Judith Stein

Mixed Media Artist

Nature has always been my source of inspiration. Whether I am walking in the woods, sitting by the edge of a pond, or hiking in the mountains, I often find myself in a different time and space – connected to a part of myself that is timeless, spacious, free, and radiant. Painting provides another portal into this feeling of spaciousness, when memories, emotions, and creative energies merge to create a piece of art. While I consider myself a mixed media artist, I especially enjoy working with a mixture of oil paints and cold wax medium.

By layering the wax-laden paint over time and then scraping away the surface to reveal the underlying layers, I can readily create the rich colors, textures, and rhythms that I often find in nature. The sheer pleasure I experience while working with these materials mirrors the joy and freedom I feel when I’m surrounded by nature.

More recently, I have also been working with collage. My work has been inspired by a collection of my father’s letters from World War II that I inherited when my mother died five years ago. The stark contrast between the love letters that my father wrote to my mother and his wartime experiences as a lieutenant in an army tank destroyer company in Europe was so striking to me that I wanted to create a series of collages that served as a tribute to both my parents. These pieces highlight the strength and resilience of my parents’ loving relationship even in the midst of my father’s horrific encounters on the battlefields and at a Nazi concentration camp, which his company liberated. Incorporated into my collages are also snippets of documents, letters, and photographs inherited from my in-laws, who were Holocaust survivors from Hungary and Germany. Their courage, resilience, and determination continue to be a powerful source of inspiration. This series of work is called Remnants of the Past.