On Wednesday, at the Albany Summer School, Patricia invited me to join her class where she was teaching Encaustic art.
Encaustic painting is also known as hot wax painting, it involves using heated beeswax to which coloured pigments are added. Wax is used as the pigment binder, painted, printed or found objects and materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to adhere it. This technique has been around since the Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300 AD, in early icons, as well as 20th-century North American artists such as Jasper Johns.
Patricia is an amazing teacher, who is generous in parting with her vast knowledge to her students. She has been using encaustics for many years, has travelled world wide to teach and has written two books, Encaustic Workshop and Encaustic Mixed Media, two DVD’s are also available.
The wax mediums are melted and kept hot on a pancake griddle, the pigmented wax is painted onto the surface with a hake brush and each layer is fused with a heat gun. Images can be transferred onto the wax, found objects can be embedded, wax can be stencilled, the list is endless.
I had a great day playing in Patricia’s classroom. I started making a few small samples of techniques.
my finished piece
Patricia gives every student the opportunity of talking about their work
Patricia demonstrates burning shellac on an encaustic sample and burning bitumen onto a board.