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Larain Matheson

Encaustic oil & mixed media, Jewelry 
My art is inspired by nature. Oil beeswax and a torch to fuse layers are my tools. My images are from the natural architecture of the sea and land to abstraction. My journey is to create beautiful compositions with transparency.

Artist Larain Matheson at work

Encaustic art is a 2000-year-old medium dating back to the Egyptians and the Greeks. I’ve been exploring this medium of using beeswax and oils mixed together, for the past 13 years. My inspiration comes from the beauty of where we live, and I emphasize the elements of air, earth, fire, and water in my work.

My tools are melting pure beeswax, mixing my colors by adding oils, and melting them at a high degree of heat. The process is labor intensive but allows me to mix many hues of colors which I paint on with brushes, onto a wood panel.  The process can also be subtractive where I use scraping tools or mixed media like photo transfers, collage , and papers, embedded into the wax. I fuse each layer with a torch, to the underlayer of color and wax. My work has between 5-15 layers of wax and oil paints in it, which creates the transparency and depth.


I’ve received awards for Art In The Redwoods, the Salon Show, and Mendocino Art Center, and have regularly exhibited in Santa Fe, N.M. at the Encaustic Art Institute/Museum. My work is in collections throughout the U.S.


I received my M.F.A., from U.C.L.A. back in the 70s where I worked with artist Richard Diebenkorn, who was influential in my perspective of the architecture of the landscape in California. Of all the mediums I have worked in for the past 40 years, encaustic has captured my heart. I love working both in realism, from photos I take, as I walk the coastal trails, and also abstracting from nature. Encaustic painting allows me the freedom to explore and add layers from the unseen to what the finished painting will be, making the unseen more visible.


I invite you to my studio to see the many compositions I create, from realism to abstraction.

Directions to Studio #22 at 34101 Highway 1, Gualala 

From Anchor Bay drive north to mile marker 5.79. Turn east onto the driveway after Ohlson's Lane. Look for the Tour sign.

Studio Tour Hours

August 26 & 27 September 2-4
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

My studio is also open all year by appointment.

Notification For everyone's safety, pandemic protocols of masking and distancing are observed.



Phone:  719-588-0777



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