintings are syntheses of my memories of sound, smell, color, texture, and, above all, light.
During the COVID 19 lockdown, my work took a darker, more inward direction yet maintained a glimmer of light, often from an unseen source. The tenor of this body of work is one of unease tempered by a degree of hope. Beginning with watercolors on gessoed panels, I build opaque and transparent encaustic layers, carving and scratching into them with blades and knives creating depth and texture. Next, I apply oils mixed with beeswax, enhancing texture and luminosity. Layering and incising allow earlier layers to emerge, much the way geological and weathering processes obscure and expose, and as visual memories come into focus even as they fade away.”
Thank you, Regina, for sharing both your beautiful work and your story.
You can find her work on her website.