3/22/08

encaustic madness

Patricia DeLeon Alfonso, The Journey, 24" x 24" , Encaustic


We see a lot of encaustic & photography work at CPW. For one, we offer a class with R&F Paints in Kingston which is all about combining the two mediums. Students make photographic prints here at CPW (cyanotypes, polaroid transfers, alternative digital prints etc.) for two days and then spend the final two days at R&F learning techniques to use with the encaustic. We get such an incredible response from that workshop. People from all over the world venture here to take it. The teachers are fabulous and the students are always awesome. Registration begins April 16 (April 14 for members)! In addition this year, the two instructors Fawn Potash and Danielle Correia are curating a show of student work which will be on exhibit in June-July at R&F's beautiful gallery. I will post more about this int he summer.

In any case, this workshop cannot be the single reason we see so much encaustics. It sometimes seems like everyone is experimenting with it in some way. While I was in school i was not aware of anyone working with the medium, but now find that many people are using it as their primary form of expression. In my opinion, more and more people are wanting to incorporate hands on processes into their work and they want to add dimension & texture. Maybe this seems accessible?

One of the students this past summer pointed out that one of the earliest uses of encaustics was to coat large ships for protection from water and to make it visually attractive. I would like to look more into this. Besides use in art, does anyone know what encaustics has been used for?

FYI: encaustic is a mixture of wax and resin. If it is colored it will also include a pigment.

1 comment:

P.A. GIbbons said...

I am sure you know the history of it, but the Greeks used it to seal and protect their ships, using bright colors, and the Romans in Egypt used it for funerary portraits.

A few Byzantine Icons used Encaustics too..when after that it seemed to fade out of art until Jasper Johns.

Disclaimer: Don't take anything verbatim...but all this is to the best of my knowledge. xxp