The Makers: Leslie Stoner’s Brilliant Encaustic Paintings

Meet the dynamic encaustic artist whose main tools include a blowtorch and a bread pan

By Kirsten Abel

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September 14, 2015

Leslie Stoner is holding a blowtorch in one hand while we chat in her Green Lake studio. She’s spraying the torch across the surface of one of her paintings and explaining her process: how the flame heats the wax and fuses it, pushes it down or smooths it out in different ways.

As an encaustic painter—encaustic being an art form whose main medium is heated wax—Stoner utilizes a unique set of tools. In addition to her several blowtorches (which come in a few different sizes), she also uses razor blades, various palette knives, pottery tools and an assortment of baking tins.

Stoner spent her childhood years on a mink farm in northwest Montana. She moved to Seattle in 1997. From 2002 until 2006 she attended Cornish College of the Arts, where she earned a degree in painting and photography.

She first tried encaustic painting in 2005, while she was managing the studio of Betsy Eby, another local encaustic artist and one of Stoner’s early influences. Stoner’s work now shows at Abermeyer + Wood Fine Art in downtown, the Seattle Art Museum sales and rental gallery, and Friesen Gallery in Sun Valley.

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