Atmosphere by Blackwell
By Veronica Russell
Published: 02/26/2012  Updated: 06/21/2019

Artist Paula Blackwell creates "mysterious atmospheres" in her encaustic paintings of landscapes.

Liquid pools reflect dreamy horizons in a new series of "Atmospheric Landscapes" by painter Paula Blackwell. In this series, Blackwell uses a combination of encaustic and oil on wood panels to create compelling landscapes that capture an air of mystery and timelessness. A setting moon in a moody night sky, stark white clouds on a blue sky backdrop, or alpenglow-kissed mountain summits are reflected in Blackwell's foreground waters.

There is a curious sense of familiarity in these landscapes. Where have I seen this... a dream? old movie? It's that mysterious atmosphere that Blackwell purposefully plants and cultivates in her landscapes as she manipulates layers of molten pigmented wax around her canvas.

"Unlike in oil painting, my torch is my paintbrush," says Blackwell. She also uses pottery tools, dental tools and a variety of scrapers, trawls and spatulas to create visual depth and translucency.

She has been painting for 20 years, but became fascinated with encaustic painting in 2010 after seeing a fellow encaustic artist at work. Blackwell has been featured in several solo exhibitions in Pacific Northwest galleries and has participated in group shows at various venues around the country.

Her work is currently featured in several coastal art galleries, including RiverSea Gallery in Astoria, which will feature a solo exhibit of Blackwell's work this April. White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach also carries some of Blackwell's encaustics, and an exhibit of her work will be featured during the fall Stormy Weather Art Festival that takes place in Cannon Beach in early November. You can also find her work at Ryan Gallery in Lincoln City.
Atmosphere by Blackwell