Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tangled Wax

Encaustic art intrigues me - the dreamy feel that comes from the wax layers lends another aspect.  So I was delighted to see Paper Artsy's latest challenge to use wax.  I've also been wanting to play around with two of the latest ideas from Wanderlust (which I encourage you to join - so many wonderful teachers available online this year!)   The first idea was to get some Zentangling going...and the second was to use Kasia's prompt to write, write, write fast, fast, fast on a page.  I've done that in my journal, which I will be posting next, and it was so fun I decided to try it on this piece.

I was not as brave as Astrid to try the wax bit on gessoed paper, lol!  Instead, I used an 8 inch by 8 inch board prepared for encaustic, which I had on hand as I just got a DVD by Michelle Bello on encaustic techniques.  I was also lucky to secure a Ranger Melting Pot, which although discontinued, are still possible to find here in the States, at least online.  But I could also have used a small  metal container heated low in a frying pan, or any number of other work-arounds that you can find on the internet.

I began by painting a wide stripe of black gesso, over which I would lay a piece of this beautiful textured paper I found at our wonderful local art store.

First, though, I used a regular Sharpie to cover the white space with writing and something like a tangle.  I don't know how Zen it is, but it does repeat the pattern, which seems to be the gist of this technique.  I have always been a doodler, though as I do most writing on my laptop these days, I rarely engage that part of my brain - this was a lot of fun!  I chose a curved feather pattern that is my very favorite to freehand machine quilt, because it is almost impossible to screw up.   I used a Sharpie for its permanence, and stuck to the regular size rather than fine point, because I didn't want to spend days creating a pattern on this largish piece, and I didn't think the fine point would show up anyway.

 Next, I applied the paper with some soft gel medium.

Apologies for the wonky placement.... Blogger rarely lets me put pictures where I want them!

A look that one finds frequently in encaustic pieces is embedded metal, particularly rusted metal.  I had nothing like that to hand, so I decided to use Quinacridone Gold acrylic, diluting it so that it would drip down my piece.  Then I added a bit of PaperArtsy rusting powder, which is the grey stuff you see.  Although I did spray with white vinegar, it didn't rust too well but I think that is because my substrate was not wet.  But no worries, because the grey fits right in!

Next, I dripped some diluted PaperArtsy Blueberry translucent acrylic ....

 And then I began to apply the melted beeswax.

 Then, although it is hard to see here, I scratched some loops into the dried wax...

 and rubbed on some Lumiere Metallic Copper and Metallic Rust paints with my fingers, and wiped off with a damp cloth before the paint was totally dry.

 I like how the paints work with the texture of the fibrous paper....

And how the scratched loops retain the color...

 And here is the finished piece....

 Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please leave a comment - I love hearing from you! xxx Lynn


  1. Oh wow Lyn, what an amazing piece!! I adore how you have combined the different techniques and elements, the end result makes for absolutely fantastic textures, very unique and beautiful!!

  2. Lyn this is fab, it's so rich looking and so many techniques X

  3. Rusty textured waxy beauty - what a great combination of elements to create a layered piece with great depth. Lovely writing too!
    Alison xx

  4. Absolutely AMAZING process, Lynn! Such a cool result too! Love how you just play - so inspiring!

  5. Love the wax over the open textured paper with the scratched loops - great piece!

  6. Ooh! Love the tangling, the composition again is wonderful and I don't think you can go wrong with wax! Ruth xx

  7. Fabulous art, great the tangling and amazing techniques, Just wonderful.xx

  8. Very very interesting wax project! I've never played with wax and it looks like a fun (maybe messy?) time! Love that fibrous paper and your rusty drips! Awesome sauce design and the details you have added with the hand writing and the flowy design are incredible! Wowzers! Hugz. ~Niki

  9. Love the touch of rust... like an authentic antique piece of art!

  10. Hey Lynn, just wanted to say how very happy I am to see that you won at Paper Artsy! How very cool! I couldn't be happier for you. Enjoy your loot! <3

  11. Lynn, I think I could really enjoy crafting with you...we seem to have a similar way of going about things. I love that you tried the encaustic painting and your result is really spectacular. I love that fibrous paper, and I agree it looks great with the paints, but also embedded in the wax--a match made in Heaven! Well done, and thank you for inspiring and sharing! Hugs!

    1. Oh, and it looks like a big high five is in order, judging from Autumn's comment! I haven't been to PA. Shame on me!

  12. Thanks for this great post, i find it very interesting and very well thought out and put together. I look forward to reading your work in the future. Wax melts UK


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