Wax from her honeybee hives, damar crystals from fir trees, color pigments from around the world – Georgia Nassikas heats and mixes these three core substances and then uses a variety of tools and techniques on board and panel. Encaustic painting began with the Greeks and Egyptians and today inspires and informs a new generation of avant-garde artists. Like the meaning of her name, Georgia’s art is “of the earth,” a pursuit of elemental form, color, symmetry, and emotion.
A student of art and art history in Italy and Spain in the late 1970s, Georgia further studied art and architecture at graduate design school in Boston in the early 1980s. As a young artist, she focused on drawing, watercolors, and oils. In recent years, she has dedicated herself to a challenging series of encaustic works, inspired by her time along the New England coast and her apiaries and gardens outside of Washington DC.
Georgia’s gallery shows and thematic series encourage the viewer to look from afar and observe up close. From a distance, the images present the geometry of a still life, a long-simmering notion of a landscape and luminous sky, or a modern deconstruction of a shape, color, or theme. Close up, the paintings take on a third dimension: the scoring and scraping, the marking and layering bring a multifaceted tension among surface, viewer, and composition. Present throughout her art, light plays across the surface, shapes shift from the classic to the abstract, and high thoughts rise in response.