Mixed Media Artist

I work primarily in acrylics and collage.I use collage and beewax in my assemblage works and am now completing several shrines using found objects. I have been experimenting with encaustic collage and have found the medium very challenging. The paint is a combination of melted beeswax and pigment. A small amount of damar resin is added for hardness. I mix these paints myself and while painting all custom colors are mixed directly on a hot palette.
I will share my progress with this exciting medium with photos of work in progress and finished pieces.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Experiments in Encaustic

"Perfect Specimens"
Here is one of my latest encaustic pieces. It is painted on a small 6" X 8" masonite board.. Because masonite is not porous, the surface must first be covered with paper. The paper acts as a primer to absorb the first layer of wax.
I collaged a vintage book page as the first layer. Old books work best, as the paper is dull and very absorptive. Glossy books and magazines do not work. Watercolor paper makes a nice surface if a white background is desired. The figures are drawn in with green wax thinned with encaustic medium to form a glaze-like paint. I used several layers in the areas I wanted to obscure the most. My next layer is a decorative napkin that I have cut the design from and collaged on top of the figures.
The line work is drawn into the wax with a sharp stylus and then filled with a soft black pigment stick. The wonderful insect is a lazer copy from one of my most favorite books, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, which I transferred to the surface .
I discovered something neat when I went to buff this piece. There was a used swiffer sheet on my work table and I used it to polish the surface and wow, it worked great! Periodically these pieces need to be buffed to remove a white dusty look called bloom that happens to the beeswax over time. The colors and glassy surface the swiffer sheet gave them is truly amazing.

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