Breaking The Line

New England Wax: Breaking The Line

Lola Baltzell and Trina Abbott

ANGEL DEAN, Horizon, 8x 10 inches, 2020


Welcome to our online show! We were inspired to organize this show as galleries and exhibitions have been closed since mid-March, but our creativity continues, and it is important that artists work and that others can witness it.

All work in this show is for sale. Please send your inquiries through the blog.

Breaking the line means something different to each artist in the show as well as to each viewer. What does it mean to you? Breaking the line is a military term, an element of writing poetry, colinear points in math. It applies to Palmistry, Genetics, family legacies and picket lines. In abstract mark-making lines connect. Breaking the line disconnects. Our times feel interrupted, disjointed. The work in this show expresses both the angst but also in some of the work you will also feel a sense of hope.


TRINA ABBOTT,  Flag Love, wax and encaustiflex on panel, 6 x 8 inches, 2020

TRINA ABBOTT, My Flag, wax and encaustiflex on panel, 5 x 10 inches, 2020

I love and respect the country I was born and live in. I love our flag and for what it stands for and I am proud of the revolutionary women who sewed the first flags for our country. I am Breaking the Line of the conservative ideologues who, for some unknown reason, believe only they can be patriotic and own the flag of the United States of America.


LOLA BALTZELL, Break The Line (1), encaustic, 10 x 10 inches, 2019

LOLA BALTZELL, Break The Line (2), encaustic, 10 x 10 inches, 2019

I am a Gemini. Does that explain my dualities? I have always wanted to
test the limits, break the lines of conformity, of what was expected of me.
In my work, there is always high contrast colors, but a lot of
containment as well. I stay in the lines; I break the lines. It is a
study in contrast.


JEANNE BOROFSKY, Cloudy Day, encaustic collage, 18 x18 inches, 2020

JEANNE BOROFSKY, Forget, encaustic collage, 10 x 10 inches, 2020

These pieces each have distinct lines – but the image flows over and through them – “breaking” them. They both reflect and contain bits of the natural world, where I get my inspiration and retain my sanity in this strange world, we are in.


DEBRA CLAFFEY, Blue Tulip II, 2020, oil, encaustic, monotype collage on panel, 12 x 12 inches

DEBRA CLAFFEY,  Eloquent, 2020, oil, encaustic, monotype collage on panel, 12 x 12 inches

Much of my work includes literally breaking the line. I think of the line as a divider or a barrier and the breaks in the line as places for oxygen and air to get in, for movement, and for creativity to spark.


KIMBERLY CURRY, Plunge, encaustic and mixed media, 8 x 8 inches, 2020

KIMBERLY CURRY, Emergence, Encaustic and mixed media, 8 x 8 inches, 2020

I tend to go through life fairly quickly, rushing along, but with a COVID-19 slow down, things have become very quiet. This series represents my “fast” speed at a slow pace. Mixing media that took hours to create, stitching of threads, layering wax – all of it has turned into a meditative retreat.


CAMILLE DAVIDSON, Crossroads, encaustic and oil, 16 x 20 inches, 2013

CAMILLE DAVIDSON, Loose Ends, encaustic and yarn, 16 x 24 inches, 2013

I chose these works because each one represents a broken line
Crossroads is about how we choose what we think is our path and along the journey we break off and completely change our path. Loose ends is a dream where I, a ball of light, unfurled and opened, and the unfurling left the ends frayed.


                 ANGEL DEAN, Foundations, encaustic, 22 x 10 inches, 2020

                     ANGEL DEAN, Horizon, encaustic, 8 x 10 inches, 2020

I chose these pieces for this show because of their broken lines — rarely is a horizon straight, and we need a solid foundation to build our irregular lives upon. I wish I could walk a straight line to my goals (be perfect), but I have never been particularly good at that. I tend to take detours, get distracted, veer off the path. I think about that LINE a lot as I seek to keep my life on track.


PAMELA DORRIS DEJONG, In Solidarity, encaustic monoprint collage on canvas-board, 24 x 36 inches with black floater frame, 2020

PAMELA DORRIS DEJONG, Hands Up Don’t Shoot, encaustic monoprint collage on canvas-board, 24 x 36 inches with black floater frame, 2020

Responding to compounding events and emotions, these paintings reflect the story of our present circumstances. Breaking the line of white supremacy, it is time to practice true equality and to reorder social democracy. Painting my message is the safest action I can take. I stand in solidarity.


