encaustic workshop alison fullerton

Recent Awards/Exhibitions

2022  Third Place, DAC Gallery Regional Exhibition. Juried by Ken Shipley.

2022 Two Bronze Awards in Camelback Gallery’s International Juried Portrait Competition, “Faces 2022.”

2021 Vanderbilt University Women's Center- two commissioned portraits in their permanent collection

2021 "Metamorphosis" National Juried Exhibition, Tubac Center of the Arts, AZ. Jurors Sue Stover, Lisa Pressman
2021 First Place and Honorable Mention, DAC Gallery Regional Exhibition, Clarksville TN, Juried by Frank Gee.
2021 “Wax Narratives" Solo Exhibition, J Galleries, Nashville TN

2020 WAX FUSION magazine (international). Cover and article.

2020 10 Nashville Billboards thru ArtPOP Street Gallery, Nashville, TN
2020 "Vignettes in Wax and Words" international exhibition, International Encaustic Artists (juried) Curated by Lora Murphy

LINK to full-length ARTIST CV

Bio/Artist Statement

Fullerton is a contemporary portrait artist working in encaustic, an ancient medium using beeswax fused with heat. She paints by layering and scraping molten wax to reveal her subject physically and emotionally. Wax dries quickly, so she paints fast and spontaneously. Her colorful, tactile portraits have a unique luminosity and depth.

Living and traveling in Europe from 2016-2019, Alison observed and sketched people during her travels. Returning to her studio in Germany, she began slathering the sketches in wax. She found that wax mimics flesh, giving skin a chromatic richness that is impossible to create in other mediums. Fullerton began finding ways to work the wax in a more painterly fashion. While most artists blend colors on the palette, Fullerton blends skintones by layering wax, alternating opacity and transparency, and by fusing with a torch or an iron. 

Fullerton’s portrait work is built around visual anthropology narratives about different cultures and people, which started when she lived in Germany from 2016-2019, and traveled.  “Anthropologists collect photos. I paint what I observe.” 

Fullerton has exhibited throughout the US and Europe, has work in university and museum collections including Vanderbilt University, and has authored articles about encaustic wax. Her work was on the cover of Wax Fusion magazine. Fullerton lives and works in Nashville.


Visual Anthropologies--portrait series works

I have always been curious about culture & anthropology. My career in consumer marketing & research frequently took an anthropological approach.  We conducted ‘ethnographies,’ observing how people lived and shopped.  In 2016 I moved to Europe where I traveled, studied cultures and painted for 3 years. It is fascinating to me how well cultures are preserved in Europe, country to country. Hop a border, and people are suddenly different. I documented the nuances of my observations, such as the smiling eyes of the Irish, in my paintings.


Returning to America in 2019 I struggled with my identity as an American. I began reading about indigenous women and discovered so much untold history about Native Women, and their role as warriors protecting their land and families. Euro-American culture perpetuates a fictional “princess” stereotype of native women, yet many women  fought lockstep with men and became highly respected leaders. Native Women Warriors was my first 'American' anthropology, and this series was featured on 10 Nashville billboards during the pandemic, in early 2020, to inspire resilience. 

Visual Anthropologies (portrait series work):

  • Protest Singers 

  • World Healers- eastern, African, and western medical healers

  • Native Women Warriors- historically accurate portraits of native women who fought for their tribes

  • Vetted Souls- faces of homeless US military veterans

  • Irish Eyes- street portraits from Ireland

  • Into the Wilderness- reflections during the COVID pandemic 

  • Delta Blues- Mississippi blues artists who performed in juke joints and had little commercial success, but greatly influenced American Blues music

  • Ordinary Environmentalists- everyday folks working to make change environmentally

  • The Outsiders- portraits of visionary self taught artists, creating outside of art world norms