O’Malley’s encaustic paintings consist of molten beeswax, graphite, pigment and damar varnish.
She manipulates the viscosity with sculpting tools and brushes specially designed to handle the 180 degree temperature required to melt the encaustic, then engages in torching, fusing, painting, dripping and layering, while impregnating the molten wax with graphite. It is a process of constant push and pull, additive and subtractive methods requiring tremendous time and patience to complete.
Resulting in paintings that are uniquely transparent in areas, thick and textural in others, with lush and active surfaces that are simultaneously sensual and contemplative. Painting with this molten wax is traditionally, and for her, both a ritualistic and poetic experience.