A Study of Contrasts
The encaustic paintings of Dale O. Roberts are on exhibition at the Robert Roman Gallery at artspace from January 8 through February 2 in Encaustic Reflections. Robert’s realistic work is distinguished by his understanding and use of light, powerful composition, and his ability to conquer a very difficult medium: painting with wax and pigment.
The process used by Roberts is classic encaustic, a procedure dating from Roman times. The work is done on a glue prepared gesso panel, using paints consisting of beeswax, dammar crystals, and dry pigments. Paint is applied hot, and manipulated in any variety of methods. The final image is subjected to a heat treatment of the entire surface, known as “burning-in.” This final process, essential to the true ancient method, causes the layers to fuse into a stable, inert paint film.
Roberts’ has for many years depicted landscapes and in this exhibition he appears to continue the landscape subject matter with what seem to be tranquil countryside scenes upon first glance. However, his traditional misty dusty green encaustic landscapes have become sharper as he applies his vision to adjacent industrial sites. In this study of contrasts, Roberts has introduced a sharp difference between the beautifully rendered trees, gentle hillocks and fields, juxtapositioned against a frame of concrete and metal slabs of man-made buildings and bridges. His paintings are a poignant statement about mans’ struggle to maintain the beauty and serenity of the countryside, while contributing to the economy with structures that often defile and disrupt nature.
Dale O. Roberts received his AAS from Rochester Institute and graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia. He currently resides and works in his studio in Norristown, Pennslyvania.
Visit the website of Robert Roman Gallery, 7127 East Sixth Avenue, Scottsdale, AZ 85251, 480-947-4014.