Shelley Wuitchik Portfolio

Shelley Wuitchik

"For me, painting with encaustic creates a state of totipotentia, a latin term meaning the ability for all things. A totipotent cell has the potential to develop and differentiate into any cell in the body, be it skin, bone or even heart tissue.

Encaustic painting is also filled with such potential. Since the medium is malleable and fluid, I am able to mix it with vibrant pigments and embed sculptural elements. I seek to illustrate the flow of water, the dense weight of the earth and the flash and volatility of fire.

My work is a reflection of my life, the rich texture of my family, history, and experiences are blended together just as composition colours melt into swirls of water and bursts of fire. The ebb and flow of the seasons are divided into different series through which I explore both the macroscopic and microscopic in tandem. With sweeping gestures of the blowtorch, I am not only burning in the medium, adhering layer to layer. I am also burning in memory, time and space. 


I hope the luminosity and movement of my work offer the viewer the
same spontaneity and transformation I experience as I paint.

Totipotentia - all things are possible."

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