Encaustic in a small unventilated area

Having such a frustrating time with my work over the past few weeks. Nothing seems to be working. I had decided to give up on encaustic because  I have such a small space to work and I only have the bathroom exhaust fan that moves the toxic wax fumes out of the area so I have had difficulty with the smell of fumes.  So, I decided to return to oil paint and leave  encaustic over the next three months.  After working on a 30″ X 30 oil painting of the Marshes at the lake I became so depressed with the work and using oil paint. Oil paint also smells strong and I believe is much worse than the heated wax fumes.   I also did not like the flatness of the oil on the canvas and really missed working with the multiple layering of the pigmented wax.   The thought of giving up on encaustic did not last long and I am going to try a new strategy for using the wax. Try working with heated pigmented wax over shorter periods of time and then clean out the air for an hour and then work again for another hour and then repeat this schedule.   I also found that working in the evening before going to bed is good because over the night the air becomes exchanged in my work space.  Let’s hope this process works because I am really hooked on encaustic.  It has been the most exciting medium that I have used in a long time.

Here is the piece that I just finished in encaustic and the size is 24″ x 24″.

Waterlilies by the Marsh

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Author: Anna

I am a painter and sculptor and have a studio beside a beautiful lake. For the past 40 years, I designed and built puppets, masks and sculptures and had solo exhibitions of these works. In 2013, I went back to painting and started working in encaustic. I am interested in issues of identity in terms of weavings as coverings to protect or to hide. The intersecting lines that I create over landscapes create an internal conversation versus the external between nature vs. nurture. Or how actual or psychological barriers erected in an environment can disrupt a cherished place. My engagement with woven structures speak to complex dialogues between identity and psychological barriers. My second passion is teaching. I try to encompass more than teaching my students art techniques. I encourage students to, not only learn the language of art, but to also engage in critiquing art. Additionally, we continually explore ways to enhance one's voice through art in relation to contemporary and historical issues. Encaustic adventures is a blog where not only processes and techniques are taught, but hopefully this sites will engage in a dialogue about the making of art, notions of voice, identity, themes, and ways to establish a body of work within an historical contexts.

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