Jan Kabatoff, "Indian Summer," 2006, encaustic on canvas, 40" x 40".
JAN KABATOFF, Waterworks
Summit Gallery of Fine Art, Banff
Nov 4-26, 2006
By Dina O'Meara
Canmore-based Jan Kabatoff feels like an alchemist each time she creates an encaustic painting. Transforming beeswax from solid to liquid and back during the process is akin to the medieval science of transmutation, she says. Her results are luminous, tactile paintings that convey a sense of fluidity and depth, reflections of patterns and geological formations. Kabatoff finds inspiration during hikes in the mountains. Her latest exhibition is an intimate study of water environments, reflecting the multi-disciplinary artist’s concerns about the impact of global warming on glacier melts and fresh water supply. Kabatoff experimented with encaustics as a student at the Alberta College of Art and Design in the early 1990s, and returned to the medium while at The Banff Centre in 2001. Now she moves easily between detailed botanical print-making, textiles, and acrylics. “I like all organic materials, and became seduced by the smell of beeswax, and working with it,” she says. Kabatoff is attracted by the unpredictable behaviour of wax when it returns to a solid state, and the results often surprise her into a new direction. “It’s like a metaphor for life,” she says.
Represented by: Summit Gallery of Fine Art, Banff.