Verity Roberts paints primarily in encaustic; an ancient technique which she initially taught herself from the internet. Verity has since attended many workshops and encaustic conferences in the US where the medium was brought into significance by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.
Verity adds additional media such as wax pencils, crayons, digital print transfers and inks. Her earlier career was as a film set decorator. This incredible medium allows one to be drawn to the opaque and translucent qualities of layering the wax that dominate the encaustic technique. Whether smooth and translucent or thickly textural, the wax makes an emotionally charged surface.
Her inspiration embodies mostly her travels – her travelscapes – recollections both vivid and vague built over time. Each painting with its complex layered surface aims to elicit a response: reshaping its own new history.
She spends time in San Miguel de Allende, Gto. Mexico where she is represented by Calderoni Studio in Fábrica La Aurora. She exhibits in Sydney and is collected here and internationally.
The word encaustic means ‘to burn in’ – it comes from the Greek word ‘enakiein’ – which is the process of fusing paint. The earliest beeswax paintings on record are the Fayum protraits of Greco-Roman Egypt about 2000 years old. They were beautiful mummy protraits, some are hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They are still as beautiful and bright as they were when painted. Before that the Grecian shipbuilders applied coatings of beeswax and resin to the hulls of their ships to waterproof them. With the addition of pigments to the wax they created the painted warships that Homer wrote about in his saga. It was then refined so that it could be used to paint portraits on panels that were attached to the mummies.
In the encaustic process pigmented beeswax mixed with dammar resin is applied and then fused to a surface with heat. The result is a broad range of surface effects and luminous translucency that is unique to the encaustic process. The medium melts at
180 degrees F and is incredibly stable unless of course it is hung over a heater or in the direct sunlight, neither of which you would any artwork!
It can be used as a luminous traditional painting medium. It also has the potential to obscure the boundaries between mediums like no other art material, resulting in works that are as much about painting or sculpture as they are about photography, drawing, printmaking and installation.
Jasper Johns is one of the most famous encaustic practitioners. Also Diego Rivera used encaustic in Mexico in the 1920’s in some of his murals. Since Jasper Johns there has been a revival of the medium -mainly in the US.
2006 Primrose Park Cremorne
2008 Washhouse Gallery, Rozelle
2008 National Grid, Dee Why
2009 Breathing Colours, Balmain (September)
2009 Breathing Colours, Balmain (December)
2013 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay
2014 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay
2015 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay
2016 The Other Art Fair, Sydney
2016 Art2Muse End of Year Exhibition
Verity Roberts’ artworks are held in private collections in Australia; USA; France; Italy; New Zealand; Mexico; Scotland; and the UK.
2006 – 2010 Annette Pringle – Mixed media courses
2010 Daniella Woolf Encaustic Workshop – Brisbane
2011 Eschwan Winding , San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2012 San Antonio School of Art, Texas – 4 workshops at EncausticCon San Antonio
2012 Rae Miller – Encaustic on paper, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
2013 WaxWorksWest – Five Day Intensive Advanced – Santa Cruz, CA.
2013 EncastiCon Santa Fe NM – 5 workshops
2013 Paula Roland – Encaustic Monotypes & carbon lab – 4 day intensive, Santa Fe
2014 NAS Sydney – 4 day intensive with Shawna Moore
2016 10th International Encaustic Conference, Provincetown, MA, 4 workshops
2016 Lorraine Glassner, Intensive Layering 2 day workshop
2016 Corina Alvarazdelugo, Encaustic and Cyanotypes
2017 May – June 11th International Encaustic Conference, Provincetown, MA