Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface—usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used — some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment. Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to adhere it to the surface.
In 2011, I discovered and fell in love with an ancient art form called Encaustics. After reading everything I could about this type of art, I bought a blow torch, heat gun, pancake griddle and of course wax to start my journey into the fascinating world of painting with wax.
This body of work explores the use of abstraction, texture and color. The Mixed Media pieces incorporate paper, string and found objects that can be encapsulated within the wax. My favorite technique is the integration of Shellac, (set on fire with a blow torch) to create unique, one of a kind, organic patterns into this translucent medium.
As I continue to evolve in my journey, I look forward to the exploration and experimentation that Encaustic Art offers.