January 2014

Encaustics with a friend


Here’s a little piece I made when I was introducing a friend to encaustics. I call this one Love Letter. It has a copy of an old French postcard, some watch gears, a watch spring, and lots of different colors of wax. Sometimes a piece goesfast, sometimes they don’t. This was one of those that just flowed right along.

For this one, rather than do a carbon transfer, I just put the paper right in the piece. To do that I first coated the cradled board with beeswax…smoothed that out, then placed the paper down and put a layer of beeswax over it. Next is the fun part…heat the waxed paper and board with an iron, or head gun, and watch the paper absorb the wax and become adhered and a part of the art.

Here’s my palette of colors…although I didn’t use them all, this is what I had on hand to choose from. I used the red, green, metallic gray, black and clear. I also bought some encaustic sticks to play with.



For me creating art is a way of expressing myself…it doesn’t always turn out pretty, but I sure enjoy the process. Most of the time I enjoy the pieces I’ve made.

Here is a picture of my friend Sandi’s first encaustic piece. It’s turned out very cool. It’s fun to see how different people approach art. I love that she did a sketch first and then melted and moved wax around it…it gives it a feeling of movement and mood. We also learned that the graphite will move with the wax…so keep control of wax.

Sandi used two encaustic oil sticks and black wax, along with plain beeswax and graphite pencil.




PuddlesMy latest passion is encaustics. I love the textures, colors, depth and feel you can create with them. I just started learning about encaustics fall 2013 with a friend. I watched many you-tube videos to get the gist of what is involved. And had my friend Donna answer my millions of questions.

Now I have my own tools and supplies. Found a hot griddle at the goodwill for $12.99, lots of used utensils, metal dishes and kitchen gadgets to hold wax, carve wax and add texture, also goodwill…you don’t need to spend a lot of money on tools for encaustics, they’re going to get messed up, so buy what you can used. Kitchen tools average about $1 a piece. And it’s kind of fun looking for them. I found they would inspire me also.


Bought my beeswax and damare resin off amazon and a few enkaustikos art sticks for color.

I love the fluidity of encaustics and the quickness of them. I can create a small piece in an evening, or day. I love their ability to encase and preserve things. I’ve been enjoying using leaves that I pick up on my walks with my dog Daisy. Seasonal leaves, if you will, I bring them home and put them under a sketch book for a few days…let them dry and keep them flat.

The ideas start brewing in my head when I collect leaves…then dry them…see what color they turn out. This pieces I call “Puddles” incorporates fall maple and ginko leaves. The ginko leaves are a beautiful pale yellow and have such a wonderful and unique shape. I also used some antique watch springs as the water rings for my puddle. The colors are dark and moody. There are actually some parking tokens in there too…but they’re so buried in the puddle that they will not be found until summer. 🙂

Screen shot 2014-01-20 at 12.21.02 PM

More encaustics

Here are a few more of my encaustics. Right now I’m just exploring and seeing what the medium can do and how to do it…and just having fun. No real goal in mind…well yes there is…to feed my soul. I enjoy the process of creating.

This one was fun…I did an image transfer, that is the little girl on the right. She came from a vintage french postcard. I scanned her in…enlarged her and printed her on a toner based printer. I also have in here some old stamps and an old key. Oh and a piece of a map.


I used a funny roller cutter I found at the Goodwill to make the dashed lines that look like map lines. Filled them in with a metallic wax and then rubbed off the excess. I did manage to over heat the wax that had the transferred picture on it…so it started to float away, but patched it up. I like it on my red wall.


This one has a print out of a photo I took with my Holga camera, buried under many layers, but gives a nice base. Then it has the horoscope section of The Stranger ripped and pasted along the bottom…here and there…some old watch parts, small gears, and an old watch face…and to top it off some vintage glitter.

I thought I would try working with simple unprepared wood panels, instead of gessoed panels on cradles, as they’re much more expensive. I like the way this turned out…but now would have to add back support, a cradle, if I want to hang…lesson learned. Just use what you like…prepped gessoed cradle boards…they look nice and finished and I can hang them on the wall when I’m done.

The next one, below right, that I also did on the wood panel with no cradle. The cradle is the frame built onto the back that gives the piece support and allows you to mount hanger, wire, what-not to display piece.


This one is warm and soft…lots of rosy pinks and romantic colors…one large watch spring, which I just love, and lots of small watch innards and two watch faces. I call this one Fall Back. The orientation of the piece can change…this one looks nice a couple ways, but the clock faces are definitely put on in one direction. No matter 🙂 Makes it more interesting.

I often find I’m so close to a piece that even though it feels done, I don’t necessarily like it. Then I come back a couple days, or a day, later and I like it much more…then as I have a little distance I really begin to like it. Odd. So if you feel a piece is finished…let it sit for a couple days and then revisit. You might just like what you see!