Spring In Winter

 Prayers

Beauty Is

Sali Swalla

 

 

Artist Statement

I hope to make visible the invisible worlds that move, motivate and guide us as soulful beings. My deepest wish for my work is for it to make the viewer pause, even for the briefest of moments, to reflect on or connect with their deeper selves. To make visible to them something that has only ever been a feeling or a dream.

Working with pigmented wax  I use layers to build depth ~alternating between opaque and translucent ~ and often find myself scraping much of it back to reveal the moments of light I love so much. With some pieces taking months until completion and others seemingly only moments, it is when the work seems to be speaking quietly to me do I deem it a finished piece.

Born in Hawaii to a Japanese mother and a US Marine pilot father, my early years were spent living in various US States, Japan and Korea. After attending University in Tokyo I moved to Los Angeles where roots where finally grown. Having moved often in my youth and spending so much time "in between"...in between states, countries, houses, schools and cultures... I have developed a rich and unique inner life. I have created an inner space cultivated by all the differences I have seen. A space suspended between here and there. A space which is the foundation for all of my work.

My full time painting practice began after years as a small business owner ~ I followed the dream of opening my own little coffee shop and successfully ran two of them before the need for the meditative quiet of a regular studio practice demanded to be heard. There was no refusing the call to create. It has become my meditation, my vehicle and my voice on this spiritual journey. It has made me complete on a deeply soulful level. My deepest wish for my work is for it to touch the viewer in some way on just such a level… to make the viewer pause, even for the briefest of moments, to reflect on or connect with their deeper selves. To make visible to them something that has only ever been a feeling or a dream.

My recent work has been mostly in encaustic wax painting. The word encaustic means to “burn in” in Greek, and is an artist process which involves using heated beeswax, damar resin, and pigment and applying the mixture onto a rigid surface and then fusing it to the surface with a blow torch or other heating source. It has taken years of experimenting and working with the medium to find a process that works with my creative style and expresses all I wish to say.  Along the way I have picked up working with a sister medium - cold wax- to complement the work and practice. Needless to say I am addicted to both. The organic qualities of wax, from the way it handles, to the way it smells of honey and the luminosity which can be achieved has captured my creative spirit. I use layers to build depth ~alternating between opaque and translucent ~ and often find myself scraping much of it back to reveal the moments of light I love so much. With some pieces taking months until completion and others seemingly only moments, it is when the work seems to be speaking quietly to me do I deem it a finished piece.

I am blessed to have my work in private collections across the US and Internationally.

www.saliswalla.com