Annie Darling

encaustic + mixed media

Annie Darling was born in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in Maine and studied art and design at the University of Oregon and the University of Southern Maine. She has enjoyed a distinguished career as a visual designer and painter, and has received international acclaim for her visual design work. Her paintings can be seen at

The encaustic medium fascinates me. There are so many ways to use this wax-based technique and I have dabbled in many of them. After working with more traditional encaustic painting methods—endeavoring to shepherd the wax to places it should go—I decided to create my own style of dealing with the wax and working with the encaustic process. 

I have a friend who paints oil over acrylic, and I love that kind of rebel! And so too, I fancy myself an encaustic rebel. Beyond the wax, my paintings may include some inlaid oil stick, graphite, gold leaf or other paint and oftentimes my pieces are composed of layers of paintings which show themselves under the surface; each iteration of wax or other medium informing the next, and thus the final piece.

I love creating abstract art because it's all about the process. I don't tell my paintings where to go, they tell me. Each layer I create determines what is possible on the next; whether by creating limitations or opening itself up to further manipulation. As a fine artist, I feel it is my duty or calling, to allow the work to become what it wants to be, not to try and "make" it into a particular piece. Sure, I am the ocean, by beautiful colors I see or the breathtaking landscapes I ride my bike past—and I may have them in mind as I begin a piece—however I am not trying to translate these concepts into a work of art, I am merely letting them influence my creative mood.