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laura deem

Laura Deem lives in Northern California’s San Francisco Bay Area. Her work is inspired by the ethereal nature of time.  She layers imagery in wax that gradually develop a visual narrative, telling the story of a memory, a period, or a place. She creates quiet spaces where internal dialogue is silenced and still, capturing the sensory experience of meditation and contemplation.


Her background surfaces begin with nostalgic material with a history — things like handwritten letters, faded prayer flags, out–of–print Italian textbooks, vintage blueprints for buildings built over a century ago, and medical prescriptions from the 1930’s.  Gradually as the layers evolve, Laura quiets them by selectively adding, scraping, incising, and obscuring the wax, often revealing hidden layers from the background of the work.


The term “encaustic” refers to a medium of ancient origin which involves wax–based paint composed of beeswax, damar resin, and pigment which is kept fluid on a heated palette, applied to a rigid surface, and then reheated to fuse the paint to the panel with a torch or iron, leaving luminous imagery encased in translucent layers of wax.  Encaustic artwork is very tactile.  It’s the kind of painting you want to touch.


Laura Deem exhibits extensively and her work is in private homes and permanent public collections at Stanford University Hospital, Landrover, Inc., and the city of Dublin, California.  She is a member of the International Encaustic Artists.


Doerschuk, Andrew MacLeod, Taking Control: When it comes to her Career, Mountain View Artist Laura Deem Plays the Long Game” Mountain View Voice, May 30, 2008, pages 25-27

“Of Note: Dealer’s Choice – Laura Deem’s O’Brien is one of several artists being exhibited through December 15th at Smith Andersen Editions,” Palo Alto Weekly, November 16, 2007, page 27


Master's Degree With Honors: Interdisciplinary Studies: Visual Communication and Fine Art, California State University, Chico. Exceptional Achievement Award for graduate work and leadership in Communication and Art Master’s Degree, granted only three times in the prior 15 years, 1991.

Bachelor's Degree Visual Communication, Studio Art minor, California State University, Chico, Graduated magna cum laude, 1990.

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