Friday, August 17, 2012


 The process of seeing the world through a sheen of wax has inspired me and I'm bubbling over with ideas of things I want to try, both large and small with this technique.

I found an old experimental gyotaku piece I'd done a couple of years ago which reminded me of a fossilized piece. It was a highly textured surface with a print of a smelt on the surface before additional gesso and sand had been added.  Additional texture had been added by pressing spinal column bones of fish into the surface, leaving trails of spikes across the surface. The wax gives a wonderful new dimension to paintings and prints like this, diffusing the light and swirling coloured wax over the surface,still allowing the shapes beneath to show through.  I still don't know which way up the final piece will be.  Logically, perhaps, this should be how it sits, however, a vertical format works well for it too, as well as flipping it horizontally. 

I think this may have merit to try a larger gyotaku piece with, embedding the print into the surface.  I have some more encaustic wax and damar crystal on its way so that I can make my own as well as use commercially prepared wax. That way I can ensure I have the colours I want for the pieces I have in mind.

Meanwhile this piece  6" x 12" shows the range of colour and depth that can be achieved with encaustic wax over other mediums.


Katherine Thomas said...

Ooh, it's so pretty! I love the direction your artwork has been moving! Could you do a post explaining this wax building process step by step? I'm so intrigued. But the colors on this piece tell the story just as much as the texture. It's breathtaking!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Like Katherine, I love your recent experimenting with the wax medium. It adds such depth!
Can you add the medium over acrylic or does it have to be oil paint?

Billie Crain said...

I think you've really hit on something with this wax, Jeanette. It really does create the feeling of looking into water. Can't wait to see what more you do with this.

Jeanette said...

Experimenting into looser, more abstract work may be a phase or not, but I do enjoy the change from tight work.

I'll try my best to remember to do a step by step for my next encaustic piece Katherine.

Christiane, photos really don't do justice to the depth and subtle changes in colour in the wax.

As far as I know wax is compatible with oils oonly. Acrylic is a plastic and there would be a risk of the two surfaces not bonding together and separating in the future. But everything is worth experimenting with.

It does hold such potential Billie. I've ordered some more encaustic colours and will make some of my own as well when I get the damar crystals. Meanwhile I have a few ideas of my own and will test them out on smaller supports before I go larger.