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Old 05-19-2002, 03:01 AM   #1
Rochelle Brown Rochelle Brown is offline
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Karin, but have you ever thought of trying wax as a medium? Is there a danger of toxicity?

A few years ago In Ireland I saw some gorgeous landscape paintings. The artist's name was Eileen Meaher. When I tried to ask her about technique she started to get nervous and didn't want to talk. The strokes were all effective and efficient with an almost velvet feel. The colors were so brilliant and perfect I had a hard time taking my eyes off of it. I havn't seen work like it since.
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Old 05-19-2002, 10:29 AM   #2
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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Bummer that the artist you met wouldn't share the info. about her materials. That attitude is all too common in this business. However I'm hopeful that it is beginning to slowly change for the better.

A few years ago I saw some work in "wax medium" that knocked my sox off. I think that it somehow needs to be applied hot.

Anyhow, a big art catalog co. like Jerry's probably sells it....call their toll free number and ask them. Please let us know what you find out.
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Old 05-19-2002, 09:15 PM   #3
Jim Riley Jim Riley is offline
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Are we talking about encaustic painting where dry pigments are mixed with a hot beeswax solution that makes it easy to build up colored textures and blend with heat?

If so, I would think it difficult to control in portraiture.
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Old 05-19-2002, 10:01 PM   #4
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
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I agree, the wax encaustic probably wouldn't work in realistic portraiture. Doesn't this stuff come in premixed colors and can't you buy it somewhere? Can it ever be used with our traditional oil paints?

I realize that I'm getting off subject here....sorry.
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Old 05-19-2002, 10:14 PM   #5
Rochelle Brown Rochelle Brown is offline
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Well, I havn't contacted Jerry"s yet but after looking around on the web under the key words "wax painting technique" I gather it would take an ambitious student to master this. It would take knowledge of how to keep the colors at a temperature that is not so fluid as to make them hard to control.

There are some important advantages to using wax. They are -not- toxic unless mixed with other toxic mediums. Also, the colors don't fade, ever. Cracking can be prevented by painting on board.

This technique is difficult if not obscure. It might be useful to contact Gamblin. The Ralph Meyer book on technique and materials is supposed to have specific information on this subject. I'll write more after I talk to Jerry's.
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Old 05-19-2002, 10:17 PM   #6
Rochelle Brown Rochelle Brown is offline
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According to Gamblin, their dry pigments can be mixed with wax.
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Old 05-20-2002, 12:21 AM   #7
Michael Georges Michael Georges is offline
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Another Word on Wax in Medium and Paint.

I have a small tub of Gamblin's Wax Medium - have seen this type of medium from other vendors as well.

Wax medium is mostly white or bleached beeswax mixed with turpentine or mineral spirits. The primary characteristics of a wax mediums is an increase in paint layer flexibility, a dulling of the sheen, and the ability to create very brushy effects and have your strokes stay put. You have to be careful of how much wax you put into the medium and the paint as too much will prevent you from varnishing the painting as the varnish will not adhere properly.

I have mixed some wax medium into Galkyd to create a Galkyd Matte Medium for work that needed to be reproduced - worked just fine.

As with any medium, if you mix it into paint, do so no more than 20% medium to 80% paint.
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Old 05-20-2002, 05:36 PM   #8
Rochelle Brown Rochelle Brown is offline
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I had the impression that wax is a medium that doesn't require varnish. It could be that is only the case with wax mixed with resin or mastic varnish. The work I saw from the Irish artist was definately matte, with every stroke brilliantly executed with precision. The paintings were very realistic landscapes.

I should add that pure beeswax is available from the catalogues, just in case no one has seen it. It might be interesting and fun to try it sometime. I can imagine small ceramic bowls of color in some kind of pan with 1/2 an inch of hot water on the bottem keeping the colors at a workable temperature.

But this thread was meant to be about Genesis paints... Anyway happy painting!
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Old 05-21-2002, 09:53 AM   #9
Juan Martinez Juan Martinez is offline
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Rochelle

If I may, I shall interject a word of caution about the use of beeswax with a quotation from Knut Nicolaus' wonderful book, The Restoration of Paintings, at p. 141:

"According to Berger, beeswax in its pure form and in associatoin with natural or synthetic resins is thought to discolor color and paint ground layers as well as becoming discolored itself with age, forming lattice patterns, and causing oil colors to swell so that they more readily flake off. Beeswax can supposedly form craquelure effects in color layers, discolor the canvas, and attack cellulose; . . ..

"Kuhn describes the use of wax in conservation as closing the door on all possibilities. Muhlethaler also describes wax as a last resort, if absolutely nothing else will do. The object is imbedded like a medicinal preparation. 'It ceases to be itself.'"

This passage was in reference to using beeswax in a wax-resin adhesive application. However, the wording, although guarded, is filled with warnings that could equally apply to using wax within a medium for oil painting. If it were me, I would look into the issue a bit more.

All the best.

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Old 05-21-2002, 03:31 PM   #10
Rochelle Brown Rochelle Brown is offline
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It seems that there is conflicting information of the subject. There are some ancient Greek encaustic paintings that have held up very well. To have the ability to successfully master any medium is a special gift and not for everyone. We do what we can.
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