Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Landscape with trees by Roberta Warshaw
Landscape with trees, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.

Something is happening in my work and I think it is pretty major.

You might remember that I took a class with Kathleen Dustin a few weeks ago. I enjoyed her class very much and learned some great new techniques in polymer.

One thing she spoke about was the similarity between translucent polymer clay and beeswax as it is used in encaustic painting.

Encaustic is a medium I have never tried. I have worked in oils, watercolors, gouache, polymer and enamels. But never in encaustic.

I think I would like it and that my work would be interesting in that medium. I would like very much to try it. It means rearranging my studio though in a rather large way. Right now my studio is no longer set up for painting but it is set up for jewelry making. Plus encaustic needs serious ventilation.

Right now I am mainly reading all I can about the medium. Looking at some of my Jasper Johns museum catalogs and just seeing and thinking about what I want to do.

Do I want to go back to painting? Is it time? I stopped painting in the mid 90's. But it feels like it may be making a comeback in my life. I will go where it takes me.


Sarah Sequins said...

Roberta, that's so exciting!

I have a friend who works with encaustics. His pieces are so much fun. I even got to see his studio once -- it was messy, but really interesting. :)

Cara Jane said...

Beautiful piece!

I've played with encaustic in a small scale and fairly simple way. Love the depth of colour and the freedom of it.

Looks like Katleen Dustin has set you on an interesting journey! Have fun exploring!

Karla said...

I took a month long class last summer in encaustics. Fun stuff. I recommend taking a class before investing in a studio set up. I think I have a recommendation list somewhere for minimal studio setup, if you are interested. One of the things that I really like about encaustics is the smell ... it is wonderful to have your studio filled with the smell of melted beeswax. Even when you add oil paint (which I don't like the smell of) for coloration, the wax seems to encapsulate and minimize the odors. It is also very inexpensive to make your own encaustic wax -- that was the first thing we learned in the class.

Barb Fernald said...

I've always wanted to try encaustic painting. Wouldn't have made the connection with the translucent polymer, but when you mentioned it i thought, "Yes. I am drawn into these pieces of yours the same way I am drawn in to encaustic painting!"
Of course. It makes so much sense now. If I were a painter, I might have seen it. I can't wait to see what's next! You are having a great trip.

CassyM said...

That's a stunning painting, Roberta.

Roberta Warshaw said...

Thanks all!

Lee said...

In the Wm. Baczek gallery in Northampton (http://www.wbfinearts.com/) I saw a series of paintings that looked like encaustic but were layers of glaze and acrylic - they were lovely and mysterious.