WORKING WITH WAX: Contemporary Encaustic Painting in Northern California
Curated by Thomas Morphis
January 21 - March 6, 2010
Robin Denevan — Amazon Tributaries
A Study of Two Rivers:
Robin Denevan’s latest work was inspired by his travels to China's Yunnan Province. His paintings are based on drawings he did of the Yangtze River in an area that will soon be dammed and flooded. It was a unique opportunity to see such a magnificent and haunting landscape. He did these studies during the dry season when sandbars and islands cut the river into many paths. Denevan recognized similarities between the sweeping shapes of the Yangtze and the serpentine channels of the Amazon from drawings he had done in South America. Though the two are vastly different the subject of the river as a constant force that carves and sculpts the landscape was apparent.
Denevan has been working with encaustic for over a decade. His process begins with drawings of the exotic landscapes he visits which are the source material for his paintings once he has returned home to his studio in San Francisco. He never uses photographs as a source for his work. The paintings are on canvas stretched over a wood panel, which provides a rigid and porous surface. Denevan melts resin and beeswax together and applies it with a brush. His paintings have many layers of wax and oil paint. He continually adds materials and then removes them with solvents, sandpaper, and a variety of sharp tools. The finished work is both luminescent and beautifully textured.