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Friday, January 22, 2010

Featured Artist: Susan Najarian, the Encaustic Painter

Susan Najarian is a local Seattleites artist with an amazing talent. Check out Susan's recent interview with Seattleites' Diary and her paintings below.


Tell us a little bit about yourself. Please describe your creative process and the material.
I am an independent artist and I live on Bainbridge Island. I am married and have thee school aged children. I create encaustic paintings. Encaustic is from the ancient Greek word that means to heat. The medium consists of beeswax melted with a small amount of resin to impart hardness. This mixture becomes paint when pigment is added to the molten wax. I use the hot wax like paint and I fuse layers of wax to a stable surface using a blowtorch or heat gun.

I love the process of encaustics. There is a lot of preparation, which I see as part of the fun. I like all the setup that is needed before you even begin to paint. Also, living here in the gray, damp, Pacific Northwest I like the warm, sweet smelling, medium, (as beeswax warms, there is a sweet smell of honey). Most of all, I like the finished look. Every completed piece has a sensual, tactile quality that invites the viewer to caress the paintings.

What inspires your work?
I love nature and color. Birds and trees show up in my paintings quite often. I am also drawn to the color of water and I use a lot of blues and greens in my work. And the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest is always inspiring.

What made you want to become an artist?
I have always been creative. I don’t think I “became” an artist it has always been who I am I can remember being in Kindergarten and the teacher praised my creative ability. So I guess getting positive feedback over the years made me want to be an artist.

What advice would you give to other Seattleites Artist?
I guess the advice I would give other Seattle Artists is - try the internet to sell your work. Etsy and other online venues are fantastic. I have met so many wonderful people through Etsy and the support and encouragement is fantastic.


Check out her shop at Etsy. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook. Check out her photos at Flickr and her latest news at her blog.

Some of the rave reviews from the buyers:
"Beautiful little painting. It spoke to me the moment I spotted it and is more beautiful in real life. Thanks." - mackaren

"This is truly amazing art. i have never seen anything so creative in my life. it brings such an interesting aesthetic. truly amazing. and the artist is a pleasure to work with. no prima donnas here!" - cathlapotle

"I love my new art! I have received many compliments and Susanna was easy to work with." - AnneMulick


Susan Najarian upcoming Events:
Jan. 8 – Jan. 31
Bainbridge Island Library - exhibition - Bainbridge Island, WA

Jan. 4 – Jan. 31
Walnut Street Coffee - exhibition - Edmonds, WA