Monday, March 30, 2009

The end of a semester -

Here we are. Missing from our photo are Loralei and Babette. It's the end of the semester. Much wax has been painted and friendships have been formed. A very worthwhile effort.

Barbara - Windy Active

Tessa - Spirals

Tessa - Earth

Alix - No and Yes

Alix - Ds and Ws

Alix - Lay of the Land

Alix - Stripes

Alix - Surging Waters

The end . . . for now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Encaustic Painting - open work week

This week is a continuation of last week so bring your usual suspects to work on.

Alix - Emotional Interplay

Alix - Thoughts From the Red Dot Door

Alix - Subtle Insinuations

Alix - Mask

Suzanne - World Produce

Tessa - Treetops

Tessa - Curves

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sources for Encaustic Painting, Winter 2009, BBAC

I'll add more to these as I think of them.


PVA (polyvinyl acetate) - I got it from Hollanders but it is in the catalog of Dick Blick, Utrechts, probably many others

anything having to do with plexiglas - Plastic Tech in Ann Arbor: 734.665.3580

beeswax -

The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax by Joanne Mattera
Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax by Patricia Seggebruch

R & F Encaustic - for everything encaustic and lots of information:

Enkaustikos: art supplies including encaustic:

The Scrapbox in Ann Arbor for bits and pieces to use in mixed media

Blogs, websites, pages:

Next Encaustic Painting Class

Hi everyone. Here are the images for last week. Below those is the information for this week. I'll post "Sources" on a separate post.

Loralei - Street Target

Loralei - Street Trash

Loralei - Street Trash 2

Tessa - Curves in progress

I don't have any demonstrations in mind so if there is anything you'd like to ask me to demonstrate, please do. If Tessa, Barbara, Suzanne and/or Babette want to bring work for a little group critique, do so.

Bring your normal encaustic load.

I'll bring:
plexi adhesive
Jon Wilson's work so you can see how he "paints with fire"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Encaustic Painting on Plexiglas

Alix - "World's Oceans"

Tessa - "Woodland"

Tessa - "Evolution"

Hi everyone. I'll demonstrate painting on plexiglas this week. The main thing here is to think in washes of sheer color. I'm told I'll be able to pick up the plexi on Wednesday. Babette, I have one 12x12 square plus cleats for you if you want it. If you don't, I'll keep it.

I plan on asking each of you what you want to do during the following 2 class periods. If you read this in time, bring in your favorite pieces of what you've done so far. They don't have to be finished. Maybe we can do a bit of a group critique and help each of you sort out where to go next.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Acrylic Transfers

About acrylic transfers - if you want to try these at home and bring them ready to collage in wax, here is what you can do -

- your image has to have toner in it for this transfer process to work. Not every copy machine works well for this so you may want to take your image to various machines and get a copy from each machine. You can do the transfer process on all the images at the same time to see which machine works best.

- cut out your image leaving a scrap edge around it.

- tape it down, face up, to a smooth surface - plexiglas, glass, marble table

- day one: paint the surface completely with a thin coat of acrylic medium *

- day two: paint the surface completely with a thin coat of acrylic medium

- day three: same

- day four: repeat until you build up 6-8 layers

- at this point you will have an image on paper with built up layers of acrylic medium on top. Now comes the revelation of the transfer bit. I'll bring mine to class at this stage. We're going to free it from its surface, turn it over and rub off the paper backing. It the image has transferred from the paper to the acrylic we'll be left with a transparent transfer.

About acrylic medium - I'm using Golden GAC 100. Another one that works is Golden GAC 700. Also try acrylic gloss medium or any other acrylic media. We'll survey the various media and see what works best.

I use a disposable foam brush. I keep it in a baggie and tape the brush/baggie to the bottle of medium between uses. I don't wash it out between uses. It stays moist in its plastic bag.

Timing - you may paint faster than every 24 hours. Twice or even 3 times a day may be fine. For the sake of useful information, keep track of how many coats you apply.

Bring your transfers to class, done or in process, so we can all see.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Encaustic Painting - Poured and Painted

Hi everyone. Here is the latest crop of photos from the last two weeks. Below the photos are words about our next get together.

Alix - Blue

Alix - The Barrister

Alix - Bingo Ballet

Barbara - Our New House

Suzanne - Sou Prairie

Suzanne - Sur Prairie

Tessa - Not About the Dots

Loralei - Woodward 1

Loralei - Woodward 2

Loralei - Woodward 3

Loralei - Woodward 4

This Wednesday, 25 February we will try out some mixed media in wax. Bring your encaustic supplies and bits you may want to encase in some of your panels. You may start panels from scratch or continue on some you have already worked on. As far as the bits to bring, you can encase very fine things like feather boas, lacy bits or very heavy things like bolts. If you want to do heavy things be prepared to build up some wax on your panels first. Also, of course, photos, magazine pictures, newspaper - anything, really.

I will demonstrate pouring and painting wax over images adhered to panel again.

That's all I know for now.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Encaustic Painting - poured, painted wax on images

Hi everyone. Here are some of the images from last week. Below those are some words about this Thursday.

Alix - Floating Elements

Alix - St. Valentine

Alix - Circular

Tessa - Grey Study

Tessa - Dots on Snow

Loralei - Water and Oil

Alix - Tic, Tac . . .

