It was the recommendation of a graduate school mentor that introduced Jeffrey Lewis to encaustic painting. Due to the cost and complexity of the encaustic process, it took Lewis five years to explore the possibilities of working in this medium. As a new faculty member in the Art Department at Auburn University, he applied and received a faculty grant which enabled him to fulfill his need to achieve surface texture in his paintings.
The word encaustic comes from the Greek translated to "burning in or inustion." Colored pigment is mixed with melted beeswax and resin to create a liquid form and is then applied with a brush. A heated element is passed over the surface, fusing layers of paint to create a permanent image. The surface preferred by Lewis is a roughly textured matte finish.
Lewis is a native of upstate New York and is keenly aware of the growing spiritual connection between man and nature. He is inspired by the landscape and sky of the Northern Country, and believes that the actual curvature of the earth makes the heavens seem closer to the earth there than anywhere else in America.
It is Lewis's sincere hope that others may find solace in his work.