Sunday, July 24, 2011

Deviant Art

Deviant Art is a website where you can upload and post your art, crafts, photos, poetry, and more. People can look at and favor your work and you can choose favorite artists to follow. You don't have to offer prints of your work for sale, but that option is available as well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A class at the library

The Panama City Artists invited me to share my inexpensive wax painting techniques at the public library. Over a dozen people showed up, and we accidentally blew a fuse in one of the outlets. Luckily my friend and mentor Roxanne brought plenty of extension cords.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I found a site that does a beautiful job screening my art onto gift products. I used them to make my business cards and I was shocked at how beautiful and finely detailed they were. I love this site. Here are samples of my art on various products.

iPhone and iPad cases


Postage Stamps



Sunday, July 17, 2011


I saw an encaustic painting where the artist used alcohol inks to represent pebbles beside the flowing blue wax river. It was beautiful and I wanted to learn how to do this. I couldn't find any videos or instructions on how to use alcohol inks with wax, so I had to experiment from scratch. I played with applying the inks to my canvases with cold wax and with melted wax. After ruining 2 canvases, I came up with this.

I didn't want to mess up another canvas playing with the hot wax and uncontrollable inks, so I decided to try adding inks to a dry canvas and then finish with an encaustic painting over it.

I still ruined canvases doing it this way because once the ink is on, there's no lifting or erasing it. My lesson learned from all this was to buy canvas paper to experiment with. I am currently playing with acrylics above and below the wax, but I haven't come up with anything worth showing yet.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Problem Becomes a Solution

I learned very quickly from playing with colors that some are notorious for staining the canvas. When I make a mistake, I can correct it by warming the wax with my hairdryer and lifting away with a paper towel. With certain colors, such as blue, dark red, bright yellow and black, a shadow of that color is permanently stained into the canvas. Because wax is so translucent, those stains will always show through.

One day I wanted to make a sky scene with a moon. Initially I made a barely visable pencil outline of my moon and applied a thick layer of clear wax over and around it so that if any of my blue flowed into it, I could quickly push it away before the area stained.  Once the first layer of blue was applied to my canvas, I used my hairdryer to push the color away from the moon to create the appearance of the color fading into the light. In doing this, the moon seemed to loose it's shape and was a blob of white in the sky. I had to go back with a brush and lightly outline the moon with the palest shade of blue I could make in order to redefine it's shape. This outline destroyed the illusion of the sky fading into the light, and that really bothered me.

Then it occured to me that I could use the staining problem to define the shape of my moon. With a new dry canvas, I drew another moon and then surrounded it with a strong blue wax. I filled my moon with clear wax and used the hair dryer to push all the blue away. The only color remaining close to the moon was the pale stain on the canvas. I was very pleased with the results.
Knowing that my reds and yellows will create the same staining effect, I used them for a sunny sky.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beautiful Mistakes

One fun aspect of painting with wax is, if you don't like what you've created, you can pull out the hairdryer and make something unexpected. One day I wanted to make an abstract tree with yellow autumn leaves. When I finished it, I didn't like it at all...
So I got my hairdryer and pushed the wax around. Normally this will make an attractive patterned background that I can use for a new subject. However, as I was pushing the wax with the hot air, an image suddenly appeared.
I could see a rose. I added touches of red at the bottom for more color. I call this one "Dried Rose" and it is my favorite because I could never duplicate this again. I still wanted my tree with yellow, so on another canvas I attempted it again...and again...and again. When I finally got the tree I wanted, it looked like this.
All the brown wax from previous trees blended with the yellow to create a leathery looking background. It doesn't look anything like the image I wanted to create, but I love these unexpected surprises. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My First Encaustics

I've never painted, nor even considered painting, before I saw my first encaustic on the internet. The light seemed to glow into the colors like an oil painting, yet is was thick and dimensional like an impasto. I was mesmerized. I wanted to learn, but the cost of the tools and the proper encaustic waxes were out of my reach. Then I found a site where people were using crayons, oil pastels, and household items to create wax paintings. So with a hair dryer, a small craft iron, a box of crayons and pastels, I made these first two pieces.
The first piece I called "Branching Abstract". It was displayed at the Visual Arts Center of Bay County this year for their Show and Sale event.
The second piece was named "The Red Goddess" by a friend of mine. He was able to see an image of a woman breathing flames in this abstract. He loved it so much I had to give it to him. I can't sell art to my friends. I can only give it.