When most people look at wax, they think to themselves, “Oh yes, this would make a lovely candle for my new redwood bookcase.” Well, maybe not most people. Maybe that’s just me. But when Heidi Beal looks at wax, she sees a medium fit for her fantastical artistic expressions, which can currently be seen at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles as part of her exhibit: he held my heart. he held my soul.
Based in Bakersfield, Beal was a founding member of Studios on the Park and a nationally regarded encaustic (hot wax painting) teacher. Her work consists of a multitude of materials, including molten beeswax, photographs, cotton, and found objects like branches, twigs, and flowers. She then combines and layers these seemingly disparate elements into bewitching, LED-lit multimedia pieces that examine themes of fertility, nature, life, and death. They’re complex and heavy subjects, but Beal’s work is far from inaccessible. It’s wonderfully weird.
You can see Heidi Beal’s exhibit at Studios on the Park through Nov. 30. Studios is located at 1130 Pine St. in Paso Robles. Admission is free, and it is open Thursday through Sunday. For more information, visit studiosonthepark.org.