“Bucket List: #11 (√)”

At dinner, nearly two years ago, I all but whispered a confession to my friends, Yuko and Jenny. “I’ve always dreamed of having my art work displayed in an exhibit.” “Great! Let’s do it!” Yuko exclaimed and got out her date book. “What?! No, I mean I can’t, I mean…” Yikes. This would mean facing a lot of different fears. “But…but…but…” Fortunately, Yuko knows how to make things happen.

Here we are. I’m excited about this show, I’m surrounded with creative friends, and I’m in love. I’m in love with this new medium I’ve discovered. Encaustics. We’ve only been together for two years now, but I’m enjoying the relationship, and we’re still in the “honeymoon” state of discovery.
Encaustics = bees wax + resin + pigment. It can have a creamy, ethereal smooth look, or become extremely textured and dimensional. It can be bold in color or sublime with subtly. The encaustic medium is melted with a hot griddle or a heat gun. It’s painted on while hot, and layered in thin coats.

Most of this work incorporates my own rusted papers or photo transfers, mixed with encaustics, pigment sticks and small twinkle lights.

Working with encaustics feels like an exploration; one where I never know exactly where I’m going, but it doesn’t matter because I love the journey. Unlike other forms of painting, I am less attached to the outcome, and feel like I’m simply along for the ride.

I hope that you’ll enjoy the beauty in the rust, the dreamy look of the wax, and the perfect imperfections. Thank you for taking the time to visit, and for being a part of my long-held secret desire to show art in an exhibit. (And be careful what you confess to Yuko!)






Mary Jo Reutter is a game inventor and designer. With more than 10 years in the toy industry, she has published over 30 board games. If you want to play along, she recommends “Even Steven’s Odd” for the family, or if you’re looking for something more “adult,” check out “Midnight Outburst.” Because – everyone needs to play more!

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