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Jul 26, 2018
Recently, there were four unfinished encaustic wax paintings lying on my work table that were not clicking for me. They were beginning to look overworked and it was really frustrating me.
'Orange Grid' ID 1822, encaustic on wood, float framed in dark brown wood, 9 x 9 inches (23 x 23 cm) © 2018 Shirley Williams
I wanted a fresh start. At the same time I also hoped to make use of all the wonderful layers of colored encaustic wax that had built up during my trial and errors.
So to "wipe the boards clean" so to speak, I covered them entirely with a thick layer of grey and cream encaustic wax.
'Green Grid' ID 1823, encaustic on wood, float framed in dark brown wood, 9 x 9 inches (23 x 23 cm) © 2018 Shirley Williams
After fusing the new layer of wax to the layers below with a heat gun, I scraped the surface with a razor blade to smooth it out somewhat. This created some really interesting colors and textures as some areas were revealed.
'Dot Matrix' ID 1821, encaustic on wood, float framed in dark brown wood, 14 x 14 inches © 2018 Shirley Williams
At this point I had a fresh, simplified surface. Buried beneath, just waiting to be discovered lay many layers of fused wax colors. How exciting this was !
One of my encaustic tools is a round steel ball that heats up to about 200 degrees. With this tool, I was able to melt through various layers to create the grids. It was such fun to have both control of where the dots would be yet no control of what color would be revealed.
When you see these pieces in person, the dots are deep and rich with the history of the piece. Although simple they're satisfyingly tactile and inviting to touch.
'Dots & Dashes' ID 1820, encaustic on wood, float framed in dark brown wood, 14 x 14 inches © 2018 Shirley Williams
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