Sunday, July 10, 2011

ARE EMBODIED IN A THICK, SENSUOUSLY WAXY MEDIUM

hand made encaustic paint by Don Porcella


"NEW YORK TIMES, ART CRITIC KEN JOHNSON DESCRIBES DON PORCELLA’S PAINTINGS AS, “…IMAGES LIKE SASQUATCH LOUNGING IN A PINK RECLINER BY A WILDERNESS LAKE AND A MOBILE HOME TRAILER ON FIRE ARE EMBODIED IN A THICK, SENSUOUSLY WAXY MEDIUM."

I make my own encaustic paint from the best materials. I use pharmaceutical grade beeswax and melt that with Damar Resin (Malaysian Fir Tree sap) and pigment to create the paint. Damar Resin is a very hard material and it has a much higher melting point than beeswax so when combined together to make encaustic paint you would need a temperature over 140 degrees to melt my paintings. Of course this temperature would also ruin all other types of painting as well. You can rap your knuckles on one of my paintings to see how hard they are and how durable they are too.

After making the paint I use a hand held butane torch and drip the paint onto the surface (wood panel) to create my paintings. After I drip the paint onto the surface, I sculpt the paint with gouges, knives, spatulas and my fingers. It is a handmade approach that helps create these unique paintings. Each painting is a "one of a kind" and can never be duplicated.

Encaustic paint dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans around the 1st century. Encaustic is over 2000 years old and yet it has survived better than other types of painting like oil on canvas. In fact, encaustic on wood is more archival than oil or acrylic on canvas because the encaustic on wood prevents moisture which is often times the downfall of anything painted onto canvas.

Jasper Johns is the most famous encaustic painter. The famous American flag paintings he did were all made using encaustic paint.


This is a link to the most comprehensive site regarding this medium...

Don Porcella making an encaustic painting

the tools and materials to make encaustic paintings in Don's studio






2 Comments:

Anonymous AOK said...

I really liked this breakdown of how to make encaustic paint and the history of it! Way to defend the medium! It seems like it could be difficult just to obtain all these materials!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Lille Diane said...

This is so cool, Don! I haven't worked in this medium yet but you have inspired me to try it! The colors shown in the picture of the encaustic paints you made are like eye candy! Thank you for sharing the techniques you use to create your original, one of a kind pieces of fabulously, funky art! Plus, now that I know you have a blog I'll stop back to see more of what you're up to!

4:05 PM  

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