Carol Ashford is a mixed media artist currently focused on encaustic painting. She often integrates objects into her work, ensnaring them in colorful wax compositions that reflect on life’s mysteries and challenges. Hermetically sealed in thick coats of pigmented beeswax, her wood panels host a dimensional presentation of development and excavation like a archeological study of the human experience.
After completing her first degree in art at (then) Cal State Hayward, Carol continued to expand her repertoire of varied techniques and disciplines at CCAC, Academy of Art, and Humboldt State before becoming an art teacher herself for 14 years. During her tenure in the classroom, she encountered digital media for the first time and subsequently became a trailblazing advocate for technology and arts education as an administrator of schools across the Bay Area, Napa, and Sonoma Counties.
In a world now fully digitized, Carol’s art is a return to reliance on the more tactile digits she uses every day. Always yearning to explore new techniques and processes, encaustic wax painting appealed to her as a medium which she had not yet charted despite its ancient history. Starting with a wood panel, she keeps a critical eye on her work while letting her subconscious wander during the application of pigmented wax encasing objects and textures, composed at first by instinct and sometimes partly excavated en route to completion.
Though cryptic at a glance, the symbols and materials in her hermetically sealed panels often document and reflect upon her life experiences. In her recent work one can often find pieces of rubble from the house she lost in the Tubbs fire, sometimes accompanied by worker bees toiling away at a new honeycomb for their queen.