PEG BACHENHEIMER: ARTIST STATEMENT
My painting process involves discovery and a love of color and texture. Since I don’t know what will emerge as I paint and I create many layers, I see painting as an act of faith and determination. I’m interested in places where things meet and merge and in what lies below the surface; in the mystery of sky meeting earth or light on water flowing over rock; in places where the past is visible in the present like an old wall or a memory. I want my paintings to convey a rich visual and tactile experience connected to feelings evoked by the mystery and beauty of life.
Sometimes I paint with oils over highly textured acrylic mediums and color on canvas. I like the luminous quality of the oil paint and the texture and color of the acrylic under painting. I also work in the encaustic medium in which beeswax, damar resin and pigment are heated and applied to a wood panel. Each layer of wax is fused with the heat of a torch or heat gun, making it one with the previous layer. It’s possible to build up many layers of wax, oil paint, paper and other collage materials and also to scrape back and incise the surface. The fusing and scraping often lead to unexpected and unique discoveries. Encaustic paintings are very durable and the colors will stay vibrant and fresh since wax is impervious to moisture. The only care needed is to avoid temperature extremes.
ABOUT PEG BACHENHEIMER
I grew up in Seattle and Cleveland where my father was the director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. When I was growing up my family was immersed in art. One of my fondest memories was the Saturday morning art class at the museum.
I graduated from Smith College and Bank Street College of Education in New York City. I taught young children in public schools for many years. The creative process experienced in teaching and in painting is similar for me. I learn how to paint and about the feelings connected with each painting by experimenting with what feels and looks right and then deciding, responding and reevaluating. In the same way, I learned about teaching individual children.
I’ve been painting since 1998, when I began to take classes at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. I, then, went to Penland School of Craft to study and realized that I wanted to dedicate a large part of my life to painting. I now paint full time at my studio and home in Carrboro. I live with my husband, Steve, and have four grown children and stepchildren.