Art of Aperitif episode 1: Natalie Salminen

by | Nov 29, 2022

foreign invasion / port, portal, point of entry / permissions granted? | encaustic, paper, gold foil on birch panel by Natalie Salminen Rude


Welcome to the Art of Aperitif – Happy Hour interviews with artists to whet your creative appetite! I decided to start this series for a variety of reasons. a) I’ve had the phrase the art of aperitif stuck in my head for two years and I wanted to do something with it! b) aperitif is an invitation to open the evening and to open your mind, an invitation to conversation and conviviality, and would could me more fun for apéro conversation than chatting with artists!? So this is your invitation to pour yourself something tasty and listen in, perhaps while you chop veggies for a crudité platter!

Today’s artist interview is with my dear friend Natalie Salminen who is a remarkable, thoughtful, and whimsical artist who works in a variety of media. Her primary painting medium is encaustic. This historic technique of painting with layers of dyed wax was used by ancient Egyptians for funeral portraits. Natalie uses encaustic to build abstract layers of color that she then carves, paints, inlays, and more. Her creations are a meditative yet ebullient combination of abstraction and representation. They are often driven by a sense of place and the embodiment that comes from being in a landscape, but they are just as often driven by her reflections on being human and reclaiming humanity in a technology driven world.

Listen in on our conversation as Natalie tells the wild story of how she became an artists (it involves being stuck in the Everglades!), and we discuss her radical trust in the creation process, and the need for play, embracing complexity, and living into all your layers. Natalie says “in my artist statement I have always kept this line from Agnes Martin the artist, and she says, “to be an artist is to surrender.” There is so much surrender.”

This conversation pairs well with Natalie’s favorite Frenchie cocktail. 😉