Joan Lowden

“Life in Washington County: Grackles”, part of StageEast’s collaborative short video project. Lora Whelan-writer, Kathleen Dunbar-actor, John Newell-composer/pianist, Joan Lowden-visual artist.  Project conceived and edited by Mark Macey for the Eastport Arts Center, 2020.

My main artistic passion is music, jazz bass in particular, but I had explored visual arts in my youth and developed a renewed interest when I discovered encaustic painting several years ago.  Encaustic (from the Greek, "to burn") painting combines hot beeswax with colored pigments and dates back thousands of years. I am particularly enticed by the textural quality of encaustic painting, and the way that I can merge this ancient art with modern technology, such as digital photography, to create unique works of art.

Encaustic painting is quite similar to jazz because it is very improvisational - you might start with a plan, but the hot wax has a plan of its own, so the art comes from letting the materials ultimately guide the journey.

Work process illustrated below: The remix series started with a graphic, colorblock image.   By the time I added layers of encaustic paint, the end result had journeyed far from the point of origin. Shown here: Rose Graphic, Remix Rose final, Remix Rose detail.