Among the many paintings in the world today, the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper are the two most recognizable ones. This is because of their magnificence and the perfect combination of media and the style used. Some of the noted painting media are oil, oil pastel, dry pastel, enamel paint, ink, light, water color, spray paint, fresco and encaustic. One painting media that is gaining attention now is wax or encaustic. This media makes use of beeswax, resin and pigment and when combined, they form a superb design. Its resurgence in the painting world becomes visible today after dying out sometime when tempera and oil paints became available.
History says that Diego Rivera, a muralist, first used this type of medium in 1920s. It was then revived by Jasper Johns in the mid-1900s and with the evolution of other painting media and style, wax painting become inactive until the 1990s. It was then during the later years that encaustic regained its place in the world of painting. This is because of the emergence of electric equipments that can easily mold and manipulate wax pigments like iron, heat guns and electric griddles.
And today, an exhibit is being shown at the Morro Bay Art Association Gallery. The exhibit is themed “Hot Color, Hot Wax” which is a fusion of pastels and encaustic paintings. Flo Bartell, the art association president, has some art pieces on display. Bartlell’s fascination with art began when she was just ten, but her meeting with encaustic happened only few years ago when she saw handmade paper with a waxy cover. Fascinated by its beauty, she then researched deeply and find out the wonderful art of encaustic. And after two years of concentrating on this media, she is now showing off her creations.
Paintings on display include Bartell’s nonrepresentational paintings, taken mainly under the influence of Picasso’s and Kandiski’s breaking the rules and whimsy contrast. Robert Dodge and Margaret Bertnard’s art work are also on display with animals and impressionistic themes respectively. Carolyn Braun, on the other hand, provides the pastel-media paintings with shadow-striped cows, old barns, exotic birds and sceneries.