Friday, December 18, 2020

Oil and Cold Wax Medium

 I have been taking an online class with Jerry McLaughlin, in oil and cold wax medium, at the Winslow Art Center in Bainbridge Island, WA. Who cares where the class is; it's online. I try to take one intensive workshop each year, to learn something new, deepen my art practice, and also to remind myself what it is like to be a student. Working with an unfamiliar material, feeling ham handed and out of my depth, helps me understand some of the issues my students face. The class is AWESOME! Jerry is a very experienced and sympathetic teacher, very clear and knowledgeable. The format includes live zoom meetings and an online forum for posting work.

So I thought I'd share with you some of my early attempts to getting a handle on cold wax medium. It is an intriguing material, offering beautiful depth and textural possibilities. 

Jerry has us do four "quickies" each day on Arches Oil Paper.

12"x12", this one makes use of carving and pressing texture, wax paper transfer, and more.

Four more Quickies

I used a graphite-dipped waxed linen thread to make the wandering line.

Here I tried coating the thread in solvent-diluted green paint; the technique needs work.

All of the above are experimental and in process. I am working on 12x12 cheap wood panels from Amazon. They are a bit flimsy, but completely adequate to this use. Jerry McLaughlin and Rebecca Crowell host Cold Wax Academy, which is an amazing resource for anyone using cold wax medium. The site offers free videos and information, and membership entitles you to more interaction with Jerry and Rebecca. If you are interested in cold wax, check it out!


  1. I especially like your 'quickies'. This medium has always intrigued me but it seems daunting.

  2. Jane: I like the coated imperfect line. I took several classes from you years ago and still say to myself: “Take a line for a walk.” while creating. :).

  3. i went to the winslow art center and typed in jarry mclaughlin and it said nothing was found. is there another way i can find the class you took? i clicked on all their online classes. i love these small studies.

    1. Find Jerry at his website (link at Jarry McLaughlin) or at Cold Wax Academy. The class is over, so I guess it's not showing up anymore.

  4. I agree Jane. Jerry and Rebecca are wonderful sharing teachers. I too have been doing some quick small studies using cold wax and oil ( which I'd never used.). I love the texture and layering effects you can get. Cold Wax Academy is well worth it , even, if you dont use it for cold wax, for lessons in Composition.

  5. What exactly are the squeegees called so I can find them online? Thank you!


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