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  • April Gavin

More collage using beeswax and encaustic paints


Sometimes, Scout relaxes long enough for me to make some art. He's up to 4 hours in the studio with a 30 minute walk somewhere in the middle. The thing that really helps is music. He must be my dog because his favorite tunes are Richie Havens, Laura Nyro, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and yes, the Beatles. I think his favorite Beatle might be John so I'm watching this closely. I'm steering him towards Ringo or George.

I made two pieces recently on birch plywood. Actually, I made three - but the third is so awful I just can't show it. I might try to work on it some more.

The first contains a quote from the poet John Trudell - I wrote in sharpie the important part of the quote: "there is no old way; there is no new way; there is only the way of life; we must live in balance with the Earth." The wolf is a little dark so I may add some highlights to bring him out more. Y'all will recognize the wolf from my earlier block print.

The technique used here is encaustic collage. I painted the birch plywood, added my images, and then layered beeswax over the whole. After the wax had solidified, I added encaustic paint to make the lightening bolt and triangles and then carved into the wax. I then rubbed oil paint into the grooves. Finished piece is 8"x10".

The second piece is just straight beeswax collage. I liked it so much that I decided to leave as is instead of taking it further with carving and adding other elements. Yes, that's another buffalo. I carved a left-facing buffalo for block-printing. Wouldn't want the other buffalo to be lonely.

Again, I started by painting my birch board and then added the buffalo on top. I wanted to give my buffalo an aura so I added more orange paint around him. I then layered the beeswax on top. Finished piece is 4" x 6".

I used three coats of wax on both pieces and really love the dream-like quality. I also love the fact that the wax allows you to create layers upon layers. A final step if I choose is to polish the wax with a soft cloth until it shines.

We'll see what I get up to this Sunday if Scout will let me.

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