Shari Lyon may be a new artist to the Celebration of Fine Art this year, but the art lover turned encaustic wax artist is a long-time fan of the show. In fact, she and her husband (also an artist) have been attending for decades. 

Though they now live in Utah, Shari recalls fond memories of attending the Celebration throughout high school with her then boyfriend (now husband). This year, she brought a medium to the show that is arguably more rare than some other mediums –– encaustic. 

Though encaustic tends to be more uncommon these days, it actually dates back to as early as the 5th century B.C. It is the process of painting with a mix of melted beeswax and damar resin, and is highly durable. Ancient Greeks used it to waterproof and decorate their ships as the beeswax is impervious to moisture. Shari, however, was drawn to it for a different reason.

Though she enjoys working in encaustic in part because of its link to the ancient world, she also finds that it’s an exciting challenge for her type-A personality. 

“What challenges me the most is the dichotomy between being in control of the medium and letting the medium do what it does,” she said. “There’s this great marriage of learning to be patient and move with the encaustic is wanting to do versus what I want it to do.”  

Trees feature heavily in Shari’s work. She is drawn to the symbolism of trees, which she believes cuts across all cultures and religions. Trees are stoic, grounded, and lasting, and they are a calming and meaningful subject for Shari.

“I call my pieces, not landscapes, but dreamscapes,” she said. “I like to create places that bring serenity into your home.”

Watch her full interview here: