Los Angeles-based painter, Michael Hayden, masterfully uses melted beeswax combined with pigments, oils and resins to create colorful and luminous paintings. Sometimes his use of found objects brings an unexpected sculptural quality to his work.
The ancient method of art using molten beeswax and resin as a painting medium is known as encaustic and was started by the Greeks around 4BC. The word “encaustic” is derived from the Greek word “enkaustikos” meaning “to heat or to burn”. The use of tools, such as a torch or heat gun, is necessary to fuse multiple layers of wax one to another. Encaustic art is one of the most archival methods of painting known to man. Pigments suspended in beeswax will never fade.
Inspired by master painters Jasper Johns, Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn, to name a few, Michael works to create scenes that will invite the viewer to a place of meditation and contemplation. He is often credited for his use of color, especially blue.
Hayden says, “Every painting tells a story. I spend a lot of time near the ocean studying colors and shapes from water to sky. I find endless inspiration in the horizon line. The found objects I use to create what I call ‘encaustic, mixed media paintings’ encapsulate memories of the past. I like to imagine that repurposing salvaged artifacts, like wood, metal and crystals, give each new painting a soul. Finally, the titles are my way of starting a conversation and inviting you to find a personal connection to each one of my creations.”