Tuesday, January 31, 2017

30 Paintings

Here are all the paintings I used for the 30 day challenge. At least as I remember posting them. Many of them were not done in one day. Is that cheating? I did work in the studio almost everyday.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Almost Like Magic

This is the last day of the 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge, and this is the painting I am posting. Usually there is no way that I can complete a painting in a single day, but this one still surprises me. It was as if every brush stroke of the hot encaustic paint knew exactly where to go.

My heritage is Hungarian. I am a first generation American. The only time I visited Hungary was many. many years ago. At that time Budapest was drab and under the communist rein. The only thing colorful I saw was the National ballet. The drapes in the theater were dilapidated, but the costumes were blazing with color and the dancers passionate.

Not long after my return to the U.S. , the same dance troop came to Scottsdale AZ, where I was living at the time. Naturally, I attended the performance again and afterward I danced my way to the parking lot, much to the embarrassment of my daughters.

Several years ago ,an other Hungarian Dance troop came to San Miguel de Allende MX,  my home for the past 12 years. Of course I joyfully went. This troop performed modern interpretations of the traditional dances as well as the classics.

I bought the DVD and began my series of Hungarian dancers. This is the one that happened almost like magic. It is from one of the traditional dances.
24" x 32" encasustic on cradled board.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 27 of the Challenge

I have been posting a painting a day for the last 27 days on the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. Most of these can not be done in a day, but this one was. It is cold wax on board. The technique leaves a matte finish and it is easy to build up textures. Unlike encaustic, it takes a day or two to dry. I am working back and forth from straight oil to abstracts in cold wax. I have gathered a bunch of tools to apply and move the cold wax. The one I use the most is an old credit card. I like the flexibility.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Back To Cold Wax

I made a second batch of cold wax yesterday using encasutic medium, linseed oil and turpentine.
It turns into a paste quickly and is ready to add to oil paint.

I posted a couple of cold wax abstracts on the last post and here is the process of a new one:

I think this is finished. I will check it out in a couple of days
It is all about layering and building, and scraping. It is completely different than working in encaustic.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Rant About Encaustic.

I started working in encasustic a few years before Joanne Mattera wrote the first how-to book; The Art of Encasutic in 2001. I probably did everything wrong before I got the correct formula for making the encaustic medium and paint. I tell my students that I can save them mistakes in their work since I already made them all early on and know how to avoid them.

Over the years of working in encaustic and teaching over 90 workshops I believe that I had tried all the advanced techniques used in painting with wax and I stayed excited about the medium for years.

I created online classes and continued to teach, especially to artists who have had some experience in the medium: Check out the classes here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/4167

Meeting new people at social events, I still hear, "Oh you are Ezshwan, the encaustic artist!" Often I respond, " I am Ezshwan the artist."

In my not so humble opinion, painting encasustic has become a cult-like fad. There is so much bad work being shown on social media. Of course there are incredible, talented artists creating beautiful paintings in encaustic. These artists know composition, values, and how to make a painting that has a reason for being. Some of them know how to draw and paint.

I still love to teach my private classes and show other artists how to take their encaustic art to new levels, not just a shiny surface that sometimes looks like colorful vomit.

Is that nasty? Perhaps. It is how I feel. Of course I am still using the medium; mostly combined with oil and it does what no other medium can do.

Last year I used just oil paint, wonderful, luscious oil paint for my series, Reverie 
Another series, "Memories", I used encaustic over ink washes and added oil glazes.

 More painting in these series can be seen on my website. http://www.ezshwan.com

I have started an new series, Metamorphosis and in 2 of the 3 paintings completed I have used encaustic over oil and built the butterflies with encaustic.

While still working on Metamorphosis, I am going back to abstracts, in COLD WAX. I made the cold wax medium and am having an adventure mixing it with oil and using old credit cards to move the paint. My mother told me to learn something new everyday. Thanks Mom.

Friday, January 13, 2017


I haven't posted in a while because I spilled wine on the keyboard of my Mac book and ruined a wonderful computer. I followed all the advice on Google, but it will never be fully functioning again.

It turned on today, after 3 days of a blank screen and it is limping along, for how long, I do not know.

I have ordered a new computer, but getting it to Mexico with the delivery service from Texas, can be 2 weeks to a month.

My iPad mini is keeping me connected to social media, but can't do what a real computer can do.

Here is a painting that I re-worked.
encaustic over oil

detail of encaustic butterfy

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


I decided to join a challenge on Artists Helping Artists. It is a pod cast that I have been listening to for years. There is some very good advice on online marketing that I sometimes apply.

The challenge is to post a painting everyday for 30 days on a specified blog. Artists from all over the world have joined.

It is a good time to review what paintings I have in stock, decide if they are keepers, paint over those that are not up to my standards and choose one to post each day for the month of January.

I can not make a painting in one day. Even the small ones require time and contemplation, but it doesn't matter for the challenge. After this month is over, I will decide which paintings can be discounted and have a sale.

Here are the ones I have posted so far - day 4:  These all are encaustic.    #30paintingsin30days!