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Laurie Douglas

Laurie Douglas is an artist who lives with her husband and daughter and works in Guilford, CT and Chappaquiddick, MA.  Raised in northern Virginia, she received a BA in English and Fine Arts from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and studied art and literature during a Junior Year in Paris.

After years of teaching junior high and high school in New England and The Bahamas, she continued her education at The Massachusetts College of Art, where she studied with John McNamara, Jeremy Foss, and Dan Kelleher and was awarded the Class of 1914 Award for Excellence in Painting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Laurie’s paintings have been exhibited in juried shows and galleries throughout the Northeast. She has been the recipient of numerous prizes for her art work, among them the All-Island Art Show Ruth Bogan Award and the Guilford Savings Bank Award at the Guilford Art League 2010 Annual Juried Exhibition.  Her paintings hang in many private collections throughout the United States.

Artist Statement

Laurie Douglas is a painter and mixed media artist whose work is concerned with landscape and lush layers of color, texture, and form.  Currently she is working on a series of small pieces in encaustic (pigment permanently burned into wax).  She is intrigued by images from geology, fairy-tales, poems, the woods and waters of shoreline Connecticut and Chappaquiddick, old manuscripts, dreams, and the animal world – by glimpses of the mystery at “the deep heart’s core.”  Her paintings have been widely exhibited in galleries and juried shows throughout the Northeast.

What is Encaustic?

“Encaustic” is a word that comes from the ancient Greek “enkaustikos,” which means “to heat” or “to burn.”  Encaustic painting employs a medium of beeswax melted with resin -- I use damar crystals -- to make the wax hard.  Pigment is added to the molten wax to turn it into paint.  After applying this hot, liquid paint to a hard stratum, it is “burned into” the wood panel.  I use a heat gun for this fusing, although other possible heat sources include an iron, a hair dryer, and a blowtorch.  Heat binds each layer to the previous one.

Encaustic painting is permanent.  The Fayum, Greco-Roman portraits, which adorned mummies, still retain their freshness (see “Portrait of a Boy,” Eutyches, circa A.D. 50-100, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art).  Wax is a sterile, encapsulating medium, a sweet-smelling material which allows not only for layering of colors, but also for light to be reflected from within.  Painting in encaustic is a labor-intensive process, but one with endless creative potential.

 
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