Bainbridge Island-based artist Kenna Moser creates encaustic collage paintings that incorporate imagery from nature, vintage stamps, and letters. Encaustic paintings are created by combining melted beeswax with colored pigment, painted onto a surface in layers. She was born in Ontario, Canada and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Queens University in Ontario. She moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1993.
Kenna’s studio is full of objects that inspire, and piles of old botanical books, dictionaries and letters to be used in her work. She begins by gluing original vintage letters, envelopes and collage to a wood panel; a signature layer of beeswax follows this. She has been working with encaustic and beeswax for the past 20 years. The beeswax is applied hot, then smoothed and buffed. It provides a transparent and luminous surface for the oil painting.
The letters reference the written word. She said that the script and paper are appealing to work upon.
“The writer’s stories have been lost,” said Kenna. “Perhaps I am creating their narrative.”
Kenna is inspired by artists who work with their own visual language, passions and quirks. She believes that the path to the universal is through the personal, that you can only really paint what you know. Her work is intertwined with her life. Images are gathered from trees, ferns and feathers found in the woods and stream behind her studio or gleaned from her garden.