Elise Wagner painter, printmaker, and teacher, is originally from Jersey City, New Jersey, Elise relocated to Portland, Oregon 31 years ago. Her initial captivation with the geology, and the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest, lead her to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree at Portland State University. She studied painting, printmaking, sculpture, art history, geology, physics and environmental biology which wove into what would become the conceptual fabric of her work.
Elise is a 2015-16 recipient of the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant as well as numerous other grants and awards. Her work is among corporate and private collections throughout the U.S. and has been published in several books and catalogs. Elise innovated a way to marry the techniques of encaustic, the ancient medium that combines beeswax, resin and pigment with that of collagraph printmaking. Using her own formulated Wagner Encaustic Collagraph White wax, she is able to create limited edition monoprints.
Elise has been teaching Encaustic Painting and Collagraph workshops in her studio for over 20 years. She has also taught Encaustic Collagraph at ateliers internationally and throughout the country such as Metchosin International School of the Arts, Victoria, BC, Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, CT, Women’s Studio Workshop, Red Deer College, Alberta, CA, Rosendale, NY, R&F Encaustics, Kingston, NY, Burning Bones Press, Houston and the Printmaking Center of New Jersey among many others. She was also a presenter at 2016 SGCI Conference where she demonstrated the method. Elise’s prints have been featured and sold at fine print fairs nationally and internationally by Warnock Fine Arts, Palm Springs and are also available at Butters Gallery, Portland, OR, Gremillion & Co. Fine Art, Houston and Frederick Holmes & Co., Seattle.
The physical wonders of the world spark my imagination, and as an artist, I feel compelled to respond through the creation of art. My work, like science, manifests through discovery, learning and remaining open to new ways of understanding and interpreting the world around us.
As an artist, I feel a strong responsibility to transcend and distill human concerns through my art making. The narrative for my work combines contemporary contrasts found in nature and science as its template and is created by way of continual unearthing in both concept and materials.
My studio practice is fluid and multidisciplinary and explores the contradictions between chaos, the indifference of nature and the human impulse to comprehend through exploration. Using four mediums, encaustic and oil painting, drawing and printmaking, the work weaves a continuous thread. I work as if I am navigating an uncharted path, facilitating a conversation between all disciplines.
My favorite Akua products are the Intaglio Inks an the Transparent Base. Working with encaustic collagraph can be tricky and impossible to print with oil based inks. The fluid consistency of the soy and honey based Akua Intaglio inks makes the perfect marriage of materials to print from the textures of my white collagraph beeswax! Mixing the inks with transparent base allows for gorgeous veils of color. I also absolutely love using Arnhem 1618 paper to print encaustic collagraph mono prints with Akua Intaglio inks.