Over the past few years, I have been experimenting in abstraction using a number of mediums. My latest work continues this exploration but with the addition of a new element for me – encaustic medium. As well, I am interested in finding new ways to look at our Canadian landscape. In this body of work, I have brought together four components: abstraction, encaustic medium, the landscape and an iconic Canadian symbol – snow.
The encaustic medium that I use is a combination of beeswax, damar resin and oil paint. Trained as a sculptor, I am drawn to the medium’s possibility of a highly textured surface. Luminous colours and the lustre of its body are characteristic qualities of encaustic. This medium creates an outward appearance that glows and sparkles in sunlight, much the same as the snow and ice it portrays in my artwork.
I like to think of this work as romanticizing winter – from rime covered autumn leaves, through the depths of winter, to the last banks of spring snow with their delicate blushes of pink algae. I celebrate winter and hope the viewer can sense my affection for our coldest season. My work reflects the joy I feel in creating and I want to share this emotion with my audience.
Michelle Salter is a resident of Stratford, Ontario and a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Fine Arts Department (Studio). She is a member of a number of artists’ groups including the Crit Group in Kitchener, the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts in Toronto and Gallery 96, an artist-run centre in Stratford. Salter’s work is collected throughout Canada and represented in many private and public collections.