“I found myself standing on a threshold knowing that I had to do what I was meant to do and do it now or it would never happen.” - the artist
I found myself standing on a threshold knowing that I had to do what I was meant to do and do it now or it would never happen. For me, that meant creating art – taking my life experiences and feelings, placing them on a surface and hoping their reflection touched others. It is my hope that each piece reflects my vision, that we are all equally connected to God, who is present in our daily lives. My inspiration comes from that deep meditative space I have grown into and endless curiosity.
Encaustic painting has captured my heart and soul! I love the smell of the beeswax and the magical way it fuses together. Layers and layers of translucent color produce a richly textured depth. I am fascinated watching the heat from my torch or heat gun transform the solid wax surface into liquid. Within minutes the swirling wax puddle returns to a solid state. Most of my pieces are created with an idea in mind and, when finished, have transformed into something completely different. Using encaustic medium itself becomes a way of letting go and accepting the path the wax chooses during the fusing process.
I have found that my best work comes to life when I allow the beeswax to speak to me. I simply surround myself with inspirational items I have found such as old keys, maps, and postcards, reference books collected over the years, photographs of people, rusted tea bags and paper towels, and vintage jewelry. Once the process begins, there is an interior world I access where I lose all sense of time and space as I create.
I work on cradled wood panels, travertine, and slate. They are perfect for incorporating rusty, broken and discarded objects, as well as string, fabric and paper. Using found objects, I collage into wax, which allows for a dialogue to take place between myself and the wax.
This is the point where I release the idea of perfectionism and allow myself the freedom to express what my spirit is saying. Letting go is an on-going process in learning how to reach deep down inside myself to that place of stillness and reflection. I have gradually learned to trust the process and to be brave and confident that the intent will manifest in the finished work. Encaustic is a never ending journey of not only pushing myself, but of pushing the boundaries within that medium.
My work mirrors my life, which is also multi-layered…enriched by the texture of my spiritual values, family, friends, and my work with special needs students. The crossing of the threshold, which I once feared, is truly a remarkable gift in my life. It has allowed me to be who I was created to be.
About the artist:
Trudie Wolking is an Encaustic Artist and owner of “Bons Amis”. Born in Picayune, Mississippi, Trudie has lived most of her life in Lafayette, Louisiana. She is a special needs teacher at Cathedral-Carmel School. Trudie is married to Chris Wolking and is the proud mother of three children and twelve grandchildren. Trudie works on cradled wood panels with encaustic medium and pigmented wax using a blow torch or heat gun to fuse. She incorporates found objects into her artwork which she calls her "little treasures". The assemblage process is how the story begins. Commitment to the encaustic process opened the door to Trudie's artistic voice. The melting and scraping through layers, building up and sculpting ensures that the outcome of each work is unpredictable and uncertain. This is what feeds her passion to keep creating. Molten layers of wax need to be added, taken away in places, and added again to build up the texture and essence of the piece. Gradually she has learned to trust the process and to be brave and confident that the intent will manifest into the finished work. Her work as an artist mirrors her life which is also multi-layered, enriched by the texture of spiritual values, family, friends and teaching her special students.
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