Have you chosen your word for 2012? If you're not familiar with the concept, the idea is to select a word to inspire and motivate you all year long. Last year I chose the word bloom, because I wanted to grow and blossom as an artist. This year I'm feeling adventurous and I want to expand my horizons by trying new techniques, discovering new materials, and being open to new ideas. So EXPLORE is the perfect choice for me!
My journey begins with a foray into the world of beeswax collage. I've been intrigued by this process for a long time, but felt hesitant to try it. I feared it would be too messy, too hot, and too difficult. I was wrong! All it required was a block of natural beeswax from the craft store, a metal tin for melting, a natural bristle brush, and an inexpensive griddle. I love the smell of the melting wax, and the dreamy quality it lends to my collage on canvas.
For this collage, I used encaustic wax, which is basically beeswax with resin added to it. This type of wax has a more durable finish and comes in a variety of colors. I have to admit that I probably wouldn't have ventured into this new territory without my trusty traveling companion and very dear friend Michelle! We had so much fun exploring this new medium together, and now I am hooked! I especially love the natural beeswax. The yellow tint lends a vintage patina and instantly ages your art. And as I mentioned, the smell is divine! The encaustic wax is not as pleasant, and definitely requires a well ventilated room. But it has its advantages too. If you're interested in learning more about beeswax and encaustic collage I recommend the books Encaustic Workshop and Encaustic Mixed Media by Patricia B. Seggebruch. Or check out this free e-book at Cloth Paper Scissors. I also enjoyed the Encaustic Collage video by Amy Stoner available for purchase as a DVD or a download at Cloth Paper Scissors.
My first exploration of 2012 was a huge success and I can't wait to embark on my next creative adventure! In the meantime, I hope you'll try something new and set off on your own artful journey. Bon voyage to all!