- The Art Gallery
- The Petit Fours Gallery
- About Encaustic
- In Studio
- About Encaustic Painting
The earliest form of Encaustic painting evolved with the Greeks use of wax as a form of weatherproofing for their ships. They began decorating their warships by pigmenting the wax. Derived from the Greek word enkaustikos meaning “to burn in”, the art form spread to the Egypt where Greek painters painted the famous Fayum funeral portraits. The alchemy of beeswax, dammar resin, and pigment, is arguably the most resilient form of painting, archival in nature and resistant to moisture.
No other medium responds as if alive like an encaustic painting. The organic nature of the art is interactive with the environment. It is always fascinating to watch a person when first introduced to this medium. They instinctively reach out to touch the surface, instantly connecting. An encaustic painting will continue to cure and harden as it matures for up to one year. During this time, the painting will become increasingly clear and layers more transparent. A young painting may begin to look dull or “bloom” during this curing process. The luster can be refreshed by gently buffing the surface with a soft lint free cloth. Be careful of rings or other hard objects that could scratch the surface. Buff when it is cooler than 75 degrees, and do not buff so vigorously that it generates heat. A mature painting will retain its luster over the years, and rarely require a buffing.
Like all fine art, it does take some care and consideration. Avoid temperatures below 40 degrees or above 120 degrees. Most homes are between 60 and 90 degrees, so it is highly unlikely any scenario would affect an encaustic painting.
Install an encaustic painting like any other valued piece of art. It is not recommended to hang where it would be exposed to direct sunlight and if hanging near a fireplace, have ample distance to not be affected by the heat of the fire. The edges of the painting are particularly fragile. Take care in handling the painting to prevent chipping.
Touch softly and enjoy.
SharonAll art, images and text copyright Sharon Blomquist 2018