About the Artist
Wendy C. Nooney is an artist currently residing in Albany, NY. She holds a degree in graphic design and worked for over 20 years in the advertising industry before pursuing an independent career as an artist/designer. She now designs custom stationery for weddings as well as creating her fine art work. She works mainly in watercolor and graphite, but is constantly changing the nature of her work by exploring new combinations of media. Her work is in private collections both in the US and abroad.
Water and Wax: Encaustic Series
“For the past year, I have studied the beauty of encaustic wax painting. Because I mainly work in watercolor, I thought it would be an interesting concept to combine watercolor with wax medium using the watercolor painting as a base for building layers. I found that the addition of the wax gives depth and texture and creates more of a mood - sometimes hazy and mysterious, sometimes warm and comforting.
My process here is to create original watercolors, or prints of my originals on rice paper, and adhere them on boards using gel medium or encaustic wax medium. I then use layers of wax and oil pigment sticks to add tone or cloud formations, and tools or objects to incise and give texture. When adding the wax layers, I leave certain areas of the painting underneath showing so the viewer can still see some of the characteristics of the watercolor.
I have always loved working in watercolor and deeply admire the watercolor landscapes of American artists such as John Singer Sargent, Childe Hassam and Edward Hopper. By adding the encaustic technique, I hope to take the watercolors to another level."
WHAT IS ENCAUSTIC?
Encaustic painting is an ancient technique of painting with beeswax, dating back to the Greeks. Encaustic medium consists of natural beeswax and damar resin (crystallized tree sap). The medium can be used alone for its transparency or adhesive qualities or used pigmented. Pigments may be added to the medium, or purchased colored with traditional artist pigments. The medium is melted and applied with a brush and each layer is then reheated to fuse it to the previous layer. As layers are built up, textures can be created by such methods as pressing objects into the hot wax or incising the wax with a sharp tool.
CARE OF ENCAUSTIC ART
Encaustic paintings are extremely archival, but as with any fine art, care should be given to them. Works will not melt in normal household conditions. The wax and resin will not melt unless exposed to temperatures over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Leaving a painting in a
car on a hot day would not be advisable or hanging a painting in front of a window with direct hot sunlight. They are also sensitive to freezing cold temperatures.
Some encaustic colors tend to “bloom” or become cloudy over time. If your painting appears indistinct, simply rub the surface with a soft cloth or nylon stocking. Over time the surface retains its gloss as the wax medium continues to cure and harden for up to 1-3 years.