Sunday, August 22, 2010

Encaustic: Hot Art Show

Yesterday was a busy and enjoyable day in the 'burbs.  Attended an organizing committee meeting for FusedChicago at  Mary's home.  Then on to Elyse's house to drop off my artwork for the FusedChicago show at The Art Center in Highland Park, IL.  Here's the blurb from their site:

Spiral and Leaf

September 3rd - October 1st, 2010
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 11th from 6:00 - 9:00pm 

"Encaustic: Hot Art" is an exhibit of work by members of FusedChicago, a group of area artists whose practice involves using layers of pigmented beeswax and a heat source. Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been a resurgence of interest in this ancient medium. The exhibit showcases the wide and current variety of techniques and methods artists are using as they work in this increasingly popular medium.

and here's my painting

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Making Encaustic Medium

Today I finally took the plunge and worked on some handmade encaustic medium for my next series of paintings.  I'd run out of commercial medium and had decided earlier this summer that I would just make my own, as it was more economical.  So, today I followed a traditional recipe of 8 parts beeswax to 2 parts damar resin crystals.  I ended up making two batches this afternoon, so now I have 24 muffin-sized cakes of medium and 2 small "loaves".
Here I am stirring the sticky melting resin crystals into the melted beeswax.  Notice the dirt and bark that will be strained out of the mixture through cheesecloth after the wax and resin are completely combined.

This is a shot of the hot liquid medium right after I poured it into an old muffin tin and a foil loaf pan.  (Neither will ever be used for food again!)  I had a feeling the medium would be difficult to remove from the foil - and it was - so with the next batch I poured the extra into a metal loaf pan.  Much better results that time.  It took about 2 hours for the wax medium to cool and harden in the kitchen even with the A/C on.  When the bottom of the pans were cool to touch I tapped them lightly with whatever tool I had handy and the wax popped out smoothly.
Here's a shot of Batch One of my handmade encaustic medium - Tah-dah!  I was really quite pleased with myself and set about making Batch Two right after lunch.  (I am easily amused!)

A special thanks to Jaime Lyerly for posting her foray into handmade medium and to Susan Crouse-Kemp for her video "Making Encaustic Medium".