Elise by Barbara Vogel

‘Luminous: Encaustic Works by Barbara Vogel’

The Zanesville Museum of Art presents 25 of the artist’s portraits and landscapes through Aug. 3. 

The first thing you notice about Barbara Vogel’s photographs is that they’re blurry. That’s because, the Columbus artist is quick to explain, there’s no truer reflection of what life is all about.

“There are moments in everyone’s lives where we have experiences that are hazy — times when something unexpected happens, which can be good or bad, that we just don’t understand,” Vogel says. “I strive to capture the passage of time in everything I create in order to evoke feelings we can all relate to.”

Through Aug. 3, the Zanesville Museum of Art is presenting 25 of the artist’s portraits and landscapes. The images convey her passion for photography using the encaustic art process, in which a heated substance is used to enhance radiance.

Vogel, who grew up in Granville and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees from The Ohio State University, started her career as a hospital photographer. Thirty years ago, she became restless with traditional photographic methods and opted to change her technique.

“I’ve always been drawn to alternative processes,” Vogel says. “For me, photography is a meticulous right brain-left brain procedure. But whenever I’ve painted, I’ve found it to be intuitive and quick to execute.”

Using a Hasselblad camera, Vogel intentionally captures her subjects out of focus with a shallow depth of field. She then digitizes, prints and mounts her imagery on wood, which provides the ideal surface for applying encaustic materials of hot beeswax and oil pigments to the photo.

“I want people who see my work to be puzzled and intrigued,” Vogel says. “I hope they see the humanness in all of it.”