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Front Window Spotlight: Valaree Cox

Our front window currently features the work of Valaree Cox. Valaree is a mixed media artist whose art is an expression of stories from her life. In addition to the colorful series of square, encaustic pieces in the window, we also carry several of her pieces in our retail gallery.

How did you get started in encaustics, and what brings you back to it?

Encaustics were of interest to me after taking a one-day beginning encaustic workshop in 2011. I had an idea for a project that had to be done in wax but I put it off until February of 2016 when I started working again after a seven-month recovery from hand surgery.

I literally made a spread-sheet of all the mediums I have used or wanted to work with including the pro and cons.  Encaustic was the winner! It has been the best choice for me, as I love working with wax and the fire that melts it.

Where do you find inspiration? What are you looking for with your artist eyes?

In the process of using the materials I have found several methods of creating abstract paintings that have worked well for me. The process of burning the wood panels before I apply wax, and of using extremely fine Japanese paper are two ways that inspire the work that I am creating at this time.

Inspiration comes to me in many ways, the environment I have lived in almost all of my life surrounded by water, trees and mountains is a big influence.

Reading about and looking at other artists’ work is always motivating as well as looking at my own photographs and work.

Being in my studio, getting down to work and how I feel at that time, combined with all of the above is what drives my creativity to make new work.

What is the best creative advice you have ever received?

The best creative advice I have ever received is: “don’t wait for inspiration to get started, just get into the studio and do the work”. That has always worked for me.

Have you always identified as an artist?

I have thought I was an artist since I was in the 2nd grade when a nun told me I had the best Easter drawing in the class. It has been my life’s work in one way or another, from glass to graphics and jewelry to mixed media painting. Working in encaustic is exactly what I should be doing at this time in my life.

What is something you’d like to experiment with or try in the new year?

Pushing wax with other materials ‘off the board’ is where I am heading and I am excited about each new idea.

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Permanent link to this article: http://arteast.org/2018/01/front-window-valaree-cox/