I have been painting with cold wax medium and oil paints lately in addition to the encaustic.  It is so much fun! What I am enjoying about the medium is the way I can really build texture and maintain the evidence of the mark making.  I love the addition of the wax to the oil paint.  It gives a lovely wax sheen to the paint while still retaining the beautiful characteristics of oil.  The freedom to move quickly and assertively (sometimes aggressively) with the paint is a wonderful experience.  The immediacy of the medium is a refreshing change from the encaustic which requires an additional step of adding heat to the process of painting (for those of you who are unaware of the encaustic process, it requires a fusing process of heat to bond the layers of wax as you paint). 

The medium also helps express my concepts of fragility with the wax component of the paint.  Natural and organic, wax, being more of a fragile medium, mirrors the frailties of the human body. With encaustic, as wax is susceptible to exposure of the elements, it was enticing to me as it I found the parallels with human skin. Using it with that symbolism in many of my works, it was hard at first to switch mediums but with adding the cold wax to the oil paint, I was able to still maintain my concepts.. 

Materials are very important to me as they contain intrinsic qualities that aid the concepts of my art work.  In fact, the materials can dictate my concepts.  Rusted metal detritus - things that have been discarded and aged, bones - life and death, wax - human skin, all have given me the ideas to create.  Even the nature of encaustic, with its speed of working, speaks to the pace of our society and the transitory nature of our lives.  Now, with the cold wax medium and oil paint, I'm able to express the myriad of emotions of our experiences and add the human component of fragility.

These paintings I am currently working on are expressions of tension, anxiety, and angst.  The darker colors and textures are reminiscent of the emotions I was feeling at the time of their creation.  I typically do not use just my emotions for expression.  But lately, I have been aware of just how raw they are (it has been a hard year) so I am allowing myself to allow them to contribute to my creative process.  Gold has been added to the pieces to represent God, hope, and heaven. Despair, sorrow, anxiety can overcome a person but there is always hope in the transitory nature of our emotions and circumstances and that with God's help, we can prevail over them. 

I am also working on pieces utilizing fabric, cold wax medium and oil paint, and plan to actually burn the work.  They are part of a series of work titled, The Lamentation Series.  As the series is in process, I will post pics later. 

So, that is what I am doing!  I am so excited to see what develops with the work.  Pictures will definitely be shared.  Thanks for walking with me through this creative journey!  Until next time, take care, God bless, and enjoy!


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