People often ask me, “What is encaustic?” It is one of the oldest art forms and involves a creative process of building layer upon layer of pigmented bee’s wax with damar resin, fusing each new layer to the one below it using a heat process. Paintings can incorporate paper, fabric, images, and all sorts of other materials fused within the layers. I enjoy carving into the wax and filling it in or leaving it as is. After final heat treating, the surface can be smooth as ice, rough like tree bark, somewhere in between, or a combination of various finishes.
Similar to my mixed media art and past fabric creations, I particularly like the process of building, removing, and refining the wax layers and textures while finding my way through and a final composition emerges.
Here are some great resources to learn more about this wonderful art form.
- International Encaustic Artists
- The Art of Encaustic Painting, Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax, by Joanne Mattera
- Encaustic Workshop, Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
- Encaustic Art, The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax, by Lissa Rankin
- Wikipedia encaustic article provides more general background