One of the many great things about working with wax is that if it doesn’t work out, you heat it, scrape it off, and start again. Here are some pieces that survived my current round of explorations.
Before I color my wax or paint with it, I make an encaustic medium. Three ingredients go into it; 8 parts beeswax, 1 part damar resin, and 100 parts work. I changed beeswax vendors and ordered a 28 pound block. What was I thinking? To mix the beeswax and damar resin I have to melt them both. Out came the old school hammer and chisel. And, yes, my shoulder still hurts.
And that was just the beginning: Weigh and melt wax.
Crush up the damar resin and add.
Stir the gooey resin, keep stirring.
After I sold my demanding advertising agency (years ago), I found myself right where I wanted to be: in my studio staring at a blank canvas. In that quiet space came a loud thought: I was going to have to slow down.
Burn some wood!
I spent four years “writing with fire” and slowing down. Burning lines in wood taught me how to fully live in the moment. We hear we should “be in the moment” as a way to enrich our lives. I thought I had always lived in the moment. Where else could I have been? Oh, boy.
To burn an inch-long line takes 30 seconds. And there is no way to rush. When I tried to, the heat wasn’t there to leave a mark in the wood. And the tool is very hot. It’s not something you want to take your mind off of when it’s in your hand.
What’s “in the moment”? Perspective, awareness, ideas!!!, maybe even eternity.
Some works include 300+ hours of pyrography. I never could have imagined that a woodburner would end up being my Mr. Miyagi, my Obi-Wan Ben Kenobi, my Master Po.
As I was organizing my storage room, I came upon my stack of Zanders calendars that I collected when I was in the ad biz. What a visual feast! On the cover of one was the word “Zanders” made of a unique typestyle. I used those seven letters as my inspiration and designed the rest of the alphabet.
I approach encaustic painting with a silkscreen mentality (which means I use stencils) so the next step is to cut them. An appreciation for the colorfield artists added to the desire to complete this alphabet. I can envision that when my words stack up they’ll create a great pattern of vertical stripes which will be something that will interest me. I’ll report back.