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Gloucestershire Business News

Artist beats mental health with a blowtorch and an exhibition

Local artist Jane Spooner has found a creative way to beat the blues with her beautiful encaustic art.

Having been diagnosed with stress, anxiety, and depression, the former graphic designer turned her hand to painting as therapy and now makes a full-time job of it.

Jane's beautiful paintings will be the focus of an exhibition on Thursday (March 16) at Warehouse 4 in Gloucester Docks, sponsored by Gloucester Brewery.

Visitors can take in the artwork as well as enjoy live music, hot street food and freshly brewed beer and spirits. The exhibition is free and there will be a talk by Art in the City organiser Russel Haines.

Jane said: "I've suffered with self-confidence my whole life. Upon having to leave my job due to stress and my mental health, painting helped lift me from a very dark place and my work shows the transition of my mood.

"Creating art for others to enjoy is therapeutic and enables me to switch off from external influences and escape from my depression."

Encaustic is a form of painting that involves hot wax to which coloured pigments are added. A molten mix is applied to a surface - usually prepared wood, though other materials are sometimes used.

Then it is all fused together with a blowtorch or heat gun. Encaustic contains beeswax and tree resin which is highly water-resistant but also very sustainable to the environment. The paintings are then polished to perfection.

Encaustic is an ancient technique, dating back to the Greeks, who used wax to caulk ship hulls.

All artwork from Jane's brand new exhibition will be on sale on the night, and subsequent weeks.

Visitors can just turn up to the exhibition on the night.

Check out Jane's work at 

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