Mirrors. Deli paper. Wooden toys. Sap. Tea. In our Unique Materials spotlight, we're diving in to all the most unique materials our artists incorporate into their artwork.

Ned Martin

Not only does Ned Martin use hand-mixed paint and found metal elements in his work, but he also incorporates used printing press plates - adhering them onto panel, painting over them, and allowing some of the plates to show through. As a result, when you look closely at Ned's abstract work, you'll often see text elements and logos - timecapsuling modern day life, often alongside highly textured, subtle sculptural elements. To learn more about Ned's process and materials, you can check out our recent talk about sustainability on the blog.

Alina B

By using acid to strip down mirror and then applying paint or dichroic film over top, Alina B creates a finished piece that is ever-changing and constantly interacting with it's surrounding environment - and the viewer. To learn more about Alina's work, read about Ziegfeld Follies (below). 

Linda Bigness

Linda Bigness's abstract floral paintings are made with an encaustic painting technique on board. Encaustic literally means to “burn in” from the Greek word "enkaustikos". This name comes from the fact that in encaustic painting, each layer must be fused with heat to the layer beneath it. The base medium is primarily made from beeswax. The wax is mixed with damar resin, which is crystallized sap from fir trees. The damar resin provides hardness while the wax provides luminosity. Encaustic art can be made with only this clear combination, or mixed with high quality pigments. 

Deborah T. Colter

Collage artist Deborah T. Colter creates many of her own collage papers using Gelli plate printing, a method of mono-printing that allows the artist to apply layers of color and texture to a print. In addition, Colter uses found materials from old books, newspapers, and tissue paper. She adds line and pattern elements with drawing utensils and acrylic polymer paints, with a give-and-take process to slowly reveal the final composition. 

Sofie Swann

Originally from Iran, artist Sofie Swann was displaced from a young age due to political upheaval in her home country. After immigrating to the United States and moving several times before eventually settling down in Connecticut, she established her current body of abstract work which explores the concepts of emotion and the search for finding a sense of "home". Working primarily in acrylic paint, Sofie also incorporates Persian tea into many of her paintings as a symbolic nod to her roots as they blend with her newfound sense of self. To learn more about Sofie's work and process, check out our Inside the Studio talk with her last year. You can also learn more about Dancers #1 and Dancers #2 (below), in our recent Curator's Choice feature

To see more and shop art by each of the artists featured here, visit our Artists page. Or, contact us for more information on any of the work you see listed!



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