March 09, 2006

Mary Ellen McKeen, artist

ME works in encaustic, paint, graphite powder, dirt, oil, paper, ink, etching, what have you, to create some of the most ethereal works you will find anywhere. Mary Ellen received her BFA from the University of NH and has lived in Italy for many years, studying art there as well.
She has worked in large scale oils, to tiny encaustic pieces more recently due to a spinal injury.
Her spunk and wit is as sharp as the shade of red of her hair. Here are two encaustic works which have been shown at Women Made Gallery in Chicago.
This tiny work is 5 inches square and part of the "Slug Love" series. Mary Ellen and I traded some work recently and the encaustic piece I acquired from her is below entitled Degenerate I. It is one in a series of spinal related works from Mary Ellen. Art can heal. It is 12"x12" and the photograph is not telling of its luminance or depth. Encaustic (wax) is hard to photograph well so you will just have to seek it out to see what is really going on with the work. It has a thickness and sculptural like feel to it with a smooth glossy finish. It is difficult and tedious to work with, but Mary Ellen embraces the labor of love with a dedication and sincere patience that few have for the medium.
She carves into the work like a sculptor and paints on the pigment like a painter.

Mary Ellen McKeen, portrait of an artist.
She is currently moving to the Rochester area, so she has no new work to view at this time. Stay tuned, she will be back soon.

The word for the day is ... enrobe ... like a veloute sauce, a layer of wax or a sensation of accomplishment.

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