Image size 8" x 8"
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?