Monday, November 10, 2014

Substratum

Substratum
Image size 8" x 8"
Encaustic

I've been experimenting with encaustics this week.  I really like this medium.  The fluidity of the melted wax is magical.  I love that this medium is not totally controllable.  That's a perfect foil for my black and white personality and controlled painting style.  I'm surprised that painting this way isn't  stressful to me but I'm really enjoying it.  Also, as much as I love to paint in a tightly rendered, representational way, sometimes I want to paint abstractly and this medium is perfect for those times. 

For this painting, I tried doing a shellac burn after I applied and fused the layers of wax.  I love the mottled look that the shellac makes.  I've been wanting to try this for a long time but fire usually freaks me out.  I was working outside (it's best to have good ventilation when working with wax) and put my panel on a piece of stone, but I still had my fire extinguisher next to me when I lit this on fire.  It's actually pretty cool lighting the shellac on fire.  It's hard to see the flame but as soon as the textures make their appearance, it's obvious that it is burning.

So far, I've been using a heat gun to fuse the wax layers.  That is a very acceptable way to work with the wax but I think I would have much more control with fusing small areas if I were to use a torch.  I'm so scared of fire that I haven't wanted to try using one in the past, but now, maybe I'm ready to move ahead and try one. 

I'm such a scaredy cat baby but by having my fire extinguisher at the ready, working outside and having my panel on fire resistant material, using the torch should be pretty safe.  My 83 year old friend has been using a torch for her encaustics for years so if she can do it, so can I, right?

18 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful, Nancy. I don't understand this technique but it is really nice !!

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    1. Thank you Hilda. It's SO much fun to work in encaustics!

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  2. Bonjour chère amie,

    Je suis subjuguée par le bel aboutissement !... les nuances de couleurs sont magnifiques et ce travail me semble fascinant !

    Je vous fais de gros bisous ☁︎

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  3. Beautiful patterns and colors here, Nancy. I admire your trying new things and I have seen some darned gorgeous encaustics and own two pieces myself!!

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    1. Thank you Sherry. I think encaustics are really beautiful and have such an organic feeling.

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  4. This is beautiful! And you are brave (I'm afraid of fire - and water - and just about everything; my Sweetie calls me Mr. Monk but I'm not afraid of milk, I just don't like it). Beautiful organic look to this; I am looking into encaustic, too - not sure why but abstracting and wax seem to be something I might just like.

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    1. Thank you Rhonda. I think you will really love the encaustics.

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  5. Way cool, Nancy, thanks for inspiring us. This has a reptilian skin look to it, hope I just didn't insult you. I don't blame you for having a healthy respect for Fire. I am sure however as you practice more you will get comfortable. I am going to live vicariously with you in this technique, I just can't add one more vice. :):). Oh yes I am loving the colors on this one too. More please.

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    1. Thanks Nelvia. No, you didn't insult me. It does look reptilian.
      You will definitely be seeing more encaustics soon.

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  6. Dear Nancy - never worked with encaustics but yours is certainly beautiful. I love the colors that you achieved in this piece as well as the abstract feel. I am not crazy about fire either - have a wood burning tool that I use on gourds and it makes me a bit nervous to use it. So I understand the fire thing! Have a great day.

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  7. Amazing painting, Nancy! I love it! I hope you will do more encaustics!

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    1. Thank you Theresa. I've already done another one and plan to work some more this weekend. It's so addicting!

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  8. I love this, Nancy :) it's incredible! I wish you a great weekend :)

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  9. Lovely!!! I always admire encaustics so it is nice to see you doing them...and doing them well.

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  10. I feel the urge to experiment lately and this is inspiring! Not quite sure what I'm going to try, but I do know I feel the need to experiment. This really is beautiful!

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