Encaustic means burning in and is used to describe both the paint itself, and the method for using it. The Greeks applied coatings of wax and natural resins to waterproof their ships. The effects portrayed in my paintings are the result of contemporary methods applied to the ancient art form of encaustic painting. Demar resin and dry pigments are combined with beeswax. The molten paint is applied to a wood canvas and melded, using a variety of techniques such as torches and heat guns.
Fayum funeral portraits were painted in the 1st through 3rd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt. A painted portrait of the deceased was placed over the persons mummy as a memorial. The 2000 year old encaustic works reveal the archival quality of this ancient medium.
Beeswax is melted and combined with pigments and demar resin. This molten medium is applied to a surface and fused with heat. Demar resin raises the melting point of the wax and hardens the finished surface to create a lustrous enamel like effect. The layering of the encaustics creates a fluidity, luminosity and depth that is richly emotive.
Encaustic paint softens in temperatures above 120 degrees. The wax will retain its shape, as long as it is undisturbed, and will harden when the temperature lowers. Avoid displaying encaustic paintings in direct sunlight, glass windows magnify the sun’s rays and will liquefy a painting at 140 degrees. In freezing conditions encaustic paintings are subject to brittleness and cracking.
The surface of an encaustic painting my develop a cloudy film known as bloom. Bloom is caused by unsaturated hydrocarbons migrating to the surface and crystallizing. After a while, this will cease. This condition may be reversed and the original luster regained by buffing the surface with a clean, seamless cotton cloth in a random circular motion.
Store and or transport your painting gently wrapped in wax paper. Provide a box at least 2 inches larger than the painting in all dimensions, place the painting in the box flat, with the surface directed upward. Cushion the edges with packing material to hold the painting securely. Avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures whenever possible when storing and or transporting your painting. FedEx provides museum quality White Glove service with Temp-Assure.