Artwork of the Day: By the Still Water, Georgia Nassikas
Today’s Artwork of the Day is “By the Still Water,” a 16″ x 24″ encaustic painting by Artexpo New York 2012 exhibitor Georgia Nassikas. These still waters could well be those of the Rhode Island coast, where Georgia was raised. Born into one of the state’s most revered political families, Georgia was the daughter of John Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island and later Secretary of the Navy and U.S. Senator, and the sister of former U.S. Senator and current Governor Lincoln Chafee. Georgia was pulled by another strand of her remarkable DNA, however: her maternal great-grandfather was the noted painter and camouflage pioneer George de Forest Brush, while an aunt was an accomplished portraitist.
Leaving the hum of political life to her brother, Georgia went on to train as an artist and designer in Boston and Florence. She eventually set up her studio in the rolling, Virginia countryside across from Washington, DC.
Now, her life resonates with the hum of an entirely different kind. Dotting the gardens outside Georgia’s window are blue and yellow beehives that produce the encaustic medium she paints with. It was after Georgia saw Jasper Johns’ encaustics at the National Gallery that she began to mix hot beeswax from her hives with mineral pigments, damar and oil sticks, applying it boards and creating semi-abstracted, planar compositions with richly textured surfaces.
What I love about this medium is the energy involved – the process of scraping, layering, and scoring is active, engaging, and challenging.
The hives themselves often figure in her landscapes, though the sea is never far from her artist’s eye. What ties her work together, beyond her trademark, formal approach, is its quiet, timeless luminosity. While enhanced by the ancient medium of hot wax and pigment, Georgia’s unique sense of light can be seen in her earlier work in oil as well as her more recent encaustics.
Georgia has exhibited widely in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland and Rhode Island. We are fortunate to have her join us at Artexpo New York 2012 from March 22-25, and look forward to welcoming her. You can find out more about Georgia Nassikas at her website, georgianassikas.com.