Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn is an emerging artist, working in encaustic, oils and photography. She creates large portraits of flowers and ocean waves with layers of color and texture using beeswax, oils, cold wax and varnish over archival fiber-based prints mounted on birch wood panels. More recently, Deborah creating more abstract and graphic marks using encaustic medium and cold wax then transferring photo into
Deborah has been an independent commercial photographer since 1990 specializing in Interior and Food photography for Editorial, Advertising and Corporate clients. In 2008, at the start of “the new economy”, she began prioritized her fine art studies and painting while still working as a commercial photographer.
The Water Series
As a Commercial Photographer, I’ve photographed some spectacular homes for Magazines, Architects and Interior Designers sometimes for Coffee Table Book projects, Marketing and Advertising. Most often these properties have wonderful pools with mosaic and glass tiles. I have been drawn by the movement of the water over these tiles. Quite often wishing to be in the water instead standing of the edge of the pool!
I’d photograph the water and reflections for myself, shooting different angles, getting the ripples and sparkle. The next step has been too crop, enhance and bring a boldness to the colors and textures for a more graphic image, almost not looking like water. They are all custom printed on Archival Metallic paper then face mounted onto acrylic. I do this to simulate the backlit images we are all getting accustomed to seeing on our phones, tablets, computers, even watches!
No need to frame the prints, the cleat hanging system allows the Photos to hang freely from the wall, as if floating for a “clean” look.
All images are part of a limited edition series of 5.
2010 to Present - Studying under Michael David, Fine Arts Workshop, Atlanta, GA
and Brooklyn, NY
2017 Little Things Mean A Lot, Swan Coach House Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2017 Group Show, dk Gallery, Marietta, GA
2016 Holiday Group Show, Location Gallery, Savannah, GA
2016 Little Things mean A lot, Swan Coach House Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2016 Community, Group Show, Hathaway Contemporary Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2014 Fine Arts Atelier, Group Show, Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2013 Deborah Llewellyn, Solo Exhibit, Matre Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2013 Group Show, AtlantaMADE, Atlanta, GA
2013 Little Things Mean A Lot, Group Show,
Swan Coach House Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2011 The Irascible Muse, Group show, Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA
Smoothness, transparency, depth and patterns are fitting descriptions of my encaustic* paintings. I am Deborah Llewellyn, an artist and professional photographer based in Atlanta, GA. I developed a love for painting with wax about 9 years ago and never looked back.
My paintings are a combination of beeswax & demar medium, oil paints, coldwax and photography. I make the encaustic medium in order to control the mixing of colors.
My work is physical as well as spontaneous to create. The wax medium has to be heated, melted then brushed or poured onto wood panels. A Blow torch and heat gun are used to move the wax, scrapers and solvents are used to reveal underneath layers. Then more of the ancient medium is brushed on and smoothed, I transfer images onto the wax with heat, burnishing and physical pressure to create another layer, then more
Wax is brushed on, fused and smoothed. Sometimes as many as 20 or more layers are applied to give the depth and transparency I want in each painting. There are marks, brushstrokes, lines, words, colors throughout each layers. When exploring my paintings up close you will see
Images, marks, lines, words and colored brushstrokes with movement.
Born in Montreal, raised in Connecticut, Deborah started her artistic career with a full scholarship to Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in NYC before moving on to commercial photography. Influential artists are Georgia O’Keefe, Irving Penn, Michael David, Alan Katz, Mapplethorpe, Lawrence Carroll and Betsy Eby. Deborah is in the studio daily working on her paintings when not shooting a commercial project
About Th Encaustic Process
Encaustic painting is an ancient technique, dating back to the Greeks, who used wax to caulk ship hulls. Pigmenting the wax gave rise to the decorating of warships. The use of encaustic on panels rivaled the use of tempera in what are the earliest known portable easel paintings. Tempera was a faster, cheaper process. Encaustic was a slow, difficult technique, but the paint could be built up in relief, and the wax gave a rich optical effect to the pigment. These characteristics made the finished work startlingly life-like. Moreover, encaustic had far greater durability than tempera, which was vulnerable to moisture. Perhaps the best known of all encaustic work are the Fayum funeral portraits painted in the 1st through 3rd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt. A portrait of the deceased painted either in the prime of life or after death, was placed over the person’s mummy as a memorial. These are the only surviving encaustic works from ancient times. It is notable how fresh the color has remained due to the protection of the wax.
The 20th century has seen a rebirth of encaustic on a major scale. It is an irony of our modern age, with its emphases on advanced technology, that a painting technique as ancient and involved as encaustic should receive such widespread interest.
Earlier attempts to revive encaustic failed to solve the one problem that had made painting in encaustic so laborious – the melting of the wax. The availability of portable electric heating implements and the variety of tools made the use of encaustic more accessible. Today it is gaining popularity with artists around the world.
Care of Encaustic Art
These paintings are extremely archival, but as with any fine art, care should be given to them. There should be no fear of the work melting in normal household conditions. The wax and resin will not melt unless exposed to temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaving a painting in a car on a hot day would not be advisable or hanging a painting in front of a window with direct desert-like sun. They are also sensitive to freezing cold temperatures.
Some encaustic colors tend to “bloom” or become cloudy over time. If your painting appears indistinct, simply rub the surface with a soft cloth or nylon stocking. Over time the surface retains its gloss as the wax medium continues to cure and harden for up to 1-3 years.