painting with encaustics

February 27th, 2018

wax pigment colors are so vivid

Imagine a crockpot filled with melted beeswax and Damar resin standing beside a warming plate with square tins of melting pigment colors, ranging from black to lemon yellow. Soft haiku brushes stiff with wax thaw in the pans. Two anodized aluminum plates heated from hotplates are surfaces where wax painting takes place.

This morning I walked down to my studio and turned on my set up, which takes awhile, and tonight I’ll turn it off and walk away with minimal cleanup.

Painting with wax temperature works best at 180 degrees.  Obviously, the finished product needs to stay out of direct sunlight, since wax and resin are natural elements with temperature limitations.  Any painting or sculpture will last a lifetime if the work isn’t placed in extreme circumstances.

Wax painting is not new.  Encaustikos is a Greek word meaning ‘to burn in.’  Ancients painted with wax and resin for thousands of years.  It’s been my favorite painting material for eight years.  The fabulous process thrills me for its unpredictable predictability.

I taught myself with a book, and then attended excellent workshops, and continually practice suggestions for what works best.  I play and discover new techniques, learning something new every time the plate gets hot.

My dream last night was about an artist and her secret need to go someplace and create.  I acted on that, and magic happened today.

Thank God I don’t have to support myself on my work.  It would be bye bye to creativity, hello to ugly marketing, which kills me, because these days art is all about marketing.  My intention would have to switch to selling and lack of control of my compositions, because struggling artistic chances does not sell.  Art is business out there in the big world, thankfully not my world.  My work isn’t ‘professional’.  Art is the most powerful tool in the world to access soul messages, and money isn’t part of the soul in the same way.

I worked with waxing collage today, and a couple of things look very cool, some not so successful.  I refined line and carved a bit of wax off previous layers. Very fun, multiple dimensions of color and image.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *