Polarity is the word that best describes the multidimensional work of Brenda Erickson. 

Encaustic wax; a messy, unforgiving, and temperamental beast, is built for experimentation. Despite this, nothing short of a studied approach will do, as there is little room for correction.

Brenda’s encaustic paintings and collages scream with depth, color, and texture. Her encaustic studio is a playground, where the potential is endless and the rules of engagement are not yet fully written. This is where a passionate, self-taught artist can go boldly, not quietly, to paraphrase Dylan Thomas.

Contrast this to Brenda’s digital illustrative work. She strives to elevate the mundane to the bright and divine. Spiritual mandalas are a frequent theme. This is her active discipline; her illustrations typically represent weeks of detailed and meditative work. The ultimate control of a digital format also offers the excitement of the ever-changing technology. Another chance to go boldly in a medium not fully realized. Brenda’s Pen work is meticulous; neatness most certainly counts and digital manipulation of this work is a perfectionist’s nightmare. The ultimate work is the culmination of endless use of undo and save.

Her art reflects the manifestation of unbridled energy balanced with pinpoint control and discipline. Her art displays how one medium gives rise to creativity in the other. But nothing is static in Brenda’s creativity, and both mediums entwine. She has used encaustic work as backgrounds in her digital world, and her illustrations as image transfers in her encaustics. The two mediums are never fully separate, as the heart of both is her mastery of the use of layers to guide the viewer to search deeper for a personal experience. Embedding geometry and alchemic symbols with color and texture, Brenda veils her meaning, imploring the viewer to answer, “What does this say to you?” as she, tongue in cheek, delivers on the subjective nature of communication.

Brenda Erickson