Passionate Painter Podcast Episode 9 – Artist Jessie Fritsch walks a perfect line between control and spontaneity with the ancient art of encaustic painting
Jessie Fritsch paints because she was raised surrounded by a creative and arty family who always supported her artistic talent. Her internal drive is to make art, teach art, and help create a strong art community. She is inspired by random moments and paint what she finds to be calming beauty in her busy life. The one common denominator in her work is vibrant and luminous color.
Jessie began primarily using encaustics because she was captivated by its ancient history and was challenged by its process of heating and cooling which captures the dynamic of chaos and demands control unlike that of any other painting medium. The process of encaustic demands a confident hand as well as a hand that can allow the spontaneity of the flow of the wax. This balance of discipline and disconformities are reflected in her work as well as her life.
Jessie's first year of college, Jessie came across the book about 2,000 year old funeral portraits that were painted with beeswax titled “The Mysterious Fayum Portraits: Faces from Ancient Egypt” by Euphrosyne Doxiadis. She was fascinated by this lost art and began her journey to become an encaustic artist. In 2004 Jessie received a research grant from UWSP to teach herself how to paint with molten pigmented beeswax. She graduated with a BFA in Studio Art with a painting emphasis in 2006. Jessie didn’t get in to graduate school, so she began exhibiting at art festivals. She has been a working artist for 13 years and began teaching workshops in 2018. She is council chair of the Stevens Point Festival of the Arts and is part of Gallery Q.