Starting With Encaustic

Years ago I was doing freelance graphic design for a corporate art consulting company. The first time I entered their office I saw that they had a plethora of art scattered about and various large, less than inspiring paintings on the walls. Then I noticed something different, something I felt an instant affinity for. I was compelled to go to it and just stare. I had to know what it was and more specifically, what it was made out of. They told me it was a labyrinth by Cheryl Goldsleger and that it was an encaustic. I had heard of encaustics before, I did go to art school after all, but I guess I’d never seen one in person, and if I had, it certainly didn’t make the impression on me that this piece did. I was mesmerized.

“Encaustic, I must learn encaustic some day,” I said to myself. It seemed like an overwhelmingly daunting task to learn it at the time so I made a mental note and logged it into my “someday I’ll do that” list.

So, 14 years later, I wake up one morning and the first thing that pops into my head as my eyes open is “encaustic, I must start teaching myself encaustic—today!” I wasted no time getting to my computer to begin my research and by noon that day I had ordered supplies, a couple of how-to books and was acquiring a massive set of bookmarks to various  suppliers, artist’s sites and YouTube tutorials. Buying my hotplate was particularly exciting for some reason, perhaps it meant I was really going to do this, who knows.

The books arrived and I instantly devoured them. Then I saw the UPS man walking to my door with a box, I knew the wax was in there and I probably dislocated the guy’s shoulder yanking the package from his hand and racing it to the garage where I I had set up my new studio. Honestly, I don’t think I have ever been as excited to do anything before in my life. That was March 2011 and I have been obsessed every day since.

Here is my very first encaustic “experiment.”


I, encaustic on panel, 7.5 x 4.75"

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July 2018
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