Amy Melchior

Amy Melchior

“I am not going to look for the reason why certain beings have a pressing need to paint.”“Art exists alone for its own sake and it does not need a reason” Michel Tapies

I was born in Wellington 1974. Grew up in Hawke’s Bay. Moved to Sydney when I finished high school, lived there 3 years. Came home met my partner and together traveled around Asia land lived in Laos for a while. Returned to NZ to have our first boy. We then went back overseas with our young son zephyr to Asia, Europe, Morocco and India. I am now living in Auckland with my two boys Zephyr, Luka and partner Jeff.

I am a self-taught artist and have experience in painting, photography and all forms of printmaking especially etching and lithography.

2004 finalist in Goldwater awards with an encaustic painting
2005 group show Compose Art Gallery Auckland
2006 finalist in the Waikato Contemporary New Zealand Art Awards with an encaustic painting
2006 two group shows at Compose Art Gallery Auckland
2006 solo show:  South Coast Gallery Wellington
2006 solo show:  Compose Art Gallery Auckland
2007 group show:  Compose Art Gallery Auckland
2007 solo show:  Compose Art Gallery Auckland
2007 solo show: South Coast Gallery Wellington
2007 publication of article about my work in Art News
2009 TV show auction house did an article about my work
2009 solo show:  South Coast art Gallery Wellington
2009 group show South Coast Gallery Wellington
2010 group show South Coast Gallery Wellington
2010 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
2010 solo show South Coast Gallery Auckland
2011 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
2011 Game On -A selectors choice of Contemporary New Zealand Artists Hastings City Art Gallery
2011 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
2011 Art News did an article on my paintings
2011 group show for Gallery 36 at Pearce Gallery
2012 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
Her magazine did an article on my paintings
2012 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
2012 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
2012 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
2013 group show Warwick Henderson Gallery Auckland
2013 NZ House & Garden did an article on my paintings

I paint in Encaustic, an ancient process of infusing pure pigments in beeswax.
I have been working in this medium for the past 7 years. I find the practice very intriguing. Wax is a fascinating medium. The finished surface of Encaustic has a transparency and depth that draws the viewer in with a unique luminosity and richness of colour and a sensuous smell that evokes the natural origins of the beeswax.
Primarily forms and structures in nature, both on land and in the ocean, inspire me as a starting point for my compositions.Though in my new works i am looking at the importance of pattern in memory.

The process…
I begin by heating and filtering raw beeswax (fresh from my uncles honey hives) through muslin before adding damar resin, (a pine resin used for hardening the wax) and heat until it has amalgamated and then strain it again into small tins. Pure powdered pigments are then added to create any colour or saturation I desire. I begin application with a brush then fuse each successive layer with a heat gun. In the moment when the surface is made liquid again I can bring images through from layers beneath, making them float towards me. Sometimes I scrape back partial layers of the wax. I like to etch and scribe fine detail into the surface to draw out aspects of the image. There are many new and constantly evolving possibilities of form that appear as I manipulate the wax.

Amy Melchior

2 Comments

  1. Jude Mannion

    Hello Amy,

    I’m a complete novice ,but I love your work.

    Would you consider letting me pay you to give me a lesson or two on starting out in Encausitics ….I’m really taken with it …Ive also spent many years working and living in Asia …let me know ….all the best Jude

    • admin

      Hi Jude I have had quite a few people approach me for a workshop on encaustics which i would love to do in the future , unfortunately right now I’m very busy with my next solo show but maybe sometime next year. I must warn you that its an incredibly difficult medium to work in an you do need extractor fans and a lot of equipment as it is hot wax that is used in encaustic painting (so the fumes can be dangerous), but i have built a hot printing press which i am thinking would be a great way to introduce people to the process without the dangers involved in painting with hot wax. the printing press gives you the opportunity to create a one off mono print out of wax …would you be interested in learning that ?
      cheers amy

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