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Pat Lagger, Abstract Artist

Updated: Oct 31, 2020

Aurora, Illinois resident, Pat Lagger, is a Renaissance woman if there ever was one. Over the years, she has held many positions – all of them creative -- including English teacher, singer, and piano teacher. As an abstract artist, she especially enjoys using the labor-intensive encaustic method for creating her highly celebrated work.

Not sure exactly what encaustic is? Pat noted that the encaustic method is an art form as old as Egyptian mummies. A well-known example would be that of nautical figureheads mounted on the bows of ships. They were created using the encaustic method to help them remain impervious to water.

The process involves heating Damar resin crystals with purified beeswax to cook the basic medium. Damar resin is a hard, natural tree resin sourced from trees in East Asia and India. Pat then prepares a wooden surface with several coats of this medium, fusing each layer with a torch followed by many subsequent steps until she has achieved her final vision for the piece.

“The encaustic method experienced a resurgence in the 1950's with the work of American artist, Jasper Johns,” Pat explained. “He used it in his renown American flag series.”

She mines her visual inspiration from musical sources that run the gamut from archaic and modern day music notation to conductor’s strokes. She’s also fascinated by antique manuscripts covered with ancient writing such as cuneiform – an early system of writing using wedge-shaped marks invented by Sumerians in ancient Mesopotamia.

As a child, she recalls drawing all the time although she had no art training in her early years. It was only after having three children that she said she was inspired to pursue becoming “a perpetual art student”.

She has exhibited her art in solo shows nationally and internationally and is a Ragdale Foundation and Vermont Studio alumna. Her work has appeared as cover art for a university magazine and on the set of a nationally syndicated television show.

Pat sums up…“Art is a spiritual process for me – my work connects to my values and my family.”

To see more of Pat’s work and to learn about her latest exhibits, visit her website at:


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