Monday, March 16, 2015

Flowering Creativity

10" x 8" mixed media on cradled panel

8" x 10" mixed media on cradled panel

Each week I teach an encaustic painting class at the North Shore Art League. The class size is kept small (mainly because of electrical requirements; griddles and heat guns are essential for each student) and we have been able to cover a wide range of techniques. I feel fortunate that the women in my class are self motivated, wildly creative, and supportive.

Above are two of my recent demonstration paintings from the class. "Orchids" was created from a photo I took at the Botanic Garden Orchid show that just ended. After successfully fusing the photo into wax medium, I added depth, dimension, and details with pigments and oil pastel. This is one of my favorite techniques, allowing me to create a three-dimensional environment that if successful, brings you into another space, a place where you can practically reach out and touch your surroundings.

"Lotus" was created from what started as a simple monotype. I used Kozo (Japanese calligraphy paper) and drew with wax on an anodized aluminum plate, pressed the paper and transferred the drawing with a bamboo baren. I decided to mount the drawing onto a cradled wood panel, then added linear wax details to flowers using a tjanting tool. Once the paper was mounted and secure, I was able to add more pigmented wax, scrape and define details, and highlight with oil pastels without worrying about the fragility of the paper. This particular painting covered a wide range of encaustic techniques, and was the first time I mounted Kozo on wood panel. My monotypes are often framed under glass, treated similarly in presentation to watercolor.

I also love working in a scroll format, working in this shape and size is newer to me. "Undun" is the longest scroll I have done to date; important to me is that the color flows from top to bottom. I am probably going to shorten it to six feet (72" in height) once I attach the scroll hanger, I will hang this with a plain black rod, top and bottom, to weight it down.

78" x 11" encaustic monotype on Kozo

Painting with the encaustic medium is one of the most versatile mediums I have worked with and I continue to be amazed at the different ways artists explore and create with wax.


  1. These are stunning pieces Robin, I am blown away by their beauty!

  2. All three pieces are truly stunning, Robin. One day I just might be able to take one of your classes. I really want to learn this fusing photograph technique.