What in the world is Encaustic Painting?
The word "Encaustic" is originally a Greek word enkaustikos that means "to heat or burn in". The heating process itself usually includes melting beeswax and varnish and fusing together the wax layers. The modern artist usually uses electricity to melt the wax in a controlled temperate environment and fuses the layers with a heat gun or torch.
Why I fell in love with Encaustic.
Encaustic is a versatile medium that permits transparency, translucency, or opacity. It can be smooth or dimensional and the wax surface can be stamped, gouged, or carved. This allows the artist to combine watercolors, inks, pastels, and oil pigment sticks to create abstract florals, landscapes and figurative art. In addition I use stencils, painted papers and found objects to collage between the layers of wax. With almost limitless possibilities I am able to experiment with building layers of color to create incredibly brilliant backgrounds. The process changes each layer as it is applied so the finished piece invites the viewer not only to look, but to touch and smell it.
Encaustic paintings do not need to be framed and are very durable. The beeswax and resin are impervious to moisture and although they are extremely archival they should be handled with care to avoid scratching and to protect the edges. Do not subject the painting to extreme heat such in a hot car or in direct sun or to extreme cold. During the first year the wax is curing and may develop a white haze which is normal and can be wiped with a soft cloth.
Welcome To My Studio!
Care of Encaustics
"Color is my day-long obsession, joy, and torment."
Copyright Susan Hess. All rights reserved.