Encaustic Painting With Wax Hot and Cold All paint is made in the Bees wax

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Encaustic Painting With Wax: Hot and Cold

                          All paint is made in the same way: by combining pigment (such as ground
                          minerals) with a binder. For example, pigment is mixed with gum arabic to
                          produce watercolor paint, pigment with a polymer acrylic medium to produce
                          acrylic paint, or pigment with oil to produce oil paint. In the same way,
                          pigment combined with beeswax produces encaustic paint. The solvent for
                          encaustic paint, rather than water or turpentine, is heat. Each color of wax
                          paint is melted, applied to the surface of the painting, and reheated to fuse
                          the paint into a smooth or textured finish.

Fayum Portrait of a Young Boy

The first known use of encaustic paint is by the Greeks as
early as the 4th century B.C., and the word “encaustic” derives
from the Greek word enkaustikos meaning “to heat” or “to
burn.” The pigmented wax was used to color statues as well
as paint murals, portraits, and decorative designs in homes
and public buildings. The fabulous “Fayum Portraits” from 100
B.C. to A.D 200 are as bright and vibrant as if they had been
painted yesterday. From the Middle Ages, encaustic was
basically a lost art form. Diego Rivera painted encaustic
murals throughout Mexico City. In the 20th century, one man,
Jasper Johns, initiated an encaustic resurgence, followed by
Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Julian Schnabel and
Mimmo Paladino.
                                                                          Diego Rivera

                                         Artists can layer colors quickly on top of each other. Thin,
                                         transparent glazes or heavy impasto textures are both easily
                                         created. Encaustic works can be reworked at any future time
                                         through the application of heat. No varnish or glass is
                                         necessary to protect the surface. The wax paints do not contain
                                         solvents or oils and will not darken or yellow with age. It is a
                                         natural adhesive, and paper and objects can be imbedded or
Jasper Johns                             layered in the beeswax.
                              Contemporary artists using encaustic include Patricia Baldwin
                              Seggebruch, who has authored the book, Encaustic Workshop:
                              Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax as well as three DVDs on
                              the process. The nature of her work and the encaustic medium
                              allow for experimentation and interplay of materials without getting
                              caught up in any limitations of medium, style or discipline. You
                              need only a few basic essentials to begin encaustic painting. She
                              says: “As you begin to explore, you will realize that the possibilities
                              for tools and materials compatible with encaustic are endless.
                              Anything goes! Once you’ve mastered working with the basic
                              elements of the medium, the sky is the limit.” Learn more about
                              Patricia’s art in the Jan/Feb issue of the magazine “Cloth, Paper,
                              Scissors.” You can view a clip from her instructional DVD at

Cynthia Winika, Encaustic Workshop Director for
R&F Paints, works both in a painterly/realistic style
and a very abstract style. “Painting, doing collage
work, and printmaking, combined with the use of
encaustic technique allows me a way of
invigorating and combining these processes. This
has led to my current work. I love the way I can
subdue or clarify an underlying work by varying the
number of wax applications. Layering with
encaustic medium, scribing and filling incisions
with oil paint to give a dry point look, creating multi-
level, layered collages allows me to create a depth under my surface with an archeological
quality, expressing the history of the process.”

                                 Another related use of wax is represented by the abstract
                                 paintings of Rebecca Crowell using Dorland’s cold wax medium
                                 along with oil paints and other media. Dorland’s contains waxes,
                                 resins, and oils. This translucent, colorless and permanent
                                 medium has the plasticity of tube oil colors. It mixes instantly with
oil colors, powdered pigments, powdered metals, colored sands, dyes, plastic colors, and other
compatible fine art materials.
Rebecca says: “I was delighted with the difference the wax made in adding body to the oil paint,
and I began to experiment with ways to apply and manipulate this thicker, faster drying paint.
Gradually I moved away from brush painting into the kind of abstract painting I am doing today,
in which textured color fields are built up in layers, using a variety of tools. I use only the cold
wax medium--no heat, no other mediums or thinning agents I've always had quite a few
workshop students whose primary methods involve hot wax.
Artists who are drawn to working with wax tend to be
interested in both encaustic and cold wax techniques (as one
put it, "wax is wax.") Some are interested in combining the
two approaches, others in learning a new way to use wax.”
You can view a video of Rebecca working at:

