Many of the instructors at the event rarely teach on the East coast, so I knew I had to find a way to make it work. I took not one but two encaustic wax classes with Serena Barton. Although I've worked with beeswax before, I've always wanted to learn to work with encaustic medium because the resin mixed in causes it to dry to a much more solid consistency than plain wax. The first class we took was to actually paint portraits with the encaustic medium -- and since I love portraiture, this was right up my alley. We brought some photos for inspiration, and though the painting below doesn't look a whole lot like my inspiration photo, I love the final outcome (especially the crackly, crusty finish!):
In the second encaustic class, also with Serena Barton, we took an old, discarded book and enrobed it in wax, lace, vintage buttons, velvet bits, fragments of old papers, and a carved niche with a frozen charlotte doll nestled in a blanket of raw lambswool. Strands of sari ribbon and pearls cascade from the center of the book. Can you tell that I'm in love with it?
See the frozen Charlotte doll? She's not an original -- they sell for anywhere from $20 - $2,000. But she still looks lovely in the niche, don't you think?
The pendant on the left page is something I made at Key's 4 Art last February.
It was perfect for this book.
This is the back of the book, which is just as beautiful as the front.
I wanted it to look like it was just unearthed from an attic.
I love the texture and color the resin imparts to this piece.
The book was a tome by Charles Dickens, but I couldn't resist
layering on some vintage Farmers Almanac papers I picked up recently.
Those black diagonal lines are a process called etching. Texture is carved into the
wax with a sharp tool, and oil paint is applied and partially removed.
More etching, this time as faux handwriting.
I will be doing a lot more of this, for sure. In fact, I'll have a hard time stopping myself from covering everything within reach with encaustic.