My mom recently taught me the basics of encaustic (painting with hot wax) when I visited her in Colorado, and I got so hooked that I had to get the supplies for myself when I got home. Since then I’ve created a series of collage works using this method!

The process is fascinating and has a life of its own. I create my own encaustic medium by melting beeswax and damar resin together, then I brush this mixture onto small panel a couple of layers at a time. Between each of the layers, I evenly heat the surface to fuse the wax together using a heat gun, burnish items into the wax, add another layer of wax, and repeat! I just made it sound a lot easier than it is, but it is so much fun! (Don't do this at home without proper ventilation!)

I love the hunt for found items and imagery from old books and magazines, and then grouping them together to create a sort of abstract story. I also love planning the composition and keeping in mind how the wax obscures the deepest layers often making you second guess what you're seeing, and simultaneously creating a beautiful surrealistic depth that sends you back in time.

Specifically, this series contains preserved butterflies given to me by an artist friend who found them at an estate sale, a New Age encyclopedia from 1980, LIFE Magazines from the 50s, ink drawings on rice paper, fabric patterns, lace, specialty papers, buttons, screens, stamps, beads, pebbles, gold leaf, eucalyptus leaves, an aspen leaf, and even a penny!

More info: christiesnelson.com

#1

"Splash", 5x5, Encaustic Collage With Buttons

"Splash", 5x5, Encaustic Collage With Buttons

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#2

"Comfort Zone", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Butterflies, Screen, And Gold Leaf

"Comfort Zone", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Butterflies, Screen, And Gold Leaf

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#3

"Balance", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Pebbles, Gold Leaf, And Penny

"Balance", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Pebbles, Gold Leaf, And Penny

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#4

"Four Men Who Made Their Beards Famous", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Buttons And Screen

"Four Men Who Made Their Beards Famous", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Buttons And Screen

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#5

"Elevate", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Buttons And Eucalyptus Leaves

"Elevate", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Buttons And Eucalyptus Leaves

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#6

"Coming Soon", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Butterflies, Buttons, And Screen

"Coming Soon", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Butterflies, Buttons, And Screen

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#7

"Lift Off", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Buttons, Ink Drawing On Rice Paper, Screen, And Titanium White Oil Stick

"Lift Off", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Buttons, Ink Drawing On Rice Paper, Screen, And Titanium White Oil Stick

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#8

"Navigation", 7x5, Encaustic Collage With Butterfly, Pebbles, And Gold Leaf

"Navigation", 7x5, Encaustic Collage With Butterfly, Pebbles, And Gold Leaf

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#9

"Hierarchy", 5x5, Encaustic Collage With Button And Titanium White Oil Stick

"Hierarchy", 5x5, Encaustic Collage With Button And Titanium White Oil Stick

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#10

"Let Freedom Ring", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Missouri Supreme Court Reports 1886, Pebbles, And Gold Leaf

"Let Freedom Ring", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With Missouri Supreme Court Reports 1886, Pebbles, And Gold Leaf

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#11

"Six Eyes", 5x5 Encaustic Collage From Life Magazine

"Six Eyes", 5x5 Encaustic Collage From Life Magazine

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#12

"Hide-And-Seek", 6in Round Encaustic Collage

"Hide-And-Seek", 6in Round Encaustic Collage

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#13

"Northern Hemisphere", 7x5, Encaustic Collage With Beads And Screen

"Northern Hemisphere", 7x5, Encaustic Collage With Beads And Screen

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#14

"Man On The Moon", 8x8, Encaustic Collage With Ink Drawings On Rice Paper

"Man On The Moon", 8x8, Encaustic Collage With Ink Drawings On Rice Paper

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#15

"Betsy Ross Spinet", 6in Triangle Encaustic Collage With Ink Drawing On Rice Paper And Framing Parts

"Betsy Ross Spinet", 6in Triangle Encaustic Collage With Ink Drawing On Rice Paper And Framing Parts

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#16

"The Graphophone", 6x6, Encaustic On The Panel With Screen And Life Magazine Ads From The 50s

"The Graphophone", 6x6, Encaustic On The Panel With Screen And Life Magazine Ads From The 50s

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#17

"Midnight On Mcintosh Lake", 5x7, Encaustic Collage With Stamps, Beads, Lace, Fabric Patterns, And Ink On Rice Paper

"Midnight On Mcintosh Lake", 5x7, Encaustic Collage With Stamps, Beads, Lace, Fabric Patterns, And Ink On Rice Paper

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#18

"Sleepy In Longmont", 5x5, Encaustic Collage With Beads, Stamp, And Fabric Patterns

"Sleepy In Longmont", 5x5, Encaustic Collage With Beads, Stamp, And Fabric Patterns

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#19

"Cold Front", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With A Stamp, Aspen Leaf, Fabric Pattern, Lace, Beads, And Framing Parts

"Cold Front", 6x6, Encaustic Collage With A Stamp, Aspen Leaf, Fabric Pattern, Lace, Beads, And Framing Parts

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