Looking closer- Ghosts of the Past 2, Encaustic Painting

Ghosts of the Past 2
Encaustic, embedded Photograph, & Grass on found wood

9.5″ x 9″

September 2008

Available in my Etsy Shop or through JamieRibisi.com

Looking closer- a brief exploration of art:

This painting incorporates the technique of embedding objects in the wax. The grass and the photograph are both embedded and it’s a pretty simple task!

First, I fused one layer of encaustic onto my substrate and fused it. Then I brushed encaustic medium onto the back of the image and a little bit on the area that it was heading to live and smooshed them together real fast. Using a flat tool, I got all of the air bubbles out and then layered another bit of medium on top of the image. Fuse and repeat the layers of medium until satisfied with the result.

The grass is done in a similar manner but takes a bit of adjusting the blades because they are so small and 
fragile. Embedding natural objects into wax is really fun because the material will change as it adjusts to the heat and to the wax. They tend to brown and dry out slightly as they sit in the pool of molten wax. Just like nature– you never know what’s going to happen and that’s the best part of encaustic painting– in my world, anyway!

If you liked my little behind the scenes venture into painting, keep following my blog for the “Looking closer” series and learn what I do, how I do it, and why!

For the encaustic dreamers, I will also be creating a tutorial that will give you detailed in-depth tips, tricks, & techniques with lots of technical info so that you will feel safe and armed with the knowledge to feel comfortable creating your own beeswax art! I’ll post it here once it’s ready for sale (& some freebie opportunities, too!)

10 thoughts on “Looking closer- Ghosts of the Past 2, Encaustic Painting

  1. hi jamie,i think your off to a great start and hope that your blog motivates you as much as mine motivates me….i love the fact that your documenting the process in such a detailed way. of course at some point i think you should show how you make the encaustic paints (although i have NO intention of ever making my own (three kids kind of rules some things out!)).beth


  2. Beth- Yes! I plan on giving a peek into the world of making the paint itself– that will be coming real soon!Artsnark- Great to have you here!Marion- I love seeing you around everywhere! Added you to my blog roll and am following you, too!-Jamie


  3. Oh, Jamie, I love your new blog!! I took a brief workshop with encaustics years ago, but have forgotten everything I’ve learned! I’ll be watching for your great posts, and am subscribing via bloglines.


  4. ceevee- Encaustic is such a great medium and once you dive in the water you’ll never want to get out! :)Jean- Added you blog to my blog roll! I, too, had learned encaustic many moons ago and made a vow to myself that once I had a real art studio that I’d teach myself again– and I have! It’s so rewarding.-Jamie


  5. Because I have been a Civil War buff for years, reading all the history involving this great war,and having a great, great grandfather who fough in that war: I can only say those art pieces are haunting.


  6. Mystic– Really?? That’s so interesting that your great2grandfather was in the Civil War. Amazing! I have always been drawn to these photographs for as long as I can remember. Part of it is the process of the photography that really seems to capture these people’s spirit, and part of it is just the amazing history behind them. I’ve been going through images from the National Archive and and astounded by them.My brother-in-law is in the Marines and is over in Iraq right now. My paintings, since the beginning of this war, have been about the idea and feelings of war. But now that he’s over there I’ve been focusing more on the soldiers and bringing humanization back into the picture– this is very present in these Civil War photos.Anyway– before getting any more political….Thanks for the comment! Lauren- Thank you! I love having a place to share this now!


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