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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Beeswax Medium

Mixing pigment and beeswax has been used by artists prehistorically. Through the essence of bee’s wax medium we observe and feel its clarity, richness and integrity. The colorfast “wax colors” I'm using now are made in Germany where the carefully selected pigments are food container safe. This form of painting/drawing is free of turpentine, processed oils, petro chemicals/plastics, or, any of the toxic metals/chemicals like cadmium, chromium, barium, lead, preservatives and fungicides that are routinely used in oil, acrylic, encaustic, watercolor, and guache paints. The use of these toxins is legally regulated under classification as non-toxic by ACMI (Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc.) which is funded and controlled by art paint manufacturers. New regulations with safer standards are necessary.

The respect in care of my paintings is not any different than with oils, watercolors and acrylics. Understanding the paintings’ susceptibility to damage is to acknowledge the harmony, fragility, order and pathos in its wave transcience, and of the harmony, poignancy, fragility, order and pathos of nature itself. The surface of these paintings is softer than oils, less brittle than watercolor, and more flexible than acrylic. Their surface is susceptible to scrapes and scratches and to extreme temperatures. They, like oils, watercolors and acrylics, should not be hung or stored in direct heat or sunlight, over heat vents or in temperatures over 120° F (48.9° C) and 32° F (0° C). Glass can be placed in the framing, as with watercolors and guache, to protect the surface from damage. My recent work is displayed without glass. I consider this to be a statement regarding the fragile precipice we find ourselves on created by mankind's devastating treatment to our planet as well as a way to bring understanding to our need to respect and to take responsibility as a caregiver to our environment. 

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