HEATHER LEIGH DOUGLAS, Night Driving #1, encaustic, 8 x 8 inches, 2012

HEATHER LEIGH DOUGLAS,  Night Driving #6, encaustic, 8 x 8 inches, 2012

These pieces are from a series I did on nighttime road trips, when lights on the highway are skewed, and images seen in daylight, are broken in the dark. I have not been able to create many encaustic pieces during this pandemic. It seems we are in a time of darkness, on many levels. Hopefully when the light returns, what seems chaotic now will realign itself into something wholesome.


SOOSEN DUNHOLTER, The Age of Souls, wax, black thread, 9.75 x 11 inches, 2020

SOOSEN DUNHOLTER, Your Message Has Been Interrupted, wax, black thread, 9 x 12 inches, 2020

The imagery in these pieces reference communication. At first it was scant and insufficient, then gradually, unclear, disconcerting; ambiguous, misleading, inconsistent, contradictory, and unfathomable. This has been the messaging disseminated during the early months of 2020. The use of thread is a token of the moment.


HELENE FARRAR, Distance, encaustic on panel, 20 X 30 inches, 2020

It appears to me that the human condition is seeking authentic
connections and exchanges that inspire deep thinking and warm
hearted-ness. However, we are continuously drawing distances between
our neighbors and relationships through our rigor and approach. Social
lines or boundaries keep being built some brought on by the pandemic,
but others created to form protection for beloveds from harms way. I had
recently gone for a long walk in a coastal Maine town, and found these
cluster of buildings to be a metaphor for this contemplation.


DONA MARA FRIEDMAN, Joyful Dissent, encaustic, oil, cold wax, acrylic,

20 x 24″, 2020

DONA MARA FRIEDMAN, Traces Remain, oil, cold wax, acrylic,

12 x 23.5″, 2020

The line begins, interrupted, goes under, and appears again as a circuitous route. It is color bold, it is thin void, and traces remain, a palimpsest.
The line breaks as memories jumble, it is outline, it is clothesline, it is the breaking lineup of time.


JEANNE GRIFFIN, Twilight in Antarctica, encaustic, 9 x 9 inches, 2020

JEANNE GRIFFIN, Above and Below, encaustic, 9 x 9 inches, 2020

On a trip to Antarctica we passed multiple glaciers along the way. We also stopped at several islands where the wildlife was beyond abundant. The artist’s eye tends to see things differently so, with this in mind, I painted these two abstract paintings for this show as they reminded me of this trip.
In Twilight in Antarctica I see a glacier crossing the line as it descends into the dark, tumultuous ocean while Above and Below hints at a multitude of wildlife in the ocean, on land and ascending into the air. Both the glaciers and the wildlife break the line between water and land.


KAY HARTUNG, Optical Impressions 1, encaustic monotype and pastel,        16 x 12 inches, 2020

KAY HARTUNG, Optical Impressions 2, encaustic monotype and pastel,        16 x 12 inches, 2020

The monotypes are made up of patterns and circles that refer to diffraction and interference. These phenomena occur when a wave encounters an obstacle or slit. The tangled forms and overlays of patterns represent the complexity of interactions in today’s world.


          OTTY MERRILL, Green Pickets, Mixed Media, 11×16 inches, 2020

          OTTY MERRILL, Concrete Kitty, Mixed Media, 18×24 inches, 2020

These two pieces draw the viewer’s eye to the use of broken lines as a focal point as in Green Pickets. The torn white edges of Concrete Kitty create an impactful journey around the outline of the image.


SUSAN PALADINO, The Unraveling Inside I, Cold Wax Medium on Wood Panel, 20 x 20 inches, 2020

SUSAN PALADINO, The Unraveling Inside II, Cold Wax Medium on Wood Panel, 20 x 20, 2020

I selected my two latest works because I have drawn lines in both. These lines weave in and out of the geometry.


DEBORAH PEEPLESs, Wide Open, Encaustic, 16 x 16 inches, 2020

DEBORAH PEEPLES, Trying to Breathe, Encaustic, 16 x 16 inches, 2020

I have been thinking about the layers of frenetic lines in these pieces as a visual interpretation of a poetic line break. This device – stopping before a thought is complete and then picking up after a pause – creates a visual rhythm as well as space to explore. I hope to communicate through the dynamism of the lines and the nuance found in the breaks where the lines are interrupted.


DEBORAH PRESSMAN, Distant Lands, cold wax, oil stick, graphite 14 x 17 inches, 2020

DEBORAH PRESSMAN, Glacial Indifference, cold wax, oil pastel, graphite,   16 x 20, 2018

Since the start of isolation in March the need to be close to nature is greater than ever but our ability to be IN nature has been altered. The two pieces chosen are looking at landscape through veil- it is close by but out of reach.


