David A. Clark has worked in a variety of media, but it is in the use of encaustic on handmade papers where he has reached full-stride in his work. Having exhibited nationally in one-man shows and museum exhibitions, he has become one of the foremost practitioners in this distinctive medium. Encaustic, a mixture of beeswax, resin and pigment, is one of the world’s oldest fine art mediums and can be traced back to the ancient Greeks in the 5th century BC. The process of using encaustic is unique because it must be heated in order to activate it and make it fluid. There has been a wave of new interest by artists using the medium in the past few decades.
"Many years ago a close friend loaned me an old tin red-arrow sign that used to hang in a theatre where we had both worked. For me that sign symbolized an idealized sense of connection. It stood for the freedom that comes from leaping into the unknown in front of a crowd of strangers and represented the exhilarating rush of trepidation and possibility that accompanies an actor’s path from the wings onto the stage.
Arrows are much more than a symbol; they are a metaphor for being. In my work the arrow is a representation of the human figure, an expression of movement, time or state of being, a meditation on direction, impulse or legacy, and as a collective, an illustration of the journey or state of humankind.
I’ve explored the arrow in many different ways in my work, but I have always been inspired by that first arrow. It has been my talisman each step of the way." - David A. Clark