Encaustic painting is an ancient technique using pigmented beeswax. The wax is kept hot in liquid form. The surface is then worked through a series of layers, fusing each layer with a heat source (torch or heat gun). Surface effects and images are created using various methods of scraping, masking, incising and branding. The final painting has been worked through many transparent and opaque layers of wax, paint and paper. Though the paintings seem fragile and potentially temperamental, they are completely archival. The work can be hung or stored in normal living conditions with no risk of damage.
Gray received her BA degree from the University of North Carolina and studied at Penland School of Crafts (NC). She has exhibited extensively throughout the Carolinas and has the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. Celia currently works from her studio in Western North Carolina.
“My compositions are created intuitively, without direct references, they are largely guided by my observations of landscapes; domestic, manmade, and natural, and the slight shifts and movements within them. Using clear beeswax and oil paint as a layering device between drawings on rice paper, each separate drawing is considered individually and then included in a finished work of several layers.”