I love any process that allows for a more "hands on" experience, and for over 20 years, I hand-colored my black and white prints. In 2014 I took a "photo encaustic" workshop and found a new way to create original art with my photographs.
Visitors to my studio will notice a majority of the work on the wall are these photo-based encaustic pieces. However, due to limitations on my website, I only have a small number of pieces available online at this time.
These mixed media pieces are created by first gluing an archival pigment print onto a panel. The next step is to brush layers of encaustic medium (beeswax mixed with damar resin) over the print and fuse it with a heat gun or butane torch. Fusing is required for every layer of wax that is applied.
Work setup in my studio
If handled properly, the surface is extremely durable as beeswax is impervious to moisture, and the encased image will not deteriorate, yellow or fade.
Embellishments are added to create texture and depth with pigmented wax and oil paints.
Work in Progress
Only one mixed media piece of each image will be available. If you are interested in more information about purchasing or commissioning an original photo-based encaustic piece, email me at [email protected] .
While I have been experimenting with encaustic medium on my photographs for awhile, I still consider myself very much a beginner and these words by photo encaustic artist, Clare O’Neill comfort me as much now as they did when I first started working with wax:
“Perfection and control in photo encaustics is impossible. The process is most satisfying if you can allow for the unexpected. The imperfection of the work is its own elegance.”
Here is a short video showing the process: