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What is encaustic art?

It is an exciting blend of oil pigment, BEESWAX and damar VARNISH crystals. The mixture must be heated (greek word to heat is "enkaustikos") using a crock pot or griddle with metal pans containing the medium. It is then layered in a molten state with various size brushes and fused with either a hot gun or torch. Once it is fused and cooled, it becomes a unique piece of archival, solid artwork.

In addition, an exciting process of melting encaustic wax on a heated sheet of aluminum using numerous images on paper is evolving as a new and creative expression of the encaustic wax technique. It uses various hand made papers (many from Japan) with an indelible printing process called encaustic monotyping.

The history is quite fascinating given encaustic wax is an ancient medium used by the Greek painters starting as early as the 5th century B.C. Beautiful Egyptian Fayum funeral portraits were painted with encaustic wax and to this day remain intact. It's 20th century revival became famous with Jasper Johns, the modernist ,who used it for texture, impasto strokes and luminosity starting in the 60's. One of his latest works titled "The Catenary Series" can be seen in the new modern wing of the Chicago Art Institute.