Slate Gray South features the encaustic paintings of Amy Van Winkle in her solo exhibition, Sealed in History. Amy’s works are a diary and visual representation of her journey from Chicago, to Southeast Asia, Telluride, and now Santa Fe. Her surroundings inspire her art. Recently, her paintings are influenced by the colors of the light, vibrant landscapes, and saturated sunsets of Santa Fe.
Van Winkle’s paintings are dialogues of opaque and transparent layers. Each piece develops as the layers build one on top of the other; heated beeswax, dammar resin, pigment, let the wax cool, and then repeat until 10 to 20 coats deep. The time-consuming process is methodical yet spontaneous. Colors are laid down across the panel with precision to create a sense of a horizon, but then there’s an element of surprise as the scraper or torch hits the piece. Some layers become sealed in the history of the painting while others are exposed through heating and scraping at the surface. The finished product –a color field one can get lost in the small details, discovering something new every interaction, finding peace in the simplicity. While void of figure or object, the focus shifts to the texture of the surface, tones and hues of the pigment peaking through, and subtle traces of gestures throughout the painting. Her paintings tell tales of space, time, and transition – they are her “soulscapes.”
“There's a distinct relationship between the layers of my paintings and my own life experiences. Choosing to reveal certain elements of my history and keeping certain memories hidden and private.” - Amy Van Winkle