Arlene Eisen studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. She has moved to Tucson three times—from Chicago in the late 60’s, from San Francisco in the mid 80’s, and from Sonoma County in 2016.
When she isn’t painting, she is designing logos, brochures and websites. She is the co-owner of ARRICA Design in Tucson.
Arlene painted watercolors for many years and then moved into digital art. In 2012, she started painting in oils. In the summer of 2014, she discovered painting knives and it is her favorite way to paint. Last summer, she began painting with pigment in hot wax (encaustic).
She lives in a casita adjacent to the Tucson Racquet Club with her partner Catherine Pearson and two cats.
I paint the landscape. Painting with knives forces me to be more expressive and freer. Surfaces are covered quickly with broad, bold strokes. Knives add texture and dimension to the painted canvas. Colors are thick and pure. The statement is swift, fresh and vital.
I love painting in nature (plein air). When I pick a spot to paint—squeeze out my color palette and start to paint—my world changes. It simply makes me happy to be out there. It is calming.
With encaustic it is different. I am in my studio working with hot wax, pigments and torches. I build the work with many layers and find this medium to be very intimate. I love rubbing my hands over the wax surface as I built the work. It is almost like the process directs my actions rather than my actions directing the process. I think it is because the wax responds to the torch in ways I could not imagine.