Encaustic is Enchanting!

A_R_T © Mary Jane Russell 2010

Last month I rediscovered printmaking and before I even had a chance to explore that further, now I’ve fallen for encaustic painting.  What’s not to love about the smell and subtle sheen of beeswax, especially when it encases layers of ephemera, scraps of other artwork, fabrics and other little treasures? It’s a great use for all those tidbits that we save (we know who we are!) — and a great excuse to collect more!

Today’s post includes a sampling of the pieces I made in a recent workshop with Elizabeth Kendrick at Studio Place Arts.  Julie Vohs of Encaustics from the Hallway Studio gave me tips on how to photograph these – the transparency and sheen makes it a bit tricky, so I resorted to a scanner.

The black and white piece is accented by an amazing deep, clear, cool red paint – and a small graphic image I designed from a photo of an art quilt I’d made years ago.  I love recycling and developing earlier works by making silkscreens from sections of the design, or in other ways such as this!

The pink hearts below seem to float in space, but are a section of printed tissue paper.  I love how the white tissue dissolves into the wax, leaving only the printed images.


The gold piece features a scrap from the printmaking studio, abandoned in the trash can by an anonymous artist.  Thanks also to Chris Gluck of Poker Hill Arts for sharing her amazing collection of dried leaves!






And you may recognize the final image as a artist’s proof from my monoprinting class a few weeks ago, reused in a new way.

Encaustic Monoprint © Mary Jane Russell 2010

Encaustic paintings, in progress © Mary Jane Russell 2010

PS- I’ve added new pages to my blog for images of my textile art and other media, so please feel free to browse those tabs above.  More images to come!