WHAT IS ENCAUSTIC PAINTING?
Most encaustic artists like to tell you that the technique of painting with melted wax is an ancient one, used to fashion Egyptian mummy masks, and even earlier, to coat and seal bottoms of Greek fishing boats in Homer’s time. So, like many of us, it has an interesting past!
But history isn’t the big attraction for me; it’s the wax’s irresistible texture and hypnotic charm, as any kid who’s ever played with melting candles will tell you.
Can you imagine anything more fun than melting wax, brilliantly colored wax, on a heated palette and then painting with it? I can’t.
And the delight factor has yet to let me down.Generally, the encaustic medium, or wax I use for painting or sculpture is a blend of beeswax with damar resin added to create a more durable surface.
Sometimes pigment, too, is added, sometimes not. Then, on a heated 220-degree surface, the wax is melted, often in metal cups, or directly on the palette surface. It can be sculpted, brushed on or applied to a piece. Then a heat gun, blowtorch or iron is used to fuse the wax with the painting.
Sometimes, I’ll start right out, slathering the melted beeswax medium on a cradled board; while other times, I save the wax to add interest and texture to some oil paint or collage.The melted wax colors can be blended and mixed like oil paints themselves, or layered, gouged out or pooled for an infinity of imaginative effects. And I’m not even going to get into body casting…
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR WORK?
“Fun, whimsical and divinely inspired…”
“Living-out-loud color and texture…”
“A Jungian-flavored, dreamlike approach to encaustic &
mixed media collage…”
“At its best, creativity on steroids; at its worst, creativity on steroids.”
“Resistant to judgment…”