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Fractured III

Encaustic Painting

Created by Carol Flaitz
This painting is made with two layers. The top layer is sculpted veneered wood, partially burnt with a torch, and then painted with encaustic and damar resin (sap from a tree in Malaysia). This is encased in a handmade frame that has had crystalline salts grown on the bottom with then a polymer resin poured over the top. On occasion, the salts will continue to grow depending on the environment in which the painting is hung. They only get more beautiful and rich when these patterns develop.

Encaustic is a wax-based paint (composed of beeswax, resin and pigment), which is kept molten on a heated palette. It is applied to an absorbent surface and then reheated in order to fuse the paint. The word encaustic comes from the Greek word enkaiein, meaning to burn in, referring to the process of fusing the paint.

Opulence. Encaustic is perhaps the most beautiful of all artists' paints, and it is as versatile as any 21st century medium. It can be polished to a high gloss, carved, scraped, layered, collaged, dipped, cast, modeled, sculpted, textured, and combined with oil. It cools immediately, so that there is no drying time, yet it can always be reworked.

Wax is its own varnish. Encaustic paintings do not have to be varnished or protected by glass because encaustic, which is the most durable of all artists' paints, is its own protector. This is because beeswax is impervious to moisture, which is one of the major causes of deterioration in a paint film. Wax resists moisture far more than resin varnish or oil. Buffing encaustic will give luster and saturation to color in just the same way resin varnish does.

Encaustic must not be hung exposed to direct sunlight or left in a hot car.

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