Wednesday, January 28, 2015


One reason I have never been drawn to encaustics is that all the pieces I have seen in the mixed-media magazines have been rather pale and muted. And, in case you haven't noticed, I am not a pastel kind of gal. I am beginning to see, however, that it could have had more to do with the artists than with the medium.

Yesterday was Encaustic Play Day at muse Artsy Woman's fabulous studio, where we finally broke out the encaustic tool kit that Santa brought me, and did our best to figure out how to use it.

Outdoor Woman wins for Best Apron
In order to ensure that we began the day properly energized, Outdoor Woman brought these.

We felt so honored to have been invited into, and allowed to pretty much destroy, Artsy Woman's amazing studio, for that is a rare privilege indeed. This was our set up at the beginning of the day -- so neat and tidy.

That two-tiered square at the back is actually a palette. The encaustic paints are those sticks on the bottom right, and are made of beeswax, which is solid at room temperature. The palette has a heater underneath it, and you can put chunks of color in those tins, if you need to melt a good bit of one color, or you can just rub the stick directly on the palette itself, and blend and paint just as you would with any palette. You build your painting up with many thin layers of wax, fusing each one to the last with that red hair-dryer-like gizmo. You can also use it to move the paint around and make it do unusual things. And, you can even carve the wax, or embed ephemera between the layers. Endless possibilities!

Outdoor Woman, who has traveled the world several times over, did a collaged piece about travel, then attached another piece to that, on which she scribbled her bucket list of places yet to see.

Artsy Woman provided this blow torch, because she thought playing with fire sounded fun. She added some amber shellac to her piece, then torched it until it bubbled up. Then did it again. And again.

Spirit Woman created this beautiful piece, in some of my favorite colors. Love the piece of purple mesh embedded between the layers, which also bubbled up when torched!

Fiber Woman first did some carving with the set of dental-like tools that came in my kit...

and then she added (Surprise!) some fibers to her piece.

As if hosting us wasn't enough, Artsy Woman even had lunch catered for us!

I created two masterpieces myself -- one buffed to a satiny sheen, the other full of rich craggy texture, and neither one even close to pastel.

For, if there's one thing I learned yesterday, it's that encaustics can be anything but muted!

P.S. Thank you Dear Hubby, for gifting me with the impetus for this day of fun and adventure. And, oh, by the way. The Muses said they are all sending their hubbies over to go Christmas shopping with you next year!


Donna Lange said...

Looks like fun and y'all ended up with some awesome pieces.

Corrine at said...

Cool. Good friend, art making and a fabulous lunch. I'm coming to the next one. xox

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

That day sounds like a bit of heaven, at least that is what I hope heaven looks like! I'm dying to give encaustic a try! Beautiful art too!

Hill Country Hippie said...

Well, I can't promise anyone a catered affair in a lovely studio like this one, I do plan to set up shop periodically out in our open air garage on balmy days, and as they say, the door is always open! I will post something to give everyone a heads up.