My first exhibitions were predominantly encaustic paintings and thus, I have a
nostalgia for the material although I do not often dabble in it as strictly a painting medium any longer.
Instead I use it primarily as a varnish coat in combination with other materials,
particularly with the image documentation from my performative work.
Encaustic is a lovely organic material made from a blend of beeswax, resin, and pigment and applied in a molten state. It is a very old technique used as early as the fifth century B.C..
In fact, encaustic is thought to be the oldest painting technique still in use today. It is difficult not to
feel communion with the past, as you sense the ancients looking over one shoulder while brushing the hot wax on the surface.
The use of encaustic fell out of favor after the decline of the Roman Empire when other painting methods which were faster,
cheaper, and easier to use -- such as tempera, fresco, and oil -- became more readily available.
There were a few minor revivals prior to the twentieth century, but most artists only played with
encaustic. With the advent of modern electrical tools, however,
in the twentieth century the challenges associated with the medium were drastically reduced making
encaustic painting a viable medium for contemporary artists.