Cold wax painting: my first!

Hello dear readers, I’m excited to share something new I’ve finished working on. Below is my first cold wax painting titled, ‘Massimo, You Are the Music in My Heart’. This piece is dedicated to my son who is a violinist.

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I’ve always admired the look of a cold wax painting for years but did not know how it was produced and with what medium. By chance and research, I stumbled upon it through working with hot wax (encaustic).

Cold wax is a paste-consistency medium made with filtered beeswax and odorless mineral spirits. There are a couple of variations in formulas on the market today, mainly by Gamblin and Dorlands. I work with Gamblin because the formula has less additives.

Cold wax paintings are generally made with cold wax medium, oil paint and/or pigment. There are other additives for the cold wax medium but it’s up to the artist to choose. Some artists choose to add marble dust, charcoal and dry pigment. The dry additives can be mixed in with cold wax and will help it dry quicker as well as add colour and texture. Oil paint added into the medium will dry a little slower. In either case, cold wax dries faster than traditional oil paint alone.

A few of the application methods of the cold wax are by squeegee, palette knife, plastic card or a brayer. The great qualities of this painting medium are: layers dry fairly quickly, surfaces can be engraved and scraped, light collage elements can be added, oil sticks can be used in conjunction, minimal odor, no heat required, natural finish is matte but can be polished to a soft sheen and most of all, it has a lovely texture to work with.

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Above is a detail of my piece that shows the inscribed lines and faux-gold leaf incorporated into the paint layers. You can also see the textural elements and the sheen of the polished surface as well.

In the picture below, shows how the cradled panel was finished. I chose to use clear acrylic varnish to seal the edges and let the wood grain how though. I think the natural wood goes well with the early colours of the piece.

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Cityscape watercolour

Where I live, I’m starting to see glimpses of summer.

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Above is an abstract watercolour I did a while back. Using loose, flat and fairly dry brushstrokes, I painted a rough cityscape. It reminds me of hot days in the city when the heat and haze just radiates off of skyscrapers.

Although I don’t live in such a city anymore, and summers are wonderfully moderate where I live now, I can still remember when it was red-hot!

Needle-felted goldfish: fish out of water

Sometimes I feel like a fish out of water. Do you ever feel like that?
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This is a needle-felted goldfish I did for fun. I like the look on its face because it looks the way I feel sometimes. Underneath the fish, is a cropping of a watercolour piece that is used in my blog header.

I’ve got so many things going on personally and artistically. This blog and connecting with people in a public manner is new for me. I don’t know which issue I should tackle first or which direction I should take. In the past when I felt overwhelmed, I would break things down to bite-sized pieces. I am attempting to do just that while writing this post:

  • I feel torn between different art media, because time is short
  • I feel inadequate in developing a larger audience
  • I feel I need more space to work, but do not want to encroach on house space
  • I feel I should be making things to sell, but now I’m immersed in honing my art skills
  • I always feel overwhelmed by housework that needs to be kept in check or I will have an instant sty
  • I feel I need to be present for my family instead of always thinking about art

I think I have to evaluate these things. Suggestions and advice are welcome.

I hope you have a wonderful week.