Hamburger drippings, seed pods and dried-up lake beds may not seem like typical inspirations for works of art. But to local modern artist Lisa Marie Sipe, these everyday occurrences are the foundation for her style of work.

Sipe, an acrylic and encaustic wax painter, will be showcasing her latest exhibit, “Polychromic Outthrusts” at the Eye Lounge in Phoenix from Oct. 16 to Nov. 14.

The show focuses on basic, everyday images in nature, but the unique factor comes from Sipe’s unconventional interpretation.

“I’ve always been drawn to interesting patterns found in everyday life,” she said. “One of the pieces from this collection was inspired by a plate of leftover Kobe burger drippings. It sounds disgusting, but the bubbles created as the fat separated from the blood created playful fluid shapes.”

The pieces in “Polychromic Outthrusts” were created using encaustic wax dripped over planks of smooth wood. Encaustic, an ancient wax art form, is pigmented wax made of beeswax, microcrystalline wax and oil paints. Encaustic is applied molten to wood or canvas and then fused together and carved to create a variety of designs and effects. It’s an uncommon and difficult medium to work with, but its rich color and special texture create very unique art pieces.

“I like using encaustic because I can control it as much as it controls me,” Sipe said.

The Eye Lounge is an artist-ran, contemporary art space on Roosevelt Row, part of the Downtown Phoenix Arts District. Sipe has been showing her art there for three years and this will be her final solo show.

“The Eye Lounge has been great because I can do whatever I want with that space… It’s given me a lot of opportunities to showcase what I do,” she said.

Besides the exhibition, Sipe and fellow artist Christopher Jagmin are offering a one-day only encaustic painting workshop on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Eye Lounge. The class is open to anyone interested in learning the techniques of encaustic waxes. Students have the opportunity to complete one to two projects during the class and a $150 fee will cover all materials needed. Those interested can e-mail Jagmin at to reserve a spot.

“I’m doing this workshop because I kind of want to give back,” Sipe said. “When I started using encaustics it was hard to find a workshop in Arizona, so I want to offer one to people.”

The opening night and reception will be tonight, Friday, Oct. 16, from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. Those interested in taking the encaustic class will have an opportunity to talk with Sipe Friday, Oct. 23, from 7 to 8 p.m.

The Eye Lounge is located at 419 E. Roosevelt St. in Phoenix.

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Leslie D’Ambrosio is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.


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