Joy E. Hagen grew up in Seattle, graduating from Queen Anne High School, and then attended Western Washington University. She says that “Art was ever present in my childhood from the floor to ceiling chalkboard that was our playroom wall, to dressing my paper dolls with my creations. I wrote and illustrated my own comic books and other masterpieces in literature, usually involving horses. I’ve been making art ever since I can remember.
“With a forester for a father and an art teacher for a mother, my childhood was a rich and exciting environment that even offered the opportunity to live in the Philippines and Panama for a number of years. Added to that were the endless summers camping in the woods and exploring old logging roads (some of which I did not think I would survive). It seems inevitable that the natural world of my surroundings would ultimately become the path to my creativity.”
With the beautiful Pacific Northwest as her inspiration, encaustic works are constructed into landscapes utilizing specialty MDO wood scraps destined for the chipper. Hagen says, “It just so happened I married a lumber salesman.”
Hagen selects favorite elements from her surroundings for each encaustic focal point, often embedding actual organic materials into the wax or transferring original drawings directly onto the wax. “Using other encaustic-mixed media methods, I assemble the various pieces to form a unified landscape of many paths from which to explore, much like a walk in the woods. The forester’s daughter is revealed.”
Hagen lives and works out of her cozy home in the woods in Kirkland. As an active member of the Eastside Association of Fine Arts and the Kirkland Arts Center, she enjoys painting commission pieces, participating in group and solo shows, teaching classes in her studio, and exhibiting in juried art shows. Her most recent honor was the 2007 City of Kenmore Purchase Award for “Rustic Landscape III” encaustic piece, now a permanent installation at Kenmore City Hall. Hagen is represented by Musings in Mill Creek Town Center and Parklane Gallery in Kirkland. Her studio is open to the public over Mother’s Day Weekend during the annual Kirkland Artist Studio Tour (KAST).