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Seeds of Joy by Nichole DeMent

Nichole DeMent’s mixed-media paintings are made using an encaustic process in which beeswax and resin-based paint are fused over photographic imagery printed on Japanese rice paper. This results in light-infused, diaphanous layers that reveal traces of delicate underpaintings and detritus—she sometimes adds rust, dried leaves or moths that have flown into the hot wax—lurking just beneath.

“All my pieces are based on my own photos and the further experience of losing myself in the creative act,” DeMent says. “Life is stressful, and this series in particular comes from the special moments I get to spend in the field, lost in my camera’s lens, and simply time in the studio focusing on what I need to do for me—away from the demands of the world.”

DeMent’s work is on view as part of a group show called Darks and Lights at Seattle Art Museum’s SAM Gallery through Nov. 19.

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