Encaustic Art

Examples of encaustic painting are known to date back 2000 years.

It is one of the oldest forms of art and uses pigment in a beeswax and resin base. The resin raises the melting temperature of the paint and hardens it and ensures it resists dust.

Encaustic medium is a beeswax and resin base without  pigment and is used to make colour transparent, and give  optical depth.

Hot wax painting is another way of describing this form of art making. It  involves using heated medium to which coloured raw pigments are added. The hot liquid is then applied to a prepared wooden board.

Metal tools and brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Mark prefers to work with a heat gun, and to layer his works over time.

The wax surface of an encaustic painting is a protective finish – nothing needs to be added to preserve the paintings; they will not deteriorate, or discolour.

Question – “Will it melt?”.
Answer – The melting point of wax is between 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit, so if your encaustic paintings are melting your house is probably on fire.  As with any fine art, you should keep your paintings away from extreme heat and cold and direct sunlight.

Initially a new encaustic painting develops a natural whitish dust known as “bloom”.  Mark prefers not to sell his work until the bloom has stopped developing. If your work belatedly develops bloom first wipe the surface with a soft, lint-free damp cloth to dust and then polish with a soft, dry, lint-free cloth to bring out the luminosity of the painting.

Avoid contact with sharp objects including fingernails as the surface of the painting is susceptible to scratching. Scratches cannot totally be removed without the artist’s intervention and minor scratches are best left alone.

When transporting your encaustic painting, it must be wrapped well. For a major move, wrap the work in wax paper, bubble paper and box it. Do not leave it in your car for extended periods as heat buildup on a hot day could begin to melt the painting. In extreme cold wax may separate from the braced panel.

Please  contact Mark  if you require any repairs to your encaustic painting surface such as a scratch or chip in the wax. He will be happy to help.

Encaustic Framing
Mark  works with Wanganui company
Art and Framing for all his personal framing and exhibition work. Renata Szarvas understands the issues of framing wax work and frequently uses deep boxed frames to protect their edges and to give a simple elegant finish  to the artworks.

NZ’s Farmed Bee Population Is Buzzing
Apiculture New Zealand chief executive Daniel Paul says there are  nearly 700,000 hives in New Zealand, up from 300,000 15 years ago.

“Hive numbers grew by nearly 70,000 in 2014-2015.” “There are close to 7000 beekeepers in New Zealand and that number continues to grow each year as well.” Radio NZ August 2016

 Speeding along country roads in an old red flat deck truck attempting to escape a few thousand angry bees is part of an annual ritual for Manawatu artist Mark Tisdall who uses wax cappings from his and his friends’ hives to create art work with its own special shine.

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