Kate Santucci - River and Root

River and Root


Kate Santucci
(Dayton, OH)


Encaustic on 9 Cradled Wood Panels


24” x 24” x 1”


Artist Statement:

I am drawn to the examination of how we are connected to our environment, and how we move through and affect our natural world. As we grapple with our changing climate, I strive to highlight our complex and integral connections to nature- that we are a part of it, and not outside of it. My current work examines these ideas through the lens of biology. I use encaustic painting to explore themes about climate and how our actions affect our planet and our existence. I often use images of microbes, plants, animals, bones, and water to tell the story of the unbroken thread between us and the world we inhabit.

River and Root is a story about the soil and trees, and how we must re examine our relationship with the systems that feed us. Cathedral looks at the ocean, and how our actions are changing a vital component of our planet. We are destroying what is essentially the cradle of life, and we must take action now to bring it back into balance.


River and Root is a series of nine 8" x 8" panels.  They are painted with encaustic, which is a mixture of beeswax, damar resin, and pigment that is applied molten in many layers and fused with a torch.  This piece is an exploration of the connection between plant life and the ecology and health of the soil, which is what feeds us. I use imagery of leaves, roots, water, and microbes to tell the story of that interdependence, and to highlight the beauty in its delicate balance.