Although I would love to write that this is a truly encaustic piece, "Montañas"really is mixed media. While working in my studio, I learned about a few advantages to using acrylic gel medium versus using encaustics (beeswax) in others. This "Montañas" incorporates both techniques.
Beeswax for encaustics are sold in what look like bars of soap. One little bar of encaustic medium (beeswax mixed with resin) has no added pigment (color) and can be quite expensive. Encaustic paint colors range in prices, but the medium is the start of all. Much like white is used most often in oil and acrylic paints, the encaustic medium is used most often in encaustic techniques. Encaustic medium's color depends on the quality and origination of the beeswax and resin. Within two days of working on various encaustic pieces, two little bars were gone...which means another online shopping trip.
Acrylic gel medium is the same idea as encaustic medium: paint without pigment that dries clear.
Advantages of acrylic gel medium: less expensive, dries truly clear, needs no heat to work well, can be thinned with water, anything can be used to paint over it (like more acrylics, oil paint, encaustics).
Advantages of encaustic medium: dries truly thick, actually holds items in place (like the medal in "Montañas) without fear of loss, textures are easy and fun to add or subtract.
I am so happy with the book Encaustic Workshop: Artistic Techniques for Working with Wax because it reviews ideas, projects, and allows an artist to discover what will work without hesitation. This piece was an exploration of adding wallpaper samples, acrylics, a photo, and the little medal. Acrylic gel and paint was used for the adherence and painting. Encaustics were used for the medal and photo. The idea for this piece began with finding a photocopy of a photo of mi Mama. She is 14 in according to the date 1945 written in mi Abuela's hand.
Information about piece: "I heard of Montañas en Cuba," mixed media on recycled board, 8 x 8 inches, 2010, not for sale
Angeline Marie of