Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Heart WAX!

I paint in a medium that is called encaustic. It is a beeswax-based paint mixed with pigment and kept molten while painting. The word encaustic comes from the Greek meaning to "burn in", which refers to the process of fusing the paint. This type of painting was used in the 5th century B.C. for weathering boats and coloring marble. Encaustic is the most durable of the artist's paints because the beeswax is impervious to moisture.

This is why I love it; the beauty in the paint is found in its immediate drying time. Because it cools immediately, the gesture and brush stroke are captured. Wax has this translucent quality that captures light swirls it around and swings it back at you in full HD color. You can scrap it, paint it, heat it, reheat and melt it into a puddle of color. But it is the brush stroke that captures the motion of head, heart and hand that brings me to the easel. To capture that confidence and where by a single series of marks can make a perfect painting keeps me coming back. As Picasso once said, “There is not one too many or one too few brush strokes that made this painting perfect.” It was something like that. (If you copy and use that…put me as the credit.)