Inspired by antiquity funerary portraits and traditional Japanese landscapes, Eby creates meditative field paintings using tinted beeswax. This method of painting, known as encaustic, involves a heated concoction of natural wax and dammar resin. The viscous mix is melted and mixed with pigment, and then applied to the canvas using brushes and various palette knives. Layers of wax are built up on the surface until the composition is just right. Then Eby uses a blowtorch to smooth and set the painting. (This video shows her in action -- pretty amazing!)
Her works are abstract but look a bit like hazy florals. The surfaces are smooth and shinny, like sheets of ice on a frozen lake. She says that she's drawn to marble, parchment, and alabaster, which makes perfect sense when you see her milky paintings.
The works are dazzling in person -- definitely worth a visit to the gallery if you have the opportunity!
All photos from Betsy Eby