Monday, November 8, 2010's all about beeswax now

We are having so much fun playing with wax.... a medium that is one of the world's most ancient and archival painting mediums, predating oil paint-the Fayum portraits from Grego-Roman Egypt, circa 100 200 A.D., have survived through the centuries.

However, painting with wax, better known as Encaustics was a lost art until Jasper Johns brought it back from obscurity in 1954, exposing it to a new generation of artists.

The fact that I am now as obsessed with encaustic paints as Sergio always has been has come at a complete surprise to me.

After all, I have been watching him work with wax in our studio for the last 5 years... but suddenly, I too am in love with this soft pile of molten beeswax and damar resin.

It is also appealing to be working with encaustics now that the weather is getting cooler.

We fire up the woodstove and melt our wax paints right on our stove.
Here are some images of pieces finished this past weekend, waiting for frames

It seems so right to be working with paints made of a natural medium (we just bought 25 lbs of beeswax from a beekeeper in the area) and to be using our studio's source of heat to help us paint. Sergio painting one of his large pieces (here he is using acrylic paints mixed with sand)

Additionally, the process is much more immediate than the usual oils I work with, the wax dries within seconds. It is also more

forgiving, if I am happy with my results, I take the blow torch and melt it into our coffee can of "brown in the making."
The process is very tactile, and sultry.The wax is soft and pliable...versatile beyond belief (though I am still very much at the starting line for understanding how to utilize it with my figurative pieces).

For now, I am having fun making small pieces while I play with texture, scraping into the wax,
embedding objects into it, embossing it with Chinese paper,drawing into it with oil sticks and seems like there are endless possibilities for fun creations!

Our studio is now a much 'messier' place and my need to have everything in its place has to be ignored for at least a few hours. We are blessed with a large space, but when we are in there working it gets claustrophobic with all of the materials we pull out and get crazy having fun with!


42 things said...

I feel like I can smell the sweet smell right now. I LOVE my beeswaxed pages that I work with... I can't wait to see what you all come up with with this lovely medium.

Claudia Olivos and Sergio OlivosM said...

Thank you!
We were in the studio until 4am last night... it is so fun...time literally flies by!
I will post photos soon (should have taken some video last night :(