Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Soul Searching: Citra Encaustic?

This is my latest experiment: CitraSolv backgrounds plus beeswax mounted on 6" x 12" plywood. I love encaustic art. Someday I want to try my hand at it. Right now the cost of all the materials needed is too prohibitive for me. So I started thinking about what I like about encaustics: the wax layers and cloudy look on the paintings.

Thanks to Suzi Blu and her Petite Dolls Class I had worked with melting beeswax onto paintings that were mounted on wood. I thought I would try that method with the CitraSolv backgrounds just to see what effect I would get.

The page I chose to work with wasn't quite 12" long to accommodate the length of the plywood. So I tore a strip from another similar background and then mounted both to the wood. Then I just melted the wax over the piece. In some places I intentionally had more wax buildup than others to give a more opaque look to the finished piece.

I had this charm that I ordered from Judy Wilkenfeld's wonderful Etsy shop. I knew I would use it in something special one day. So I dug it out and she fit perfectly in the little area near the top. I even used the beeswax to attach her. After she was attached, I figured out the title for the piece: "Soul Searching". I have a very old dictionary with pages that are literally brown and crumbling. I carefully tore the definition for "soul" out of the page and placed it near the bottom.

I really like the look of this piece. I'm not sure the photos do it justice. Here are a few closeups I took with the light hitting it at different angles so you can see the wax better:

The cloudy areas are where the wax is built up.

Here is the original Citrasolv paper cropped to the area in the photo above. You can see how adding the wax changes the look of the paper:

I love working with the beeswax again and until I can do the authentic version of encaustics, I think I'll stick with experimenting this way!

1 comment:

Lori Saul said...

Wow this changes the expression of 'wax build-up' to something very beautiful and into high art! I also have a similar goddess charm - this works beautifully here. This piece has an earthy "origins" expression to it. Beautiful work Pam!