Encaustic, from the ancient Greek “enkaustikos”, means “to heat” or “to burn”.  

The medium consists of melted beeswax with a small amount of damar resin to impart durability and luminosity.   I make my own wax medium.  

My ratio of beeswax to damar resin is about five to one.  

The wax becomes paint when pigment is added to the melted wax.  

Personally, I purchase pigmented wax blocks.  It is safer than mixing dry pigments with the wax. I love the evenness and consistency of purchased paint and the extensive color choices.

I paint on different surfaces:  birch boards, 8 ply rag, handmade paper; just about any surface that will accept the wax.  

Painting with wax requires that I work quickly, for the wax begins to harden the moment it leaves its heat source.  

What makes encaustic unique is the application of heat between layers of brushstrokes.  

I use propane torches, heated palettes, irons, and numerous other tools.  Heat binds each layer to the previous layer.  

Wax is immediate; it allows no time for pondering.  It is workable for only a few seconds between being lifted from the hot palette and cooling on the board.

It invites the viewer not only to look, but to touch and smell.  

Encaustic is sensual.
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