STEPHANIE ROBERTS-CAMELLO, Cornered, encaustic, 10 x 10 inches, 2020

STEPHANIE ROBERTS-CAMELLO, Zip, encaustic relief over old letter, rusted paper, casein & ink, 10 x 11 x 4 inches, 2020

Breaking the line, for me, implies a drastic change that is not repairable. Cornered was reworked quite drastically. Not all the surface was removed, the upper right corner I left to show its history. Zip, I opened from the center, something I do not usually do, and it had a feeling almost like a dissection. Both these pieces were done during the outbreak of Covid-19.


LIA ROTHSTEIN, Linea l, encaustic, ink, and patina on panel,
9 x 12 x 1 inches, 2018

LIA ROTHSTEIN, Linea 5, encaustic and ink on panel,
10 x 20 x 2 inches (diptych), 2018

My explorations with linear elements typically explore their calligraphic qualities but, during the present pandemic, I have been thinking more about both connectedness and disconnection in my Line series. We are in this situation together, but we are each dealing with the isolation imposed on us by Covid-19 in our own varied ways. There are times I am grateful for the connection of home life and art studio with increased time to work without distractions from other outside forces. Then there are the moments when I am keenly aware of all the things from which I am disconnected and missing very acutely; family, interactions with fellow artists, art events, and the travel that makes those important connections possible.


RUTH SACK, Blurred Lines, encaustic monotype on Evolon,
8.25 x 6.25 inches, 2020

RUTH SACK, Broken Lines, encaustic monotype on Evolon,
8.5 x 11 inches, 2020

These encaustic pieces are literal interpretations of the theme “Breaking the Line.” They were each created by moving a layered block of encaustic paint in a line along the surface at two different speeds and temperatures.


SARAH SPRINGER, Everything’s In Flux, collaged encaustic monoprints
on paper, 16 x 22 inches, 2020

SARAH SPRINGER, Some Things Just Can’t Be Fixed, poured encaustic, concrete and wire mesh, 2020

These pieces represent a common state of existence for some of us during the past year – lives fragmented, holding it together (but barely), forcing the pieces into some semblance of normalcy.


MARINA THOMPSON, Divided, ink, oil, encaustic collage on cotton paper,
21 x 15.5 inches, 2016

MARINA THOMPSON, Free Fall, ink, oil, encaustic collage on kozo paper,
17 x 12 inches, 2016

These paintings were created in late 2016 after Trump’s election to the White House. The country was so divided, and the world seemed on the precipice of a free fall. They feel even more appropriate now as we head into another divisive election. The government has failed to protect our planet, our lives, our economy during this Pandemic – we are truly in a free fall.


LELIA STOKES WEINSTEIN, Look Closer, Encaustiflex, encaustic, silver pigment, 22 x 24 inches, 2020

LELIA STOKES WEINSTEIN, Look Closer (detail), Encaustiflex, encaustic, silver pigment, 22 x 24 inches, 2020

At the beginning of the quarantine for Covid-19 I viewed everything in my life as a blur of confusion and I created these monotypes with wax. As the days and weeks went by, I started to see the silver linings of slowing down and looking at nature, books, and reaching out to distant friends. I picked up a silver pigmented pen and started to draw on the muddled prints. Images emerged seemingly from nowhere. At first glance people are strangers we might even fear but as we look closer, they are interesting, and fun, future friends!


CHARYL WEISSBACH, MetalScape, indigo-neutral white-German silver, encaustic & aluminum, 12 x 6 inches, 2020

CHARYL WEISSBACH, MetalScape, indigo-turq-peri, encaustic & aluminum, 12 x 6 inches, 2020

MetalScape paintings are intended to connect the viewer to nature’s expansiveness with expressionistic landscapes and seascapes. The imagery does not accurately represent nature; rather, an abstraction of it capturing infinite variations of accentuated line. Color and composition are reduced to a minimalist evocation of stillness so that form becomes the focus.


NANCY WHITCOMB, Pulse, drawing and encaustic, 10 x 8 inches, 2020

NANCY WHITCOMB, Divided We Stand, drawing and encaustic on
wooden fencing, 16 x 13 inches, 2020

Pulse: After staring at too many statistical charts graphing all aspects of the Covid-19 virus, I thought of the simplicity and soothing sound of a human pulse, and the caring of healthcare workers during this crisis.
Divided We Stand: Social distancing, masks, families trapped in small spaces, plus disruption in all senses during the pandemic have created a heightened level of anxiety.

ANGEL DEAN, Horizon, 8 x 10 inches, 2020