Deborah Howard-Page

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(415) 305-6440


I was inspired by a few images of wild birds I saw in a U.K. newspaper, and felt compelled to paint them. What crept in while I did so were dark suggestions of disappearing wildlife habitats: ghostly tree branches, empty nests, holes in trees, abandoned bird houses... The bits of decorative "wall" paper appear through the wax, perhaps hinting at human domesticity; our relentless, invading progression into vanishing wild domains.

Early on, I realized my equipment and I were not up to the task, so I went online to seek permission (usually granted) from photographers to use their far superior images.

I use oil paints, pastels, inks, and colored pencils, over many layers of wax encaustic on small canvases or wood panels, incorporating gold leaf, bones, feathers, fabric, glitter, old wallpaper, origami or decorative papers.

A luscious ground for oil paint, melting beeswax smells SO lovely (reminiscent of my Waldorf school), plus it lends an element of mystery to the finished work, both of which I find appealing.