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!