Missing Pages: A Literary Series
Encaustic Paintings by Shannon Troxler
Reception: Tue, July 15, 6:30–8pm
My house is full of stacks of old books, they all have one thing in common—Missing Pages. Those pages have found a new life in a series of encaustic paintings. I have relished every step of this project, searching used book stores for dusty copies of my favorite classics, reading late into the night to revisit the characters and scenes that have haunted and inspired my dreams, and the guilty pleasure of ripping out pages.
Books have always been part of my life. I remember lazy summer afternoons as a child when my greatest pleasure was curling up under the poplar tree with a favorite book. As an adult I look forward to our book club gatherings, a chance to share a glass of wine and deep (well, sometimes) discussions on books and the topics they inspire. Books introduce us to unimagined worlds and unknown ideas, they spark our interest, ignite our passion, move us to laughter and tears. Books are a powerful vehicle for stepping beyond the known, we are challenged to see and experience the world through the eyes of another, and hopefully we gain compassion and insight into perspectives other than our own.
Great books are made of great characters. Characters so real they step off the page and into our lives. Villains that make us tremble and peek under our bed, everyday heroes who inspire us with their courage and integrity. I am fascinated by the power of a character to survive beyond their author’s intention and time. Just think of Sherlock Holmes, that Victorian gentleman, who has traded in his pipe for a nicotine patch and continues to delight new generations with his deductive skills. Or what of Elizabeth Bennett ? Whose conversation and wit are as delightfully playful and biting today as they were in the 18th century. More then anything, this exhibit is a celebration of those characters and the memories they evoke. Most of the books I have chosen are considered classics, books that have endured the passage of time and still have a universal and relevant appeal.
To create these paintings I used rabbit skin glue, which is also used in bookbinding, to glue pages of original books or bamboo paper to wooden panels. I painted an oil sketch on top of the pages and then applied a layer of encaustic medium (beeswax and damar varnish). I then continued to paint with encaustics, a process using hot liquid wax and pigment. This combination of materials allowed me to attain a sense of luminosity, depth and layering. I wanted to evoke the subtle layers and meanings of words with the actual material and process. The surface of the paintings themselves are rich and textured; if you look closely many have subtle half hidden texts and symbols buried in the wax. I wanted to suggest the way we experience books: that first initial impact of the story and then a gradual unraveling of layers and threads of meaning which change as we, the reader, change and evolve with time.
This collection of paintings is an invitation to visit old friends and to reread and explore the classics with a fresh eye and open mind. I hope that it sparks conversation and dialogue………How do you envision these characters? Which are your favorites? I hope you enjoy the exhibit as much as I have enjoyed the opportunity to combine my passions for painting and literature.
Shannon Troxler continues to change and evolve as an artist, exploring new mediums and subjects such as encaustics and oil on gold leaf. Shannon is inspired by the beauty of the natural world; she attempts to capture the essence of her subject and distill it through the lens of memory and her own experience. Shannon is a graduate of the Schuler School of Fine Art in Baltimore, Maryland and she also attended the Art Students League in New York City. She has had numerous solo exhibits in Jackson and on the east coast, including shows at the Kimball Art Center and the Samuel Morse Museum in New York. Her work has been in several prestigious national shows , including “Birds in Art”, Arts for the Parks, The Governor’s Capitol Art Exhibit and the Salmagundi Club. Her work is also in the permanent collection of The Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne.
Location: Sprague Branch
Contact Information: 801-594-8640