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Mixed media encaustic painting with oil paint of Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA by Crystala Armagost
Eastern State No.1
Encaustic and oil on wood panel with found paper, paint chips, and dust


This painting was the first full scale image I created after photographing Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA. I was struck by the strangeness of the bright green color palette left on the walls and in the dirt on the ground and wanted to recreate the hues in the layers of paint I saw there. I applied the black sooty dirt by hand to emulate the traces of fingerprints and handmade marks that the prisoners had made on their cell block walls. The color layers are melted wax applied by hand with a brush and embedded with dirt. Marks are also carved into the surface by hand and painted over with oil paint to saturate each mark with color.