Judith Williams


Judith Williams
Encaustic, Mixed Media

Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, I danced and performed ballet and modern jazz for 20 years. After moving to San Francisco, I studied art at San Francisco City College, California College of the Arts, and Sonoma State University where in 1995 I received a BFA in painting. I continued with a Post-Baccalaureate Tutorial working with Chester Arnold and Bob Nugent, Bay Area painters and professors. I live in Mill Valley, and have taught workshops in encaustic techniques in California and Hawaii. I have shown my work extensively in the Bay Area and across the US.

With an urge to layer paint and see through traces underneath, I was seduced by the Ancient Greek technique of encaustic painting, combining beeswax, resin, and pigments. I layer swatches of collage papers, layer the luscious translucent wax, paint, scrape, and draw into and on the wax. It’s the mystery in these hidden layers that intrigue me.

“Through my aesthetics, I search for ways to follow my curiosities about life. With no answers the search is endless, and the process satisfying.”

I am both interested and annoyed by the endless trail of papers, bills, lists, newspapers, letters, and advertisements to name a few, that are mailed and delivered to us. I pile them up in stacks, or discard them for the trash.

Grocery lists, sketches, journal pages, sewing pattern papers, funnies, architectural drawings, and calligraphic papers are my medium transported with encaustic paint. My intent is to recycle these into appealing visuals improvising with line, color, and form. As a continuation of my passion for and years of studying dance, I seek rhythm and movement in my paintings.

Encaustic, a mixture of beeswax and resin (tree sap) allows me to reveal, preserve, and conceal these collections of paper in the wax because of its transparency and translucencies. I draw and paint over these papers. It’s the hidden layers, and buried history that captures time and intrigues me.