Encaustic with nature’s materials

I’m still playing with my encaustic medium. I taught a class and learned this…limit the size to 10 students, you can’t plug in and run a griddle, melting pot, 3 heat tools, a quilting iron and a woodburning tool into one socket, even with a surge protector without blowing a fuse, and finally, your stuff will get really messy with melted wax drips and glitter!Art004

I have seen some lovely painted eucalyptus leaves lately and wanted to collect some for my class. There is a park nearby with a lot of good nature offerings so I collected bark, leaves, seed pods and some bits from a palm that look like little fans and some woven fibres. 

For this artwork I began with a 5×7 canvas board. I used modge podge to adhere a rectangle of brown handmade paper with gold flecks on about 1/2 the board and then overlapped that with a piece of yellow handmade paper with a torn edge. This gave me 3 background colors with the overlap making the 3rd color once the wax made it somewhat translucent.  I added a scalloped edge of gold paper rescued from a store bought cake cardboard.  Before adding any wax, I drew some branches and simple flower shapes with a black sharpie. I also signed the work. Then I layered the wax and began my additions. I stamped a feather, on the white piece of napkin you get after separating the layers, using versafine black. I added the feather, a piece of bark, three leaves, a fan shape and woven piece from the palm and some seed pods. Then I strung some gold beads on thin copper wire, looping the wire at intervals to separate the beads. I wanted to repeat the gold from the scalloped paper and the flecks in the brown paper. This helps to balance the art work when you carry the color around the work. Each time I added something, I melted wax for under and over the new piece. The beads were added last and come out of the artwork. I didn’t want to lose all the shine of the beads.

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