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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cold Wax Play Day

After our inspiring workshop on cold wax oil painting given by Leslie Stokes,
some of us decided to pursue the medium a little farther.
We invited two friends who were interested. We gathered at my house
for 3 hours of experimentation and continued discovery.
Five of us total. 

We have Holly & Cheryl. (You can't be creative on an empty stomach!)  Marcella & Holly.
Anita & myself (Not Pictured).

The cold wax process in very simple terms.  Oil paint and cold wax are mixed somewhat
equally to begin with.  Then the paint mixture is squeegeed across the substrate.  This can be 
masonite, gesso boards, etc. Layers are subsequently built up, adding texture, scratching the surface, 
rolling with a brayer, imprinting, etc. Liberating to the artist like myself who is quite attached to imagery, as the medium lends itself most readily to a more abstract approach as in below.

Cold wax.  An oil painting medium made generically at home from white beeswax and
turpentine, or in the case of our gathering, a batch made from white beeswax and mineral spirits.
I tried turpenoid earlier in the week and it was unsatisfactory.  The recipe I used was one part 
beeswax to two parts turpentine. Melt the beeswax on the stove. I have a gas stove
and on low, it melted slowly, but you will have to gage this for yourself. Some use
a double boiler. When the wax is melted, remove from the heat and stir in the turpentine.
Remove to a ventilated place to cool. When the wax solidifies and turns white again,
it is finished. Store in a lidded container.

This is our batch, solid but still has more cooling to do.

Or you can buy Gambin's Cold Wax pictured here on the table. Expensive
but like butter to use.

Also in this pic you can see four paper beginnings and a number of quarter inch 
MDF pieces, cut into standard sizes and gessoed.  All of these pictured have their first two
or three layers.  The paper cold wax pieces have the borders taped and will need to be matted
and framed under glass.  Flexible substrates can crack.  But I'm fond of paper.  So
I have to give it a shot.  I gessoed the paper after I taped the border.

Now the real fun begins.


Holly mixes a mouth watering turquoise.

Anita and Cheryl discuss process. Anita is surrounded by beginning paintings.

Cheryl works on her wax spreading technique.
Above the paper drawers is one of Leslie Stokes' earlier, pre-cold wax paintings.

Marcella looks on as Anita takes a gander at her work.

After lots of laughs, experimenting, sharing and three hours of creative process,
we unanimously agreed to meet Sunday to continue painting. Show and tell in the next post.

And I ask "Will there also be food?"

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