Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

6.09.2009

Word of the Day: Encaustic

[Clark Derbes, Untitled, Encaustic and Mixed Media, courtesy Ann Connelly]

Encaustic is a method of painting developed by the ancient Greeks that involves mixing pigment with hot beeswax. Or as The Met simply states: Encaustic is Greek for "burnt in."

Artists who like the technique typically apply color to a surface, such as a board, play around with their composition, and then use heat to fuse the entire piece into one lustrous work of art. But before the colored wax is permanently hardened, other materials ranging from paper to metal can be easily incorporated. That is why it's fairly common to see "encaustic" and "mixed media" used together in the description of one painting, as in Clark Derbes' above. An artist famous for encaustic works is Jasper Johns.

To see more of Derbes' work visit Ann Connelly's Baton Rouge gallery.

6 comments:

La Maison Fou said...

Did a lot of viewing of encaustic paintings when I took an art history class based on Renaissance art. I learned a lot on this ancient genre of painting. This is a vibrant and colorful piece!
Thanks.
Leslie

French furniture said...

What an interesting post. I had heard this word before, but had never bothered looking it up in the dictionary.

Cote de Texas said...

also - all those wonderful floor tiles in England from the 19th century are called the same thing.

Alicia said...

Clark's piece is sensational. Always loved Jasper Johns. Gine us more, give us more.
Gratitudes.

mb said...

Thanks for the great post. Encaustic paintings have always caught my eye. Pigment can be floated within the layers of wax giving the painting a dimension that a painter cannot achieve with glazing. Any one wanting to take up the medium needs to be aware of the very toxic fumes the melting process creates. Gas masks need to be used. Really.

Karena said...

I love the encaustic works of arts. Recently I have seen some very vibrant, and lustrous pieces. The dull ones I do not care for.