Monday, March 23, 2015

Scenes from my encaustic workshop

I took a 2 day workshop in encaustic collage this weekend.  The word encaustic originates from the Greek word encaustiko, which means to burn in, and this element of heat is necessary for a painting or collage to be called encaustic.  Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added.

The first piece we did was pretty simple and it was just for us to learn how to apply the wax to the top layer of our collages.  But even getting that perfect  was out of reach for all of us in the class.  The wax has to be applied, then heated so it melts and then hopefully it will behave itself and lay flat and not create lumps and bubbles.  Here are my first two pieces.    In the second piece we also learned how to carve into the wax, apply ink and then remove the excess without having a big smeary mess.

Our next piece we created another collage and learned how to layer the collage with other papers and other flat elements.  Here is the collage in progress with one piece of painted deli wrap over the bottom photo.
Here is the piece as it progressed

On the final day of the workshop we learned how to embed objects into a collage.  Here is what I did for my first piece.

And here is my final piece.  It was a lot of fun and a lot of work.  Not sure if I will pursue this seriously but learned so much during this process.

Our teacher said that you need to be working in encaustic for at least 7 years to be considered an encaustic artist and to be taken seriously.  That's how long it takes to really master this technique.  Needless to say, I don't see myself spending that amount of time on this method but I really enjoyed the class and if nothing else, I rediscovered my love and passion for creating collages.  I have put collage to the side for the last year to concentrate on my painting but I do feel this is what I am really good at.  So I am going to jump back in and can't wait to see what I come up with.

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