What is Encaustic art?
It is a blend of oil pigmented paint, BEESWAX and damar “VARNISH”.
The mixture must be heated (Greek word to heat is “enkaustikos”) to at least 180 degrees using a griddle with metal pans containing the medium. It is then layered in a molten state with natural bristle brushes and fused either with a hot gun or torch. Once the layers are fused and allowed to cool, it becomes a unique piece of archival, solid artwork. It can be used on many substrates such as wood, paper, various sculpture materials, plexi, and fabric. My current passion is using a hot box with handmade Japanese paper where the Encaustic wax is heated on the box and then embedded into the paper(encaustic monotype-one of a kind).
WHEN WAS THIS MEDIUM FIRST USED? IT IS SO RARE…..
The medium was used by Greek painters starting as early as the 5th Century. Beautiful Egyptian Fayum funeral portraits were painted with Encaustic wax and to this day remain intact(many museums have them for viewing). It continued to be used through out the Renaissance era as a portrait medium. 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 at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Is it stable and will it last if I purchase it?
Because of the “VARNISH” heated in the mixture, the art piece is archival( preserved as are the Fayum portraits from the 5th century). Like any piece of fine art, it must handled with care and not placed in direct sunlight. You are guaranteed a beautiful, unique piece of art that will last for years to come!