Questions and Answers

Do You Teach?
Yes! Join me for individual instruction in my home studio for $120 for a two hour session. During the class, you will have full access to my equipment and supplies to complete a 8″x8″x2″ ready-to-hang wood panel encaustic or mixed media painting. Group classes information is posted on the Instruction and Events pages.

Where can I find your art?
Check the Events page for my latest show and class dates. I’m a participant in the Loudoun County Artisan Trail so if you’re local, you can visit my studio gallery by appointment. Contact me to make arrangements. I would love to meet you!

What supplies do I need to get started in encaustics?
Check out my blog article, “How to get started in Encaustic painting on a budget” for everything you need to set up your encaustic studio without breaking the bank.” Under the “Favorite Things” tab, I’ve listed the supplies I use and recommend to get started painting with encaustics. 

What are the safety requirements for working with encaustics?
So much has been written about safety requirements for encaustics. Here’s a good resource from an authority in the medium http://www.rfpaints.com/resources/encaustic/33-encaustic-safety.

Do you accept commissions?
Absolutely. Check out the Commissions page for details

What Is Encaustic Paint?
Encaustic paint is simply beeswax, damar resin, and pigment. It is kept molten on a heated palette and applied to a surface and reheated to fuse the paint into a uniform enamel-like finish.  The ancient Greeks developed encaustic over 2,000 years ago.  The word encaustic derives from the Greek word enkaustikos, meaning “to heat” or “to burn”.  The wax layers of an encaustic painting need to be “burned in”.  This simply means fusing the layers of wax together with heat to ensure that the different layers of wax are bonded together and will not flake apart.

How Do You Paint With Wax?
To melt the wax I use a pancake griddle with an adjustable temperature gauge and a grill thermometer to know the exact temperature of the wax at all times.  I also use a heat gun, a craft iron, heated stylus, and a torch to manipulate the wax once it is on the surface.  Once the surface has cooled, encaustic paints present a permanent lustrous enamel appearance, yet the painting can be revised and reworked at any time.

How Do I Care For My Encaustic Painting?
Encaustic paints are perhaps the most durable form of painting. Wax is a natural adhesive and preservative; it is moisture resistant, mildew and fungus resistant, and unappetizing to insects.  Wax paint also does not contain solvents or oils so they will not darken or yellow with age.   Encaustic paintis stable in a temperature range of approximately 40-120°F. Wax is more fragile in the cold and may become brittle in freezing temperatures.

If you must transport the painting in hot or cold weather simply first cover the entire wax surface with wax paper, then cardboard, and some form of insulation.  When that painting is at room temperature remove the wax paper and unwrap the painting.  When in hot weather the wax paper will stick to the painting but will cause no damage as long as it is removed at room temperature.

As with any fine art painting, avoid hanging your painting in direct sunlight. It should always feel cool to the touch. If the painting surface appears to be cloudy over time, you can buff it with a soft cloth to revive it’s beautiful luster. When the painting is “young” or recently finished, a “blooming” occurs giving the surface a dull finish. Just simply buff the painting occasionally until the paint has had a chance to cure and harden (could take up to 6 months). It will then keep its buffed polished look.