The Joy of Wax!

I’m not often on the art-making side of things, but today I ventured to an encaustic workshop.  I do love the encaustic technique of building up the surface with pigment and wax.

After a day with it, I know the process to be very forgiving of someone who is not particularly gifted artistically (a nice way of assessing my talents).  There’s also that serendipity thing that happens, which I really like.

Our workshop leader Leslie Giuliani is very talented and a marvelous instructor.  She made painting with wax the easiest thing in the world.  She even managed to take all my self-consciousness and self-judgment out of my work.  What I so appreciated is that Leslie seemed to take genuine pleasure in each person’s work.

She and I shared a chuckle over this homage to Jasper Johns, who layered wax and newspapers onto his paintings of the American flag.


I built up the layers by using pigmented wax, collaing ordinary fabrics and patterned tissue paper, then adding a layer of silver metallic wax, topping it all with ‘medium’ or clear wax.  Over the next few days, the piece may clear up, lighten, take on a new look.  I like what’s here and am interested in what may emerge.

Leslie passed on the tip of using wax pieces, shards really, on the painted surface.  I loved tossing the pieces onto the surface like confetti.


Working with the heat gun, some of the confetti melted, blurred, swirled in a very painterly way.  Other bits stayed intact.  Just fun.

I’m surprised that I like the results from this playful day as much as I do.  I actually may keep these little pieces, unusual for me after any kind of hand-craft, art-making adventure.  A really delightful discovery!


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