Over the years I have created many paintings in both realism and abstraction but my favourite style is abstraction. Below is one example from my acrylic series called “Floating Bodies.” It is 30″ X 30″.
During those years I felt that I had a double personality because I loved painting and sculpting and yet had little time to do both since I also had a full time teaching position. Three years ago I retired and in that same year went to an exhibition where one of the artists exhibited artworks made with encaustic and at that moment I fell in love. She achieved transparencies and opaque contrasts that I had never seen before. I began reading books on encaustic and bought frying and griddle pans for melting the wax and purchased irons, hot tools and pigmented wax and began to paint. I quickly found out that one can not just begin to paint in the same way as I painted with acrylic. What frustrations I had because I wanted to use the wax in the same way as using acrylic paints but the quick drying of the wax became problematic. Also, I did not know how to use the tools to melt the wax. Talk about frustration! I looked at artwork on the internet and watched Youtube videos on encaustic processes and it seemed so easy. Yet it was not an easy process as using acrylic paint so I almost gave up.
I was embarrassed with the first painting because I had been painting for years, had solo exhibitions and yet the first painting in encaustic (shown below) looked like beginner’s work. I did not know how to smooth the surface or create light areas or dark areas. I used an iron to smooth the surface and used a brush to paint on thick melted pigmented wax. Little mixing of the paint with medium was done. Looking back, I am amazed that I did not give up after completing this work. But, I am tenacious and continued practicing. The first work was 12″ X 12″ and was painted on heavy watercolour paper.
In the next post, I will explain how I attained more proficiency with my techniques.