                           Artists have been teaching themselves to use various painting
                           mediums since the beginning of time, but because of the unique
                           attributes of encaustic, it can be extremely helpful to take a
                           workshop. The Peninsula School of Art is excited to offer three
                           classes on making the most of painting with wax. Topics covered
                           include methods of working, as well as equipment, materials, and
                           safety issues. The specifics on the classes are listed below, and the
                           artists’ web sites are listed after their biographies. Please contact the
                           Peninsula School of Art with any questions or to register.

  Roy Lichtenstein

Artistic Encaustic
Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch
July 26-30, 2010

The diversity of encaustic offers artists the opportunity to
utilize all mediums and build on skills related to other creative
outlets like no other medium can. Students will first learn
basic encaustic techniques and then apply them, with an
emphasis on experimentation and process over finished work
in this five-day intensive.
Patricia will demonstrate the following encaustic techniques:
smooth and textured wax application, image transfer, incising, scraping back, collage layering,
and the use of rub-ons. Demonstrations will be followed with ample time for you to play with the
wax, ask questions and develop a strong sense of what is possible in the medium. Information
on setting up a home studio and safety issues will be discussed.

Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch began painting abstractly about a decade ago, evolving from
acrylics to encaustics over five years ago. Her passion for the encaustic medium translates into
her knowledgeable, engaging teaching style. Patricia is the author of the widely-distributed book
entitled, Encaustic Workshop, and has produced three DVDs regarding her chosen medium.
Encaustic with R&F: Explorations in Mixed Media
Cynthia Winika
Oct 13-16, 2010

Peninsula School of Art is pleased to be
partnering with R&F Handmade Paints to
present this unique encaustic workshop with
a focus on collage techniques. Students will
first be introduced to the encaustic method,
including materials, tools, and health and
safety issue, before exploring a variety of
collage approaches with wax. Any artist
interested in mixed media will find this
workshop to be an exciting opportunity to
expand their visual vocabulary.
You will work on collages that are mounted
on panels as well as on unsupported paper,
to create delicately layered, luminous
pieces. Demonstrations will also include a
variety of other methods and techniques that can enhance and deepen your collage works, such
as image transfers, mixing media, carving, dipping and pouring. All paints and equipment will be
provided at no charge.
Cynthia Winika has shown her multi-media works in museums and galleries throughout the US
and abroad. She is the Encaustic Workshop Director for R&F Handmade Paints and has been
teaching nationally and internationally for over 12 years. Cynthia has received grants from the
Women’s Studio Workshop and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her paintings and
encaustic technical advice are featured in The Art of Encaustic Painting, by Joanne Mattera.

                                          Contemporary Abstractions
                                          Rebecca Crowell
                                          Oct 18-20, 2010

                                          Develop new skills in creating texture, line and color
                                          fields in abstract oil paintings. You will experiment
                                          with a variety of tools to create multi-layered works
                                          using cold wax medium, tube oil paint, paint sticks
                                          and powdered pigments; brushes will play only a
                                          minor role.
                                          You will work on 7 to 8 separate panels, choosing to
                                          either integrate them into a multiple panel piece, or as
individual works. In this approach to painting, the outcome is dependent on the painting process
itself. Rebecca’s presentations and resources about abstraction will deepen your appreciation of
its content and meaning. If you enjoy flexibility and surprises along the way, this class is for you.
Rebecca Crowell is a full-time, professional Wisconsin artist. She received an MFA in Painting
from Arizona State University. In 2001 and 2008, she was an artist in residence at the Centre
D’Art I Natura in Catalonia, Spain. She is best known for her abstract works on multiple panels,
painted in oils and wax medium. Rebecca’s work is exhibited in galleries in Santa Fe, NM;
Scottsdale, AZ; Telluride, CO; Minneapolis, MN; and in Door County at Woodwalk Gallery. Her
paintings are included in many private, corporate and public collections around the country.

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