Backlit Monotypes

It is the end of December 2018 and I have produced the first of my backlit artworks made from encaustic monotypes on the hotbox (as presented in a previous blog). The next move is to develop backlit scrolls … more to come in 2019.

These backlit images have been cropped into a 12 x 12″ framework that sandwiches the paper (sumi or kozo) between two sheets of plexiglass with LED lights in the box behind it. The theme this month over at the Madison and Main Gallery in Greeley is “blue” and since it is the season of lights it feels like the appropriate time to release these images.

Translucence is a layered image much like what you would do in Photoshop, using Blending modes or changing opacity to allow one image behind the other to show through. You may be asking why not just do your work in Photoshop and use a monitor to display your images. This is a valid question and I have entertained the idea of doing that since, I teach and have been working in computer graphics for the past 24 years. However, I still enjoy working with my hands, with real pigment, heat and wax on paper. I don’t think it would be possible for me to replicate the brush work that I get with hot wax in a digital application. Even so it would be contrived and the image would lack authenticity. I would also be compromising my personal integrity as an artist of the encaustic medium.

When I go digital, it will be all in!

Translucence – backlit

A backlit layered image showing depth and translucence between images.
A backlit layered image showing depth and translucence between

The Rift – backlit

A divide or space between elements that causes tension. backlit


Named after the giant sea monster or whale fought by Perseus in Greek mythology.

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