Art and Sustainability

"Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings." –William James (1842-1910), American philosopher and psychologist

Photos from Cynthia Gerdes’s show at Sightline April 24, 2011

Filed under: Cynthia Gerdes,encaustic,shows — Becky @ 10:07 pm
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The view of Cynthia Gerdes’s “Symbiotic Relationships” show from the hallway


“Sundew No. 4″ 30″ x 24” encaustic on birch panel by Cynthia Gerdes


Cynthia Gerdes’s Paris Flower series of encaustic paintings hanging in the lobby of the Sightline Institute office in downtown Seattle


“Paris Flower” 12″ x 12″ encaustic on birch panel by Cynthia Gerdes


Cynthia Gerdes at Sightline in front of her Sundew series of encaustic paintings


See more of Cynthia’s artwork here.


“Symbiotic Relationships” by Cynthia Gerdes March 14, 2011

Filed under: Cynthia Gerdes,encaustic,shows — Becky @ 11:40 pm
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"Sundew No. 3" encaustic on birch panel 24" x 24" by Cynthia Gerdes

We are pleased to announce “Symbiotic Relationships,” the eleventh show in our series at Sightline Institute in downtown Seattle. Fall City artist Cynthia Gerdes has nine encaustic paintings on display through the end of April.

With this exhibit, we go back to the ancient medium of encaustic (“to burn in”), which is a mixture of heated beeswax, resin, and pigments. Encaustic art has survived for centuries. Cynthia uses this technique to depict flora in the two series for this show. She says:

I began encaustic painting in 2008. After years of cruising galleries and attending art shows as a patron, and being strangely attracted to working with sharp objects and fire, I tried my hand at mosaic, welding, glass casting, bronze casting, and watercolor. Then I took an encaustic painting class and was instantly hooked.

The four larger works in “Symbiotic Relationships” are part of her “Sundew” series, inspired by the tiny carnivorous sundew plants that she raises in her home. On the walls of Sightline, the light captures the subtle textures and color variations of the wax in her brilliantly colored magnified interpretations of a tiny sundew plant. The five smaller works are part of her “Paris Flower” series, which depicts Paris polyphylla, a flower named for its symmetry and used for its medicinal properties.

Cynthia enjoys the creative process, never knowing where it will take her, including finding ways to incorporate found objects into her artwork. A love of both nature as well as order are reflected in her works of flora and fauna, grids and patterns, organic shapes and vivid hues. She has shown around the state in both group and solo shows, and her work can be found at UP Front Gallery, part of the artEAST Art Center in downtown Issaquah. Cynthia recently survived artEAST‘s first 24-Hour Art Marathon, in which she created four encaustic paintings on-site in a period of 24 hours. All four were sold in the auction following the marathon.

To view Cynthia’s artwork at Sightline during March and April, visit the office between 10am and 3pm on weekdays. All works are available for purchase. Contact Cynthia directly at fallcitywax (at) comcast (dot) net with sales inquiries.

Sightline Institute
1402 Third Ave,
Fifth Floor, Suite 500
Seattle, WA
206-447-1880 ext. 100

What thoughts about sustainability are inspired by Cynthia’s art (and by art in general)? Share yours in a comment.