Encaustic Art / Beeswax Painting

Encaustic is essentially painting with beeswax. The medium is a mixture of beeswax and damar resin (crystallized tree sap). I often use it as a base on wood canvas then add oil pigments. Color can be added directly to the melted medium or on top of cooled medium. Sometimes I’ll start with a photo or watercolor painting adhered to the wood, then cover it with medium. Layers of the wax are then fused to the surface with a heat gun or blow torch.

I believe there are as many different ways one can use encaustic medium as there are encaustic artists. I began working with encaustic medium around 2018 and since have created and sold hundreds of original works. I love that it reaches multiple senses: sight, smell, and touch. As you can see, my subject matter varies, but it typically has a reverence for nature and wildlife.

Midjourney AI + Encaustic

I often use an AI program called Midjourney to render images that are used as reference photos or made into cyanotypes or digital composites. A few favorite images I conjured with the program to cover with wax have become a permanent feature in my mini encaustic collection on Etsy. Practicing synthography on Midjourney to generate these pictures It’s another way for me to express my creativity, and I always disclose the use of the images when they are a large part of the finished work.

Suncaustics and Cyanotype Prints

Creating cyanotypes has become a common medium I use in my art. They are made by adding light sensitive chemicals to paper then layering digital negatives or found objects and materials on top. This creates images on the paper when it is exposed to the sun. Since they are all on high quality watercolor paper, I naturally tried to cover some with wax and loved the results. I came up with the term “Suncaustic” since they blend two of my favorite media. Here’s a guide on how I create my cyanotypes if you’re interested in the process.