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.