Alix - Dorothy Unhinged

Loralei - Lifting from the Grid

Loralei - Enmeshed

This week we're going to paint wax on one of the paper images you've attached to panel and pour wax on the other. If you haven't attached paper to panel and want to, bring your panel and paper this week and we'll do it then. I'll bring my PVA. The painting wax on an image is fairly straight forward. We'll do that first while we wait for wax to melt.

About pouring, it will be easier to do if you have a vessel to heat the wax in that you can lift off your hot surface and pour from - say an old saucepan with a flat bottom. If you don't have something like that just bring your stuff and we'll sort it out.

See you Wednesday.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Wax on January 28 - Encaustic Monoprints

Alix - "Draw the Line Here"

Alix - "Nine Layer Cake"

Hello everyone. The snow is white but the sky is cloudy. Hoping for Colorado's blue sky soon.

This is a reminder to bring the things that Leslie suggested to the next class on the 28th - 
- paper small enough to fit on your heated surfaces
- encaustic, oil pastels or encaustic bars if you have them
- cakes of sheer color in wax
- graphite, pencils, carbothello pencils if you have them

For paper, Leslie suggests both kozo or printmaking papers. The less size on the surface, the better so printmaking paper is better than watercolor paper but nothing is written in stone.

Check out Leslie's website

Also, if you can paint two panels (including the cradled one, if you wish) white with some white gesso, acrylic or watercolor before the class on February 4, that would be great. If not, I'll bring the correct stuff this time and you can paint it in class. For those of you who do have your panels painted, please bring the images you want to adhere to the panel and we'll glue them down. I'll bring some PVA but if anyone else has some, please bring it also. We'll probably have enough with mine. You'll be backup.

I don't know if I've mentioned it before but the panel that you want to pour wax on (one of the white painted panels) should be of a size that will fit in your hot gizmo. You will need to get the white painted panel with the image glued on warm before you pour hot wax on it. The other white panel can be any size as you will be painting wax on top of the image. If you're confused, email or call me.

See you in February!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

wax in week three

Alix - "Yellow Dot"

Hello everyone. Tessa reminded me of something. If you're new to encaustic you should use this semester to explore and experiment. Set yourself some goals - I'll help you with that if you want - but don't make "producing a work of art" one of them. Some goals to help you learn the wax process might be:
- try to bury some imagery or marks under layers of wax so they appear faintly on top
- blend a nice gradation, from white to black or blue to pink, or red to black. Anything really so you begin to see how transparent/opaque work in this medium
- paint a portion of your board with texture and make the other part smooth
- practice line making then bury it in wax, do more line making, bury it, etc. After you have built up a bit, scratch back through to some bottom layers.

I'll think of some more of these exercises.

Here is the link to the slideshow of mostly encaustic work that most of you saw last Wednesday : wax and fire slideshow - Jan. 09 

About 21 January - week 3
Our itinerary says we are to:
- continue gluing panels
- paint 12x12 white - I'll bring white gesso for everyone. If you have both panels that are to be painted we can paint them whether or not they are glued.
- make some cakes of very weak colors to use with Leslie next week
- I'll demo the use of stencils
- I'll also demo making pigment paste (with cold wax) to fill lines. I talked it but didn't do it.


Friday, January 9, 2009

What's coming January 14. . . . and beyond

Hi everyone. Here are some thoughts about our next class. The agenda says:

- begin gluing cradles - I'll bring the Titebond Glue
- begin attaching cradles to 12x12 panel if you have it
- paint with wax
- demo on introducing lines
- while our wax is melting we can look at the slide show of encaustic (mostly) work I grabbed off the internet

To do these things you will need:
- encaustic medium - if you have to continue making it in class that's ok. It will slow you down on painting but, I promise, no one will frown at you.
- pigments, oil paints or encaustic sticks - You may refer to the materials list I gave you for basic colors but if you don't have those you can really start with anything. We talked a little about other coloring/texturing elements - things like spices, fireplace ash, dirt. Whatever you think of that isn't too toxic.
- you will need some wood panels - 12x12 and smaller - to experiment on - 20 of various or same size should allow you to keep some you like and repaint those you don't care about
- bring back your cradle pieces if you have your 12"x12" panel
- brushes
- electric skillet, hot palette or flat heating device
- tins to contain various colors, medium on your heating device

Bring if you have but don't go out and purchase:
- strap clamp
- pigment sticks
- grease pencil
- tool to gouge lines in wax

You will need eventually:
- dorlands cold medium
- PVA adhesive or acrylic medium - we won't need this until February
- 12x12 x 1/4" plexiglas - I'll arrange to purchase these for everyone unless you want to get your own
- 2 - 12"x12" wood panels (I recommend 1/4" birch plywood) - one of these will be used with the cradle
- optional: a larger piece of wood to paint on - say, 18" x 24". If you want to work on a larger piece like this you may want to cradle it before you begin painting so it will be ready to hang when you finish the surface.

Sources to check out:
- R&F Encaustic
- The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax by Joanne Mattera


Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Welcome to our blog! This is for the Encaustic Painting class at the BBAC, Winter semester, 2009. We'll use it to post photos of our work, notes, extras and communication. See you Wednesday evening.