LESLIE STONER | ENCAUSTIC PAINTER

Scanning the beautiful grain on a fresh birch wood panel, my eyes take in all the gorgeous organic forms that nature has created. It’s often hard to choose which I will highlight to become a more prevalent part of the overall composition. Allowing the wood itself to influence the work gives me a bit of comfort. I work primarily within the parameters of what this tree has spent years making through its long steady growth. The years of the tree, what it’s been through and it’s own journey. It all feels very fitting that I should then place my own representation of a journey, a pathway over the top of this beautiful grainy surface. Once I have drawn in what the composition is, then my favorite part begins, the meditative healing power of just drawing lines. Line after line after line that twist and curve their way along the edge of a slowly growing maze, spreading over the surface like a thin black veil. This process brings me peace; I crave it. It slows my thoughts and allows me to sink deeper into my mind. It is my bit of calm in a world filled with constant stimulus and an unrelenting rush to see more, do more, have more, be more. When I am mazing I just “am” and that feels amazing.

This body of work is about change and acceptance. Letting go of what we have grown to see as normal and learning to adapt. To see the good in the challenges we are faced with and coming out the other side stronger and more in touch with ourselves. I have a small note in my studio that says, “I can do hard things”. This is a gentle reminder to myself that this life isn’t always easy (just like these mazes) but it is doable if we keep on the path that has been put before us. I hope that these mazes draw in your gaze and create just a bit of stillness in your life when you look upon them.