I find myself in a new phase of my artistic life. After over 30 years of teaching others to be artists, I am now making time to develop my own artistic skills and style. The encaustic medium has allowed me to really hone in on my interests while forcing me to be a bit less structured. My natural tendency is to relate personal stories or experiences in my art in a more realistic or exacting way; I guess that is why I am drawn to the photographic image. Photography allows me to share experiences, perhaps in a more literal way. The encaustic medium allows me to take the photos I have taken and add an emotionally or characteristically different viewpoint to them. Images I create seem more realistic and linear, and the idea of repeating colours, textures, lines and shapes etc., is integral to creating a sense of unity in my work. There is beauty and calmness in the subject matter I choose.
— Carol Miotto —
Encaustic painting is an ancient technique which incorporates heated beeswax mixed with dammar resin and coloured pigments creating a liquid or paste, which is then applied to a surface. The word encaustic comes from the ancient Greek word enkaustikos meaning "to heat or burn in". Each layer of wax medium is fused together using heat. The medium can be used on its own or combined with a variety of mixed medium components such as collage, image transfer, chalk and oil pastels, india ink etc.... Encaustic media also lends itself nicely to sculptural techniques allowing the artist to create additional texture on the surface.
Encaustic painting dates back to ancient Greece who originally used wax to caulk the hulls of ships. By adding colour to the wax, the Greeks began to decorate their war ships with intricate images and patterns. A Greek artist named Pausanias is thought to have developed the encaustic painting method in the first half of the 4th century. The oldest surviving encaustic paintings are the ancient Romano-Egyptian Fayum mummy portraits from Egypt around 100-300AD.
Fayum Portraits Gift of Edward S. Harkness, 1918 / Metropolitan Museum of Art; © The Trustees of Th