Encaustic Inspirations

So as part of my new “job,” I need to network at local art events. It recently dawned on me that going to exhibits and art fairs are me mingling in my new industry. How cool is that?

Last Friday I visited the Black Cloud Gallery, which is hosting art work by FUSEDChicago for the month of July.

Art work by VA. de Pintor, Karl Guziec, Margo Huebner, Mary Krebs-Smyth, Shelley Gilchrist

What is encaustic? I didn’t know either until about a year ago. Suze Weinberg introduced Beeswax to us fans a few years ago (she also likes using Clairvoyant Encaustics, and I started dabbling in that for a bit, and over time learned that beeswax with pigment is called encaustic. There is a whole art form surrounding encaustic painting, which dates back to Egypt in 100-300 AD. Nowadays , the setup is on hot plates on which the wax melts in tins. Once the wax is liquid, you can apply it to a variety of surfaces and paint with it. It can be manipulated with a heat gun or torch on the surface, and one can create patterns and marks while the wax is still hot.

In January 2010 I took a class with Cindy of Perfical Sense Studio where we played with some encaustic techniques.

At the Black Cloud Gallery Jenny Learner demonstrated various encaustic techniques and allowed attendees to play with the medium. She mentioned that beeswax is the most archival paint, and that it is pure beeswax without additives except the pigment.

The exhibit itself was quite inspiring with the variety of techniques used and how artists put their own idetity on the same medium. The majority of the art is paintings:

Art work by Kathleen Waterloo, Elyse Martin, Denise Funfsinn and Sarah E. Rehmer

Art work by Jane Michalski, Nikkole Hus and Julia Ris

But one can also use it on interesting shapes beyond the canvas.

Create a beautiful mobile and sculptural art:

Or make vases with encaustic and cheesecloth!

I am playing with beeswax on greeting cards, but still have a ways to go to refine it. It is a fun organic process, and to me less threatening than painting with watercolors, acrylics or oils.

I look forward to returning to Black Cloud Gallery for their next exhibit, and encourage you to explore the various galleries in your area. You never know what interesting exhibits might inspire you.

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