Encaustic painting is the process of painting with wax. The word encaustic literally means "to burn in", probably referring to the fusing process it requires. Egyptian encaustic mummy portraits have been found dating as far back as 100-300 AD and recent works of the 20th century such as Jasper Johns "Flag" attest to it's archival nature. In my art I have slightly adapted the process in order to impact the earth minimally: I paint on cradled birch with a combination of clarified beeswax and tree resin resulting in a piece that is solid and stable. I add pure pigments to the hot wax, paint and fuse each layer with heat. After I build up a textured background, I transfer my photographic images into the art and hand color with oils, sealing the image with several coats of wax for stability. I recently appeared on the Silicon Valley Open Studios show Talk on Art. Here is a link if you would like more information about my process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKcOr8Rhqgg
Caring for your encaustic:
Encaustic art is durable and archival, but please treat it kindly. As with all fine art forms, it should not be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. This art will thrive in temperatures from 35 to 125 degrees F. Always protect the surface and edges of the encaustic painting when moving it. Although the surface is completely dry, encaustic paintings can be scratched, gouged or chipped if handled roughly.
An encaustic may develop a film on the surface for the first 6 to 12 months as the wax cures, this is a natural process called "bloom" and is easily removed, as are shallow scratches, by wiping the surface with a soft cloth. Dusting the painting surface or buffing with a soft lint free cloth now and then will maintain the luminance of the wax.