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  Thursday, Dec 21, 2017 

The Arts

The Whole Ball of Bees Wax

Kindred Spirits brings fifth century Greek art to O'Connor Gallery January 11 - February 17

By Mary Chalmers, CVAA


atricia Peters and Kathleen Menges are teaming up again to share their talents and art featuring works uniquely created with the ancient medium of wax.

Both artists have worked in the luscious and temperamental encaustic medium. Hot wax requires heat as a solvent to move paint around and fuse the layers together. Encaustic painting can have a spectacular transparent polish or depth to the product, through to a textural relief.


This exhibition showcases the evolution of their work in wax processes from encaustic to that of oil and cold wax.

This latter medium looks like paste and does not require heat but rather uses mineral spirits as a solvent. This typically gives a matte finish which can vary from a silky smooth texture to an organic, hand-rubbed polish.


With cold wax medium brushes are replaced by palette knives, silicon blades, brayers, squeegees, and rollers, to name only a few tools of the craftwork. In this exhibition, pigments and/or oil paint, plus cold wax medium have been thoughtfully layered to create dynamic and sometimes mysterious images.


Kathleen and Patricia speak a similar language because of the common use of tools, surfaces, and product but the imagery and handling of their paint is dramatically different and artistically unique.

After viewing their work one can easily determine who is Ying and who is Yang. One artist exhibits energy and colorful variety while the other is more meditative, serene, and peaceful.

Their combined work is diverse and brings to light the subtleties, grace, and complexities of the highly unusual medium of oil and cold wax.

Both artists will be available January 13, 2018, from noon to 3pm to respond to comments and questions during the opening reception at the O’Conner Gallery. On January 20, from 9:30am to 4pm, they will be hosting a hands-on workshop.


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