I spent an absorbing 4 hours at R & F Paints in Kingston, NY last Saturday. R&F is a leading maker of encaustic supplies and they offer a mini workshop the third Saturday of each month. Encaustic is a beeswax and damar resin mixture (90% beeswax, I believe) that was used by the Egyptians for tomb portraits around 2000 years ago, and the portraits are as beautiful today as they were then. Let's just say, it's a very archival medium! Anyway, a few years ago I took a class at the Woodstock School of Photography with Fawn Potash on using encaustic with photographs. For more information about encaustics, techniques and materials (also workshops), I refer you to their website, www.rfpaints.com.
A few years ago I printed macro portraits of roses on kitikata paper (a thin, semi-translucent Japanese paper) and dipped them in the wax. The effect was lovely - translucent, delicate.
This time I mounted photos (printed on Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper -- although any matte paper will work) on blocks of wood. I lightly stained the sides ebony and pasted the photos on the wood with mat media. The images were brushed with wax, then annealed/bonded/smoothed with a heating tool -- similar to a creme brulee torch.
Encaustic wax gives a beautiful surface - it's soft, yet has a satin sheen and total archival quality. Because of the resin, the wax hardens. It will not melt or soften, even during the hottest summer.
I kept the size small - these are 5x5. I wanted an intimate experience with the images.
Some artist friends were at my house the other night and thought they had a fairy-tale quality to them. I definitely will be continuing with these.
I will be showing these at my gallery, www.riverwindsgallery.com and at my pop-up truck during the Beacon Open Studios, September 24 -25th.
Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie, NY has partnered with an auction house -- United Country Absolute Auction -- to sell artwork -- proceeds to help support Barrett. To look at the artwork and bid, go to www.aarbids.com. Paintings, pastels, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture and ceramics are available for purchase online through August 21. There is no minimum, so this is a wonderful opportunity to do some great shopping!
The work is also on display at Barrett Art Center, 55 Noxon Street, Poughkeepsie, NY through September 4. The gallery is open M-F, 10-6 and Saturday 11-3.
I have two photos in the auction, both taken in Italy:
Tuscan Golden Road
Check it out -- get some wonderful artwork and support an important art center in the Hudson Valley.