Tango Art by Willow Bader

Willow Bader was born in Washington State, and studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She received numerous prestigious awards and grants including the Charles Toppan Prize, the Franklin C. Watkins Memorial Grant, the Louis and Estelle Pearson Prize for Landscape with Figures, and the Thouron Prize. While in Philadelphia she showed her art regularly at many prominent galleries. Recently Willow moved to Seattle. Her work was displayed at the Gallery by the Bay, Sunset Bay Gallery and Studios, Onda Gallery, and Museo Gallery. Her future interests are in the exposure of her work in galleries nationally and internationally.


Willow’s dynamic art unites modern figurative subject matter with traditional mediums. The ancient technique of encaustic, her latest exploration, lends itself beautifully to the sensual physicality and boldness of her work. Encaustic is a medium in use for more than 2,000 years, commenced in Egypt and Pompeii. The mixture of beeswax is heated to 220 degrees on a griddle. Small amounts of oil-based pigment are arranged on one edge of the metal palette. The molten wax is then mixed with the pigment using various sizes of natural bristle brushes, and applied to the work in progress. The surface for the painting is fine-grained plywood, poplar or birch.


Another passion of Willow is Tango, and encaustic technique is perfect for her expression of the dance. First it was Willow’s devotion to figure painting, then she learned Argentine Tango. When she discovered encaustic, all these elements that are romantic, sensual, and infused with deep cultural history merged…


Like Argentine Tango encaustic calls for an improvisation. The artist has only three seconds to work before the wax sets up. There is not much preparation: there are no sketches that are done in advance, wood panels are not prepped in any way, and hot wax does not give time to revise it in process. Willow says that wax’s unique translucent character allows light to penetrate the wood and then bounce back – giving the impression that the painting is lit from the inside. In her art, Argentine Tango dancers are alive… (more Tango Resources and Links)

wiloow-bader-photoFor information on Willow Bader visit her website WillowBader.com