The Artist

Deborah Winiarski works with fabric and color to create raised and textured relief surfaces that undulate across a picture plane. Her mixed-media relief paintings employ a variety of processes – printmaking, painting, drawing, sewing, and both direct and indirect mark making – in order to capture in stillness a movement in time. Winiarski’s visual language explores the relationships, contradictions and juxtapositions of light, shadow, color, line and edge.

Deborah Winiarski’s work has been exhibited at venues in New York City and across the United States and is included in numerous private collections.

Ms. Winiarski holds a BA and MS in education from Queens College, CUNY. She studied at The Art Students League of New York from 2003-2004 and has been an Instructor there since 2009 teaching mixed media. Deborah Winiarski lives and works in New York City.

The Work

Color, form and line expand beyond the painting surface in these recent mixed-media paintings. In these works, treated fabric strips accrue to create raised and textured surfaces weaving, twisting, mingling, intertwining to create free-formed relief paintings that assert themselves in dimensional space. The torn and folded strips provide form, dimension, depth and color; their edges, line.

The intent for the composed space is that it be contrapuntal yet harmonious; grounded yet fragile; still but silently in motion.

Deborah Winiarski
New York City


In encaustic painting, molten beeswax is combined with a tempering agent – usually damar, a plant resin that gives the cooled surface strength – and then pigmented. This molten mixture, or encaustic medium, is applied to a painting surface and then fused, or remelted, so that it becomes one with the layers below. It is this build-up of layer upon layer of wax that gives encaustic work its luminosity.

Derived from the ancient Greek word 'enkaustikos,' encaustic means 'to heat' or 'to burn in.' It is an art form that can be traced back to 800 B.C. when Greek shipbuilders used pigmented wax to waterproof and decorate their warships. Ancient Greek artists also painted with pigmented wax on clay and marble sculptures and on flat panels.

The oldest existing examples of encaustic panel paintings are the Fayum Portraits dating back to Greco-Roman Egypt – 100 B.C. to 200 A.D. These life-sized head and shoulder images were painted on thin wooden panels. The portraits were later mounted on mummy casing which were then entombed. The hot, dry, dark tombs provided an environment ideal for preserving these paintings. Over 900 of these well-preserved portraits are housed in museums around the world – most of them discovered in the Faiyum Basin region of Egypt.