The Art of Encaustic Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax (Anglais) Broché – 1 juin 2001
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Here is the first comprehensive guide available on mastering this beautiful yet demanding medium. In The Art of Encaustic Painting, readers will learn surefire ways to achieve vibrant color and create surfaces that look as light as a wash or as densely textured as impasto. They will see how to produce effects from abstract to figurative to minimal. Finally, they will discover dozens of clear, step-by-step directions detailing how to use these various encaustic techniques in their own art.
This remarkable reference also includes 200 attractive full-color photographs of the author's own work, as well as stunning examples by such premier encaustic artists as Jasper Johns, Arthur Dove, and Nancy Graves.
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When I interviewed Jasper Johns for Women's Wear Daily in 1986, he remarked rightly of encaustic, "It's an archaic medium, and few people use it." Lire la première page
Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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The book starts out with a history of encaustic art. A gallery section then showcases four different portfolios of art including representation, color and pattern, dimension and modular work. Captions include artist, title, materials used, size and date introduced. Artwork is displayed in a variety of sizes. Some of my favorites are a beautiful face by Tony Scherman and the organic looking "Miasma Morph" by Sylvia Netzer, made of wax with pigment fired on ceramic.
The next sections focuses on encaustic materials. It starts out with details on the wax types. A reference chart of all the wax types, their source, composition, properties, melting point, flash point, color range and average price is here too. Information on heating equipment and well as melting and fusing the wax are next. Then pigments and making your own paints is covered. Selecting and caring for brushes is also here. There is even a great section on using materials safely.
Painting preparation and techniques follow. These include information on substrates and grounds with step-by-step instructions on how to make your own. Recipes of rabbit-skin glue and gesso, as well as tips on using them are explained as well. Then techniques and tips for textured, smooth, scraped and incised surfaces accompanied by example artwork are given. There are also details on collage, mixed media, creating artwork on paper and making large-scale pieces. I loved the helpful answers common questions such as what are good beeswax mixes, what wax is best for glazing, how does one get rid of bloom and what do if you get a wax burn?
In the back of the book there are very helpful resource sections including supply sources, galleries, a glossary and bibliography as well as photo credits and an index. This book is an indispensable reference for anyone wanting to learn about and create encaustic art.
. I ran a classified ad for two months in Art News asking for "reproduction quality" images of strong encaustic painting.
. I searched the visual data base, maintained by a wax paint manufacturer, of the work of hundreds of artists who work in wax.
. I visited galleries in New York City and elsewhere for at least a decade, taking announcement cards and getting contact information.
. I found very little in the way of representational or figurative work. I did, of course, find some wonderful images, which I included in the book, but percentagewise, the number was small. And it was smaller still because some of the slides were not repro quality or the work did not have the boldness it needed to hold its own in print.
. On this last point--the boldness: By the time you see a work in print, it is many times removed from the original painting. Sublety gets lost, which is why I opted for bold, bright, luminous images.
Since the publication of "The Art of Encaustic Painting," I have found some wonderful figurative and representational painters. Or, should I say, they have found me. But to imply that I somehow selected images from limited group of artists when in fact I made a wide-ranging search, does a disservice to both the art and to me. The fact is that there ARE more artists working abstractly in encaustic that representationally.
If you work representationally or figuratively, I'd like to see your work. Send me a j-peg at email@example.com.
I found Joanne Mattera's book to contain more practical information on this exciting medium than any other source so far. The sections on "Preparation and Technique", "Materials for Encaustic", and to a lesser extent "Preparing and Exhibiting Your Work" are especially beneficial.
There is plenty of help on mixing-your-own wax, tools, supplies, and ideas. It is not a Step 1-2-3 How To Paint book.
The "Porfolios" chapter leads you to believe encaustic is only for the abstract artist. She addresses this issue by stating, "Only a small percentage of contemporary encaustic painting is pictorial, etc...", and with the inclusion of a couple non-abstract images. I get the impression most works are by a select clique of fellow artists. As I paint mostly abstracts myself, the examples were fine. However, the Portfolio would have conveyed this mediums versatility more completely if works of impressionists, such as Dorothy Masom and others, would have been included.
It is a book every aspiring encaustic painter should have. Along with "Waxing Poetic:Encaustic Art in America during the Twentieth Century" by Gail Stavitsky. ...
in my opinion, it leaves something to be desired. The reviewer's comments about a "select clique of fellow (abstact) artists" seems to me quite apt. Encaustic wax can be a beautiful medium in which to express, not only abstract, but realist, impressionist, and pretty much any other style of painting. It's an excellent medium in which to use traditional, natural hair bushes and techniques. Focusing almost entirely on abstract work done with all manner of spatulas, gouging tools, and clothes irons, is a disservice to the potential of wax. I also found some of the advice on supports to be rather questionable. I think, for instance, most museum conservators hold a rather dim view of using things like conventional plywould and the like as a painting supports. (I use a heavy, acid-free paper like Arches Cover or Stonehenge glued to well-sized Masonite with hide glue for studies; but I switch to 4 or 8 ply museum board glued to an 1/8 in. archival corrogated board which is in turn glued to a 1/4 archival corrogated board. Glue it up with rabbit-skin glue. In larger sizes cradle if neccesary. [yes, it's expensive. Are you a fine artist, or a hobbyist?]) Don't get sucked in by the list of exotic waxes and what not in this book though. A mixture of 1 part damar resin, 1 part carnuba wax, and 16 parts heat refined (NOT "bleached") bee's wax makes a good all around medium. This isn't a bad book; I just feel it's rather incomplete and somewhat misleading. Use it as a jumping off point as it is the best available, but temper it with likes of Ralph Mayer and the other classics on materials.