Artist Tami Phelps

An example of fine art by Tami Phelps

Photo of Tami Phelps


“I come from a creative family,” notes Tami Phelps, Alaska cold wax artist, “originally from Nebraska and Colorado, but since the 1970s Alaska provides my inspiration and sense of place.”  A Montessori teacher for two decades, she says the vision of Maria Montessori for inspiring creativity sifts through her art now that she’s devoted fulltime to art. 
Time, place, music, emotional connections, and relationships underlay the designs of her abstract, impressionistic, conceptual, and occasional representational work, primarily in cold wax medium.  Her fondness for vintage metal, cloth, and other ephemera, add a 3-D element to her work, a fondness acquired from her mother. “When I travel, I find myself in antique stores, collecting, not knowing how these pieces of lived life will become part of my art.”
Cold wax art derived from encaustic wax art about two hundred years ago in Europe.  Tami first explored encaustic painting, but soon embraced cold wax as her preferred medium because of its amazing textures and subtle depth.  A turning point in her cold wax art occurred after a week-long workshop in Drezzo, Italy with Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin, her two cold wax idols. Rather than trying to imitate their style, she developed her own, struggling to allow her vision to move through her hands. 
Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmussen Center in Alaska, and the Museum of Encaustic Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Even more recently her work was selected as the sole Alaska artist in the 4th Annual  “Global Warming Is Real” juried exhibition presented by the Museum of Encaustic Art and Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, NM (May 2020), and the International juried exhibit, “Vignettes in Wax and Words”, presented by International Encaustic Artists (July 2020).  She received the Alex Combs Award from Bunnell Street Art Center in Homer, Alaska, which funded [...]

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