Becky White is a mixed media artist with a
ridiculous passion for gardening. Her love of gardening is evident in her work which is based in fiber and
encaustic. Drawing inspiration from textures, colors, and
the constant change nature provides, a walk through the
garden is simply an opportunity to gather art supplies.
The creative process starts with a simple question.
“I wonder if that leaf will print?” The answer requires experimentation that is equal parts science and
knowledge gained through past success and failure.
Simply put, eco or botanical printing is contact printing
with plant material. Pigments from gathered plant
materials are extracted and transferred by heating.
Color variations are influenced by mordants,
tannins, the season in which plant material is gathered,
growing conditions, even the cultivar within a plant
species. “With so many variables involved, the end result
never ceases to thrill and amaze me” she says.
A trip to Santa Fe NM was her first exposure to
encaustic, an ancient painting technique in which
beeswax and pigment are fused onto a surface with heat.
The allure of textural composition and natural
imperfections in the encaustic works she viewed drew
her attention. The encaustic passion came first. Botanical
printing was a distraction, kind of an “Oooh Pie!”
moment along the way. The juxtaposition of the two was
an accidental but natural collision of two worlds,
like chocolate and peanut butter.
Becky is self-taught and guided by a voracious curiosity,
she has no preconceptions about what art should or
shouldn’t be. She is a Best of Missouri Hands juried artist and a juried member of Fresh Gallery in Springfield, Mo.
© 2018 Rusty Leaf Studio