Biography of Caryl Gordon
After working in her garage on a 2,000 pound etching press for 16 years, Caryl Gordon knew it was time to try something different. With a bachelor’s degree in fine art, and a background in painting and photography, she was looking for a new and exciting challenge. When she found herself thinking about making an artistic genre change, she remembered loving the encaustic paintings she saw in a Santa Fe museum and realized she didn’t know anything about the medium. “I Googled the word ‘encaustic’ and fortuitously found a place called The Encaustic Center in the very next town to where I lived,” she said. “After taking many intensive workshops there, I fell passionately in love with painting with hot wax and haven’t touched my printing press since.”
The self-described “wildly inventive, abstract imaginary-landscape artist” plays by her own rules and is constantly discovering new ways to manipulate wax. “It can be applied as thin as watercolor paint and as thick as concrete. It can be carved into like clay, and scraped into to look like a distressed wall or aged object. The wax can be blown with a heat gun to look like a moving stream or to just create wanted drips. The techniques and possibilities are limitless and I try to incorporate and discover as many as I can.”
When creating, Gordon is prolific and paints about 30 hours a week. “I am an intuitive artist who goes into a zone while creating, never planning ahead what the outcome will be. I rely on my extensive art education and my experiences in life to guide me.” Gordon said she never has preconceptions when starting, and begins by moving the colors, shapes, and textures around to see what develops. Once she likes what she sees, she becomes more controlled and pulls the painting together. Color, she says, is the only element she determines before going into a painting, as working with color is intrinsically part of her.