Santa Cruz Encaustic Painter Terry Dowell
I have been painting and creating all my life…at least 50 years now. As an artist I invented myself by way of workshops and courses throughout the United States. I have no formal art education other than a B.S. from San Diego State University. Largely self-taught in a variety of mixed media techniques I’ve tried every medium that was within reach: pottery, enameling, painting, plein-aire painting, drawing, watercolor, photography, assemblage, etc. I feel fortunate in having come to art by following this path because I’ve never had anyone discourage me.
Encaustic came my way over three years ago when I attended a demonstration of hot wax at Lenz Art Supplies. I knew that I would enjoy encaustic painting because I had an immediate sense of “I can do that!” resounding from my soul. Deciding I needed to dive into this exciting process, I took a basic workshop and an advanced workshop with R & F Handmade Paints… I was hooked!
I work largely from my surroundings which includes my conceptual imagination. Being fortunate enough to live at the incredibly beautiful coastline of Northern California provides spectacular views in all directions and feeds my soul and artful spirit. I love my work as an encaustic artist so much that I began teaching workshops last November. It is so satisfying to “rocket” someone into the belief that they can paint and accomplish great things with a little instruction and a lot of passion. It is a pleasure to change the words and thoughts, “can’t, don’t or won’t work” into “Wow, this is amazing, can you believe what I made?” mentality.
I enjoy the many possibilities while experimenting with encaustic painting: collage, assemblage, 2d painting, photography, stencils, stamps and so much more. There are so many opportunities to explore and create with great depth of color and imagination. I didn’t follow the rules for very long before I moved into playing with possibilities with the beeswax. Pushing the limits has been amazing and finding how far the medium will go has been an inspiration.
As I have become more accomplished the natural direction has been to share my knowledge. Teaching the process of working with hot beeswax is very exciting and rewarding. I love to see the light in someone’s eyes when they first see the never ending possibilities of experimentation and discovery.
Now, painting and instructing, I define myself as a mixed media artist specializing in encaustic painting. My work can be seen in private collections nationwide and in juried shows in Northern California.