Expect more Wax

Aug 21st, 2009

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Expect more Wax

No, not the bikini kind! Encaustics of course – this is an ART blog after all. I’m getting ready to begin a new painting series and ‘there will be wax’.

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Wax offers a wealth of options, is fun to work with, has an ancient tradition and is simply gorgeous to look at!

Encaustic paintings are perhaps the most durable of paintings and have outlasted other paintings by thousands of years. Evidence of this can be seen by the Faiyum mummy portraits that are over 2500 years old. Excavation of ancient encaustic painting has shown no mold, cracking, flaking, or fading. This is because unlike other mediums, encaustic paintings are resistant to moisture, acid, and mold. This is why they can survive in humid climates and why I can safely place an encaustic panel in my bathroom!

They do however require some special preparation and care. For one, because wax can crack when applied in thick layers, it needs to be on a ridged surface. I’ll be getting my panels hand made by one of America’s best: John Annesley. Next, the ingredients and receipes need to be carefully ‘cooked’. The tools sharpened and cleaned. The studio well ventilated, but not so much so that dust can make it onto the warm surface before it’s cured. And finally one needs to educate potential buyers that the work should never be exposed to extreme temperatures nor physical contact. In particular, don’t hand an encaustic where your toddler roams within reach! Most kids love to dig their nails into the wax.

So, I’ll be diving under once again to submerse myself into the world of melting points, reversibility, sheen, polish, scraping and the likes. When I come up for air, I’ll post a pic of a piece in process…

going under now…

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