Janet Amundson-Splidsboel brought a beautiful encaustic painting to Muse Art and Design today. Janet is one of the three artists whose work will be featured in the “An Artist A Day” exhibit and auction along with the work by 30 artists working each day at Muse. Janet also shared the information below about her work as an artist and specifically the creation of this piece, entitled “Serendipity 2.” Thanks to Janet for contributing this piece to the event and for the informative explanation about her process! . . . .
Janet works in various mediums: Oil, pastel, watermedia, and encaustic. She paints some landscapes but focuses on painting figurative and stylized portraits. Most of her paintings are based on drawings done in live model groups and usually her subjects are women.
Janet’s encaustic technique uses the standard beeswax and damar resin formula. She mixes her own colors by adding dry pigments and sometimes oil paints to the molten beeswax recipe. This painting is on a birch panel and was begun with several layers of beeswax fused onto the panel. All of the fusing was done using a propane torch. The drawing was lightly sketched onto the wax with a crayon. Some of the important defining lines were then established by carving lines into the wax with a tool and then filling those lines with pigmented wax, and scraping off extra wax until only the incised line was filled. From that point on it was a process of painting on various colors of molten wax with various sizes of brushes, fusing, scraping, and adding many layers of clear and slightly tinted beeswax in between layers of more opaque colors. A small fan is used to cool the layers more quickly as the work progresses.
Janet’s technique does not incorporate collage or photocopy. Sometimes viewers think her paintings are oil paintings covered with a coat of wax but that is not the case. The painting is done entirely with layers of molten wax, (there is a touch of gold leaf on the bird’s wing), and each addition of wax is fused to the previous layer with a propane torch. A heat gun is sometimes used for fusing, but this painting was done entirely using the propane torch.