Encaustic art is one of the oldest forms of painting. It originated in ancient Greece over three thousand years ago but has only recently begun to receive the acknowledgement it deserves. But thankfully, due to the dedication of a handful of individuals, the word is slowly, but surely (finally) getting out.
And I received two new encaustic books just today!
Encaustic Art by Jennifer Margell and a book of Betsy Eby’s encaustic works entitled, Betsy Eby.
Both are beautiful, hardback books that you will enjoy having in your studio or library.
The cover art on Jennifer Margell’s book is by Lorraine Glessner, who I was fortunate enough to spend 3 days with in a workshop she taught (just this past weekend at the Encaustic Center in Richardson, Texas). The book is filled with the beautiful art of many artists while covering lessons on technique, interviews discussing ambitions, inspirations and painting techniques and also featuring a gallery collection of other contemporary encaustic artists working today. It is beautifully done and a must-have for your collection.
Betsy Eby’s over-sized book is 150 pages long. Open to any page and you will be rewarded. But this should come as no surprise if you are at all familiar with her work. The book includes more than seventy-five full-color plates of Eby’s evocative paintings; the book is a significant survey of major work from the past decade.
Viewing all of this beautiful work is inspiring and intimidating at the same time.
But I like what Jennifer Margell says in the introduction to her book when she talks about encaustics being like no other form of painting, in that there are endless techniques and fleeting seconds before your medium solidifies. It is a medium where you have to trust your instincts and paint in the moment. You have to take leaps of faith. In the beginning there are many frustrations, but over time you learn how to work with the beautiful accidents which incur.
“The best way to learn the art of painting encaustics, she says, is not to create beautiful paintings. The best way to work with the medium is to create painting after painting, focusing on a different technique each time. Even a technique you do not plan to use will later be another option added to your repertoire.”
This is so true and I came to that very conclusion myself this past weekend while learning even more encaustic techniques.
Encaustic art truly is a melting pot of possibilities!