My approach to encaustic has always been a joyful exploration of experimentation and evolution. Regardless of the subject matter I am depicting, my intention is to embed every layer of wax with detail, texture, and emotion. The vibrant colors of encaustic, the luscious scent of the beeswax, and the surface that begs to be touched, create an exciting relationship between the viewer and the artwork that goes beyond a typical painting. Each piece is imbued with a bit of magic that is the culmination of the organic interplay between the somewhat unpredictable beeswax and my creative will shaping the outcome. My unique process of combining several different mediums including photography, oil paint, pastels, watercolor, handmade paper, and found objects allows me to have a fresh dialogue with each painting. I am always in the flow of responding to the interplay of the materials and while each piece starts with a framework of design and imagery, I can never be entirely sure what the ultimate outcome will be.
I am deeply inspired by the colors, textures, and intelligent design of nature as well as my love of children’s books and patterns. I will never stop marveling at the beauty inherent in a flower, a cloud filled sky, a stand of trees, or the endless expanse of the ocean. I have been amassing thousands of photographs from my time spent in nature and have begun to make use of image transfers so that I can incorporate my photography into the paintings in a more direct way. From there the painting takes on a life of its own as each layer of wax builds upon the last to create a scene filled with emotion, depth and unexpected surprises. My intention is to connect the viewer to that timeless state of wonder and beauty that exists beyond our normal day to day existence. Today more than ever we need daily reminders of the grace that is present in our world and I hope my paintings can be an integral part of bringing that peace and contemplation to my collector’s homes.
Encaustic painting is an ancient art form in which pigments are added to melted wax and then applied to a firm surface—usually prepared wood or canvas. Each application of wax is heated and thus fused to the the layer below. The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax along with damar resin which increases the melting point and durability. Various tools and brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, and heat sources such as lamps, heat guns, torches, and wood burning tools extend the amount of time the artist has to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted, scraped back or carved into. Encaustic is the perfect medium for the mixed media artist because so many other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface.
Care of Encaustic Painting
Encaustic is one of the most archival painting mediums and is impervious to mold, moisture, as well as yellowing or color fading.
The working temperature for the liquid wax is about 200 degrees, so the paintings will be fine gracing the walls of your home. Just like with any work of fine art, it is not a good idea to keep it in an area where it will be exposed to very direct sunlight or in a enclosed car on a hot day. The surface of the painting can be lightly buffed with a cotton cloth to bring out the natural shine of the beeswax periodically. With a minimal amount of care, your painting will be a source of joy and inspiration for generations to come.