Encaustic Exploration #5

It's been a really busy year at Idea Decanter so although I've played around with some encaustic over the winter I haven't been able to get into the mind space to work. But it's summer again and time for a new challenge. First out of the gate: Shellac Burn. I've been drooling over Alicia Tormey's work for at least a year now. 


Counter to my true nature I started very subdued in this experiment. Encaustic, Shellac- dried before burning and some R&F Oil stick.

Encaustic Exploration #4

I've been out of the studio for the last few weeks entertaining my parents and face it, without air conditioning it's way to hot to be sitting near a pancake griddle of molten wax in a south facing garage. So when I'm bored I've been perusing Youtube to see what techniques I can try out. I discovered this great series Wax on Wednesdays with artist Shari Replogle. 

Fluid Pour.jpg

So I had a can of all the scrapings from #3 and melted them down without stirring.  It started off really cool but, when I fused it really melded together more than I wanted. So I went back in with some oil pastels to delineate some color. Not bad for the first try with basically detritus hanging around. So yes, basically this is a trash painting.

Encaustic Exploration #3: Learning the Tools of the Trade

Some days in the studio it's all about learning the tools at your disposal. That what this summer is all about. I've been using encaustic medium as a finishing agent for my portrait photography instead of framing. I love how that looks. I've always felt that the glass took away from the texture of the photograph, especially back in the days of hand printing beautiful Seagull fiber paper in the darkroom.  

Scraping is a delicate process, you need the wax to be a bit warm, but no too warm or the scraping is too difficult or to easy. I used all the ceramic tools at my disposal on this multilayered piece to practice depth control and accuracy. It was actually looking pretty good until I used the big kidney scraper and maybe went a bit too large and too deep. 

Encaustic Exploration #2: Collage

I love collage, have I told you that already? In college I was always experimenting with paint and photography but it never really looked good. I did create a series of cards using cut paper and melted crayon that I loved doing, but again the ending results always looked unprofessional.

"Memories" Washi paper, photography, yarn and encaustic. 8" x 8"

"Memories" Washi paper, photography, yarn and encaustic. 8" x 8"

This piece just unfolded organically, I knew I wanted to play with embedding some yarn or string and snuck in a Fierce Knitter photo to bring a story to the composition. Printing on the Japanese paper was challenging and I'm going to do some research on better substrates for photography. I know Digital Arts Supply used to have a slew of Japanese rice and mulberry papers for inkjet.

Encaustic Exploration #1

I first discover encaustic while working at the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City. If I had known about this technique in college I think my work would have taken a much different turn. I was always experimenting with collage and never liking the results. Well... I've found my medium.

The last few years my encaustic work has been more of a finishing product for photography than anything else. This summer is the summer of stretching and exploring. Seeing what I can do with no limitations or expectations.

While most of my education has been online I did take a wonderful workshop at the Schack Art Center in Everett. They have affordable, 1 day workshops that fit with my busy travel schedule.

This piece I purposefully didn't want to use any photography, but I was shredding a ton of paper for a video (about shredding paper!!!) Idea Decanter was producing for a client and just thought I would fool around with abstraction.

Encaustic exploration #1 Security

It was harder than I expected to get the paper to stick and not move around too much while fusing. But I really like the end result.

"Security" Encaustic and paper on panel, 8" x 8"