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!
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