I first started to research Encaustics in 2009 when I was reading an article and came across the word ‘Encaustic’ and had to look it up to find out what it was.
I instantly became obsessed with it. I loved the process of making my own medium, the smell of the beeswax melting, measuring and mixing and playing around to find out what it could do.
Encaustic is a Greek word meaning 'to heat or burn in' (enkaustikos). Heat is used throughout the process, from melting the beeswax and Damar resin, to fusing the layers of wax. Encaustic consists of natural bees wax and damar resin (crystallized tree sap).
The medium can be used alone for its transparency or coloured pigment added. The medium is used molten and applied with a brush or any tool you wish to. Each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the previous layer.
Encaustic lends itself beautifully to images of water because the natural element of beeswax reflects the natural texture and translucency of water. When laying the white encaustic platform for my colour, I can choose to scrape back any natural bumps that occur with the many layers, which will leave a very flat surface which emulates a calm sea or sky.
Or I can deliberately leave these bumps, to echo the waves and movement that happens in less calm waters. Also, the unpredictability of how the wax responds each time I fuze the colour on the surface, reflects the unpredictability of the ocean and skies.