Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Encaustic Collage Experiments

I am quite revved up about encaustics, having had a fabulously stimulating time at the Fifth Annual Encaustics Conference in Provincetown, MA the other weekend. I have been experimenting with various techniques I learned at the conference, and corresponding with artists I met there.
Above is my first encaustic "Scribble Collage" experiment.

I've also been experimenting with a way to apply my Scribble Collage approach to this exciting medium: painting tissue papers, then using them for collage. As acrylics are not compatible with encaustic, I tried painting papers using oil paint mixed with cold wax medium, and let them dry for a few days.

I scraped the paint/wax on using a credit card, and then did texture rubbings and transfers.

I also scribbled on the papers with oil sticks and pigment sticks (which are the same thing) and oil pastels (which differ from the above in that they contain no drying agents).
I don't know if this combination of oil media and encaustics is safe and durable yet, and I have sent out feelers to determine the best way to approach this technique and will share more as I learn.

This piece is done on unryu (say: un-RYE-you), a tissue-weight paper with a distinctive fibrous texture:

Meanwhile, if any of you have suggestions, comments, or questions, please e-mail me or leave a comment on this post. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME until I get the goods on safety! There may be a better medium than cold wax to do this process. Read this for more info on cold wax. I'm trying to find out if the solvents in the cold wax evaporate sufficiently during drying to be compatible with this process.
THANKS for visiting!


  1. Amazingly rich colours. Sounds like fun and you've produced such vibrant images.

  2. Love it all... what amazing background / collage papers!
    Really look like a lot of fun to create :]

  3. Oooooooo

    unryu paper is so delicious. I love the colors here!

    Sounds like a new workshop in the works... :)

  4. Thanks for the comments. The next thing I'm trying is coating the tissue paper in encaustic medium and then painting on it with straight oil paint, without the dubious cold wax medium. A hundred other ideas to try as well. Stay tuned!

  5. Love it all... what amazing background papers!
    Really look like a lot of fun to create display banner

  6. I'm totally new to collaging, but these papers look gorgeous to me. I had to look up encaustic, but if it is this (which sounds right), I was wondering if using linseed oil (without wax) might work with the tissue paper instead of any wax. Not ever having done any of this, I don't know if this would eliminate the need for unsafe solvents. I also don't know how it would work with acrylic paints once dry. I am curious about it.


  7. I've just ventured into the encaustic world after a two-day session with Shawna Moore... brilliant! Wondering if you could pull the oil out of the oil paint (ie. similar to prep when using oil paints as your colour medium with wax - place oil paint on blue shop towels to pull out as much oil from the pigment as possible)... probably wouldn;t work for large scale paintings, but smaller ones??? Just a thought... Really like your work, Jane, with the tissue paper colages.... spectacular!
    jules, bozeman,mt

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