Cynthia on Encaustic Painting

Having been not just a fan of encaustic painting, but a day-in-day-out semi-addicted practitioner for the past 11 years, I would like to share a few of my thought about the material and painting in general.

Most importantly, I am NOT “an encaustic painter.”  I am a painter who uses encaustic.

To me there is a pivotal distinction.  This is because the material itself has so many inherent properties that any person with a heat gun, some beeswax and a few dried leaves can ultimately make a resulting object that actually has beauty.  Hence the skyrocketing popularity of the encaustic technique…the material of beeswax is incredibly beautiful…it demands participation of all the senses…it burns, it smells, it has texture, temperature and even a taste.  Essentially, encaustic (beeswax with color) is fool-proof. 

Once you have mastered the material and fooled around with the tools long enough, though,  you will ultimately arrive at the same place, again, of any painter (including myself)…The questions becomes…why are you painting?  For who?  For what?  Where does your urge to paint come from???  What do you have to say?  What do you want to say?

This is the current problem with encaustic as I see it.  (and this is just my own viewpoint!) An artist can get so distracted by the sensual nature of the materials and its properties that the work can lose meaning.  It will lack an idea, a reason, a sublime hook that makes it more interesting and much more profound than just a pretty picture or a crafty arrangement of melted wax and bright colors.

Play with the materials…but be mindful ultimately of your intension.

Blessing s to you all, thanks for joining me on this creative adventure!