Ardis Harsche

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Ardis Harsche Ardis Harsche Biography

About 35.000 year ago during the late Paleolithic Period, a creative ancestor picked up a stick from the fire and started the first charcoal drawing on the wall of a cave dwelling. These drawings were layered over many thousands of years by repainting over the old faded areas. Each artist had an individual style using blood and natural earth pigments such as ochre and sienna to fill in some of the charcoal drawings.

Inspired by her fellow Paleolithic artists, Ardis Harshe applies charcoal, dry earth pigments, and encaustic (a beeswax medium) into oil paint to represent the texture and look of the caves. With charcoal sticks she boldly sketches using quick, natural strokes on her "cave wall canvas".

The encaustic medium has a free flowing waxy texture that creates an abstraction which stimulates the imagination and invites the viewer to closely observe and discover hidden layers of omnibus shapes.

In some works Ardis mixes sand and other natural substances with the encaustic, creating the "encaustic mixed" medium. Using this technique she recreates a hunk of the cave, beckoning the viewer to reach out and touch the surface.

Ardis Harsche has a BFA from the Herron School of Art and has worked as an instructor at the Indianapolis Art Center and taught in the Adult Education Program at Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). She has exhibited widely, including solo exhibits at Butler University and the Indiana Venture Center. Her work has received numerous awards.

Ardis recently moved her studio to historic Jerome, Arizona.

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