This art form uses molten beeswax that has been tempered with resin and dyed with minerals, then painted onto wood panels. You cannot use canvas as it will bend and crack.
Encaustic is an ancient technique used by the Greeks. It's earliest known use is from as far back as 2000 BC. Shipbuilders would use the beeswax to seal their ship's hulls. In Greco-Roman Egypt, 100 BC to AD 200, vessels of an entirely different sort bore encaustic paintings. Head-and-shoulder wax portraits were set into mummy casings, designed to transport bodies of the deceased to a spiritual afterlife. (The Art of Encaustic Painting, Joanna Mattera)
I chose this art form because of how well the medium transposes what I see in landscapes onto my pallet. I get much of my inspiration from the Pacific Northwest, an environment that is in constant transition. Another landscape that inspires me are the Alberta plains- the horizons go on forever with wide open fields of canola and panoramic skies.
The texture-rich encaustic process captures the atmospheric qualities of these landscapes. The translucent quality of the wax also gives depth to images. To see what I've been working on visit Selected Work.