Lemonade Art Gallery welcomes artist Sandra Marino

Published 7:30 pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019



A new artist has set up shop in Lemonade Art Gallery, bringing with her a unique medium that is sure to stand out from the rest: encaustic.

Sandra Marino, a program controller in Washington, D.C., by day and artist by night, is one of the newer additions to Lemonade’s gallery, located at 201 W. Main St. Though the daughter of artist Sue Beck, the co-owner of Lemonade, Marino only became interested in painting and drawing in high school and attended Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

“I always joke around and tell people I had a great childhood, so art school was kind of hard for me,” Marino said. “I had a great childhood and a great upbringing, and I just like to look at things and see if I can recreate them or how we can change them and put them on paper or on canvas.”

After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she put art on hold to focus on her family and career, occasionally showing her art at local galleries. Once her children got older, she was able to focus on her art again and now experiments with different mediums, such as encaustic.

“My high school art teacher used to talk about it,” Marino said. “But they weren’t allowed to teach it in high school because of using blow torches. … I honestly didn’t get back into it until Ginger (Gehres), who’s also one of the artists at the gallery, she had taken a class in it or something and bought a bunch of the encaustic materials and hated it. And she gave them to me, and I was like, ‘Oh, I’m so excited.’”

Encaustic is a medium mixed from Damar resin, beeswax and pigments. Artists use a blowtorch or heat gun to move the medium around the canvas, creating an unpredictable webbing or splatter effect.

“It’s one of the oldest forms of art work,” Marino said. “The Greeks used to use it on their boats. When they built them out of wood, they would mix pigments and the wax and paint the boats with it to keep it more buoyant and also aesthetically pleasing.”

Marino said she uses the process to balance her life and for relaxation. According to her, the unpredictable nature of encaustic artwork is opportunity to escape the high-stress atmosphere of her job.

Marino only recently approached Beck and Lemonade co-owner Carol Mann about displaying work in their gallery when she started to show her art in Virginia galleries.

“I didn’t want to do it because it’s my mom’s gallery, I wanted to earn my way in,” she said.