Encaustic is the New Black

Actually, encaustic painting is one of the oldest forms of art in the world.  It is done by mixing pure pigment (minerals from the Earth) with beeswax and resin, and fusing them  onto wood or other prepared surfaces, using heat.  It has been used in the creation of art dating back to Ancient Egypt… but that’s not why I found myself so interested.

closeupbrush.jpgBeing a photographer, I love the idea of incorporating photographs into other mediums.  My second love was painting.  I never did anything with it beyond college, until now.  This weekend, I attended a mixed media encaustic workshop by local artist, Helen DeRamus.  She showed us the proper tools and techniques for creating encaustic works of art.  The possibilities are truly endless.Helen.jpgHelen provided me with some semi-transparent silk sheets (think pantyhose), and I printed some old images that I had found in my grandparent’s stash of photos from their travels throughout Europe in the 1950s.

heat gun.jpgI was careful not to burn the silk, so used an electric heat gun to fuse the image into a layer of wax medium.  After I built up a few layers, I took a torch to it.  Working with fire is awesome.  No better way to word it.

Paw1.jpggommypaw.jpgAnd so, it looks like I’m going shopping for materials.  My office/studio space is getting very, very crowded.

To see Helen’s work, please check out her website or visit DK Gallery, in the Marietta square.

 

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