cold wax workshops
Winter, which was still hanging on a week and a half ago when we left Wisconsin, now seems far away. My husband and I are now traveling through the Carolinas and Georgia, a wonderland of spring flowers, leafy trees and warm sun. I'm in between workshops—last weekend I taught my first Level 2 Oil and Wax Workshop in Asheville, NC, and today I begin one of my basic level classes in Beaufort, SC. As always when I teach, I've worked with enthusiastic, involved artists and have gained new ideas for what is possible with the medium of cold wax. Some new ideas are contributed by the artists who attend class, some already well-tested, while others arise spontaneously as we work ...often in the midst of one of my demos someone will suggest a variation or new direction that has come to mind, and I'll try it out on the spot to see what will happen.
Cold wax medium mixed with oils (or powdered pigment) is a mixture seething with potential and begging for experimentation. All of the techniques that I share in my workshops began as “what if” questions, arising from years of painting experience and an early background in printmaking. The body, luminosity and enhanced drying time afforded by the wax steered me firmly away from more traditional brush painting into new territory.
While visiting several galleries in Atlanta this week, I recalled an earlier visit about 9 years ago--the first time I had seen encaustic (hot wax) paintings displayed in large numbers, and I’m sure I was a bit behind the times in noticing this…the popularity of encaustic paintings, with their luminosity and brilliant textural and layering effects, continues among artists, art lovers and collectors Now I often hear people who love cold wax medium suggest that cold wax is the next wave.. The appearance and techniques employed in the two approaches are quite different, but the common denominator of wax does lend similar abilities (such as being able to build paintings in luminous layers.) Cold wax has its own special attractions, such as ease of studio set-up, less toxicity, and the intuitive aspect of being able to paint with the mixture...no need for fusing with heat. In any case, the excitement over cold wax painting is palpable among artists who contact me for information or who take my classes.