Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mixing Media, Shellac and Encaustic

The Spring session has begun at the North Shore Art League and I am teaching encaustic painting twice a week. Both classes are full and I am starting to feel like I am finally finding my niche since moving to the midwest (Chicago)... and it's only taken 2 years!

One of my students had taken a semi-private workshop with me over the winter and was anxious to use a shellac burn in her encaustic painting. Ever since demonstrating the technique, I have been incorporating shellac, reviving older paintings, using this technique.

12" x 12" mixed media on panel

I decided to cover an older work (below) with a light cream toned encaustic paint, knowing the red would bleed through the top layer once fused. I also etched into the wax with a sharp pointed tool the figure of the Buddha, and kept the shellac away from the drawn figure. Once the burn was complete, I added details using transfer foil and oil pastels.

The older piece was part of a series of cave inspired works that were influenced by the Lascaux Cave Paintings. The new work (above) has no connection to the old other than it maintains a primitive feel.

Recently I sold one of my larger cave inspired works that had also been transformed with a similar technique using the shellac burn. 

"Deer and Buffalo Roaming"
24" x 24" mixed media on panel

I plan on reviving more older work using shellac this afternoon as my demo for class. I will be connecting subject and style to Buddha, and to a series of works I have titled "Sacred Spaces".

Sunday, April 5, 2015


The literal Japanese translation of "geisha" is "person of art". Recently I have been revisiting favorite Haiku Masters, Japanese woodcuts, and my love of Asian Art. Years ago I had studied and painted Geishas with watercolor, I used my paintings as transfers into wax in these new miniature works on paper. Each is 2.5" x 3.5" mixed media encaustic. I will be floating and mounting these in a triptych shadowbox frame.

I have been on break from teaching this past week and Friday resume weekly encaustic classes at the North Shore Art League. I am scheduled to teach both Friday and Sunday afternoons. The classes are great for beginners to advanced, we cover a variety of techniques and share in weekly group critiques. For more information visit - NSAL