Original fine art pieces in a variety of mediums

art by Debra Munson

Located in the heart of the Driftless Region of Wisconsin, Deb Munson is a self-taught artist; working out of an upcycled chicken coop on her hobby farm, which is now known as the Coop Studio. While she uses many different mediums; her passion is encaustic painting.

Encaustic is a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn”. Heat is used throughout the process of encaustic painting. This is done by melting the encaustic medium, applying it hot and fusing layers of medium together. Encaustic medium consists of bees wax and damar resin.

“If oil paint is the prose of painting, then encaustic is its poetry.” - Chester Arnold 

Artist Statement

As a child I would sit in my father’s pickup truck, scribbling and drawing pictures with my first friend and not realizing I was beginning to create the marks of art.

Throughout high school and beyond, I experimented with many different mediums. But when I discovered encaustic painting through a relative, it was during a period in my life when I needed to slow down and find joy in the present, and I immediately fell in love with the medium. My husband had been diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia at a young age, and encaustic painting helped me look within myself to cope with the ambiguousness, grief and loss.

To me, the process provides solace in its meditative rhythm. Melting the wax, made up of beeswax and damar resin, while taking in its aroma is a meditation all its own, and I find joy in the movement and rhythm of applying the wax from side to side on the panel. For each piece, I create layers upon layers of colored wax, and scrape it back when cooled to reveal the memory of the first strokes underneath, each layer creating its own unique story to be interpreted by the viewer.

I am a self taught artist who learned through many hours of online courses and workshops with my favorite educators like Alicia Tormey, Gabriella Sanchez, and Lorraine Glassner to name a few.

I am a member of the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, NM, Nemaa in NE Minneapolis, Wyoming Area Community Arts Community, River Arts Alliance in Winona, MN, and Society of Arts and Crafts in La Crosse, WI of which I am a board member.

My work has been featured at the Viva Gallery in Viroqua, WI, Central Park Gallery in Coon Valley, WI and Isles Gallery in Minneapolis, MN.

Currently my work is available to view or purchase at The Dow gallery in Saint Paul, MN and the River City and 1802 Galleries in La Crosse, WI. A commission piece can be viewed at the corporate offices of Gundersen Health systems in La Crosse, WI.